Plugs

Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

Trent Walters, poetry editor at A&A, has a chapbook, Learning the Ropes, from Morpo Press.

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

The Theory of Geothermal Heating

by David

(being an explication of the origins and initial reception of the new theory, together with an account of its rigorous testing)

Even in these enlightened times, Professor Robin’s theory was met with skepticism.

The Chronicle: “Nonsense of the Worst Sort!”

The Times, as expected, was more urbane: “Professor Robin’s radical Theory of Geothermal Heat has no foundation whatever.”

His fellow scientists were no kinder. Robin was expelled from the premier societies and ignored at meetings. The last straw came when Professor Philip, Chair of Earth Science at The University, had this to say: “Sir, do you mean that you believe the interior is a greater source of heat than the sun?! Poppycock! The Theory of Solar Heat is central to thermodynamics. It enjoys almost universal support and its predictions have been proven countless times.”

The gauntlet had to be taken up. After all, the matter involved considerations beyond mere science.

*

Robin mopped his brow. The drill rig towered above, but its shade fell elsewhere. Drilling was going well, and the bit should penetrate the base of the crust today. If his theory was correct, they would soon bring up samples of the hot mantle.

A shadow interposed itself between him and the sun. “Robin,” Cynthia said, “on a day like today it is difficult to believe that heat comes from within rather than above.”

“Dearest Cynthia,” he replied, “I have never claimed that we receive no radiant heat…” he swallowed. “I wish you would not tease about such things, given the attitude your father has displayed towards my suggestion of an alliance between us.”

With an expression of contrition she stood on tiptoe to kiss his forehead. “I have never doubted your brilliance. And I would love you anyway, were you quite wrong.”

Prof. Michael strolled up, hands in pockets. “Ready for ignominious defeat?”

“Au contraire!” Robin retorted hotly, but he was interrupted by an excited shout from the driller:

“New sample, Professor!” They hurried to the rig. The newest core lay on the plank table.

“Lighter color, more porosity… what are those dark blobs?” Robin mused.

Cynthia plucked one out, popped it in her mouth. “Mmm, blueberry.”

“Observe the steam, Michael.” Robin gestured towards the core. “Clearly the temperature of the interior is much greater than that on the surface. You have the pleasure of witnessing my vindication!”

“Vindication? You have proved yourself wrong. Although I have to admit some chagrin myself. The Bakists were on the right track after all. Oh look! Whole wheat!” He licked his lips.

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