The Null Device
Missile Gap, a new novella by Charlie Stross, and released on the internet for free, positing a world where someone or something stripped the continents off the Earth and transferred them to the surface of a vast disc in distant space, at the height of the Cold War. It's a cracking good read, filled with unsettling wonder:
"Okay." Gregor thinks for a minute. "Let us see. What everyone knows is that between zero three fifteen and twelve seconds and thirteen seconds Zulu time, on October second, sixty two, all the clocks stopped, the satellites went away, the star map changed, nineteen airliners and forty six ships in transit ended up in terminal trouble, and they found themselves transferred from a globe in the Milky Way galaxy to a disk which we figure is somewhere in the lesser Magellanic cloud. Meanwhile the Milky Way galaxy--we assume that's what it is--has changed visibly. Lots of metal-depleted stars, signs of macroscopic cosmic engineering, that sort of thing. The public explanation is that the visitors froze time, skinned the earth, and plated it over the disk. Luckily they’re still bickering over whether the explanation is Minsky’s copying, uh, hypothesis, or that guy Moravec with his digital simulation theory."
(via Boing Boing)