New Jonathan Lethem Story: "Walking the Moons"
- “Mr. Kaffey, I’m currently broadcasting my replies to your questions from a valley on the northwestern quadrant of Io, yes. You’re coming in loud and clear. No need to raise your voice. We’re fortunate in having a pretty good connection, a good Earth-to-hookup, so to speak.” The journalist watches as The Man Who moistens his lips, then dangles his tongue in the open air. “Please feel free to shoot with the questions, Mr. Kaffey. This is pretty uneventful landscape even by Io standards and I’m just hanging on your every word.”
“Explain to me,” says the journalist, “what you’re doing.”
“Ah. Well, I designed the rig myself. Took pixel satellite photographs and fed them into my simulator, which gives me a steadily unfolding virtual space landscape.” He reaches up and taps at his headset. “I log the equivalent mileage at the appropriate gravity on my treadmill and pretty soon I’ve had the same experience an astronaut would have. If we could afford to send them up anymore. Heh.” He scratches violently at his ribs, until they flush pink. “Ask me questions,” he says. “I’m ready at this end. You want me to describe what I’m seeing?”