It is the twenty-fifth century. As in the early Middle Ages, the Islamic world is now the center for learning and scientific exploration. And the planet’s most ambitious project is Starmind, a research institute that transfers the minds of volunteers, called Ansibles, across gulfs of space and time to make first contact with other sentient beings in the universe.
Sometimes, this does not go well.
Each of the Ansible stories follows one team of brave minds across the void. These are their reports, their transcripts, the only accounts of what they have found.
You should read them.
After all, Starmind might need you, too, and isn’t it time you finally found out what’s out there?
ANSIBLE 15715 (Ansible Stories #1)
“Please hear me. We are all in danger, the most terrible danger; we are all going to die terrible deaths. If you can hear me, if anyone can hear me, remember these words. Please. Pass them on to your children, and to theirs. You are our one hope…”
Ansible 15715, a short story, is a frantic broadcast from the mind of a woman lost in time, a researcher trying to forewarn the human species about an unexpected and terrifying threat. There is very little chance that anyone will hear her plea.
Unless possibly you.
“Stant Litore may be SF’s premiere poet of loneliness. With the first stories in the Ansible series, he has pulled off an incredible feat, rendering individual tales that sing the ache of desolation in a register entirely their own while simultaneously building a central premise and an accompanying world that’s utterly original, gorgeously pained, and potentially inexhaustible. Before Ansible 15715, I can’t remember ever having read a story and immediately started reading it again, but after devouring it twice in rapid succession, I then read it aloud to the first person I could find.” – Jason Kirk, author of Reverb and The Other Whites in South Africa
“I’m a thug. I read Stephen King all day. Nothing can scare me. This book, however, kind of freaked me out.” – Keyoka Kinzy, SciFi Bloggers
“Litore’s elegant prose seeps into the soul, stoking our fears of dark labyrinths and the loss of self, of having our direst warnings passed off as madness in a cruel and ignorant world. A chilling and masterful tale.” – Allison M. Dickson, author of Strings
“Although familiar with Stant Litore’s Zombie Bible series, nothing could have prepared me for this… Mr. Litore presents a unique addition to the time travel mythos by introducing Lovecraftian monsters and paranoia.” – Nathan Herrera
“This story crawls under your skin and sits quietly in your mind, not saying anything…. just…. watching you.” – Ben Roberts
ANSIBLE 15716 (Ansible Stories #2)
Ansible 15715 was sent to a nightmare world that threatened to devour her, a world of endless dark. But the Ansible 15716 team is sent to a planet that burns beneath a white-hot sun … a saline desert where immense objects loom on the horizon, completely buried beneath a hundred meters of salt.
When this team’s sole survivor finds himself stranded in an alien body, among an alien race, he must search for some connection with home — or for some connection with this desert species, on a planet so vast, it makes the mind itself a desert.
“From an Alien-style eerie dread to a desolate existential longing, the Ansible series skitters along a spectrum of science fiction promise that will in turn thrill, terrify, and spook you. I have never wanted to stay home more.” – Melissa Olson, author of Dead Spots
“If, as the first of these stories, 15715 has slightly higher conceptual stakes, then 15716 may be the more precisely rendered of the two, just a whisper more realized in the singularity of language that breathes it into being. I only wish that Stant Litore could write as fast as I read.” – Jason Kirk, author of Reverb and The Other Whites in South Africa
“Never instilling a sense of safety, Mr. Litore’s writing creates within the reader a sense of unease and a longing…” – Nathan Herrera
ANSIBLE 15717 (Ansible Stories #3)
“Imagine a forest ten times that intense, an entire ecosystem of miniature forests growing inside the hollow bole of a tree the size of a spaceport. Then imagine that the tree of such prodigious vitality is not even a tree, but only a kind of flowering weed with an exterior harder than bark, harder than granite. Imagine a single nocturnal blossom that would fill the Al-Masjid al-Haram from one wall to the other, that each night spews into the air millions of airborne spores that burn with light like violet sparks; all it would take is the feather-soft touch of just one against the back of your hand, and you would be dead before you could even gasp.
“This is a world of beauty and strange poisons. An entire species of botanists could not fully catalogue it.”
The Starmind Project leaves a cryptic note for the woman who will lead the Ansible 15717 team, inviting her to a planet that makes the Amazon rain forests, now long gone, seem only a pale imitation. One of humanity’s foremost botanists, she is reluctant to leave an earth that has only just begun to flower again, but the lure of that alien paradise and the discoveries to be made there is too strong to deny.
And what she finds there, in those distant forests, will shake her to the heart.
“Ansible 15717 is a story about something weird that has been transplanted into a world to which it is not native, something that infects the fragile ecology of an alien planet. Reading the story, we realize that life is unpredictable. Anything can happen. Just so Litore’s stories. They aren’t only entertaining. They are stories transplanted into the midst of our lives, unexpectedly. They are beautiful and haunting and unpredictable. You don’t read them, really. You encounter them, as you might encounter people. They are those random elements in life that happen to you, like a mugging, like childbirth, like falling in love and marriage, like death and the funeral that follows. They are moments that leave a mark, and leave you changed.” – Andrew Hallam
“I’d never before come across an author’s attempt to render the point of view of conscious plant life. It’s a fascinating premise, and Stant Litore accomplishes this imaginative feat with plausibly exquisite detail that will resonate with me for a long time.” – Jason Kirk, author ofReverb and The Other Whites in South Africa
The Ansible series is organized in seasons of 3-5 episodes, just like a television drama (think A Game of Thrones or Sherlock). You can read the first three stories and the fourth, Ansible 2, if you buy the complete first season of the Ansible stories.
Season 2 of the series is just starting up, with:
- Ansible 15718 (fifth story) – available now
- Ansible: Night Land and Ansible: Strike Force will be released in the Ansible: Season Two volume at the end of 2015
Many more to come!