My favorite thing about science fiction is how easily symbolism emerges in alien worlds and technology, reflecting our experience, amplifying its beauty and heartache.
In Karen Bovenmyer’s “From Now Until Infinity” published in Factor Four Magazine a woman ignoring an impending divorce jumps between worlds, one full of sagging purple boulders, the next dry and arid, each beautifully rendered in a way that reminds the jumper of her husband. With each jump, a warning for compliance glows brighter. Marriage dissolution documents must be signed.
She ignores the warning and keeps jumping, even as the powers that be threaten to revoke her ability to move between worlds, which would strand her in a strange, alien place. Every new planet is wildly different from the last, yet they all remind her of him. The worlds they explored together so much like the history we build with our partners. If the love experienced in a relationship, even a short one, is at all authentic, it becomes almost impossible to go anywhere without tripping over a painful memento. The experience of past love is like rewriting a hard drive or recording over a cassette tape. Traces can still be found, bubbling beneath the surface, looking for escape, haunting us with what ifs and indecisions and regrets.
To explore this world in all its beauty is a seductive pleasure few can truly experience, and even fewer are strong enough to do alone, but it’s better to press on than be stranded amidst the ashes of what was.
We’re thrilled that Karen Bovenmyer is contributing to our forthcoming anthology The Way of the Laser: Future Crime Stories Check out the full slate of authors, pre-order, then share on social media to help us reach our goal!