My sci-fi story, ‘Pawprints in the Aeolian Dust’ is now available in Sci Phi Journal. It’s a story about grief, the exploration of an uncharted planet, and the incomparable bond between humans and our dogs. Philosophically, it questions whether pioneering space involves breaking an ancient pact forged between our ancestors and those of our canine companions. Wherever we’ve historically explored, they’ve accompanied us. Wherever we’ve settled, they have too. What happens when we colonise another planet? Will they ever be able to follow?
This story is deeply personal, as I wrote it shortly after losing a beloved dog to old age. He was the story’s inspiration, and I owe a debt of gratitude to Sci Phi’s exceptionally talented cover artist, Cat Leonard, for not only choosing my story for this issue’s cover, but featuring my departed boy in her painting. Editor Jason Rennie mentions him by name in the editorial, too… the whole issue feels like a tribute. I’m touched, and grateful, and really excited to be able to share this story.