Provided by S. R. Algernon
December 21, 2218
Dear Editors of Xenobiology:
We are writing in response to the latest round of reviewer comments on “The use of acoustic deterrents against macrofauna in the surface ice sheets of Europa: ecological and economic implications” by Clark and Hopkins. We appreciate the efficiency of Xenobiology’s updated Virtual Peer Review, and we note with thanks that your response time of 0.013 seconds is several orders of magnitude faster than the previous round of peer review.
We have tried to address the diversity of opinions from your archive of neuro-cognitive simulations. That being said, we feel that some reviewer concerns may not be relevant to Xenobiology’s primarily human and humanoid audience. We hope that the editors will keep this in mind when evaluating our changes to the manuscript.
- We have struggled to find ways to cite the work of Dr. John C. Fulton, whom we believe to be a colleague of Reviewer A. The most recent work we could find (Fulton & Jones, 2101) predates the Europan Worm Plague by 75 years. Consequently, many of their initial assessments may not be accurate. We have cited the last known transmission from the Fulton colony (Fulton IV & Nakayama, 2187) as support for the urgent need for research on Europan macrofauna.
- Based on Reviewer B’s comments on the “shackles of terrestrial genomes” and the depiction of the Europan Worm as “a harmless addition to the Europan landscape” and “a triumph of adaptive nano-genetic engineering,” we suspect that Reviewer B may have a conflict of interest.
- We object to Reviewer B’s claim that the Europan Worm “would never leave the brine layer anyway.” The worm’s fondness for burrowing through the ice and curling up against radiation shields and thermal vents is well documented (e.g., Fulton IV, 2182; Fulton Enterprises v. Creative Genomics, Inc., 2184, 2185).
- We agree with Reviewer B that we have used “infer” rather than “imply” on page 27, line 3, and we had omitted the customary period after “et al” on page 29, line 12. We note that this paper might not be necessary had Reviewer B, in life, applied the same critical eye to the Creative Genomics “eco-enhancement” projects.
- While we found many of Reviewer C’s comments difficult to address directly, we agree that trade and commerce between Jupiter and the Jovian satellites has been adversely affected by the worms. The transfer of funds to other financial centers, including Reviewer C’s homeland of Nigeria, is certainly worthy of note as a problem that current research might address. We wish His Highness the best of luck with his predicament.
- After much consideration, we are unable to respond effectively to Reviewer D’s insistence that “the∫e creatures, being the products of their creator’s penetrating Wit, mu∫t not be deprived of the great ∫weetne∫s of life. Their ∫en∫es, being not inferior to our own, mu∫t ∫eek out the ∫ame ∫un that doth warm us on this dull Earth.” We commend Xenobiology’s evident attempt to develop neuro-cognitive profiles based on the written output of reviewers who predate the technology. We cannot impugn the credentials of a luminary such as Reviewer D, but we suggest that he might feel differently if it were his colony dome that wound up plunging through Worm-riddled ice into Europa’s depths.
- Lastly, we believe that Reviewer E’s concern may no longer be relevant. Reviewer E’s depiction of the research as an “infuriating waste of time” is debatable. Furthermore, the claim that Reviewer E “cringes just thinking about that horrible data set” is puzzling, since we have received no request for our data or analyses to date. We note that one co-author of this manuscript recently provided his neuro-cognitive profile to your Virtual Peer Review database during one of our field studies in an effort to supplement his teaching stipend. He has recently returned from a two-week skiing trip to Olympus Mons, and he is now in a much better frame of mind. We regret that Reviewer E, being a simulation, cannot “give it all up and become an asteroid miner,” but we hope the editors will agree that it is beyond the scope of the present manuscript.
In conclusion, we believe that our latest revision has addressed the reviewers’ concerns. Please note the change in authorship to reflect additional collaborators who have been invaluable to this revision.
S. Clark, J. F. Hopkins, G. Galilei, and I. Newton, P.R.S.
Selena Clark has a Ph.D. in Xenobiology and presently works at the Fulton Memorial Research Station. Her interests include collecting cryophilic molds, shivering, and updating her curriculum vitae.
Jason F. Hopkins has a M.A. in Planetary Ecology. His interests include skiing, griping, and attempting to locate his advisor.
The remaining authors need no introduction and reside within the Faculty-in-a-Box archive on Io.
S. R. Algernon studied fiction writing and biology, among other things, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His writing interests include sociological science fiction, Japanese science fiction, alternate histories and puzzle stories like Asimov used to write. He currently resides in Singapore.
Image credit: patrimonio / 123RF Stock Photo
Note that all individuals appearing in the story, except Newton and Galileo, are entirely fictional and any resemblance to any real person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.