Main fiction: “The Sky that Wraps the World Round, Past the Blue and Into the Black” by Jay Lake
I believe that all things eventually come to rest. Even light, though that’s not what they tell you in school. How do scientists know? A billion billion years from now, even General Relativity might have been demoted to a mere Captain. Photons will sit around in little clusters of massless charge, bumping against one another like boats in the harbor at Kowloon.
The universe will be blue then, everything from one cosmic event horizon to the other the color of a summer sky.
This is what I tell myself as I paint the tiny shards spread before me. Huang’s men bring them to me to work with. We are creating value, that gangster and me. I make him even more immensely wealthy. Every morning that I wake up still alive is his gratuity to me in return.
It is a fair trade.
This story is presented in memory of Mr. Lake, who passed away on June 1, 2014, of cancer.
Jay Lake lived in Portland, Ore., working on numerous writing and editing projects. His books for 2012 and 2013 included “Kalimpura” from Tor and “Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh” from Prime. His short fiction appeared regularly in literary and genre markets worldwide. Jay was a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and a multiple nominee for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.
Narrator: Brad Parks
Bradley Robert Parks lives and writes in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he founded the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers. Check them out at BSFWriters.com. While he’s been at this writing thing for a while, the writing group has given him the focus to finally get published. His fiction is forthcoming in BuzzyMag.com When he’s not writing or reading, he also sings in Uptown Express, a vocal pop group which can be found at UptownExpressNYC.org. Keep up with his exploits on Facebook or at BradleyRobertParks.com.