Chloe Smith’s story “Midnight’s Second Station” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 27 May 2022.
This story owes its existence to Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake, the nonfiction book that launched a thousand spec fic stories—or at least one by every genre writer I know who’s read it. Seriously, though, it’s a mind-opening book, which is completely appropriate, given that it’s all about fungi. I knew I wanted to write a “mushroom story”, but I wasn’t exactly sure what direction to take it, until I read another nonfiction piece, this one about trees. My mind caught on a phrase about how chlorophyll absorbs a limited spectrum of visible light, which is why it’s green. I started thinking about heat and light absorption, and the blackest-black pigments that researchers have created, and somehow the dark trees evolved out of that idea mixture. The human story of Heren and Errant and corporate malfeasance only came after I built the setting for them, although I was able to add Midnight to a wider universe I’ve used before. (Readers may remember the Cygni Authority from my earlier story “Rock-Adda’s World”, which ran in Metaphorosis in 2021.)
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