Third ISF Short Story – Regina Catarino (Portugal)

In Short Story on May 14, 2012 at 8:48 am

The first piece of fiction presented today is “Space Oddity” featuring Portuguese short fiction writer Regina Catarino. “Space Oddity” was first published in Portuguese in the first number of a magazine that I edited called “Conto Fantástico” and was a success in the opinion of Portuguese readers and reviewers of the magazine. As the title already reveals, it is a story influenced by David Bowie’s music.

I really like Regina’s ability to tell great stories using only a  small amount of words.

Today we will also publish a short story  by Aliette de Bodard, another one of my favorite writers of the moment!

The Editor In Chief:

Roberto Mendes


Regina Catarino (Portugal)

The countdown begins.

I am strapped to my seat, waiting for lift-off. I wonder what you’re doing now?

A few seconds later, the brutal acceleration smashes me against my seat. How many G’s? I really don’t know.

I’m leaving without knowing very well if or how will I return. This is an old ship, repaired at the last minute for this urgent mission with isolating panels, fixed way too quick and carelessly. I would almost bet they used staples and duct tape instead of the proper titanium alloy rivets that were supposed to – that would have taken a lot more hours than those actually spent.

I wasn’t supposed to be here. My shift had already ended but the other pilot had the flu. For once, they really needed me. And I could never say no to a request for help.


Time slides silently. I hum a song which name I cannot remember while I perform routine tasks. All seems to be going well. For now, at least.


I’ve dropped the satellite in the right orbit and I’m now delivering the supplies to the Space Station. Those folks sound really anxious for whatever I’m bringing. They seemed very happy to see me arriving at the docking station.


Hmm.  An alarm on the console. I was expecting that… I turn off the audio and nothing’s left but an orange light blinking sadly, in an almost frustrated manner.


Finished unloading. The space station astronauts hugged me gratefully and rushed in to open the containers. I wonder what was in it? Food? Books? Music? I have no idea. Time to go back, now.


Continue Reading in ISF


Download Pdf. version:

3rd Short Story – Regina Catarino

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