Okay, so here’s what always happens with me: I make this big commitment to myself to blog more here, I do okay for a couple of weeks, and then something falls apart and I quit entirely. I’m sort of just making my peace with that, because let’s face it: on the list of priorities that I have rattling around in my head, this is way underneath things like writing fiction and academic work and being a semi-decent spouse. So when there’s a pinch – as there has been recently – this tends to be the first thing on the chopping block.
Basically what happened is that I had a mini-breakdown. And believe me, it doesn’t feel so mini when you’re in the middle of it. I’m okay, I’m on some new meds, I’m in therapy and I’m relatively stable. But anything I do here is likely to continue to be spotty.
However, while this was all going on, I had a story come out in Clarkesworld. Which is kind of a huge deal for me. I love that zine, it’s been like one of my dream markets for like forever, and now I’m there. So. YAY.
The story in question had its genesis in what is one of my favorite pages on the internet: Wikipedia’s timeline of the far future. Namely this part:
101500 Assuming protons do not decay, the estimated time until all baryonic matter has either fused together to form iron-56 or decayed from a higher mass element into iron-56.
The implications of which are this:
In astronomy, an iron star is a hypothetical type of star that could occur in the universe in 101500 years. The premise behind iron stars states that cold fusion occurring via quantum tunnelling would cause the light nuclei in ordinary matter to fuse into iron-56 nuclei. Fission and alpha-particle emission would then make heavy nuclei decay into iron, converting stellar-mass objects to cold spheres of iron. The formation of these stars is only a possibility if the proton does not decay.
Cold spheres of pure iron, spinning through a dark universe. I read that and was like… okay, yeah, that’s an idea that needs a story. So. It’s a story that I’ve actually been trying to write for a while, and… this is what happened to it. So I hope you enjoy it. And watch for the podcast version which should be out soon; Kate Baker always does such a fantastic job and I can’t wait to hear her read my stuff.