Fiction | June 01, 1989

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“Next slide,” the astronaut says. For a second, the auditorium is as void and dark as space itself. Then a curve of the earth’s ulcerated surface flashes on the screen and the students’ silhouettes return, bathed in tones of green. This is the third hour in a row Duncan Foley has seen this picture and heard the smiling public relations astronaut, sent, in the wake of the Challenger disaster, to the high school where Duncan teaches. It’s September; attendance at the assembly is mandatory.

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