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"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

We Sold Our Sol

Matt Castleman is a writer and stage actor from NYC, currently residing in the event horizon of the American bizarro vortex, Washington, DC. Under the name M.E. Castle he published the Clone Chronicles middle grade sci-fi series, among other works. This is his third story in Daily Science Fiction. He blogs about science fiction, theater, the imagination, and whatever else comes to his weird brain at castlemantransmissions.net/.

We'd like you to hear us out on this.
We know that change is unsettling, often frightening. It's one of those great human truths, the kind people put on their mantle in carved wooden letters. No major shift in human society has ever been easy. There is always anxiety, sometimes even panic. And there are growing pains. Not everyone is as adept navigating the lanes of the new as they were in the well-worn roads of the old.
So, know that we know that this change won't be painless. Like every great change preceding it, there will be unrest. There will be downsides to cope with and integrate. There will be a necessary period of adjustment. But on balance; the opportunities that arise, the prosperity that will open up, the beautiful canvas of a new world to paint a better future on? The drawbacks will fade to insignificance so fast, we're confident they'll hardly be a footnote in cultural memory a decade from now.
All of that being acknowledged, we're proud to make this groundbreaking announcement. As most of you have noticed the shifts in daylight color intensity and saturation, we could hardly have kept this thrilling news under wraps much longer. The contracts were signed last week to complete the sale of the Sun to an undisclosed outside party, effective one month from today. The visible changes we've all observed are the preparations being made to disassemble, pack, and transport the star to its destination. Our transactional partners have been generous enough to take care of all of that themselves, so don't fret about footing the S&H bill!
"What happens next?" is no doubt on your lips. To start with, there's no need to worry about the gravity issue. Our transactional partners have an ingenious process by which the Sun's mass will be seamlessly replaced by old, spent star matter of equal mass. Our beloved solar system won't go flying out of whack (or our whatever-we-call-it-now system, we're working on that).
Light and heat are the conditions that will necessarily be altered by this transaction. That column of the deal does seem steep in isolation, but in balance with the other column.... Well, the word "balance" hardly does it justice, considering the sum. How to even convey that sum? It's several times the GDP of most major countries combined. If you had it in large denominations of any physical currency, you could lay it end to end and it would stretch way past where the Sun will be for the next 30 days. Every person on Earth could buy a warm coat, ten space heaters, and fifty beautiful incandescent bulbs for a fraction of a percent of this deal.
This is all about a change of viewpoint. A shift of perspective. In particular, we think you should shift your eyes from the dimming light coming through the window and onto these graphs. We have so many great graphs, we weren't even sure which ones to include, but any one of these will be truly illuminating (figuratively).
Take line graph 2A, for example. This is the projected overall world economic growth stemming from the sudden influx of capital. You notice how the units on the Y axis keep changing scale? If this graph kept the same scale all the way, the line would be three stories tall! You'd have to squint to see the top of it, at least this month. Have a gander at 3B while you're at it. The dark blue bar is an estimate of all to-date profits that could be tied directly to the Sun. That includes selling crops, selling solar power, selling sunblock and sun hats, so on. The take from this single transaction is the even bigger sky-blue bar. Hmm, that color's going to need a rebrand, isn't it? Well, with the cash infusion our marketing department's about to get, we can have five better-sounding names for you by Friday.
We're truly over the Moon about this. And yes, though you won't be able to see it anymore, the Moon's not going anywhere. We've even discussed using some of our new funds to build a satellite system that would illuminate it for us again. Then it wouldn't have to be plain old white light anymore. It could change colors, patterns, even words. Imagine if your small business had ad space on the Moon!
We hope you're getting excited about the possibilities of this brighter future (figuratively). This is a turning point in our history. We stand on the shoulders of giants, those who saw the potential of a great, powerful, unstoppable economic engine. That engine will drive us into the future and the limitless opportunities, the countless fortunes, that await. Let's walk together into the sunset.
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
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