My short story, “Lux,” is live today at Doubleback Review, Issue 4.1. It’s almost a prose poem, so set your expectations accordingly. I hope you enjoy!
Doubleback is such a great idea for a publication: they only publish work that has previously been published in a now-defunct outlet. I’m grateful for them giving this short piece a place to be read!
This short was the first fiction I ever published — and I honestly didn’t even know that it actually happened. This was back in the late 1990s, before electronic submissions, before I even had my own email account. I submitted it as a paper copy and signed a paper contract for a small magazine called Dream Fantasy International, and then I changed addresses. A lot. And somewhere in there, any further communication from the magazine was never forwarded — or never sent in the first place. It was a small mag that went defunct shortly afterwards and never had a web presence, so I figured my story died quietly in their backlog. I only learned that it had successfully been published about a decade later when I came across a listing for it — for this story — in an online database of spec fic publications.
When I was (briefly) learning about astronomy, I remember being fascinated by the idea of retrograde motion, how from the Earthbound perspective the planets seem to stop, reverse course, then restart their positional movement in relation to the constellations. How, depending on where you are standing, orbits can sometimes look like stagnation. The night sky is an important part of this story, so it’s only appropriate that the story has taken its own retrograde journey to publication. Started off, went into stagnation, and now presses forward again to be read.