Science Fiction
Stone cold

Stone Cold

Published in: Triangulation: Taking Flight (2008)

Pages: 57-59.

Editor: Pete Butler.

Publisher: PARSEC Ink (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)

ISBN: 978-0-6152-3540-0

Stone cold reprint

Reprinted in: A Thousand Faces 12 (July 2010)

Pages: 41-45.

Editor: Frank Byrns

Publisher: Super Stories Press
(Savage, Maryland, USA)

ISBN: 9-781453-759257


Having entrusted his life once again to the Quantum Field Generator, Lance Cheshire is dropping face-first towards an unprecedented mission failure. Superposition. Decoherence. With both faith and body plummeting, Lance must contemplate the ghastly truth of Many Worlds Theory. Infinity has swept the rug. He is Schrodinger's fall guy.


Jacob Edwards's "Stone Cold" is an exploration in a quantum multi-universe. It has a nice play on the fate of an explorer in a reality where every eventuality is possible - so every mission must succeed at least once, guaranteeing a safe return - but must also fail an infinite number of times. The problem is that the story starts off at a high emotional pitch and has nowhere left to go except into overwrought melodrama.
- Martin McGrath, The Fix, October 15, 2008

Stimulus Response:

Stone Cold in its original form was structured to follow the Kübler-Ross ('five stages of grief') model, but then was edited / rearranged by the good folk at Triangulation to give a more punchy opening. I acquiesced, of course, ignoring the cynical inner voice that hissed to me that my story was being accepted in spite of, rather than because of, its good bits. (Every possibility plays out, does it not?) Sure enough, submissions to the next few editions of Triangulation were rejected, and several stories have been withdrawn from other would-be publishers at hissed insistence of the no-longer-inner voice. Frank Byrns, in the meantime, was kind enough to accept the original Stone Cold warts-and-all for A Thousand Faces. As for the overwrought melodrama… Well, probably.


  - random selection from the unpublished memoire, Freefall