“I am not afraid for my life” […] The project was more important than survival. More important than anything.
After checking his page on the isfdb, I was surprised to see just how many stories Rich Larson has had published. There are over 90 short stories listed from 2011, two books of fiction, as well as two collections. That is very impressive. I am familiar with the author’s name and have read a few of his short stories before. I remember enjoying both “You Make Pattaya” and “An Evening with Severyn Grimes”, which were collected in two of Jonathan Strahan’s yearly “Best Science Fiction & Fantasy” anthologies. I read this story in Clockwork Phoenix 5.
INNUMERABLE GLIMMERNG LIGHTS is a short story about sentient life living under the ice of a planet or moon’s ocean somewhere in the universe. These lifeforms have wonderful names like “Four Warm Currents” and “Three Jagged Reefs,” and they communicate via scent and colors. Four Warm Currents is the head of a drilling project which aims to bore a hole through the thick ice at the border of their world. It wants to discover what lies on the other side of the ice, but is meeting resistance from those opposed to the work. The resistance speak of an apocalypse if the drilling is successful.
This is a fantastic story, the kind of genre story that defines what quality speculative fiction can offer us. It entertains as well as inviting discussion. What starts as a truly alien environment filled with strange creatures ends up feeling completely believable, almost familiar, by the end of the story. I highly recommend INNUMERABLE GLIMMERING LIGHTS and urge you to check out some of Rich Larson’s writing.
Saturday March 7th 2020
Time to choose the next story. A careful shuffle leads to the Knight of Swords. This card is associated with intellect, science, and logic but can also be too analytical and cold. The story paired with this card is CARDIFF AFTERLIFE by Alastair Reynolds. It’s taken from his 2006 collection Zima Blue and Other Stories.
As always, thanks so much for reading. See you next time.