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Nihil’s Retina is a tragicomic roommate drama set in Outer Space. It is the story of an astronaut and his android pilot, hurtling through the void in a luxury model escape craft after the obliteration of Earth by a manmade black hole. With no destination and nothing much to do, they engage in psychological warfare. The weapons at their disposal: philosophy, theoretical science, and semantics. The battle is narrated by the astronaut—a glorified gardener—whose internal monologue vacillates wildly from rational actualization to despair to paranoia and back again. While he spends his time reliving the last days of his life before the cataclysm or losing at solitaire, his android companion, Crowley, puts on the appearance of trying to make him happy—all the while driving him mad. Before becoming confined to the model B-12 Prokaryote life-pod, our nameless narrator lived on the space station Daedalus. There, his interactions were restricted to conversations with a washed-up rock star named Alex Jerzyk and light flirtation with the station’s chief physician, Dr. Amanda Shriver. When both Jerzyk and Shriver, having accepted the common fate of their species, decide to stay behind to be devoured by the ever-growing black hole, our narrator escapes with Crowley. No hope? No problem—at least they’ve bought themselves a few more years. A testimony of loss, madness, and conflicted cohabitation, Nihil’s Retina runs the math on the value of life after the end of the world and comes up just shy of zero.

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