Kai and Maisie are about the celebrate their first Valentine’s Day on the planet Iago Prime. However, the holiday traditions they established back on Earth such as celebrating Valentine’s Day with a picnic on the beach are impossible to maintain in the hostile environment of their new home. But in spite of the many limitations imposed by living on Iago Prime, Kai pulls out all the stops to give Maisie an unforgettable Valentine’s Day.
This is a science fictional Valentine’s Day story of 2200 words or approx. 10 print pages.
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- Valentine’s Day on Iago Prime is a short story of 2200 words. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- This story was written as part of the July short story challenge. The idea was to write a short story per day in July 2015.
- Valentine’s Day on Iago Prime is one of several stories written during the July short story challenge that was inspired by a piece of science fiction or fantasy art, in this case this image of two people in spacesuits standing on the shore of an alien beach.
- Another spark of inspiration was a discussion about holiday stories, i.e. stories written to fit particular holidays, at Kboards during the same time. Combined the image of the two spacesuited figures on the alien beach and the discussion about holiday stories led to a Valentine’s Day story set in space.
- The planet Iago Prime got its name from one of the planet name generators floating around the Internet.
- I have no idea why Kai and Maisie turned out to be Welsh. They just did. Though come to think of it, I did watch the BBC Wales crime drama Y Gwyll a.k.a. Hinterland, which is set in Aberystwyth, around the time I was writing the story, so maybe that had an influence.
- Aberystwyth, Kai’s and Maisie’s usual Valentine’s Day destination, is a seaside resort on the Welsh coast. Constitution Hill, the funicular railway and the camera obscura are all real places. Coincidentally, Constitution Hill is also a popular venue for weddings.
- There is no date mentioned anywhere in the story, but observant readers can deduct from the fact that the funicular railway and the camera obscura on Constitution Hill, both late nineteenth century constructions, are described as being three hundred years old, that the story takes place sometime in the twenty-third century.
- Would Victorian technology actually survive for another two hundred years? With proper conservation, I don’t see why it shouldn’t, unless rising sea levels due to global warming wash away Aberystwyth altogether.
- The cover image is digital art by Phil Cold found via Dreamstime.