Stars Calling – A Science Fiction Short Story



One simple piece of paper to end it all, with no explanations or reasons for their decision. Face flushed with anger and accented by a frown, she said, “Damn the consequences.”

In a dystopian society where the line between religion and science is disintegrating, where scientific consensus has become sacred, Mae dares to publish her greatest scientific discoveries.

As she stands trial for her heresy, she must choose — her integrity or her life? She must choose: Kneel to consensus or die for her scientific integrity.

It is a tale of an individual’s struggle against a society that values blind obedience over independent thought, and the price she must pay for daring to challenge the status quo.

A gripping read with high stakes and a splash of the fantastical!


Length: Short Story (5008 words)
Publisher: Phos Press
Publication Date: 2023


Mae’s fingers dug into the paper, her grip so tight that it left crinkles. Lips parted, eyes wide and unblinking, she stared at Bryce.

“What is it?” Bryce held Mae’s gaze, waiting for an answer. When no answer came forth, he gently slid the paper out of her grip and read it.

Dear Doctor Mae Uropa,

On this date, 26th of February, of the year 2067, the convened Scientific Revelation Press Administration (SRPA) has officially terminated the following protocols:

Title of Research: An UnRelativistic Theory of Time, Space and Consciousness
Investigator: Mae Uropa, PhD

One week after the receipt of this notice, the following research activities and any pending publications related to the aforementioned research must stop. Any continuation of said activities without prior SRPA review and approval is a violation and…

Bryce was getting too familiar with the content of SRPA notices for his liking so he stopped reading. They had become increasingly frequent over the last year.

Mae blinked heavily. A good sign, thought Bryce. She was coming out of her stupor.

“Why would they… it’s… it’s…,” Mae stammered, “… I… why did I even have to submit it for their approval…” She sighed with a heavy resignation as she ran her fingers through her hair, which ended at her nape. “I suppose I can not continue with my research. Or publish my theories…fifteen years of my life…” She spoke with her gaze fixed on the wooden desk.

“Last I checked, I’m still the editor-in-chief of this university’s press. We are definitely publishing your research. Even if it’s the last thing I do,” said Bryce.

“I can’t let you do that for me,” Mae whispered.

“Oh Mae, I do this for myself. Why do you underestimate your own theories so?! Don’t you understand that these ideas of yours are a threat to the Scientific Revelation movement? That it could be the beginning of their end. Your theories shake the very ground their beliefs are based upon, the beliefs they pass off as science. The beliefs that have only taken a foothold because the Scientific Revelation Act has deemed scientific consensus as sacred. Your work can challenge the ignorance of that stance, by challenging the status quo.”

“Or they’ll label me a heretic. I’ll end up in the Revered Court and they’ll make sure I never work as a scientist again.” Mae’s voice was heavy with concern.

With a grave tone of voice that matched that of Mae’s, Bryce continued. “Answer me this: if you do not publish this work, will you be able to live with yourself after you give up on your life’s biggest achievement? After you let them silence you, without putting up a fight. After you let the farce that has been the Scientific Revelation Act stand uncontested. Could you do that?”

Mae raised her head with effort so that she could meet his eyes as she considered his words. For years she had been silent, burying herself in the very work that was now being destroyed with one simple termination notice. She thought about how easily they had squashed her dreams.

She thought about the nights through which she had worked, with no sleep and the days she had spent buried in books. One simple piece of paper to end it all, with no explanations or reasons for their decision. Face flushed with anger and accented by a frown, she said, “Damn the consequences.”


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