Laura Duerr’s story “What Lies in Light” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 13 December 2019. Metaphorosis

“What Lies In Light” originally began as an answer to a contest prompt, but I couldn’t let the story vanish into my hard drive after it was rejected. Shifting the setting from an Earth-based volcano to an alien planet let me play with all my favorite sci-fi world-building toys: how did StellBio reach Janus? What communication challenges would they face? What sort of work were they doing on the island? What’s the ecosystem like? Is the air breathable? (For word count purposes: yes.) And what kind of person takes on a job investigating a shady mad-science corporation on a dangerous planet light-years from home? I’d never written any character as convoluted and flawed as Rosa, and I wanted to investigate other characters’ reactions to the mysterious light that tempts them. Are their responses driven by faith, desperation, madness, or some combination of the three? Plus, it was fun to write a world where the weirdest thing going on wasn’t the symbiotic relationship between turquoise alien cows and a fungus.


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