Dear Editors of The New Yorker,
This story is about suicide and I realize that that is a cliché but please bear with me. My name is Harold Fredrickson, nom de guerre Webb Winkler, and this story represents the final fragment of the Birk Zukunft Saga, a series of speculative fiction works to be collected together into a baroquely linked heptalogy of seven volumes when a publisher has been uncovered. I have submitted in the past many fragments of the B.Z.S. to periodicals that specialize in speculative fiction such as: Asimov”s Science Fiction, Locus Magazine, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Tales of the Unanticipated and others among these, and though I have received little encouragement from them and none of them have deined to promulgate my works, I have adjudicated that the failure in this case is not that of the works themselves but of an incompatability of interest. The problem is that the B.Z.S. is fundamentally literary in nature, And the aforementioned periodicals are not fundamentally literary at the core, and I am sure that a periodical such as yours will have the appropriate background to appreciate it. Represented here is the apex and the climax of the work, which may be appreciated for its own merits in isolation by both the close reading literati and the lay reader. Should you choose topublish it I have available the rest of the B.Z.S. for your magazine to peruse and publish at your whim. None of the previous stories contained in the B.Z.S. have been published previously, so there can be no question of a conflict of copyright between other publishers and The New Yorker. Buckle up, clamp on your space helmets, and enjoy!
H. Fredrickson aka Webb Winkler
[Ed: In Harold Fredrickson's original letter, this was followed by an extended description of Birk Zukunft's final voyage from his home on Venus, flying toward the Sun. We have excised the first twenty-two pages of prose for the sake of brevity, leaving only the final paragraph of the saga.]
Birk Zukunft sat down upon the cushio-free chromium-adamantium bench in the Mark VII escape pod and it felt like sitting on a bench that was actually made of ice instead of the chromium-adamantium alloy that Birk Zukunft himself had invented. “I guess there'll be plenty of time for cushions in heaven,” mused Birk Zukunft aloud, running his thick, muscular fingers through his sparsing, blonde hair, turning slightly grey with age, but he still had the air of youth around his twinkling blue eyes. He clutched the suitcase with the reverse-fusion device close to his broad chest. “I suppose there is no other way,” he reflected aloud to himnself. He looked out the window of the escape pod at the Sun, where there was a massive yellow orange solar flare in quadrant three. “I suppose that to stop these damnable Lortacs, SOMEONE has to blow up the Sun. Good-bye, Zyxxnra, good-bye...” And with a tear running down his cheek, Birk Zukunft clenched his jaw manfully and slammed his hand down on the red button.