Charlie is in effect visiting the underworld, and trying to rescue Georgie. At bottom this is an Orpheus/Eurydice story of someone (a poet!) going under the earth to bring back a dead love, and failing.
Originally “constellations” was the theme of the anthology this story first appeared in and as soon as the subject was mentioned and I had the project to do I thought of how the patterns in the stars were manmade things.
One of the primary influences for this story was a recent trip to Indonesia. While I experienced nothing like Trenchtown in my travels, the smells, sounds and sights of Indonesia permeate “Thief of Futures.”
The long debate over the long-range fate of the universe is still unsettled. For a while the notion of a Cyclical Cosmos reigned … that eventually the Big Bang’s expansion would peter out and gravity would pull everything back into a Big Crunch.