The Paradise Aperture by David Carani

Published: 2012 in Writers of the Future, volume XXVIII (which you can listen to here)

Genre: speculative fiction

Length: 23 pages

Setting: Earth, present day

Interest: It’s one of the stories included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Jonny has a unique ability – he can photograph doors such that when the photo is reprinted, life-sized, it will open into a pocket universe where time and pain have no meaning. He lost his wife in their personal universe when a fire destroyed their apartment. Since then, he’s spent all his time looking for her, to the detriment of his relationship with his daughter. The creation of any more doors is outlawed (since the rich are buying them and using them for evil purposes), but he has one more plan to find his wife.

Final thoughts: What a fascinating concept – you can make a door into your own private paradise. What would you do with your own pocket paradise? Jonny ends up selling the doors to rich clients. Who can blame them for wanting a bit of paradise, but of course it starts to be used for evil purposes. Jonny just wants his wife back, and he doesn’t realize that his search is leaving his daughter behind.

Title comes from: The doors Jonny makes provide a way into paradise.

Reading challenges fulfilled: None, since this was a short story

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