Colliding Branes is a new short story by Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling.
Read an excerpt from Asimov's magazine.
As professional bloggers, Rabbiteen and Angelo knew each other well. For three years, they’d zealously followed each other’s daily doings via email, text messages, video posts, social networking, and comment threads.
Yet they’d never met in the flesh. Until today, their last day on Earth—the last day for the Earth, and, in stark fact, also for Earth’s solar system, Earth’s galaxy, Earth’s Local Group galactic cluster, and Earth’s whole twelve-dimensional universe shebang.
The end was near, and Rabbiteen didn’t care to watch the cosmos collapse from inside her cramped room in her parents’ house in Fremont. Nor did Angelo want to meet the end in his survivalist bunker in the foothills of the Sierras near Fresno—a bunker which, to untrained eyes, resembled an abandoned barn in the middle of a sun-killed almond farm.
So, after a dense flurry of instant messages, the two bloggers had joined forces and hit the great American road together, blasting one last trump from the hearse’s dirge-like horn, a mournful yet powerful blast that echoed from Rabbiteen’s parents’ pink stucco house and all through the table-flat development of a thousand similar homes.
Chastely sipping biodiesel through the apocalyptic traffic, they’d made it over Tioga Pass onto Nevada’s Route 6 by midnight. They were out well ahead of mankind’s last lemming-like rush to universal destruction....