A week or so ago I set myself a challenge: to write a science fiction story in which a flying boat featured prominently. I was hoping to come up with some heartland sf story, something with spaceships and aliens and such. And flying boats, of course. But I couldn’t think of a plot in which a flying boat, especially a historical one, might plausibly appear in the distant future or on another planet.
I could have just invented some futuristic flying boat, but I was determined it’d be a known type – and I had in mind one of those flying boats from the 1930s which carried passengers to Australia or across the Atlantic. So I dreamt up and considered a number of ideas, and promptly discarded them… and then realised there was only one way I could justifiably have a Short Empire flying boat, for example, in a sf story. But I didn’t really want to write alternate history. I wanted something more sfnal than that.
And I think I’ve sort of done it.
It’s a somewhat experimental story – in both structure and the fact that the plot is only implied. I shouldn’t think it’s the first story, science fiction or mainstream, to ever be written in this fashion, but it’s the first time I’ve tried it. It was fun to research, and I had fun “writing” it. I hope it proves as much fun to read.
Here it is (PDF): Disambiguation