This week, Futures is delighted to welcome Caroline M. Yoachim with her story Shadow Station. When not wrestling with the idea of cryogenic suspension, Caroline can be found on her website or on her Twitter feed. Here she reveals what inspired her latest tale — as ever, it pays to read the story first.
Writing Shadow Station
My stories often start from a writing prompt. Shadow Station was written for an online writing challenge, and the prompt for the story (which came from Vylar Kaftan) was: “Write about a drug, medicine, or medical treatment with an unusual property (four dimensional, sentient, invisible, etc.).” It got me thinking about the well-worn SF trope of people being cryogenically frozen in the hope of being awakened in the future when their illness could be cured.
Thawing someone who has been frozen can be problematic, so I started thinking about how people might try to use a stasis pod or stasis field to stop time instead. What would that look like, and what sorts of problems would they have to face? If time stops, there is no light/heat — essentially what you’ve got is a black hole. I really liked the image of person-shaped black holes, frozen in time, unmoving. That was the core idea that Shadow Station was written around.