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As a boy, Malzberg watched Leviathan’s approach on CNN for effectively 24 hours a day; when his mom dragged him to bed he’d DVR everything overnight and skim it during the next day’s commercials and political scandal. As the impossible whale drifted past Mars orbit and fetched up in the Lagrangian point, though, earthly matters faded away.

He’d break away from the TV just long enough to peer desperately into his backyard telescope, thinking maybe, maybe he caught a gleam of its spacepocked body.

“Get some sleep, Malzberg,” his mother would sigh. Even then nobody called him by his first name.