My short story ‘Kernel’ has just been published as a standalone by Digital Science Fiction – available from Amazon for a princely 99 cents. I understand it will also be included in one of Digital Science Fiction’s anthologies later in the year.
Originally published in Aurealis, Kernel is one of my quirkier stories. Well, I like to think so.
I love the new cover – gives a perfect hint of the story (my thanks to the artist – though I don’t know who it is).
Genn’s stuck in a spaceship with more questions than answers. He remembers an accident, but no one on board is giving him a straight answer. And the kernel that’s supposed to be helping him recover seems helpful, but does more deflecting than anything.
They had given Genn the kernel right after the operation, when he was still feeling somewhat woozy and disoriented. This was in April, a month and a half before departure. The kernel was the shape and colour of a single corn seed: deep yellow at the broad end, tapering to a white tip. It was the size of grapefruit, occupying, when he held it—as he often did—the whole of the palm of his hand.
‘It will help you through the transition,’ the medical team had told him.
‘Transition to what?’ he’d asked, but they had just smiled and left him in the post-op room with the sounds of the rattling hospital for company. There might have been an accident. He remembered Janice yelling at him on the freeway. Was it a transition to a life without a family?
‘Transition,’ the kernel said, ‘through the light barrier.’