When an amateur astronomer detects a modulated signal in the flash of a nova burst, the race is on to capture and decode the signal before it’s too late.
This science fiction short story is my first self-published eBook through Amazon, although it’s not my first sci-fi short story. Of course I’ve written plenty of technical magazine articles and papers, not to mention untold numbers of online posts, articles, how-tos, etc., but fiction is something that, beyond not just having time to write, I never felt I could dedicate the time to it, much less carry a story to completion. Thus, the most I’ve been willing to shoot for is a couple of short stories.
Leaving out some stories I wrote back in high school and college that I’d love to dust off if I could find them, my first relatively contemporary short story was “Goodbye Mr. Smith”, a sad and extremely short story from a sad time in my life, that surprisingly has components in common with the end of Dyson’s Radio. In “A Dark Matter” (currently awaiting a response from Analog) I discovered a narrative approach that worked well for me. Thus, when I came up with the idea for Dyson’s Radio, I knew exactly what I needed to say and where I needed to end up. However, even I didn’t know everything I’d discover along the way. The story ended up being quite a bit longer than I expected. It also became so current and topical that I decided it couldn’t wait for a long editorial review process. After a quick response from Asimov saying they wouldn’t be able to do it in time, I decided to go for direct publication to be sure that people had a chance to read it as it was intended to be experienced.
While I could easily have padded the story considerably by explaining many of the things mentioned, it was really written for the true space geeks among us who will immediately understand most of the references that the characters already know. Thus, if you’re here it’s probably because you already love the idea of space and space exploration and don’t need anyone talking down to you about it. However, there is a tremendous amount of background information I put together to keep the story plausible, and I envision writing a technical article on “Building Dyson’s Radio” to be published sometime in the future. And who knows. If I get brave enough I may even revisit this world. There’s certainly plenty to build on, but I just don’t know if I’m up to the challenge!
And if you’re lucky enough to be reading this today (December 6th, 2018), it’s currently free on Amazon. Merry Christmas!