I, Rocket: What We Know About Stubby the Rocket

Many of us here at Tor.com are frequently asked just who or what is Stubby the Rocket? The official answer is this: a handle all the staff uses to do straightforward news posts that don’t involve the site or a Tor Books property, or pieces in which a specific voice or viewpoint is not attached.

However, that answer is a lie. Stubby is a sentient machine in a geosynchronous orbit above the Flatiron building in New York City. Stubby is literally a living rocket. It appeared at the same time the website launched three years ago, although unlike the website, we’re not sure how old Stubby really is. In Earth years Stubby is three. But in Rocket years? We have no idea.

All we know about Stubby is what it shares with us in the bio squibs of its posts. Here’s what we have managed to learn about Stubby the Rocket thus far.

Even though this Rocket orbits our building every day, a lot of it is still a mystery.

Stubby is alive but in a strange, rocket way

  • Stubby has no mouth and it must rocket.
  • Stubby could never be a Muppet because nobody pulls Stubby’s strings.
  • If Stubby had arms, Stubby would look great in a WWII trenchcoat.
  • Stubby had a long neck once before. Then evolution occurred.
  • Stubby always dreamed of entering a Beard and Moustache Championship. Alas, it was not to be.
  • When Stubby cruises at lightspeed, Stubby purrs.
  • Stubby does not make good zombie food.
  • Stubby has never received confusing character direction from Alfonso Cuarón, though not for lack of trying.

Stubby has dubious taste

  • Stubby thinks that kilts are quite comfortable.
  • Stubby has a chain made of mithril and a watch made of gold-pressed latinum.
  • Stubby would like its new nickname to be “Beefy Bean.”
  • Stubby is furious you can’t get Theodore Rex on DVD.

Stubby can apparently create things out of nothing

  • Stubby has lots of coffee (black) for whenever Captain Janeway stops by.
  • Stubby the Rocket has compensated for mass and salinity, but not other fluidic factors.
  • Stubby can produce magnificent quantities of whatever the baby needs.

Stubby can do everything better than everyone else

  • Stubby solves mysteries at the speed of light.
  • Stubby is a master of the universe.
  • Stubby doesn’t need any armor. Stubby is beautiful and safe the way it is.
  • Stubby sculpts its vegetables into rocket friends Stubby can play with.
  • Stubby’s Patronus is Stubby the Rocket.
  • Stubby says say no to Space Drugs.
  • Stubby doesn’t need a PhD in comics. It enters a level of art imitating life that Stubby is just not comfortable with.
  • Stubby once dressed up as a vampire for Halloween and walked around with a bottle of rocket fuel… but nobody got it.
  • Stubby would clean up in the Space Olympics.
  • Stubby has been offering flights to space since long before Richard Branson was born, so Stubby has no idea what everyone’s getting all excited about.
  • Stubby never leaves spacedock without a tractor beam.
  • Stubby the Rocket can make any kind of run in a limited number of parsecs.

Stubby is Cool

  • All of Stubby’s interfaces are touchscreens. Just like the ones that Tony Stark has.
  • Stubby would totally be the primary vehicle of the SF Justice League.
  • Stubby was MacGyver before MacGyver was MacGyver.
  • Stubby has been there and back again.
  • Stubby doesn’t need to be jealous of any Enterprise because Stubby is obviously, stronger, better, faster, and more fun at parties.
  • Stubby the Rocket is the first rocket to dock with the Flatiron Building in NYC.
  • Stubby the Rocket is the mascot of Tor.com and is neither beast nor beauty, just cold, efficient space-steel.

Stubby is dangerous

  • Stubby is so outraged at The Onion being overlooked for a Pulitzer that Stubby is about to jettison all of its fuel in protest.
  • Stubby is harboring all the velociraptors from Jurassic Park and will only let them out when Stubby sees a good script.
  • Stubby’s got a ray gun.
  • Stubby can’t wait until rockets are allowed to box robots so it can show everyone who’s boss.
  • Stubby the Rocket often feels as beloved by its crew as the original cast loved the Enterprise. But remembers that they blew it up anyway.

Stubby likes Sean Connery

  • If Stubby was outfitted with an Emergency Medical Hologram, it would appear in the form of Sean Connery.
  • In the hypothetical cartoon web series about Stubby, Stubby will be voiced in some episodes by Sean Connery, and other episodes by Catherine Tate.

Stubby has secrets

  • Stubby and Cthulhu have been buds for millennia. You should see their photo albums.
  • Stubby has a big twist ending planned for you.
  • The Stubby brewing company is in a secret comet that only Stubby knows how to get to.
  • Stubby knows where that hum is coming from… but that would be telling.
  • Stubby would like to reassert that while Stubby was in the solar system during that whole dinosaur mass extinction thing, Stubby had nothing to do with it and can’t verify nudging the asteroid one bit.
  • Stubby knows all about the origin of dinosaurs. But Stubby isn’t telling.
  • Stubby the Rocket is definitely not revealing how it is going to die but is staying well away from those hedge clippers.
  • Stubby once tried to meld two unrelated animals together, as well, but now prefers to forget that regrettable hour.

Stubby is taking over

  • Stubby promises not to remove any of your basic freedoms unless it’s totally necessary. Rockets are your saviors. Vote Stubby. Comply.

Stubby the Rocket is the voice and mascot of Tor.com and has ya’ll in check.


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