“Grasping at Straws” (VSS XIII)

A set of very short fiction pieces that I originally wrote for Twitter.

“What was that?”

“The reactor is failing. One of us has to go inside. I don’t want to be stranded halfway to Proxima.”

“Why don’t you go?”

“I guess I should. Could I take the emergency firearm?”

The captain shook his head before speaking.

“I’ll go with you.”


“We can drive the Lunar Roving Vehicle left by Apollo 17 to reach the rendezvous point.”

“You know the batteries in that LRV were dead decades ago.”

“Let the children have some hope. We will probably be out of oxygen before we get to the LRV. Just let them hope.”


The flight recorder from the lost interstellar mission was recovered.


“The crew appeared to believe they’d somehow returned to Earth.”


“That remains to be determined, but you’ll hear what sounds to be my voice and your own communicating with them.”

Significant Post Coming This Week

I will be posting a new short story on this blog in just a few days!

Although Janice and I have enjoyed the first few days of summer break together, I’m pleased to announce that this week I will be putting the finishing touches on a short story to post on this blog (at over 5,000 words, this will be the longest work I’ve posted).

Continue reading “Significant Post Coming This Week”

“Indigo Skies on Proxima b”: A Celebration of the Alpha Centauri System

A new day begins for the first human settlers on Proxima Centauri b, the nearest exoplanet to Earth.

I originally wrote “Indigo Skies on Proxima b” a few years ago. Proxima Centauri b, the nearest exoplanet to Earth, was discovered in 2016 and the subsequent conjecture surrounding the planet was a great source of inspiration to me. Artistic conceptions of the surface of this distant place also fired my imagination.  Continue reading ““Indigo Skies on Proxima b”: A Celebration of the Alpha Centauri System”

“Our Uncle on Proxima”

The tenuous atmosphere of Proxima Centauri b contained a relatively low level of oxygen, but this made no difference to Uncle or the children. The children were engineered to breathe the concoction of gasses present, and Uncle could actually do just fine with no atmosphere whatsoever.

I wrote “Our Uncle on Proxima” in the late summer of 2017. There was a great deal of speculation about Proxima Centauri b in the media at that time, and I was fascinated with the reports and suspicions about the planet that were appearing in Astronomy and other periodicals that year. The theories and hypotheses that were (and are) swirling around about Proxima Centauri b were (and continue to be) tantalizing.  Continue reading ““Our Uncle on Proxima””

The Indigo Skies on Proxima b

A future day dawns over human settlers on Proxima Centauri b.

Indigo skies swirl beyond the Melanippe Montes
Juxtaposed with a ruddy glow – twilight is appearing
A tangerine ember on the horizon haunts
Dying obsidian shadows – Proxima is dawning

Marigold beams leap over the vast Ocyrhoe Mare
Soothing the ancient basalt lee – the Sisters are dancing
Gathering warmth generates wind for all to share
Ice breaks on the Chariclo Sea – b is quickly rousing

Oily, ebony foliage responds to morning
Leaves twist and contort rapidly – human engineering
An early riser is leery of star flaring
Handles tungsten covers wisely – radiation shielding

Tedious tasks are performed in a constant gloom
Proxima wanders the heavens – the Sisters are watching
Each sibling shines a route through the dark, endless tomb
Where both light and time are woven – four years in the making

Joshua Scully writes speculative fiction and can be found @jojascully.