My story “The Beautiful Horizon” in The Purpose of Reality: Solar has been shortlisted for the 2022 Aurealis Awards in the Fantasy Short Story Category. Info about The Purpose of Reality collections below.
They’ve built a block of apartments across the street, all the way along.
My neighbors over there had to vacate, but I heard a little wailing beneath the motors’ roar when the night machines ground their houses to gravel.
The skyward myths, the poppy-field poets, have vanished, the inexpressible has evanesced above the tar pits like the long-lost Brachiosauridae, and in the cities, all that’s left is Amazon and online dreams.
Beyond the glass, the water birds are gliding on the rails of rain, and, for a moment, their distant pattering melody recalls a semblance of another chance at hopefulness—even with the knowing that it’s far too late for all of that.
The rain was running late, still pattering
on the muddy puddles of the city sky,
and the street was smeared with cloud
star-ridden with mercury lamps—
a world as dreary as long-lost
infatuation, as a friend’s anger,
as empty jealousy.
Like a moth attracted
to the flickers of fluorescent lights,
I chose a frayed café where
my dairy-whitened instant coffee
with artificial sweetener
—all its chemical delights—
put me in the writing mood.
Previously on Blade Walker: the earth is inhabited by extraterrestrials, who are minding the planet after humans failed in their duty of care. Blade Walker (human) and Alícia (alien) are having coffee at one of the Café Économique franchises. The first episode is here.
It was all the usual at the Café:
an earthenware urn of tired umbrellas,
sprouting branches and plastic flowers,
tattered pigeons hoping for a snack;
at the other tables, Saurons sipping bluegas,
the odd Solarian, naturally luminous,
and sentient crustacea on a break
from breaking crockery.