Our excerpt is from The Amnesiaphiliac by Benji Bright.
It started with a single man and spun so far out that no one could have planned it, could have wanted it to go so wrong. My name is Nathaniel Underwood, and if you’re reading this then that’s good. That means you know how to read, and that’s a good sign. There’s no way for me to know whether you acquired the skill to parse this text from the act of picking it up or if you came to it already able. That’s how bad things got. So bad that I had to imbue each word with a desperation to be understood. I can’t rely on memory, it’s like a shifting sand that tilts everything standing above it. So understand these words and make of them what you will. I’ll try to keep this brief.
Apsis is our revolving city. When the first of the terrible earthquakes rocked the area, our engineers and best logicians decided that it would be best to unroot it. The girders were removed and the city floated away, tethered to the earth only by its memory of once being shackled. So we watched from the sky as the ground trembled and spat dust, thinking how lucky we were to have escaped such a miserable fate. And we were miserable too, having willfully divorced our home, but the human capacity for misery stretches only so far. We moved on in part because Apsis moved on. As the city drifted away from the site of our untethering, we could no longer see the scars of the earth, and we started forgetting what it had been like to dwell on land.