Mister Jones is one of my favorite Chiasmus authors and certainly one of the most prolific writers in contemporary fiction. He has a new story, “How Billy Hanson Destroyed the Planet Earth, and Everyone on It,” up now at Juked. Here’s a teaser:
He wouldn’t say this later, because he’d be dead along with everyone else, blasted into a cloud of comparatively warm ash swirling around in what had been Earth’s orbital plane, but it wasn’t his fault. Really. Or, if there was any fault, it was that he was human in the first place, a species built specifically, it would seem, to push buttons clearly marked DON’T PUSH, a species that had only evolved in the first place because it kept reaching up to that next level of the beach instead of being satisfied with where it already was.
Given the chance, of course, Billy Hanson might have blamed the political situation of the lab he was with on a three-year grant, a political situation which was purely typical of any money-driven research setting, and beneath mentioning here except to say that there was the usual amount of pressure to collect some data, which could then be cribbed down into a prospectus for an article, dropped into whatever mailbox was marked for the latest pickup.
So, yes, had he had the luxury of time, Billy Hanson might have tried to shift the blame from himself, say it was the lab’s fault, the same way he used to blame his older sister for grape juice he’d just spilled on the beige carpet, but, at the same time, had he not destroyed the Earth that fine June evening, then of course all the acclaim would have been his and his alone.
Because, almost on accident, he’d finally done it.
You stopped reading. Get over there already and finish.