Occasionally people ask me what a pud is. They are right to ask because of three "'zines" I wrote between '08 and '010 called "Attack Of," "Bride Of," and "Curse Of The Space Pud."
Webster's dictionary defines "Pud" as an informal, chiefly British abbreviation for the much-loved treat "pudding." But I disagree.
People searching for extraterrestrial life, I've long preached, are missing the point. Such unimaginably diverse living items exist on earth. Some examples are cucumbers, staphylococci, athlete's foot, sponges, hen-of-the-woods, AND MAN. I did my best to make my examples seem as different as possible from each other, but one similarity cannot be removed: they are all examples of a single phenomenon, which is life.
Take another planet for example, one which may not have water, may not have things on it capable of making more of themselves, but nevertheless has some phenomenon no other planet for miles has. This phenomenon, whatever it is, is so specific to the planet that it is basically its defining characteristic. Or who knows, maybe the phenomenon is planet-independent even.
But it's not life so forget it.
Hold on! So what if it's not life? It's something else, something as rare and as complex as life, but without any of those watery, carbony, reproductivey chains we manacle ourselves to in searching the universe for weird shit.
Seeking life on other planets is like seeking Wiener schniztel in Ecuador. They don't eat Wiener schnitzel in Ecuador, they eat guinea pigs. Forget about the schnitzel already. These two dishes are the defining phenomena of their countries (basically), and life is Earth's defining phenomenon.
I define the word "pud" as the phenomenon that makes a planet unique. Life is Earth's pud. Who knows what other puds abound... in SPACE?
I change my mind just pudding