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Announcement: Second Contacts: Various

Second ContactsQSFer Albert Nothlit has a story in a sci fi new anthology:

Second Contacts presents seventeen stories from writers in six countries (Canada, United States, England, Mexico, Israel, and the Netherlands) that answer the question: What happens after first contact? Set fifty years in the future, they explore the aftermath of alien contact, for us and for them. With stories by Barry King, Jetse De Vries, Nicole Lavigne, Robin Wyatt Dunn, David Tallerman, Naomi Libicki, Matt Moore, Morgan Crooks, Albert Nothlit, Karen Anderson, Andrew Barton, David Yeh, Jaime Babb, Peter Wendt, Coleen Anderson and Rhea Rose, Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, and Holly Schofield.


From Translator, by Albert Nothlit

Allison Mureau hid in a dark corner, crying very precisely.

I can’t possibly do this.

Five words. A good omen. A prime number twice the base of ten most people liked to use. The same as one hand, counting all the fingers. Two plus three. Two more primes. Allison tried to find solace in five but this time the comforting familiarity of patterns escaped her. Emotions reigned unchecked inside of her, pounding away at her mind, and it seemed nothing she did could stop them.

She thought she would be able to do it, but now, at the UN headquarters for real, with the crowds and cameras and of course the Visitor hovering silently above them all, all she knew was terror.

She heard them even now, the cheers and the protests and everything in between merging into a single indistinct background noise that seemed to thrum through the ground. It made the floor of the building vibrate, all the way down to the forgotten bathroom where Allison was hiding. Some people must be chanting, because Allison heard the regularity of syllables being stressed. One – two – three – four – one – two. Not five this time, only four. It was a bad sign. A square number also its own double. Duplicity, doubt, something not right. Noise had been expected, of course. She simply hadn’t understood its magnitude.

It had to be the single greatest gathering of people the world had ever known. Any who couldn’t attend watched online, on television, or for those in the most affected zones, huddled around radio sets. Allison knew all this because the media had focused on nothing else for the seven weeks, three days and fifty-two minutes leading up to this moment. Fifty-three minutes now, as she saw the dial in her wristwatch change. Another prime. Or was it? Her own doubt scared her. It could be a trick, like fifty-one, which looked like a prime only to show that it really wasn’t. Five plus one equals six. And six is divisible by three.

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Author Bio

Albert Nothlit wanted to become a writer long before he realized it was his way of connecting with others. There is something special in reaching out through words that carry a piece of his soul, and there is nothing better for him than hearing back from readers. It turns the product of what can be a very individual-centered profession into a shared experience, a chance to talk, to grow, and share. He firmly believes that the desire to create new worlds out of thoughts, memories, and emotions speaks to a greater truth within him. He still hasn’t figured out what that is, though. It’s going to take a lot more meditation, for which he unfortunately has no patience. He only knows that books changed his life, and that brightening someone else’s day with a story is the highest accomplishment he can think of achieving.

Albert currently lives in Mexico City where he has somewhat reluctantly gotten used to the crowds. He shares a home with his fiancé and their sassy little dog named Link. His two other passions are gaming and running, although not games involving running because those can be boring. His favorite games are RPG’s, and one of his guilty pleasures is watching eSports in pubs whenever the opportunity arises. He has an MSc in Environmental Engineering, which has turned out to be surprisingly helpful in creating post-apocalyptic science-fiction worlds. Not that he thinks that an apocalypse is unavoidable. He is a secretly hopeful man who thinks the future will be better – just no flying cars. Imagine the safety hazards.

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