I'm looking for a short story that I remember reading, probably in Asimov's (but perhaps in Analog or F&SF), probably in the mid 1990s (unlikely to have been before 1985, or later than 2000).

The main features I remember of the story was that it took place on a toroidal planet or moon, and involved the main character (who was human or humanoid) becoming obsessed with building himself a pair of wings and flying through the atmosphere on the inside of the ring (where I guess the gravity would be much less).

There may have been an ominous and lonely feeling in the story. The main character was quite alone (perhaps marooned), but there were hints of a large bird-like winged alien flying creature that could only be seen in the distance, and perhaps an ancient tower that the main character feels drawn to.

In my (very hazy) memory: at the end of the story the character decides that jumping off the roof of the tower (which is on the inside of the ring) will let him achieve his goal of flying

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    I would like to read this! Hope you get an answer. Mar 2, 2023 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


I believe this story to be "Moonbow" by J. P. Boyd, which appeared in the May 1981 issue of Asimov's magazine. The toroidal planet had an intelligent avian species, and the planet's structure resulted in a lower surface gravity than its total mass would suggest; low enough that a human being could fly Icarus-style with artificial wings. There may have been a suggestion that the avian people had constructed the planet. The issue's cover art was by George Angelini. enter image description here


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