Arula Ratnakar is a neuroscientist, science fiction author, and artist. Her four published stories can be found in Clarkesworld Magazine.
Human minds are fascinating machines. They are able to process photons, soundwaves, and various other physical phenomena, turning the information into thought, emotion, and cognition—experience. They take snapshots and store these experiences to reemerge as memories in the presence of a reminder, then use those memories to generate fantastical simulations during dreams—experiences in their own […]
SEARCHING FOR NEURODATA . . . NEURODATA NOT FOUND ERROR: PROGRAM_BABIRUSA STARTING SHUTDOWN OF FUNCTION_GRIND The Untangling Today, Painterman is staring out from the framed acrylic scene on the sixth wall, grinning at us with painted teeth and leaning against the trunk of an oak tree, its leaves and branches rendered in delicate, careful brushstrokes. The paintbrush he […]
As the people began to die, desperation drove us to the depths of the sea for cures. We mined mineral-rich vents until the tube worms went extinct, stripped polymetallic nodule fields bare, squeezed sludge out of sea sponges to treat the new diseases, these monstrous incurable plagues, born from our new climate, that spread through […]
I remember being born. I remember the sensory overload of light and sound and scent, making me cry aloud and take fresh air into my lungs—a new sensation. I remember the weight of gravity, rendering my fragile limbs helpless and clumsy where they had been graceful and nimble in amniotic fluid. Then I remember Mother, […]
A stack of pamphlets. A fall to the floor. Then nothing. 6 A spherical object with a four-inch diameter moves through space, a scattering of stars in the background. Switches flip, pieces click into place, and an electric blue light in a chip the size of a pinky nail begins to glow. You wake up. […]