Oscar and his partner Alexi are tasked with inventing discoveries and settlements in the Arctic, then creating the paperwork and digital records to "prove" their existence, preventing the inconvenience and expense of actual exploration. The job is the closest Oscar has come to his boyhood dream of being a polar explorer, until he and Alexi are sent on a secret mission to the actual Arctic, which brings them into a mysterious tangle of rival agencies and espionage that grows more dangerous the farther north they travel.
The trip also allows Oscar to reconnect with his wife, Julia, from whom he's grown alienated by years of lying about what he does for a living (a distance compounded by Julia's own secret government job), leading both of them to discover what can be lost if we let one part of ourselves -- or one part of a story -- distract us from everything else the world offers.
Steve Himmer is the author of The Bee-Loud Glade. His short stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in The Millions, Ploughshares online, Post Road, Los Angeles Review, Hobart, and other anthologies and journals. He edits the webjournal Necessary Fiction and teaches at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.
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