collision image from Star experiment at the RHIC


by Geoffrey A. Landis

There are other dimensions; places
we cannot go, directions we cannot see.

There are places where our bodies
would be paradoxical, impossible;
where we can go only in our math, or
in our dreams-- and are not these the
same thing? Mathematics a land of
pure imagination? Places further away than infinity, and
closer than the width of an atom,
where light is a gel, like pudding, or
more solid than granite; or places
where neither light nor heat nor sound
exists, but other forces inconceivable
to us; or places where gravity is so
strong that nothing exists except black
holes, dancing their slow whirling
spiraling circling dance of gravity in a
place that has never known light.
Universes upon universes closer to us
than our skin, separated from us only
by that direction we cannot see, yet so
different from us that the birth and
explosion and cooling and death of a
universe, everything that is or can be,
happens in just a fraction of a fraction
of a nanosecond, and yet that fractional
fragment of an instant is still
happening, still now, and still now, in
a timelike dimension we know nothing
of. And even there, in that un-
imaginable universe (or, imaginable
only in our mathematics, which is to
say, our dreams), in that fragment of a
nanosecond, an unimaginable being
(or, a being imaginable only to our
mathematics, which is to say...) of that
eternal frozen now, writes or speaks or
vibrates in some unimaginable way of
other universes, of uswho are so improbable that we can
only be imagined in mathematics, or in dreams.

first published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction, August 2008


picture of Iron Angels cover
Iron Angels

Page by Geoffrey A. Landis