Jonathan Lethem might prefer to think that his short story Lostronaut, in the most recent New Yorker, was a reflection on absence, love, memory, and death, but you, know the heck with artsy authors and their high-falutin’ themes (though his Fortress of Solitude is a bit of a nod to comics nerds). This story focuses on one member an international crew of astronauts trapped on their low-earth-orbit space station. The Chinese have launched a series of space-mines that prevent the crew from using their re-entry pods to get back to earth, so all they can do is send messages home as their space station slowly runs out of energy. We’re told almost immediately that the station’s air supply is provided by plants kept in a special greenhouse, but that the facility was damaged in an accident. As the plants die, the ratio of carbon dioxide to oxygen gets steadily but slowly worse, leaving the station inhabitants with plenty of time to ponder life and death.