A Spy in Europa
by Alastair Reynolds
• Word count: 7354
• Page count: 20
This is a cool science fiction short story about how far a spy will go to accomplish his mission. Set in the far future it takes place on Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. There are some familiar Alastair Reynolds ideas here: hyperdiamonds, buckyballs and some very detailed descriptions of biological life on alien worlds – so ingenious its easy to believe that he is just describing something he has seen hundreds of times. Ah – that is why I like his writing!
To get to Europa you either had to be sickeningly rich or sickeningly poor. Vargovic’s cover was the former: a lie excusing the single-passenger flitter. As the slitherwalk advanced he was joined by other arrivals: business people like himself, and a sugaring of the merely wealthy. Most of them had dispensed with holographics, instead projecting entoptics beyond their personal space; machine-generated hallucinations decoded by the implant hugging Vargovic’s optic nerve. Hummingbirds and seraphim were in sickly vogue.
Where you can find “A Spy in Europa”:
- This short story first appeared in Interzone #120 in June 1997.
- “A Spy in Europa” is included in Alastair Reynold’s book Galactic North.
- It has also been collected in Gardner Dozois’ The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Fifteenth Annual Collection.
- You can read “A Spy in Europa” online for free at Infinity Plus
Craving More Stories?
If you enjoyed “A Spy in Europa” then you may like The Clockwork Atom Bomb by Dominic Green. A science fiction short story about a UN Weapons Inspector who finds several powerful and illegal devices deep in the heart of Africa.