Friday, November 13, 2009

Richard A Lovett's "Carpe Mañana" (collection, stasis fields, free)

Illustration accompanying the online short story collection titled Carpe Manana by Richard A Lovett.This is a themed collection of 4 independent stories, each exploring the implications of a rather old trope - what would the world look like if stasis field closets - closed volumes of space where time could be made to stop for specified period of real time at the press of a button - were common place consumer durables?

Table of contents.

  1. "Tabitha in the Box" (B): A kid, bored because her only friend is going away during the weekend, wants to spend the weekend in the stasis closet.
  2. "Night and Day" (B): A man is depressed on winter nights - so he begins spending them in stasis closet. A woman loves skiing - so chooses to live only during winters...
  3. "Justice Delayed" (B): A death row convict is put in stasis field during the years the conviction goes through appeals, so he doesn't end up living that period! Don't ask why his years are taken away with friends who've aged if the sentence was overturned during appeal.
  4. "A Hundred Billion and Counting" (B): Overpopulation has driven the government to rule that everyone cannot live simultaneously - so majority is in stasis fields at any given time.

    This story is obviously a rehash of one of the most famous stories of this class - Philip Jose Farmer's overpopulation dystopia "Sliced-Crosswise Only-on-Tuesday World" (download) - a story that was expanded later into a trilogy of novels.

Fact sheet.

First published: Abyss & Apex, #31 (Q3 2009).
Rating: B.
Download full text from publisher's site.
Listed in Rich Horton's "best of 2009" from Abyss & Apex magazine
Related: Stories that feature a stasis field.