FROM THE AUTHOR: “Loose Ends” is a literary supercut composed entirely of last lines from 137 science fiction and fantasy books. After gathering these lines, I found they fell into a number of patterns—some surprising, others obvious—in how writers end their stories. With these patterns in hand, I arranged them into a sequence of interconnected vignettes. In these ways “Loose Ends” doubles as narrative and archive, short story and data analysis. To read a version that reveals the names of the books, click here. —Tom Comitta
Miles grinned sleepily, puddled down in his uniform. “Welcome to the beginning,” he said quietly. “We have a long way to go.”
“But I can’t speak Swedish,” I said.
“You’ll learn,” he said. “You’ll learn, you’ll learn.”
He threw on some more brush and watched the dark smoke spiral up under the sun, a warm and now comforting sun. “Let’s sail till we come to the edge.”
“Not until we can deliver our secret to our respective worlds. And acquire an intact ship.”
“Let’s go talk to Folimum and see what he says.” He turned back to his Master. He was ready to go.