Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction by Ian Whates, Peter F. Hamilton, Laurie Tom

By Ian Whates, Peter F. Hamilton, Laurie Tom

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Nobody we knew about, anyway. The buildings were weathered and dirty, the grass waist-high, despite regular helicopter inundations of herbicides, and it was starting to encroach on the cracked asphalt of the roadways. I drove until we were a few hundred feet from the control room building, directly under the slowly-twisting spiral cloud. Unable to hush the cloud up, the government had admitted that there had been an accident at the Collider, explaining it as an electromagnetic effect. Scientists – government-sponsored and otherwise – were still arguing about this.

If a solid object could have the equivalent of a negative image, this was it. A kind of negative tornado, turned inside-out. I stepped towards it… And found myself standing at the SCC, outside the building where I had last seen Professor Delahaye and his team and Larry Day. Above me towered a colossal sculptured pillar of cloud, rotating slowly in the sky. I tilted my head back and looked up at it, my mouth dropping open. And all of a sudden I was writhing on the ground in agony, my muscles cramping and spasming.

The dead really can warn and advise and nag. And do you know, it’s fun. It’s fun to be your father. Because, do you know, I miss him. Can you believe that? I miss him every day. Oh, he would sit in his chair and say maybe three words a day and never pay attention to anything more interesting than how well or how badly FC Maamobi were doing, but I missed that. And I found I could give him a voice to say in death all the things he never could in life. And it made me remember why I loved him in the first place, what a big fine and loud man he once was, and how handsome.

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