I’ve been trying to challenge myself to write more short stories this year. Alongside completing Flesh and Blood, the sequel to Before and After, I’ve also released In the Room and now I’ve got ad astra ready to roll.
ad astra was written for Jodrell Bank Observatory, a radio telescope that is very close to where I live and close to my heart. In my mind it’s one of the most inspiring places on earth and if you ever want someone to talk at you for 60 minutes then just ask me what I think about JBO. I wanted to give something back and they were kind enough to assist me in answering lots of questions about observing the universe and the destruction of the world. Don’t ask me why everything with me always comes back to the destruction of the world. It just does. So ad astra concerns the very first and very last SETI messages ever received by humans. It very much feels like the first part of something, but I’m wrestling currently with what that might be.
In terms of publishing I’m trying something new for this short story, namely, I’m giving it away for free. Every copy also comes with a unique 1/1 artwork created by me (digitally, because I can’t paint for toffee). This story and artwork is available as an NFT* and the idea is that owners will sell and trade the works and generate a revenue for themselves and me. It could all go to shite, but that’s ok. My friend Jeff Rosenstock taught me that it’s important to keep fucking things up.**
If you would like a copy then you’ll just need to let me know your ETH address. Reply to this email, add a comment below, write it on a rock and throw it through my bedroom window. It’s comically easy to set up an ETH address. Basically, you set up Metamask on Chrome and that’s it. Here’s a really simple link: https://medium.com/…/guide-how-to-setup-metamask… All you need to do is post your ETH address and I’ll send you a copy. It’s free. You’re safe. It’s all good, NFTs are insanely valuable, this is your ticket to retirement.
*It’s minted on the Polygon network, so if you’ve heard that NFTs are about to explode the world with electricity usage then please read up on this first.
**Full disclosure, I don’t know Jeff, but he has chatted to me on Twitter a couple of times and I’m absolutely going to parlay that into a friendship and stalk him at Manchester Punk fest.