Evergreen

Author: Ian Hill We came to the dead planet, left our vessel in orbit, and used an old mining lighter to reach the surface. The gray, withered husk of a world was even bleaker than it looked from above. It was a dry place, all wind-scoured and slaggy, porous, rolling—or ...

Transmissions

Author: Suzanne Borchers *This is Romey, Outpost 324, District 19, Outerlands. #Homebase here. Go ahead, Romey. *Thank the Stars! I’ve been transmitting for weeks with no answer. #Homebase here. Go ahead, Romey. *Catastrophe! #Standard procedures must be followed. What ...

Double Date

Author: Thomas Tilton Their date had gone fabulously well, which was why Simon was so depressed. Invariably, dates ended badly for him. Par for the course when you had a softball-sized parasite attached to your left flank. “I should go,” Simon said, poised to leave Alice ...

Hell’s Cells

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer The Prisoner Lucian Lockley is in a cell on the moon. He lays on the stainless steel bench and his eyes take leave and run up the side of his cage. The walls seem to angle inward. Elongating in his mind until they all but touch at a ...

Belonging

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer Another flawless afternoon. “Spin for me.” I smile and cut a perfect seven-twenty, poised on one heel, arms spread to imitate the mantling of an eagle. As I come to a stop, I let a flash of dragon wings spread down from my outstretched ...

The Iron Room

Author: Ian Hill We showed each other our wounds in the iron room. I saw the soft sump of skin on her head where part of her skull had cratered, and she peered at the fused and welded tendons that twisted the back of my leg. I felt her erratic heartbeat, and she counted ...

The Birthday

Author: Bart Williams Jeremy awoke to see Karen hovering over him. She covered him with kisses until he was aroused and then they made vigorous love. “Good morning, birthday boy,” she said. Jeremy looked up at Karen’s perfect face, hair and skin. He never tired of her. ...

Purefold

Author: Ian Hill Maisie swept through the workshop, skipping from bench to shelf and beaming at everything. As she went, the loose sleeves of her shoulder-draped coat knocked over little bottles of gears and springs. Her astrakhan lapels gathered ceiling-sifted motes, and ...

Captain

Author: Suzanne Borchers Her fingers fumbled with the fasteners on the uniform. She breathed out harshly and shook her left hand. Trying again to manipulate the loop, she cursed under her breath so that her crew wouldn’t hear the unprofessional words. They were at war, ...

A Good Arm

Author: Moriah Geer-Hardwick It was a good arm. You’re cognitive its loss will have negative effects. Absently, you work the fingers on your remaining appendage, one after the other. You seem to control a decent amount of movement and function. You ignore the barrage of ...

Adam

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer The angel sits at the end of the Pope’s bed and toys with an errant strand of gold thread. Running it between thumb and finger, a residue flicker; a remnant of the mass shunt of energy that had pulled him here from across the universe, ...

My Sweet Death

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer The airlock used to be palatial. Now the four-metre walls are coated with sickly golden crud: the exudations of a million desperados. The bouncer is vaguely human. He waves at us: “Leave your weapons here.” Pointing to an upturned crate ...

The Foreigner

Author: Olabisi Bello I feel it in my heart before anywhere else. The painful shock that leaves my body reeling with pain, that makes my every nerve wish for relief, and that makes me wonder how I am still alive. It only lasts for a second but I never stop hurting. “Take ...

Burst Your Bubble

Author: David C. Nutt “So, how many today?” “Ummmmm, six. No. Seven.” “Seven? Dude, that’s gotta be a record.” “Nah. I did twelve in one day last quarter. It’s easy. Find their operational metaphor, login into their universe, use the behavior health override, eject them ...

The Stars Looked Forth

Author: Alzo David-West Distant stars blinked over Buguma island in the lower southern delta of West Africa. Sea waves turned, crickets droned, and guinea fowl warbled. I was on a forest path, walking to my village, looking over my shoulder, for I could hear something ...

Lamb

Author: Suzanne Borchers I’m one of three applying for the position of Assistant to the Chairman. Why me? My parents placed my application to the Great One. Mother’s favorite story is about my birth. Daddy laughed, hugged me close to his chest, and called me his little ...

What Happens Next

Author: David Barber Nova Education was paying Jacee Egan a pittance to interview famous scientists. Nova hoped the links would make their failing on-line physics course less dull. It’s not about the science, they insisted. Give it a human face. Nobel-winner Darius ...

The Walled City

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer The little girl clutches into her blankets and runs her cheek over the ancient concrete veins that etch into the great wall at her side. “I love the wall. It is strong and tall and beautiful and long, isn’t it Dad?”, she says, thinking ...

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