All the Wrong Places • 2015 • SF short story by Sean Williams

★★★★

Synopsis: A young man regrets breaking up with his girlfriend Cate and follows her to the Moon. Three months behind her, he finds out that she already moved on to Mars „outward alliteratively from Earth, and perhaps symbolically from me was well“. It doesn’t stop there, of course, the journey evolves linearly: From the Red Planet, volunteers are beamed by d-mat technology on a first wave of missions to Barnard’s Star.

Review: The story is set in the Twinmaker universe, which I know nothing about. Although the story is nothing new, there are lots of very nice ideas and figures in it. The best parts are where the narrator reflects on his dialogues with Cate like

„Have you ever thought, how going through d-mat is the same as falling asleep at night? We stop… and then we start again. Doesn’t that freak you out, not knowing where we go in between?“

and his messages to himself after he multiplied and dispersed exponentially into several directions

Partial success at Procyon B: found her but fluffed it.

A satisfying ending and a simple, linear story that took the key topic „change and infinity“ to the core. I loved the small bits in between more than the tensionless plot.

Meta: isfdb. This SF short story appeared 2015 in Meeting Infinity.

 

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