The latest issue of CLARKESWORLD (Issue 104, May 2015) reprints Hannu Rajaniemi’s “Tyche and the Ants.” The story also appears on the magazine’s website. The tale originally appeared in EDGE OF INFINITY (edited by Jonathan Strahan, 2012) and was also reprinted in HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION.
The ants arrived on the Moon on the same day Tyche went through the Secret Door to give a ruby to the Magician.
She was glad to be out of the Base. The Brain had given her a Treatment earlier that morning, and that always left her tingly and nervous, with pent-up energy that could only be expended by running down the gray rolling slope down the side of Malapert Mountain, jumping and hooting.
“Come on, keep up!” she shouted at the grag that the Brain had inevitably sent to keep an eye on her. The white-skinned machine followed her on its two thick treads, cylindrical arms swaying for balance as it rumbled laboriously downhill, following the little craters of Tyche’s footprints.
Exasperated, she crossed her arms and paused to wait. She looked up. The mouth of the Base was hidden from view, as it should be, to keep them safe from space sharks. The jagged edge of the mountain hid the Great Wrong Place from sight, except for a single wink of blue malice, just above the gleaming white of the upper slopes, a stark contrast against the velvet black of the sky. The white was not snow—that was a Wrong Place thing—but tiny beads of glass made by ancient meteor impacts. That’s what the Brain said, anyway. According to Chang’e the Moon Girl, it was all the jewels she had lost over the centuries she had lived here.
Tyche preferred Chang’e’s version. That made her think of the ruby, and she touched her belt pouch to make sure it was still there.
Read the rest of the story at CLARKESWORLD.
CLARKESWORLD cover art by Julie Dillon.
For more info on HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Lius Lasahido
Design by Elizabeth Story