We are overjoyed to be sharing “With Her Eyes” by Cixin Liu, which will also appear in The Wandering Earth, out on October 12th!Prologue
Two months of nonstop work had left me exhausted. I asked my director for a two-day leave of absence so that I could go on a short trip and clear my mind. He agreed, but only on the condition that I take a pair of eyes along with me. I accepted, and he took me to pick them up from the Control Center.
The eyes were stored in a small room at the end of a corridor. I counted about a dozen pairs. The director gestured to the large screen in front of us as he handed me a pair and introduced me to the eyes’ owner, a young woman who appeared to be fresh out of university. She was staring blankly at me. The woman’s puffy spacesuit made her appear even more petite than she probably was. She looked miserable, to be honest. No doubt she had dreamt of the romance of space from the safety of her university library; now she faced the hellish reality of the infinite void.
‘I’m really sorry for the inconvenience,’ she said, bowing apologetically. Never in my life had I heard such a gentle voice. Her soft words seemed to float down from space like a gentle breeze, turning those crude and massive orbiting steel structures into silk.
‘Not at all. I’m happy to have some company,’ I replied sincerely. ‘Where do you want to go?’
‘Really? You still haven’t decided where you’re going?’ She looked pleased. But as she spoke, my attention was drawn to two peculiarities.
Firstly, any transmission from space reaches its destination with some degree of delay. Even transmissions from the Moon have a lag of two seconds. The lag time i
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