Deija, the Martian Princess of Glass, was lounging on a chaise longue in her Dapto Castle. Her butler was nearby, drinking bluegas through a striped straw.
“There’s nothing new under the sun.
Is it worth invading the rest of this sorry planet?
It might all be like Dapto. This place
has infected me. I have a rash.”
“There are only seven kinds of people.”
That’s the type of thing you will hear
if you listen to the oscillographic media.
Maria, whom I rarely listened to, continued.
In truth, people are entropy:
disorder and information. The closer
you look, the more you see.
Three café explorations.
“Reality serves at memory’s pleasure,”
something I read somewhere.
I have a tattoo with the very same words.
Quite the coincidence.
on an unremarkable planet
Contessa Isabela fluttered a manicured hand.
Divers divas and devices,
glorified in dullness.
I crave novelty.
We’ll send someone to Planet Sauria
whence no-one has returned.
We might get lucky this time.
… meet the zeroth law of motion.
We’re dropping out of hyper now
into normal space,
the words of Azulinha, the fluidic pilot,
flashed inside my head,
and don’t touch that,
it’s not a percolator.
Soon there’d be no more
chromatic thought transference—
empathic rivers of the gaseous mind.
It would all be stuttering and stumbling
with optics and acoustics
on the surface of the planet.
Through the window, washes
on a watercolor planet,
rainy autumn shades in spring, and
in the early evening, scattered photon showers
are forecast, a luminous return of light
from the shadow sun.
Indoors there are smaller mysteries,
trailing motes in negative space—
leaving lamps and bulbs,
domesticities and peripherals,
drawn out between the curtains
to the shadow sun.
You humans are all alike, no time no time,
no time is beautiful, before birth and after life.
My pancakes are shallow thoughts
stacked in the kitchen,
she adds a little honey.
I’m late for work at the hardware store,
mostly robots looking for spare parts.
They’re not like her.
I have a list of pastimes on a piece of paper
in case a stranger asks about them,
or what’s written on the paper.
One of them is making lists,
and one of them describes
the things I cannot understand—
• with more buttons than a penguin can count
• using the word quantum
• named Sonia
• and so on.
Last night I dreamt we went together to the sea
and joined the others gathered on the beach,
figures made of sand who dreamed within a dream
of alluvial forgiveness.
From the kitchen doorway
a flock of shadows flies out on the ridge,
and in the gullies yellowed smog
is bleeding from the ground.
The earth is sick, reclaiming its own,
and the far horizon is a never ending fuse,
unquenchable linear fire.
The i-coupé makes its debut.
So silvery and sleek, and quiet
as a mouse trying to purr,
no steering, no gearstick or pedals.
The salesperson kept on talking,
but I was already sold.
It doesn’t have a motor at all.
A universal transport moves you
to a nearby timeline, where
the i-coupé’s a little further
down the street.
What are you up to, Victor?
I’m writing a poem, Eloise,
something about love.
His felt-tip pen was hovering
over a page of crossings out,
where white-out streaks had
turned to snow capped ridges.
So much for having writ moves on.
When I see two Siamese cats,
bookends on the porch,
when I find two stoves boiling
spinach in the kitchen,
when I meet myself pulling weeds
out of the garden,
I know it must be Célia, and
she’s switched herself again.
He stood at the door with a forlorn smile
and a hand-drawn mustache—
a comically tragic pastiche wearing
nothing but tennis shorts and socks.
My name is Rodney, might I
I know who you are. You see
my name is Rodney as well.
They call the parasitium a paradise, they
tell us we’re all safe beneath its dome,
but I’ve heard rumors there’s another
land outside—if we can only loose the ties
of our dependency—a place where each
wild star might cast its light.
By day I wander in the markets,
stop before the soap box preacher
who swears that only those without
a heart are truly pure, that they
alone will know a rational salvation
in the world beyond the plastic.
Seven memorable days in the Orion Spiral for $99/night all meals incl.
In twenty sixteen, three craft from
deep space appeared over Earth
on discrete stratospheric
We tracked them with lasers,
and launched several missiles
that turned the three ships to a
luminous mist, and a sunset
in glorious colors.
The Third Dimension appeared on-line in Plasma Frequency Magazine. PFM re-emerged in 2016 with help from Kickstarter, and they’ve introduced a number of new features including a rookie author program, revamped editorial process, and broad reading choices with stories free on-line as well as in print and ebook editions.
Note: Unfortunately PFM has now sunk again and all that is left is a terrible spam site.
‘The Third Dimension’ is pretty much sci fi, as long as you can suspend your disbelief—I find a glass of wine helps, except with politicians—and it owes something to Ian R MacLeod’s magical novel The Light Ages, plus a few other works that I won’t name to avoid spoilers.