The Purpose of Reality: Solar

Aurealis Award Finalist Best Short Story: "Beautiful Horizon"

Steve Simpson’s mesmerizing collection of short fiction and illustrations is surreal and wildly imaginative, with touches of playfulness throughout. Here is a selection of the beings within:

At Claire’s school, the walls were cardboard, and her chain-smoking math teacher never allowed numbers to be mentioned. He used a drawing of a press to flatten slices of air into tissue paper for kites, and he was Claire’s favorite, because all the other teachers were ghosts. One day, with a little pasta and a little mambo, everything changed.

The negentropy wars didn’t end the world, there were survivors, and in Santarém, the gringo electrician needed medicine to save his daughter’s life. To get it, he had to cross the Amazon River, where the Negentropy Horizon divided Brazil. The locals believed you could look across the river and see directly into hell. The electrician wasn’t superstitious, but he decided netting was a good idea, to keep the insects off.

Aldona worked in the Damasco Auto scrapyard, and when the electromagnet on the crane burned out and dropped the blue Passat, no one saw the electric-winged shape that had been trapped by the magnet. After all, there was nothing to be concerned about: the alien space fleet had been driven away by the earth’s nuclear defenses.

Order Now!
About the Book


Steve Simpson’s story, “Beautiful Horizon” was an Aurealis Award Finalist!

Simpson’s inventive debut collection (published simultaneously with companion poetry collection The Purpose of Reality: Lunar) incorporate elements of horror, sci-fi, and weird fiction to envision the lives of people enduring apocalypses both personal and global … Punctuated by the author’s own haunting illustrations, this is ideal for weird-fiction readers seeking something a little different.” -Publishers Weekly

“A phantastic short story collection that’s as philosophical as it’s allegorical. The author’s fixation
with time, infinity, cerebral acuity, illusion and evolution-technology art singly unwraps in a profound specificity of text, sound and light.” -Eugen Bacon, AUREALIS MAGAZINE, Issue #152


Don’t miss the companion volume:

The Purpose of Reality (Lunar)

A poetry collection. Here is a selection of the beings within:

The detective, who carelessly morphs into birds and insects, and cannot choose between brooding and moping, until a stylish greyscale client with retrolescent highlights appears.

Proteus, Homo Sapiens Beta, who discovered fire and put it out, who created a rudimentary encyclopedia that he pedaled across Gondwanaland on weekends.

Millie, the intrepid librarian, unperturbed by the Dark Solarian or the fearsome kilowasp, who insists that her underlings pay for bibliotactical losses.

The adorable Deija Vitro, Martian Princess of Glass, whose fans line the streets waving Windex spray. Wollongong will never be the same, because her armies have razed it to the ground. “No one will miss it,” she reassured an infatuated follower.

About the Author
Steve Simpson

Steve Simpson lives in Sydney, Australia mostly. He has a paid job but the voices at night tell him to write speculative fiction. He thinks it might be the neighbors. Simpson’s hobbies include experiments with negative light and time travel, and research on epileptic seizure detection. Info on his short fiction, poetry, and other random stuff can be found at

Other Books in "The Purpose of Reality"