My Story in A Larger Reality 2.0 - "Communicable"

I tell you about my inspiration and process for writing my A Larger Reality 2.0 story. I also read the story on this episode.

Note: This episode was for paid subscribers only until June 24, 2022, at which point it became free to everyone.

Content note: This was written pre-pandemic and is about a pandemic.

Listen to "My Story in A Larger Reality 2.0 - "Communicable"" on Spreaker.

Hello, friends!

In this episode, I tell you about my inspiration and process for writing my A Larger Reality 2.0 story. I also read the story on this episode. The story itself starts about five minutes and forty seconds into the recording.

This episode was for paid subscribers only until June 24, 2022

Long story short, I was sick for a month and thinking a lot about how germs multiply!

I've put both the English and Spanish (translation by Andrea Chapela) versions of this story below. If you want to read the text of the story in its original experimental context, you can play through the game version on the web by going to

If you’d like to read the seed article Libia pointed me to article that inspired this story, you can read that over here.

I didn’t mention this in the podcast, but here is another article that explains the microwave oven thing I refer to in the story — yes, it’s actually real!

Here’s the amazing writer who translated my A Larger Reality 2.0 story into Spanish,  Andrea Chapela on Twitter.

And, if you would like to see the longer story I wrote for the first A Larger Reality anthology, you can read my story online at Latin American Literature Today. That one was translated beautifully by Patricia Coral.


By Julia Rios

When they come, we don’t hear or see them. UFO enthusiasts talk about radio signals and lights in the sky. Scientists analyze a strange set of data for ages before they work out it’s just a distortion from a microwave oven at the facility where the satellite dishes are listening. We never think to look for what actually happens.

The year they come, flu season is particularly bad. The vaccine doesn’t inoculate us against it because it can’t account for every strain. Many of us die. We are devastated. We are afraid. We romanticize it. Three separate period dramas about the 1918 influenza pandemic come out to critical and popular acclaim. “My Dick Can Heal Ya Girl” by Lil Jabby tops the pop music charts. It’s about how, through the miraculous powers of sexual potency, his sperm will cure disease. Lil Jabby, dies of the flu, which he catches from a groupie.

Some of us survive, but the virus hangs on in our systems. Just when we think it will go away, it comes back again, stronger. We do not understand that this suffering is growth. That the virus is information. That our babies and our babies’ babies will remember.

We do not realize what has happened until generations later, when we have evolved. When our scientists work out that this was first contact. That we are colonized. That we are assimilated. That we cannot untangle us from them, that the idea of trying is horrifying. We celebrate Lil Jabby and the others like him. We mourn them because they never became us, yet they are always with us. We remember our parents and our grandparents and the lives of creatures who came so far before us that they hardly seem like us at all, except, we realize now, they are us. We are them. By sharing the Earth we are all one macroorganism. And, too, we are connected to other places, other planets. We are the microwave oven distortion in the satellite dish. We are the call coming from inside the house.


Julia Ríos

(trd. Andrea Chapela)

Cuando llegan, no los oímos ni los vemos. Los buscadores de OVNIs hablan de señales de radio y luces en el cielo. Los científicos analizan por mucho tiempo los datos hasta que se percatan de que son sólo una distorsión causada por un horno de microondas en el laboratorio de las antenas parabólicas. Nunca nos molestamos en entender qué pasó realmente.

Ese año el brote de gripa es particularmente malo. Las vacunas no nos inmunizan porque no hemos tomado en cuenta todas las cepas. Muchas personas mueren. Esto nos deja desolados. Asustados. Romantizamos los hechos. Se ruedan tres dramas históricos sobre la pandemia de influenza de 1918, que son aclamados tanto por la crítica como el público. My Dick Can Heal Ya Girl de Lil Jabby llega al primer lugar de los rankings. Va sobre cómo, gracias a su milagrosa potencia sexual, sus espermas son capaces de curar la enfermedad. Lil Jabby muere de gripa, contagiado por una grupi.

Algunos sobrevivimos, pero el virus permanece en nuestro sistema. Justo cuando pensamos que ha desaparecido, regresa con más fuerza. No entendemos que este sufrimiento es un crecimiento. Que el virus es información. Que nuestros bebés y los bebés de nuestros bebés lo recordarán.

No nos daremos cuenta de lo que sucedió hasta generaciones más tarde, cuando hayamos evolucionado. Cuando nuestros científicos descubran que este fue el primer contacto. Que nos han colonizado. Que nos han asimilado. Que no podemos distinguir un nosotros de un ellos y la idea de intentarlo nos horroriza. Celebramos la vida de Lil Jabby y de otros como él. Nos lamentamos porque nunca se convirtieron en nosotros, pero siempre están con nosotros. Recordamos a nuestros padres y a nuestros abuelos e incluso las vidas de todas las criaturas que vivieron hace tanto tiempo que apenas se parecen a nosotros, excepto, nos percatamos ahora, de que ellos son nosotros. Nosotros somos ellos. Compartir la Tierra nos hace un macroorganismo. Pero también estamos conectados a otros lugares, a otros planetas. Somos la distorsión de horno de microondas en la antena parabólica. La llamada desde el interior de la casa.