‘Lighter than Claire’ has appeared in the summer (north of the equator) edition of the Colored Lens and is available at Amazon. It’s also freely available online. The story has various sources—a plate of pasta, ‘Mambo Italiano’ by Flabby and Carla Boni (playing while I was writing), Philip K. Dick’s “A Scanner Darkly,” and the evolution of the species, at least the way it works in my imagination.¹ ‘Lighter than Claire’ also touches on a couple of questions implicitly—What is the meaning of infinity? and Is infinity something we should be comfortable with or mildly anxious about? I have to admit that I don’t worry about infinity very often, but Richard Dawkins has a few concerns²:
For me, what’s frightening is not death itself but eternity.
Dawkins was mainly talking about conventional religious versions of an afterlife, but there are scientific possibilities of an afterlife as well, apart from the bad hygiene, brain-eating kinds. Admittedly it’s speculation, but that’s what speculative fiction is about.
¹Evolution is as a real as anything gets, but Darwin’s “On the Origin of the Species” has its boring moments, and speculative fiction needs a bit of fun. The illustration is part of a computer artwork, Evolution Schmevolution.
²Quote from the TV series ‘Sex, Death, and the Meaning of Life.’