A single tweet on Twitter can have massive impacts in the real world. This amusing little story begins with a poll on Twitter asking which region should be destroyed by a heat ray, with Appalachia “winning” by a large margin.
The story is told by a man who has been engaging with this specific Twitter account for a while. He discovers that it is not just a joke account, but actual aliens who really have a death ray capable of killing everything in that region with 25 million people. But maybe he can talk them into a different deal.
As might have been guessed, this is a somewhat quirky story written in a humorous light style, while still keeping it serious enough not to be completely silly. We only see the aliens through correspondence through Twitter – still, I found them to be rather convincing even though the whole scenario is a bit far-fetched.
Read in Analog January/February 2023