Billion Dollar View

by Chris Pyak

„What’s that?“

„You like the view? Stand right here – you can see my whole setup: The solar panels following the sun, the micro wind turbine and – at the far end of the property – the vertical farm and my little wooden cabin. I write most of my novels there.“

„Yes, I see that. I don’t get it. What’s the point?“

„I call it my „billionaires view“.

„I call it an LCD screen in a window frame.“

„I‘m very proud of it!“

„Why? I mean – really. WHY?!“

„See? That’s triple glass, R-value of eight – excellent insulation! It’s tilt and turn, like in Germany. And the LCD has 24k resolution! It’s more real than reality!!!“

„Yeah, awesome. I repeat: WHY?“

„It’s what all those billionaires use. It‘s Elon’s main promise: You won’t see the difference. Your past on Earth or your tunnel on Mars: Feels exactly the same!

„Oookay…. I see you are excited. I am happy for you. There are only three things I’d like to point out.“


„First: It’s not „the real thing“. If you stand close, you see the glimmer of the screen. Unnatural.“


„Second: You are NOT a billionaire!“

„I’m working on it!“

„Now to my last point.“

My guest grabbed the handle of my make-believe window. He turned it sideways and opened it wide. Solar panel, wind power, vertical farm, wooden cabin:The view behind the LCD display stayed exactly the same.

A gust of wind blew an autumn leaf into the room.

„You. are. not. on. Mars.“

The story behind  this story

This story was exactly 250 words long. I was my contribution to a challenge posted by the wonderful Solarpunk Magazine. The magazine got more than 150 submissions the last time I checked. Only four could win the Micro Contest. And what can I tell you: Out of all those many stories – my story was one of those who got rejected. 

But! There is a story twist: My wife Evgenia submitted one of her paintings to Solarpunk Magazine – and they bought and published it! My wife is clearly much better as a painter than I am as a writer… 🙂

I felt sad about that and still do. If you like to make me feel better and show your appreciation for my story – please make a small donation. It encourages me to keep writing.

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