In Arc 1.3: commerce and mayhem join hands in Tim Maughan’s new story Limited Edition

1 Oct

“After spending most of his life putting it off, Bristol based author Tim Maughan finally started writing science fiction back in the heady days of 2008. In 2011 he released the critically acclaimed Paintwork, a collection of three short stories dealing with the roles of art, celebrity and globalisation in a very near, and strangely familiar, future. He’s currently working on his debut novel, another near-future piece looking at the social and cultural impact of hacktivism, online protest and cyber-warfare.

Away from fiction he is one of the UK’s best known writers on Japanese animation and comics, a resident blogger for, and a freelance contributor to magazines such as Icon and SFX.

Tim Maughan weaves gossamer-light speculative ideas through street culture to producing some of the funniest, most furious, most touching science fiction of recent years; Limited Edition, his story for Arc 1.3 is no exception: here’s an extract.

Eugene Sureshot, one mile tall, strides through the wasteland. Where his limited edition trainers hit the ground deserts bloom, city blocks rise and mountains rip themselves from the ground. Vistas erupt from each footfall, spreading like bacteria, mingling, creating landscapes. New places from the dead ground. Civilisations rise, intricate detail evolves around the soles of giant feet.

Then Sureshot stops, as if something blocks his path. He looks up. Looks left. Looks down and then looks right. He breathes and condensation forms on the screen. Sureshot steps back, raises a foot from the ground  – leaving behind light-trails of glass skyscrapers and steel domes – and puts one limited edition kick through the screen, so all that Grids can see is the rubber sole, the embossed logo.

Grids and College both flinch, then try to pretend they didn’t. Glass showers the sofa. Sureshot steps through what’s left of the screen, now just nine feet high, and brings one perfectly clean limited edition crep down through College’s mum’s coffee table. It smashes, splinters, spraying broken mugs and cold tea. The drops fall like slo-mo rain on the carpet, which is transforming itself around Sureshot’s feet into streets and parks, buildings and city blocks. Infinite fucking detail, like Grids hasn’t seen since the last time. As he looks he can see little statues of Sureshot, his face on billboards and video screens. So small, so complex, a perfectly formed world at carpet-scale.

He looks up again, and Sureshot leans in to meet his gaze, their eyes locked, their noses so close they nearly touch. Sureshot breathes condensation on Grids’s spex.

Sureshot speaks, gravel tones, Atlanta drawl. “This is my world now, understand?”

Fade to black. Red logo.

“Shit fam,” says College.

“Hype ting,” says Grids.

“Bit too hype,” says College. “IMO.”

“Yeah. But nice kicks tho man,” says Grids.

“Oh seen,” says College, “serious nice kicks fam.”

Read more in Arc 1.3, a digital quarterly about the future, made for e-readers, tablets, phones and computer screens; also available in a collectible print edition. Visit for details.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: