"Earth has grown quiet since everyone’s shipped off to the new one. I walk New Paltz’s empty streets with an ox-mask tight about my face. An acidic rain mists my body, and a thick fog obscures the vac-sealed storefronts. Last week they hauled the Pyramids of Giza to New Earth. The week before, Stonehenge. The week before that, Versailles and a good chunk of the Great Wall. But the minor landmarks are too expensive to move, the NEU says, and so New Paltz’s Huguenot Street, seven centuries old, will remain here, to be sliced to pieces in a few months when the planetary lasers begin to cut the Earth apart..."
2013 Nebula Award Finalist
2013 Locus Recommended Reading List
2014 Best Science Fiction & Fantasy (Prime Books, ed. Rich Horton) – Recommended Reading List
2014 Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Edition (Macmillan, ed. Gardner Dozois) – Honorable Mention
“This is a powerful story that is both tragic & hopeful–unexpectedly. And beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it.” — Joyce Carol Oates
“This is gorgeous, melancholy, and heartbreaking. I highly rec it (I cried through most of it).” — Ellen Datlow, award-winning editor of over 100 science fiction, fantasy, and horror anthologies
“The best story in the January issue…the story is nicely felt and nicely characterized, and the frog pond that the old man has nurtured for decades and is reluctant to abandon to its fate is nicely symbolic of all the things about Old Earth that are being callously lost in the process.” — Gardner Dozois for Locus Magazine.
“The frog pond is an idyllic and well-chosen symbol, as amphibians are among the most sensitive creatures to environmental degradation. The conclusion is heartwarming.” –Lois Tilton for Locus Online
“I will not reveal the ending, only to say that it brought tears to my eyes. Obviously, I liked this story.” — Sam Tomaino for SFRevu
Matthew Kressel is a multiple Nebula Award and World Fantasy Award finalist. His first novel, King of Shards, was hailed as, "Majestic, resonant, reality-twisting madness," from NPR Books. His short fiction has or will soon appear in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Tor.com, Nightmare, Apex Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interzone, Electric Velocipede, and the anthologies Mad Hatters and March Hares, Cyber World, Naked City, After, The People of the Book, as well as many other places. His work has been translated into Czech, Polish, French, Russian, Chinese, and Romanian. From 2003 to 2010 he ran Senses Five Press, which published Sybil's Garage, an acclaimed speculative fiction magazine, and Paper Cities, which went on to win the World Fantasy Award in 2009. His is currently the co-host of the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series in Manhattan alongside Ellen Datlow, and he is a long-time member of the Altered Fluid writers group. By trade, he is a full-stack software developer, and he developed the Moksha submission system, which is in use by many of the largest SF markets today. You can find him at online at http://www.matthewkressel.net, where he blogs about writing, technology, environmentalism and more. Or you can find him on Twitter @mattkressel.