Real Estate

The couple broke fast in the mountain retreat, dining on fresh red melons and purple berries. Marta, their robotic guide, served them with diamond plates on the giant stone balcony overlooking the forest. In between delicate bites, Rae remarked that the whole…

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The Final Voyage Of Captain Shakespeare

The crash was magnificent, heard three systems away and felt by half the galaxy. The other half were immediately informed via telepathy, televisapathy and tele-empathy, and felt as if they had felt it. Such was the impact. The grand old captain himself, however, newly…

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The Surprising Events of Springtime in Rodchester

Tycho Villiare never asked why his employers had chosen to duel. Gentlemen seldom fight duels themselves. One gentleman may challenge another to a duel, but since duels end in death, a state most gentleman find inconvenient, Men of Arms are employed to fight duels for…

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Home Defense

Marla just didn’t understand. Bernie couldn’t give up his collection. He tried to explain it to her, but it was futile, he knew it. “They’re not just collectables, Marla. They’re history. I would think you would understand that. You buy for a museum, you should be…

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Tear the Wall

On the surface, everything is smooth. On the edges, the shiny plastic cracks, dirt comes out of nowhere, and doorknobs pinch the skin. Tear at the wall a little, underneath is not solid, it is a metal matrix, mostly air. We live in a kind of illusion, frayed at the…

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Mirror, Mirror

Stevie glanced over his shoulder, tiptoeing barefoot through the deepest corridors of the Barnum. The ship was huge, as ponderous and lumbering as a garbage barge, but Stevie had lived here all his life. He knew the corridors like the back of his hand—even the ones…

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Replica

After four months of backed up deadlines, CD came to the hard conclusion he already knew was coming. He needed one more of himself. CD had to present his application in person, which he felt was a ridiculous waste of time. He wondered why the psychologist couldn’t…

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Trimming Back The Growth

“I see you’ve done some pruning,” Margaret’s therapist said. “I like what you’ve done with the branches around your sternum.” “Thank you,” Margaret choked out. It had been a trial learning how to talk with roots entwined around her larnyx, but she…

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The Education of Legs McGee

“Swimming’s easy,” Aaron said as he tightened the foam ring beneath her shoulders. “There’s only one rule: keep breathing. If you can’t find a way to breathe, that’s when you’re in trouble.” Leah nodded as her brother gathered her into his arms, lifted her from the…

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THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE AWESOME

Chuck surveyed the landing pad with a nod, his proprietary self-satisfied grin encompassing all he could see. It felt good, he reflected, to be a champion of the most powerful force in the universe: awesome. Chuck was a Space Ranger and proud of it. They weren’t…

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A Misunderstanding

Marshall Weisman didn’t bother perusing the files. He’d been tracking this maniac down for years now. The poor looking gent in the outer rings had no excuse, no recourse. It was clear to him and any other officer of the Outer Planetary Patrol. Weisman barged into the…

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My Angel Gabriel

“I don’t understand.” wrote Becky. Why did you ban Gabriel?” Becky had been on the forum for almost a year, and she was one of the most frequent posters. Rachel thought Becky was a bit like her when she was thirteen, nattering on about internet stars and how she had…

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A Lighthouse Through Time

No one knew how long Catherine Malone had been missing. Her absence was reported to the police after three weeks of unpaid rent, but neighbors admitted they hadn’t known that the apartment was occupied. “She kept to herself,” said the landlord. The universe does not…

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The Wall Street Cathedral

To Martin J. Weaver: Dear Spiritual Investor, This letter is a gift in the form of advanced notice concerning the change in management of your Temple in Manchester. Our organization, the American Church of God, has taken notice of the success of your Temple’s…

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The Things She Carried

When Lieutenant Carol Door stepped off the space ship she was carrying her laser knife, her unloaded rifle and the broken micro-cam that held the pictures of her family. She carried her starched grey uniform, and though it had never seen her home, it reacted to the…

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Antennae Don't Blink

The robot was no bigger than a diner roll, and had a tendency to shift on of its many stiff legs when it was processing. It was on the kitchen table now, and Megan lowered herself so that she was eye-level with it. It’s forward-motion sensor quivered when her face…

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Feeling Lucky

Lucian’s body had been cleansed to near perfection and his head shaved to remove any thread that might disrupt the process. Everything had to be perfect, or else the project might fail. They placed him in Dorm 12, a white-walled comfortable living space. He sat there…

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We Commit their Bodies to the Deep

Captain Ariella Claymore floated in the center of the cargo bay as Chief Bill Roberts manipulated the tractor beams to guide the lifeless spacecraft through the bay doors. “She’s an antique,” the captain’s voice crackled over the intercom. “There’s an American flag on…

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