Eater had been doing what Eater does for so long that time itself failed to provide an appropriate frame of reference. Not only did his existence span the long, slow contraction and subsequent explosion of the previous Universe, it would not be inaccurate to say that Eater was the previous Universe. Of course, it would not be accurate, either.Eater “remembered” its previous conquests, but awareness of the parts of itself left behind on those worlds did not span the vast interstellar gulf. Each time it ventured forth, it was alone.There was one world that circled fast and close to a young, hot star. The beings that lived there were intelligent plasmoids that floated on thin electron winds at the upper boundary of the ionosphere. They had no physical civilization, but they had poetry, philosophy, complex relationships. They already had a shared, planetary consciousness, so when Eater infected one of them, his job was done.Eater recalled a race of arthropods swimming the methane seas of a moon circling the single Jovian planet of a dim, red dwarf. They were a fierce, proud race, building elaborate cities that they destroyed in genocidal wars every ten generations or so. That conquest had been long and slow, but long and slow was Eater’s forte.There was a race of bipedal avians -- intelligent dinosaurs, really – that had developed a spacefaring civilization that reminded Eater of these humans. In an effort to destroy Eater, they nuked their own race to extinction. Eater didn’t care – he inhabited the cockroaches that inherited dominion of the homeworld.It was all the same to Him.
Daniel Marcus has published stories in many literary and genre venues, including Witness, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, ZYZZYVA, and Fantasy and Science Fiction. Some of these have been collected in Binding Energy (Elastic Press, 2008). He is the author of two novels: Burn Rate (Apodis Publishing, 2009) and A Crack In Everything (Apodis Publishing, to appear September 2011).Marcus was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His nonfiction has appeared in Wired, Boing-Boing, the San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. He has taught in the creative writing program at U.C. Berkeley Extension and is currently a member of the online faculty at Gotham Writers’ Workshop.After a spectacularly unsuccessful career attempt as a saxophonist, Marcus earned a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley, has worked as an applied mathematician at the Lawrence Livermore Lab, the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, and he has authored numerous articles in the applied mathematics and computational physics literature. Marcus then turned his attention to the private sector, where for the last 15 years, he has built and managed systems and software in a variety of problem domains and organizational settings. Currently a technology executive for a digital multimedia firm, Marcus lives in Berkeley, California.
Binding Energy, short story collection (Elastic Press, 2008)Burn Rate (Apodis Publishing, 2009)A Crack in Everything (Apodis Publishing, to appear September 2011)"Bright Moment," Fantasy and Science Fiction (to appear 2011)"Quality Time," Son and Foe #3, 2007
Salon.com has described my work as "a cross between Raymond Carver and William Gibson." The height of that bar is humbling and I'll leave it to my readers to decide its accuracy, but it's not a bad representation of intent. I'm interested in stories about people and their relationships and how they change under duress. I like writing in most spec genres and mainstream.
A story a week for six weeks.