Transformation

Me? Oh, I’ve always known. I mean, not that I knew what it meant, but I’ve felt this way since I was a child. It wasn’t something that came out of nowhere, you know? But yes. When I went to high school, that was when I really had problems. I remember hiding in the…

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Escravo

The picture made the cover of the Tzarin colony newsletter: a petite, blond-haired girl kneeling in the center of a flock of hibernating escravo, her arms wrapped around her skinny stomach and her face contorted by sobs. It was a powerful image, this preteen runaway…

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In A Nest Of Ice And Snow

Hongping watched a small child flounce across the glacier floor. The furry grey snowsuit the child was sealed into kept it from going faster than a clumsy amble, but it didn’t seem to mind. It was charging toward a huddle of summarily swaddled children. Waving its…

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Thirteen

Herring rushed down the wet road toward the dock. Thirteen minutes till the grid went live. Thirteen, an unlucky number. Herring thought about knocking on one of the doors in the first class residential district, pretending to be a businessman trapped by his late…

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Digicide

It’s tough to tell when someone disappears. You always just figure they’re busy at work, or studying for finals, or on vacation, or something of the sort, so none of us thought anything was strange when we didn’t see Nodek for a while. Actually, to be brutally honest,…

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Pile Of Dead Things

The surprise was ready. Melanie had worked hard to ensure that this November would be the most wondrous time that her daughter, Fawn, had ever experienced. She’d made all the right calls and had the work done in a forest around their estate. As the workers departed,…

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This Year's Aristogiton

“Half-man, half-dinosaur!” A voice-over perfectly matched with the combination of human and tyrannosaurus genes that hovered above Zyi Izaiah Eizenberg’s holo snapped him awake. “The perfect candidate! He literally devours his opponents! Kennedy Rex wants what you…

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Cyber

“So what you’re saying is that—” “What I’m saying is that I want you to look at me when you speak!” Christie scowled at her husband. It was an argument they’d had at least a dozen times in the six months they’d been married. “That’s what webcams…

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Ticket

There were no trees on earth but despite this the Martian men took to the metal forest as easily as the native Martian woodlands. They battled the native Earthers in crumbling buildings and industrial towers, dead electrical lines strapped between sprawling cities. On…

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Boom

It’s not easy, you know. I’ve had to sit here until they needed me, just like all the rest, but they tell me I’m special. The scientists told me that I would be different than the others, that they pulled me from the plant and opened me up with the cutting edge of…

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Sally Stardust's Cosmic Celebration ™

I think I was about eight years old when I decided I was going to be a scientist. When you’re eight, this sounds like the perfect career. I could see myself in a starched white lab coat surrounded by petri dishes and beakers as I looked into an antique microscope all…

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Personal Taste

“I’d like one Sephiroth, please.” The voice of the timid, mousy-haired girl in front of the counter matched her appearance. Maggie sighed as she looked up from her paper. “Do you have an appointment?” “Ah, no. Was I supposed to?” The shy girl looked…

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Old Man's Moon

Jesse McVeigh had lived long enough to remember a time before the wall was erected, way back before the seawall was necessary to keep back the waters of the Sea of Tranquility from encroaching on the borders of the city of Artemis. Old Jesse McVeigh will tell you…

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Moresheck

Moresheck was one of the brutish, ham handed psychics that roamed the twisting urban alleys of the north face of Mars. All his rapes were consensual. All his fights were fatal. He was a free citizen bound only by his ability to pay for damages, but no one ever got far…

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Street Smarts

“Open this door. Right now. I mean it! Open the damn door!” Herbert kicked the car door in frustration. “Honey, will you please tell the car to open the door?” he asked through clenched teeth. Herbert’s wife, Alice, peered up at him through the driver’s…

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Civic Duty

It was Friday evening and Lucas was getting ready to perform his duty. He’d already tugged off his leather loafers to put on a pair of combat boots. He’d disheveled his black hair in front of the bathroom mirror and traded his pinstripe jacket for an old worn…

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Adsum

The glass beads were black and white: tiny flattened circles that made a loud clattering sound when he emptied the bag onto the glowing white floor. Most of the 1,394 settled within a few feet of his legs, although a few rolled to the outer reaches of the room. “The…

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When The Dust Settles

“There’s an element of theatre to all this, ain’t there?” the sheriff said. Malachai Singh was a gruff man, but a fair sheriff, and Sister Britney took this into account when she spoke to him. “Jeddeloh is our home. We’re here to assess the damage, get some closure.”…

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