Story release day is upon us! I’m pleased to offer you all The Setting of the Sun, a short tale about the passage of time, in all its swiftness and languor.
It came out today in Compelling Science Fiction, a wonderful new pro magazine showcasing “plausible science fiction” – defined as SF that doesn’t break suspension of disbelief for scientists and engineers. (A term I find superior to the traditional “hard SF,” which is notoriously subjective and hard to define.)
This story is in competition for the Guinness record on “longest timeline-to-wordcount ratio,” as a 1300-word story that covers nine hundred million years of time.
A few additional notes below…
This story grew out of a writing contest on Codex, with the following prompt: “Write about the last ‘person’ to be born or to die.’ Winder is, perhaps, the last of their kind – though a different kind of people may be born, because of Winder’s actions.
This story was also my attempt to write an Alistair Reynolds story in flash form. I was thinking particularly of Galactic North. At 1300 words it’s debatable whether Setting of the Sun counts as flash, but for the rest of the success, I leave it to the reader to decide!