Diamonds in the Sky

Diamonds in the Sky by Ed. Mike Brotherton Read Free Book Online

Book: Diamonds in the Sky by Ed. Mike Brotherton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ed. Mike Brotherton
Tags: Science-Fiction, Short Stories
share something else…”

    Jeremy squawked as she picked him up and spun him around. Then she set him down, and they headed for the exit.


    This story follows in the footsteps of the book “Cosmic View” by Kees Boeke (1957) and the films
Cosmic Zoom
by Eva Szasz (1968),
Powers of Ten
by Ray and Charles Eames (1977), and
Cosmic Voyage
by Bayley Silleck (1996).

    Like those earlier works, it attempts to give an understanding of the scale of the universe by giving a high-speed guided tour from the largest scale to the smallest. Because this is a short story rather than an art book or a movie, it lacks stunning visuals, but I hope that it offers instead the full range of senses and emotions provided by the reader’s imagination.

    If you’d like to take an interactive online version of Dana’s voyage, you can do so here:

    © David Levine

The Moon is a Harsh Pig

by Gerald M. Weinberg

    Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.

- Allen Ginsberg

    “That’s the most disgusting thing I ever saw.”

    “It’s just a pig, Zeke. The biggest one on the planet, according to the sign. 527 kilos.”

    “Is that with or without the mud? Yuk.”

    “Mud is a perfectly natural environment for a pig,” said Astrid, studying the Planetary Fair sign as it scrolled past. “—or a sow. She’s a female.”

    “All the more disgusting.”

    How did I wind up with this bozo on my thesis trip?
she thought.
He’s cute and he’s smart, but he knows it and he’s trying too hard to convince me. Why can’t he just relax?

    He attempted to put his arm around her waist and steer her away from the pigpen, but she moved his hand away and stayed put.
Too bad you couldn’t afford this trip on your own money. You linked up with him to qualify for a companion fare.

    In other words, you sold yourself for money. Now he thinks he’s entitled to collect. Well, deal with it, girl! He can be charming. Maybe I can get him to loosen up. Get his mind off my body.

    “Come on,” she said. “I’ll show you the rest of the fair, so you’ll see why Parma is so interesting.”

    He made a sour face, but allowed himself to be led outside the pig building into the open air. He took a deep breath, as if to remove the odor from his nose, then gazed up at the open sky. “I’d rather be sitting on the beach with you, smooching by the light of that fabulous moon.”

    “Stop acting as if I were one of those twenty-first century floozies. I’ve only known you for two days, and I have no intention of smooching with you. Besides, I came here to study the history and culture of this planet, not to make out with some oversexed rich, spoiled, know-it-all.”

    He checked the sleeves of his body suit for invisible lint. “What’s your major, anyway?”

    He sure dresses well, but doesn’t even seem to know that his fancy suit repels lint. Maybe that’s because his father’s tailor made it for him.
“Exodus anthropology.”

    They approached a booth with distorting mirrors. He stopped to check his image, then changed his suit color to a pale gold. “What the heck is … whatever you said?”

    “Better I show you.” They were now passing the protein pavilion, so she invited him to take a seat at one of the outdoor tables. A waitress stopped at their table, and while Zeke was busy peering down her low-cut peasant blouse, Astrid ordered a sample plate along with a bottle of
Cave de Rivesaltes.

    “All of the farmers of Parma came here to escape the Pollution. As an exodus anthropologist, my job is to study how their cultures have changed since they left Earth, and for what reasons.”

    “Who cares about that?” He cast his gaze around the crowd of other patrons, adjusting his suit to a brilliant crimson. “Looks just like any other backward planet. Look what they’re wearing.”

    The waitress arrived with a giant platter holding a loaf of crusty bread surrounded by artfully

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