The Divining Light, In-Fall is the third one I read. It originally appeared in Lightspeed in December 2010. The story is a brief tale that explores both the implications of Einstein's theory of general relativity, as well as those of absolute religious beliefs. The way Kosmatka presents them, they are not radically opposed views.
A boy and an old man face each other on a ship falling towards a black hole. The man wants information the boy is unwilling to provide. When rough questioning has failed, another strategy is called for to convince a true fanatic.
That is not the main idea behind the story though. A real fanatic, so Kosmatka reasons, is hard to defeat because death will see them to paradise. What if, by using time dilation effects, you could deny them whatever afterlife they were hoping for? The story ignores this question, but does not lead to the conclusion one might expect.
In-Fall is a brief tale but, under a rather brutal plot, does include a lot of food for thought. It is one of those stories where a science fiction concept allows the author to explore a human topic from a different angle. It is very effective. Given the subject, it might not be everybody's cup of tea, but I thought it was very well done.
Author: Ted Kosmatka
Originally published: Lightspeed, December 2010
Read in: Lightspeed Year One, edited by John Joseph Adams (2011)
Story length: Short Story, approximately 3,500 words
Available online: Lightspeed