Autumn was in the air as we walked past the atmosphere factories

Illustration for article titled Autumn was in the air as we walked past the atmosphere factories

When we first met, he took me on a walk to the far edge of the city. We listened to its atmosphere generators hum, and watched the sunset stain the carbon filters with pink light. Decades later, the sound of a geoengineering facility always reminds me of what I loved about him.


Simon Stålenhag is a Swedish artist. You can see more of his mind-blowing work on his website.

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Corpore Metal

The fence was fake.

I mean the wood was real enough, identical to the molecular template of whatever Scots Pine sample the fabricator generated it from but, it wasn't cut and milled by rustics and, it didn't gather the patina of 70 years of paint, pitch, moss and weathering by rain. That was all fake. It was squirted out of a fabricator and jammed into the earth by a robot, not but 5 years ago.

Screaming Yellow Zonker looked like Earth but it had to be made that way. The gravity was just a shade stronger. It's moon, Smore, was actually built out the millions of burnt out enemy hulks left over from the war. If it anything Smore was long term recycling project, not a moon. If Canton 403's government could scrape the money and political will together, the plan was to replace it with a cheap moon made out of non-strategic materials. Terraforming specs dicated that Zonker needed the tides.

None of this was probably on the minds of my kids as I walked them past the trio of ship launching cannons about 100 kilometers to our right. At that distance they were huge, a few kilometers high.

They were still in standby mode. The amount of juice they took was staggering. They were the only real reminder, aside from the still cooling, still glowing mass of Smore, that the war had fallen into another lull some twenty years ago.