Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fiction Korner

Greetings! Today The Korner is honored to present the next step in the evolution of Jawn Steighmeaus. We've all heard that the sky is the limit. But our favorite fictioneer isn't afraid to prove this wrong. He's lifting a middle finger to the literary establishment and treading were few if any writers have before--the vast unexplored expanse beyond our tiny planet. It's as if Steighmeaus has embarked on an odyssey into space. Bogart:

"If you think about it, every person alive is an expert on something."
Cranford's words stuck in my brain like a re-entry grade adhesive. Easy for him to say, being the solar system's preeminent authority on re-entry grade adhesives. My own superlative insight was far more difficult to categorize.
When I arrived at the symposium I felt out of my league. There was Brintson--celebrated leader in the field of Cepheian megafauna, Chaltsworth--he literally and figuratively wrote the book on zero-gravity maxillofacial surgery, and countless others. It was actually a bit crowded for my taste, and I'm not even afraid of claustro. Leave it up to the Kritz Institute to host an encyclopedia-of-everything drafting event on a cramped space station without even the most barebones of conference facilities or amenities. I'm glad one of the illustrious attendees wasn't the Procyon Sector Fire Marshal, otherwise the final product would have been a pretty thin volume.
On the positive side, though, our hosts did hire General's Hors D'oeuvres to cater the event, which was a treat. But there wasn't a platter of prosciutto-wrapped Centaurian melon in the quadrant big enough to quash the insecurity boiling up inside of me. I felt like a fraud. As I squeezed through the sweaty throngs of those more accomplished than I, it was as if I had stepped into a Star Mart with counterfeit galactic monetary units.
But then, as if in a stroke of space-luck, a small-framed retrorocket expert who couldn't have been more than seventy-two collapsed, twitching on the glass floor. Without thinking, I snatched a snifter of Martian brandy from a nearby cocktail waitressbot and splashed the contents onto the man's face. He suddenly snapped out of his nervous fit and rose to his feet, joining the other distinguished guests in applause. I had found my niche. I could relax now. A load had been lifted from my shoulders, but not as big a one as it would've been at Earth gravity.
But the laudatory atmosphere was suddenly interrupted as the actual atmosphere began rushing out of a hull breach. What did we all expect? Just because it's cheap to rent out a condemned space station doesn't mean it's safe. As the cabin pressure rapidly decreased, the scene was a frenzy of tweed jackets and canapés. As the oddly erotic effects of asphyxia set in, I cursed Cranford. Why had he made me his plus one? --Jawn Steighmeaus

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