In Datafall: Collected Speculative Fiction, seven shorts by Rich Larson range from far-flung space opera to near-future noir, sinister steampunk to mind-bending time travel, and darkly humorous to subtly thought-provoking.
"The Garden" pits a weary technician against a starship AI with delusions of divinity while the fate of a colony planet hangs in the balance. In "Every So Often," Victor has been living in the past for a long time—his job is to murder anyone who might try to alter it. In "Memory Cathedrals," a star footballer whose career has been cut short by injury decides to sell his memories...but that's not all he's doing with them. "Loopholes" takes us to the 22nd century, where a wealthy murderer has found a new way to dodge the law. But Klaus Barbier, part-time reamer addict and full-time homicide detective, has never been above bending the rules himself. In "Back So Soon," a bored businesswoman is determined to add someone interesting to her life—and she seems to have hit the jackpot when a shell-shocked colonist returns to Seattle, Washington, Earth. "Factory Man" visits the steampunk city of Colgrid, where a young soldier returns home to find that corpses are no longer wasted on caskets. In "Datafall," the titular tale, Solomon and his father take their technology out of hiding and await the Cloud.
Datafall: Collected Speculative Fiction contains over 10,000 words of hard-hitting sci-fi by an up-and-coming young author and contains six original cover illustrations by artist Christopher Ruz.
Rich Larson was born in West Africa, has studied in Rhode Island, and currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he recently received the 2012 James Patrick Folinsbee Prize for Creative Writing. His novel Devolution was a finalist for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, while his shorter work appears in AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Word Riot, Monkeybicycle, >kill author, Prick of the Spindle, The Molotov Cocktail, Underwater New York, YARN, and many others. You can connect with Rich at his website or via Facebook.