Following up on my comprehensive eligibility post of a few days ago, I think I will do some posts individually reviewing my ten published short stories of 2017.
The year started with "The Silver Crescent", published in Issue 705 of Bewildering Stories (January).
Bewildering Stories, if you don't already know, is an on-line webzine that's been published weekly- with amazing regularity - since the summer of 2002. It published my third short story, SPPAM, back in December 2003.
"The Silver Crescent" is based on an article I found in a 1968 issue of Reader's Digest by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in which he suggests a wide scale project building atomic energy plants for desalinization in the Middle East would create jobs, increase the fresh water and therefore help economic development, and be something that the Israelis and Arabs could cooperate on for the good of the region.
It's not an alternate history, but it's definitely set in a future that you would find improbable - but hopeful.
Set in the near future, it starts in the midst of a nerve-wracking crisis - Iran shot off a missile to attack Israel. It was shot down, and the attack covered up, but tensions in the Middle East are boiling over.
An American representative, trying to mediate the crisis - remember, Iran HAS signed a nuclear energy accord - brings an Arab-American engineer from home, who has a radical proposal - hold the Iranians to their assertion they are developing atomic energy for peaceful uses.
The engineer has a set of plans originally drawn up under the Shah's government in the 1970s for a vast atomic-powered desalinization plant on the Iranian coast - plans that were dropped when the Shah's government fell.
He suggests the Iranians - as a face saving gesture - announce they are going ahead with the old plans, and that's why they still need their nuclear materials for.
The diplomat suggests the Iranians take the deal, because the U.S. is the only thing keeping the Israelis from turning Iran into a glass ashtray.,
To read how this turns all turns out, here's the link:
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