Chains of Air, Web of Aether

The Eye of the Sibyl and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
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First published in Stellar #5 1980

On the far-flung planet CY30 II Leo McVane lives alone in a dome monitoring communications equipment where it seems his only job is to rebroadcast transmissions of the pop singer Linda Fox from a satellite. McVane finds out from the food delivery man that Rybus Rommey, a neighbor he doesn’t know very well in another dome, is dying of multiple sclerosis. She refuses to abandon her dome for treatment, and so Rybus and a reluctant McVane form an uneven relationship until eventually Rybus beats her illness. 

Dick reworked “Chains of Air, Web of Aether” into his novel The Divine Invasion.

Cast of characters

  • Leo McVane – operates a communications dome on CY30 II
  • Rybus Rommey – McVane’s neighbor in a nearby dome
  • the food delivery man