Short Fiction Friday: The Algebra of Events

The Algebra of Events by Elizabeth Bourne

no synopsis provided

Not that long ago I read a very cool science fiction story in Clarkesworld, Today I am Paul. Clarkesworld is definitely a magazine to keep an eye on for top science fiction stories. Browsing the September issue I came across the story of Elizabeth Bourne, The Algebra of Events.


The Algebra of Events begins with a most peculiar introduction "The alarms vibrated while I was in the comfort room sharing essence with M’m’shamir. We immediately untethered so I could couple into my duty station. The unthinkable had occurred. In the myriad calculations of probable choices guiding us to colony Whole/Three/Green the sym encountered the chance of failure and slotted it." I am going to be honest I thought what is going on? My interest readily gets piqued by such stories, as it can go any which way. Just a few paragraphs later you discover that you see several beings in a space ship driven by a probability engine to seek new planets to inhabit. However the landing doesn't go smooth and the crash causes the death of a lot of colonists and crew, given in percentage. An interesting thing is that the beings aboard the spaceship are living in a fluid state and they turn to solid by things like grief. It does turn interesting as the planet they crashed on is inhabited by natives that are solids. This did trigger me to think about if this could be playing down on Earth it self. Added to this comes also the fact that it is stated that they have to adjust to the alien life, but then rephrase themselves that they are now the aliens. These small things does make you think what all else could be present in the universe of this short story. 

In the ending of the story a lot becomes clear and though you might have thought it was going that direction. Getting the truth makes it well a solid ending. 

Elizabeth Bourne created a very interesting story with The Algebra of Events. This time around several events are viewed from a the perspective of the "invaders" instead of from those who are being invaded. Not everyone comes to make war and take over planets, this is a prime example. 


Read the full story here

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