Eric Schwitzgebel is a professor of philosophy at University of California, Riverside, and a cooperating member of UCR’s program in Speculative Fiction and Cultures of Science. His short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Nature, Weird Tales, Apex, Unlikely Story, The Dark, and elsewhere. His third non-fiction book, A Theory of Jerks and Other Philosophical Misadventures is forthcoming with MIT Press later this year. At his blog, The Splintered Mind, he posts regularly on issues at the intersection of philosophy, psychology, and speculative fiction.
First, an eye. The camera rose, swiveling on its joint, compiling initial scans of the planetary surface. Second, six wheels on struts, pop-pop, pop-pop, pop-pop, and a platform unfolding between the main body and the eye. Third, an atmospheric taster and wind gauge. Fourth, a robotic arm. The arm emerged holding a fluffy, resilient, nanocarbon […]
/^^^\&- sighed out a little moon-sized cloud of gas, then let herself, alongside her jailer, drift down toward the calm, solo star. She assessed her prison—a cold, dim star system out toward the galactic rim. No gentle surround of fizzy radiation. No flurry of message orbs to decrypt. A lonely wasteland, so unlike the warm […]
Falling. Rebecca and I are falling. My daughter and I—so high it seems impossible that we could survive. We are in the back seat of a taxi that has somehow unhitched from its arcing track between the skyscrapers. Theory 1: Your last thought is your least important. It is a dead-end wisp that will vanish […]