This Owl Pincushion Is Preventing Space-Time From Fraying

Over at Significant Objects, Margaret Wertheim has published a terrific flash fiction story about one of the greatest discoveries in the history of physics: An owl pincushion is responsible for holding the fabric of spacetime together. How can this be?

In a story that's as much a fable as science fiction, Wertheim tells a story of several generations of women who eventually discover why the fabric of spacetime has been ripping apart and San Jose has fallen into a black hole, never to reappear.

She begins:

Dr. Irena Svetskaia still found it hard to believe when she looked at the little pincushion owl that something so mundane could be supporting the spacetime matrix.In 2158 it had been discovered that the fabric of spacetime was fraying. Alarmingly so near the great technopolises of Sant-Angeles-Diego and Mumbai. Dr Svetskaia's father had made the discovery, for which he had been awarded the Nobel Prize. Many relativity experts did not like it at all; it did not please their Platonist hearts that the structure of space and time could be influenced by human activity. But there it was.

This story is one of many published at Significant Objects, including entries from William Gibson and yours truly, which are based on random objects for sale on Ebay. You can actually bid on this owl pincushion here.

Read the rest of Werheim' story here, via Significant Objects.