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Burst (Science Fiction Short Story) [Kindle Edition]

Tara Maya
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

This hard science fiction story, in the tradition of Ben Bova, Stephen Baxter and Greg Egan, looks to the most unexpected place for intelligent life…the raging inferno of heat and energy that existed right after the Big Bang.

Microseconds after the Big Bang, the universe seethed at a temperature of trillions of decrees, with a superdense soup of quarks and gluons. These particles were almost evenly divided between matter and antimatter, which collided in “bursts” of tremendous energy. With so much energy and so many kinds of exotic particles created in the bursts, it is possible that life could have existed in those few microseconds. Such lifeforms would have had a metabolism and lifespan trillions of times hotter and faster than our own…and any sentient beings would have experienced consciousness at superspeed compared to our own lumbering thoughts. To them, it would have seemed only normal, since everything in their environment would have been just as hot, dense and fast.

Thousands or even millions of generations could have passed for such lifeforms before the matter-antimatter bursts burned out. But no matter how long it seemed for them, eventually it was doomed to end, as the antimatter ran out, the cosmic soup cooled, and quarks and gluons bonded into protons and neutrons. The process that eventually enabled our form of life would have been their death knell.

What if they knew?

What if they fought their fate?


"The ancients discovered, and we have reconfirmed with modern science, that the universe is much, much older than a few hundred thousand generations, as was thought during the ages of barbarism. The time periods we deal with in cosmology are so vast that the ancients invented a new period of time called seconds, to measure it. One microsecond or 10-6 seconds, is equal to one trillion cycles. The universe itself began a little over one microsecond ago. Life has only existed for a few billion cycles. The entire evolution of sentience – our kind is the only known example we have yet discovered -- is just a fraction of an era that itself lasts only a millionth of a 'second'."

He felt a shy patter of attention on his body, and when he ventured a quick return volley of his own, he interlaced senses with a perfectly shaped sinistorsum. It was obvious from the jaggedness of her lateral juncture that she had only recently entered adulthood by separating from her childhood twin.
She flashed her name and a question.

"Deepshine here, sir. Could you explain how the monks know from the corpses of bursts that our universe is doomed?"

Note: This story also appears in the anthology Conmergence, under the title, "A Thousand Blossoms With The Day."

This is a 7,000 short story. There is no DRM on this book.

Editorial Reviews


"Intriguing hard science fiction."

Product Details

  • File Size: 105 KB
  • Print Length: 31 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Misque Press; 1 edition (August 21, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005I6DPRG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #981,056 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique Life May 12, 2012
By CLox
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I picked this story up on whim. Glad I did. I liked it.

The story takes place right after the Big Bang. The universe we know did not yet exist, but life did. The unique beings of this story exhibit emotions that readers can easily identify with, such as the desire for companionship and love.

I did have a few minor difficulties with some of the terminology, but then this is a hard science fiction story. Don't let that put you off.
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More About the Author

Tara Maya has lived in Africa, Europe and Asia. She's pounded sorghum with mortar and pestle in a little clay village where the jungle meets the desert, meditated in a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas and sailed the Volga river to a secret city that was once the heart of the Soviet space program. This first-hand experience, as well as research into the strange and piquant histories of lost civilizations, inspires her writing. Her terrible housekeeping, however, is entirely the fault of pixies.


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