In Event of Moon Disaster by Rich Larson, Asimov’s Science Fiction Mar/Apr 2018

This type of story really is like my favorite type.

Sol and Laurie are on the moon investigating a tunnel that has been created by an unidentified object striking the lunar surface. Sol is in the shuttle and Laurie has ventured down into the tunnel by herself. 20 minutes ago they lost radio contact.

Suddenly Laurie is at the air-lock pleading to come in. She is rather frantic. Sol lets her in and she falls asleep.

Some minutes later, someone ELSE is at the air-lock. Thing is, this new astronaut has the same spacesuit on as Laurie’s but Laurie’s is still hanging in the air-lock. There is a defining characteristic about this spacesuit. Sol and Laurie One and Laurie Two work try to reason what is going on. At the same time, another Laurie comes out of the tunnel with a fourth Laurie. See where this is going?

Nobody knows who the real Laurie is, or if any of them are, they’ve all had the same experience, and the kicker is that the intervals between Laurie’s coming out of the tunnel is shortening so an ever-increasing number of Laurie’s are sitting outside the shuttle.

This piece is one big thought experiment that just keeps getting more complicated. It deals with ethics and concepts of the self–how we do we know they we are us? That’s the real question here. It’s a little like the phenomenon of saying a word so many times that it just becomes and sound rather than a meaningful formation and vocal manipulation.

This is just a wonderful piece that made me laugh and stress and think about life and who I am in it. (A)


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