Stella Blue

by Grant Carrington

    "Stella Blue" first appeared in the October 1974 issue of AMAZING SCIENCE FICTION (with a wonderful cover photograph by Jack Haldeman II of a NASA launch, reminiscent of the cover on one of the 1950s GALAXYs). Tom Monteleone reprinted "Stella Blue" in his The Arts and Beyond anthology (Doubleday, 1977). In 2013, it was included in Time's Fool and Other Stories, published by Variations on a Theme.

    "Stella Blue" was probably written in 1973. It was inspired by the Grateful Dead song "Stella Blue" in their Wake of the Flood album. I tried (unsuccessfuly) to use every line in the song as part of the story narrative. "Stella Blue" follows after "Annapolis Town" and precedes Time's Fool in my Chewing Gum and Rubber Band Universe.

    Amazing In his "Annapolis Town" Associate Editor Grant Carrington told the story of Richard Radcliffe, guitar-maker Tom Raymond, and Nikki--the young woman who wanted a highly-unusual guitar built and, once she had it, disappeared with it into thin air. Although the story which follows is set far in the future of "Annapolis Town," it is a direct and moving sequel.
    The Arts and Beyond What will music be like in the future? The answer to that question will be dictated in part by whatever new instruments are invented in the years to come. Grant Carrington, a guitarist and computer specialist--in addition to being an accomplished writer--describes a future instrument called the "autar," which is, not surprisingly, a synthesis of the guitar and the computer. He also tells a tragic love story.

    It all rolls into one in the end; all the years combine and melt into a dream. The song is in the wind, stellar or temporal, and we drift like separate atoms in the tangled skein of DNA. If I make sense, you understand more than I do. My tale is twisted in time, flotsam on the stream, prisoner to the vagaries of the current.