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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.


Bud Sparhawk is a hard science fiction short story writer whose works have appeared in ANALOG, Asimovs, several anthologies as well as in other print media and on-line magazines both in the United States and Europe. He has several short story e-collections and two novels; Vixen and Distant Seas. He has been a three-time Nebula finalist. A complete biography, lists of stories, copies of articles, and other material can be found at his web site, .

Two figures appeared between two spiral galaxies, and looking neither right nor left at so common a view, the Chief Philosopher remarked, "I cannot believe I've permitted this profligate wasteful project to continue for so long." He wiggled his dark brows, an atavism that he'd carefully engineered to heighten an already fierce visage appropriate to the Imperator of all Humankind and High and Low Justice in One.
Zeron, the Supreme Scientist, Single Leader of All Man's Scientific Endeavor, and Coordinator of All Knowledge, nodded sagely at the criticism. "One cannot deny it has be such an immense an effort, Xeres. But we've had our reasons for continuing the effort."
They were so engrossed in their conversation that neither noticed the slight stickiness as they passed the event horizon of a black hole.
The Chief Philosopher rumbled; "Perhaps so, but..."
"Let me tell you instead of where we now stand, rather than rail at the past." Zeron idly brushed aside a dead star, which had inexplicably drifted into their way. "Over the last twenty thousand years we have been steadily bringing the simulation closer and closer to the original state of the universe. Ah, here we are." He stopped and warped the fabric of the universe to displace them out of the prosaically named "near" group of galaxies to the universe's center of mass, once thought to be the origin of the "big bang." His gesture was as unconscious as opening a door.
Xeres stopped, held a hand to one ear as if listening to a whisper, then snapped his fingers--Ten trillion, one billion, two million, and a few odd light years away a new planet sprang into being, replete with bumbling hairy creatures striking fire with rocks. His creation balanced the growth of a reptilian group that was destined to expand their way in a few hundred thousand years later on primitive starships. That minor adjustment to the balance of nature completed, he returned to the matter at hand.
"How well I remember your outrageous requests," he answered. "But I approved them all despite the waste of entire galaxies being drained and stars evaporating into the cold. Your project has had a noticeable effect on the temperature of the universe and I grow weary with the chill. Show me what you have achieved."
"As you wish," the Chief Scientist answered and slowly, ponderously a huge shielded vent in the universe moved aside, draining another Class V star with every second. Blinding violet radiance poured out of the vault. Inside lay Zeron's simulation of the germinal seed from which the entire universe derived. It pulsed with raw, unleashed potential.
With a wave of his hand Zeron initiated the model. Immediately, they watched the universe unfold, law by law, force by force, matter distilling from a soup of energy, light emerging, streamers of particles racing, and, as the time scale accelerated, the formation of the stars, galaxies, and mundane matter. The model progressed past the present age and continued with increasing speed along the long decline into entropy, through the reversal of time, and then retrograde expansion back to the germinal seed.
"As you can see, our model encapsulates every physical fact of the universe. It answers every scientific question raised down the ages and leaves no aspect of our universe unexplained."
"I agree, it has been a most interesting display," Xeres commented as thoughts of the costs expended faded away.
Zeron exploded. "Interesting? You do realize that we've left no aspect of nature undiscovered and you think it is interesting?" The Supreme Scientist's dissatisfaction was so intense that it perturbed nearby supergroups.
Xeres adjusted the disturbance. "You have done well, my friend. Very well indeed." He was gratified by the returning smile of satisfaction in a job well completed, a smile that his next words wiped from Zeron's visage. "And now that that's out of the way, Humanity can finally begin attacking the really hard questions!"
The End
This story was first published on Monday, July 20th, 2015

Author Comments

Culmination stemmed from a convention's bar conversation about the limits of science and where the human mind might go when all of the problems are "solved." This started out as a much longer story that i edited numerous times to get to a minimal version that was still "interesting" and would hopefully make the reader think. I also enjoyed giving the characters nearly God-like powers with a minimum of description.

- Bud Sparhawk
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