Archive for June 13th, 2011

13th June
written by amber

New Venice

The story of how the city of New Venice was built in the waters of Adriactica sounds like a fantasy, a pure romance. We had been using spiders to design our cities for more than a century, cities which worked efficiently and were engineered to the highest standards. But New Venice is neither efficient nor sturdy. Its strands meander without any discernable order, some of them connect to nothing. The diving bells are flimsy, letting water seep in continuously, yet they are beautiful. The fantastic shapes of the underwater city and the dreamlike disorder of its tangled strands has attracted artists from the entire galaxy to live and create here, sometimes to die if a diving bell fails.

Bryon Kato was the technician supervising the Japanese water spiders who were given a scale model of the submarine landscape designated for New Venice.  The spiders, called Mizugumo, created similar constructions; that is, all but one.  Bryon took to calling it ‘the autistic arachnid’ and he forwarded this particular design as the one he would recommend.

The planet of Adriactica was already prosperous – there was no need for another city devoted to commerce, to inter-stellar travel, to manufacturing. Instead, the Development Council chose to build a city of chaos and intrigue, of asymmetrical silver diving bells housing lacework art galleries, of hair-thin walking strands enabling the citizens to float freely through the warm waters, of sea bed coffee shops lit by phosphorescent mushrooms, of air canals flowing through mesh tubes leaking effervescence, of joy and terror, of creativity and despair, of pure meaningless meaning, the heart of our planet.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This tale was inspired by the first line of Eugene Mirabelli’s story, The Palace in the Clouds, from Asimov’s September 2010 issue.