Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas
Genre: science fiction
Length: 9 pages
Setting: a Station, somewhere in space, far future
Interest: I was provided a copy of the anthology and I’m slowly reviewing all the stories in it.
Summary: Harlan and his wife, Anise, are slowly becoming estranged from each other. Harlan makes an effort to get closer to his wife on their anniversary by illegally obtaining a canister of Earth air. He can’t understand why should would enjoy the nasty air, but it brings back fond memories for her. Whether it’s enough to bring them back together is left to the reader to decide.
Final thoughts: Perfect timing to read this near Valentine’s Day. Harlan really is making an effort with his gift – he had to obtain it illegally (which was even harder for him to do since he’s on the Station police force), and he doesn’t share his wife’s enjoyment of the present. I can see how a being able to breathe the air from home would be the ultimate in nostalgia. Smell brings back emotions, and what better smell to bring back thoughts of home than breathing it’s air, especially when you can’t ever go home again. I found the end abrupt, but the concept of a traffic in air interesting.
Title comes from: Harlan got his present from a guy known as the Atmosphere Man.
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