10th Plague

Author : Rick Tobin It all started in the spring of 1977. I remember Sunday afternoon in Houston, in my future wife’s apartment, slouching on her couch while listening to public radio. The sunshine wafted through flowered drapes, dancing across her handmade Afghan,…

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History Lesson

Author : George R. Shirer “Do you ever feel guilty?” Red asked. “About what?” asked Blue. “About lying to the humans.” “No,” said Blue. “Why would I feel guilty? They’re happy. They get to live full lives.” “But they don’t know the truth,” said Red. “They don’t know…

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Spare Parts

Author : Joey To Tris slowly opened his eyes. He let his head remain on the cold workbench for a second before sitting up and rolling his stiff shoulders. Wincing as he rubbed his neck, he squinted at the window: snowflakes fell and white glare flooded the room. The…

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Thoughtful Gift

Author : Bob Newbell The hunting party moved toward the caves at Es Skhul, about 20 kilometers south of Haifa, Israel. Of course, no one in the tribe would have recognized any of those geographic designations any more than they would have regarded the time as being…

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Jobs Worth

Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer “Tom! Tom!” I shake my head and massage my jaw as I sit up. The pretty woman crouched by me looks worried. Behind her I hear a struggle occurring. That has something to do with the pain in my jaw. “Are you okay?” Good question. I raise…

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Grommets for Hanging

Author : Jay Knioum The buildings so tightly packed that the roofs became a city unto themselves, new roofs erected from detritus hauled up from the streets below, built by human versions of same. Old rooftop was floor space now, shingled and tar-papered carpet…

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My Moon

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer I used to be a very technical person. People can get to a level of reliance on their stealth tech that can end in their death. Like the wide-eyed 20-year-old quivering around the shaft of my spear. Her camsuit flickers like a…

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Consider This

Author : Brandon Crilly I finished chewing a bite of deep-fried haddock – my fourth such meal of the week – and said, “I beg your pardon?” Across the table, my teacher-turned-colleague and very good friend stared at me over his glass of stout. He savored his next sip…

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An Epitaph from the Expanse

Author : David Botticello “…Ma’am?” Major Vorwith questioned. “…Ma’am?” “Yes Major,” intoned his captain, her voice betraying the long night behind them. “We’re receiving a message. No author identification. It’s coming across all frequencies, and in over 12,000…

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Dedicated

Author : Chinmaya Dabral “We must use The Weapon. I see no alternative.” Most other Council members nodded in unison, but Salah seemed surprised. Hesitant, she finally spoke. “You mean a Torkh? Do we even have those now?” Hohn looked at her. “You are new, aren’t you?…

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Nothing

Author : Larry Hinkle The ship had brought her out of stasis three hours ago, which meant the A.I. had finally found something worth checking out. Nothing could override its programming. Vanessa checked the log and found she’d been in cryo-sleep for almost 87 years,…

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Permission

Author : Craig Finlay Stella was watching the blue plastic ice cube fall from her hand to the glass at quarter-G, about 2.25 meters per second. D-deck in the outer rings had the most gravity. And the emergency hatches on d-deck, recessed a further 5 feet out, actually…

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The Editor

Author : Philip Ryburn “600 words?! I’m expected to create an entire universe, complete with believable characters that the reader can relate to and care about in a mere 600 words? Are you outta your ever-lovin’ mind?”, Christina Hoffman was exasperated. Clearly, this…

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Such a Small Mistake

Author : Elijah Goering Henry Jockt listened to the low hiss of life support as the last of the oxygen was used up. He tried to force himself to run over the possibilities once again, to hold on to hope for some miraculous rescue, but his despair resisted his best…

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Handicapped

Author : James Anderson They called us handicapped. Our bodies didn’t develop the way other people’s did. We were weaker than them, we tired more easily. Some of us thought it was God, others just thought it was genetics. We didn’t know we were being prepared. Decades…

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Causal Loop

Author : Beck Dacus September 17th, 2366 was the day that humanity used a massive particle accelerator to try and make another universe. Arnold Fisby looked out at the small section of the accelerator he could see, granted that it had the diameter of the Solar System….

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Spirit and Opportunity

Author : David Wright Spirit woke to “Turn Turn Turn” by the Byrds. She did not know what the music meant; only that it was the code for her activation. “I am ready, Opportunity,” she said eagerly. “I am ready. I am ready. I am ready.” “Acknowledged. Shut up and wait…

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Star-shaped Star

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer The pendant dances slowly in the air currents, attached to one of the safety release handles on the top wall of the cockpit or what groundfolk would call a ‘ceiling’. It was given to me by my daughter before liftoff. She was four…

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