University City’s James Floyd recognized for science fiction at Short Tales from the Mothership


Congratulations to James Floyd for having his science fiction microfiction story chosen to be read at the UCSD Clarke Center’s Short Tales from the Mothership event on October 13. The short stories submitted were to be inspired by UCSD’s iconic Geisel Library. You can read Floyd’s story at the end of this post. You may also recognize James as the coordinator of the Photo Scavenger Hunts during the UC Celebrations.

For more information about Short Tales from the Mothership, visit:

A Short Tale from the Mothership; science fiction from University City resident James Floyd:

All libraries hold knowledge, ours also holds evil at bay. In Camp Matthews’ early years, recruits mustered one morning to find a sinkhole had opened up beneath the rangemaster’s shack, with no sign of the scratchy old man or his hound – only shattered, faded boards. Roping up, two Marines climbed into the pit. A large creak shook the area. Rust-red vines whipped out, hooked the soldiers, and dragged them into a leafy maw at the bottom. Other trainees shot fruitlessly at the flailing tendrils while the pair slipped under the ruddy vegetation. Heavy guns and grenades? No effect, just lives lost. By week’s end, brass let some eggheads take some photos and measurements, then filled the hole with oil and ignited it. Finally, they poured cement over the whole pit, dead vines and all.

Over time, the concrete plug sank slowly. Small tremors sometimes shook the area. Soldiers camped at the range swore they heard wood creaking and snapping at night. Engineers would occasionally pour a new larger layer on top, filling any cracks. Eventually even campfire stories of the vines had faded. But one scientist had seen the photos and reports, and realized that whatever lay there still lived. And so Roger Revelle chose this site for the central library to keep pushing the malevolence under, a giant sinking concrete nail for its coffin. Many universities claim that their campus library is sinking because the builders didn’t account for the weight of the books. Geisel Library was designed to.


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