Email from the Moon, VorpalCon, Fiction

Awareness of the outside world. In light of Covid and the the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I had originally planned to say something profound about how news effects us. Nevermind. Enough people will be/are pontificating today. Have a cupcake. [Speaking Out]

Dear Laura:

VorpalCon is coming up.

Remember the year we cosplayed fallen angels and had to spend the weekend taking the stairs because our wings didn’t fit in the elevators? Note to self, make costumes transport friendly.

Back to this year. I bought a virtual pass. Obviously, I can’t be there IRL. I doubt I will have any time for VR participation either. We have pretty nice immersion suites up here but they tend to be used for professional obligations or important family functions. We don’t spend a lot of time with VR movies.

We don’t spend a lot of time with leisure activities in general. There’s just no time. Well, obviously, there’s time. In the non-relativistic sections of the universe, we all have the same number of minutes in a day. It’s just that we all want to maximize what we can accomplish while we are up here.

Come to think of it, even at relativist speeds, your personal experience does not change. It’s the rest of the universe that goes haywire. But I digress.

Doing non-lunar activities would be like sitting in a hotel room while on vacation. Not that this is a vacation. You know what I mean. Why read a book now that will be there when I get home? Why take the time to watch VorpalCon panels that will be in the streaming library?

Free time? Schedule another experiment. There’s is always another one you want to do. Or if your equipment is full up and you are waiting for it to go ping, go help the person in the next lab who’s in a crunch. Wash their beakers while they are measuring, or weighing, or whatever they need to do. In return, someone comes to help you when you are crunched.

Or stop by the observatory section. They always have more astronomical measurements that need to be taken.

Yes, we have art and music and dance. Even there the artists and musicians and dancers want to do and write and move as much as they can while they are here. Inspiration is different. Music sounds different in different spaces. Movement is definitely different in 1/6th G.

Basically, everyone is trying to get as much Moon as possible before they have to leave.

Speaking of leaving, daily exercise takes up a chunk of time. I know everyone everywhere should be exercising. However, it’s easy to miss a day when the penalty may be 5 or 10 or 20 years down the road. It’s a lot easier to stay on the treadmill when the alternative is returning home and spending 6 weeks flat out in a hospital bed. Exercise or die. It’s quite motivating. Of course, the people who are not leaving aren’t as worried about their bodies adapting.

For all of us, there are life support chores. Do I want to watch a costume contest, or do I want to check the PH on the water reclaimer? Or rinse out the tubes on the air filter system. There’s always something to do.

Yes, there are big systems that the techs oversee. In addition, each space has smaller subsystems that need to be monitored. You are only as safe as the nearest doorseal.

Yes, again, people do come by to check. But you can have a blow out, or bad air, or some other crisis between visits. Besides, this is your life support system under discussion. It’s hard not to take an interest.

Maybe some day there will be enough people living here that life support duties will be farmed out. Today is not that day. I think it will take a while for people to become blase about pressure checks. It’s one thing to trust someone else to wash your plate. It’s quite a different thing to trust a stranger with the air you breathe.


Speaking of enough people, that’s something I miss. Crowds. Or, I should say, crowds of strangers. We are plenty crowded up here. When every cubic inch costs money, you tend to be stingy with space. I have been know to yell at the screen when astronauts in a movie are floating through huge corridors that do nothing but lead from point A to point B. Really? Really?!? All that oxygen with no plants? No storage? No people living or working? I don’t think so.

So, while we are crowded, there are few strangers. Sit down next to someone for a meal? They work in a different branch of your company, or oversee your company, or live in your section, or sleep with someone in your section. Or slept with you on a previous occasion. I gets a bit Peyton Place up here from time to time.

Seven degrees of separation? If I am more that two degrees removed from anyone up here, I’d be surprised.

In a crowd of strangers, particularly a crowd of like-minded strangers such as a con, there is the chance of meeting someone new and interesting. For example, the person next to you in line is an actress and explains what the previous panelist was warbling on about. Or you can over hear something new & interesting. For example, when one half of a couple is explaining to a third party that the other half of the couple only sleeps with people approved by the party of the first part.

Gotta love con-goers.

One thing I will definitely check in on is the Moon Rat drawing session. Have you ever done one of those? As you know, the Moon Rats comic is famously collaborative. They never give personal credit. The workshops are an extension of that philosophy. They are advertised as an exercise in collective comic-making. Several panels are put online in various stages of completion. You can watch for free, or, for a fee, you can contribute. Look who I’m telling. You’re an artist. You are probably all up in that. Anyway, I will be watching, let me know if any of the parts are yours.

Having spent way too much time telling you that I don’t have any time, I must get back to work.

With love from a fan whose fan cred is slipping,

~~~ curtain~~~

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