The REAL reason we haven't encountered any other intelligent life forms in the cosmos

My short story "The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model" is up now at Tor.Com. Aliens come to Earth with a very intriguing business proposition... but unfortunately, it's not quite so lucrative for the human race.

Here's the beginning of the story:

The thing about seeking out new civilizations is, every discovery brings a day of vomiting. There's no way to wake from a thousand years of Interdream without all of your stomachs clenching and rejecting, like marrow fists. The worst of it was, Jon always woke up hungry as well as nauseous.

This particular time, Jon started puking before the autosystems had even lifted him out of the Interdream envelope. He fell on his haunches and vomited some more, even as he fought the starving urge to suck in flavors through his feed-holes. He missed Toku, even though he'd seen her minutes ago, subjective time.

Instigator didn't have the decency to let Jon finish puking before it started reporting on the latest discovery. "We have picked up-"

"Just-" Jon heaved again. He looked like a child's flatdoll on the smooth green floor, his body too oval from long recumbence, so that his face grimaced out of his sternum. "Just give me a moment."


Illustration by the amazing Chris Buzelli. Check out the rest over at!

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