Story Notes: “The Waves” in Asimov’s

The December issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction contains my story, “The Waves.”

Asimov's December 2012

This post contains spoilers after the break.

“The Waves” is a companion to “Arc.” Both began with the premise that human longevity is going to make us effectively immortal.

In “Arc,” Lena choose not to live forever. That felt like the right decision for that character in that story. In “The Waves,” Maggie makes the opposite choice. That also felt like the right decision for this character in this story.

“The Waves” follows waves of humanity as they spread out from Earth, each succeeding wave overtaking the one before it. And so the biologically immortal are taken over by cyborgs, and mechanical post-humans are, in turn, taken over by beings of light and energy.

Interwoven with the waves of humanity are also old creation myths, each of which is told in a way that echoes the particular transformation that humanity is undergoing in that section. Myths have their power because they can be re-interpreted to suit the present, and I don’t see that process stopping.

Ultimately, “The Waves” is about transformation and the power of memory and narrative, themes that have dominated my fiction for some time now.

Between “Arc” and “The Waves” I’m not sure which I like more. They’re developed from the same root, but push the idea in completely different directions.