Assured Destruction

Author: Alastair Millar Brad was at his workstation when his supposedly locked office door dilated unexpectedly, and a casually dressed young woman stepped through; he looked up in annoyance. “Well?” “Doctor Mendelsson?” “Yes. You’re not one of my students. Who are ...

Clarity

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer My peers are very fond of saying how they ‘were fortunate’ or ‘spotted an opportunity’. The more honest have momentary shadows in their eyes when they say it. The raw truth is that to accumulate this much wealth, we’ve taken opportunities, ...

Hopes and Fears from a Norma Jean

Author: Jenny Abbott The Bob Hope in the next act is slipping, and I can hear him breaking down a little more every night through the wall. These places off the turnpike aren’t exactly five-star gigs, but you take what you can get—a career in combat leaves you long on ...

Static

Author: Cheri Vazquez It was 1978 and I was on my way to a job interview at the most exclusive fine dining restaurant in New City. I’d coifed my hair into ...

Going For A Song

Author: David Barber "You’re not old enough to remember Patty Blue, the singer," the salesman said. He still wore his hair in a spacer crop, though he hadn’t been out in the dark for years. "Spacers broadcast her songs when coms traffic was slow and that voice would ...

An Exercise in Empathy

Author: Sean Nelson Taylor “Christ, these Danishes are hard as rocks!” Damien’s heart rate jumped. The lab assistants were chatting as they returned from their coffee break, ready to begin the afternoon session. Strapped down to a cold metal seat, he was ...

The Microwave

Author: Aubrey Williams “Look, we understand that this is a strange request, Mr. Human… but we repeat again: our planet’s security… even galactic security, may depend on us acquiring one of these devices. Please, we implore you— surrender your microwave to us!” So spoke ...

Nice Guys

Author: Majoki Francis was helping the elderly lady cross a busy street when the call came. He waited until she’d thanked him with a little pat on the arm and entered the drugstore even though the shelves were almost bare. His phone was still buzzing. Oscar. He ...

Big Score

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer Nine at night and residential roads are empty. Everybody is safe inside, either working or enjoying approved leisure activities. Meanwhile, on the intercity hyperways, traffic provides cover for duels between the dishonest and the ...

Still There

Author: Aubrey Williams I’ve been trying to figure things out. For no reason, I found myself on the side of a lonely road somewhere. I felt like I’d been asleep for too long on a hot day, and couldn’t quite remember what I was doing. It was quiet, with only the sound of ...

Mik-taa’s Map

Author: Hillary Lyon “Watcha got there?” Mik-taa’s co-pilot asked, watching her unfold a large map on a table in the ship’s galley. “It’s a map,” she replied, not looking up. “No duh,” Bix scoffed. “Even I recognize old tech maps like that. Whatcha looking for? Going ...

Man’s Best Friend?

Author: David Dumouriez Rex sleeps a lot more than they do. Well, that’s not so difficult: they don’t sleep! Instead they put themselves on standby, which complicates matters for Rex when he wakes up. Sadly, whatever he does, he can’t make them hear him as he lacks the ...

The Nightmare

Author: Emily Kinsey A high-pitched scream tore into the night air, and Jules, leaning against the battered frame leading into her little brother’s room, uncrossed her arms and reflexively placed her hands over her ears. “Mom, can’t you get him to shut up?” Jules asked. ...

Small Things

Author: Majoki Thor got thunder. Prometheus got fire. Shiva got a laser eye. Me? I got a measly quark. Smallest thing in the universe. Two and a half trillion times smaller than a grain of sand. What’s a god supposed to do with that? Make the masses tremble and ...

Nowhere Planet

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer Nineteen hundred tomorrows, and of them, only I got to see a dawn. The world below is still burning in places: unfortunate for the natives that their home arrived at the same strategically important position as the main battle fleets of ...

Bitter Dreams

Author: Frances Koziar I had only paid for an hour of the tech, and when the end came, I wasn’t ready for it. I had a visor over my eyes, muffs on my ears, finger-control gloves on my hands, and a sensory top suit, but I didn’t feel any of it. I had gone off the beaten ...

The World Within

Author: Maudie Bryant Cool water wraps around me, my skin dappled by the summer sun through the rippling surface. Laughter echoes down the shore where friends splash without care. I push back a loose strand of hair, and catch a flash of what looks like glitter clinging to ...

Go Fish

Author: C.R. Kiegle My memories go back only three months, but I know I am older than that. Much older. I can feel it in the grit and the grinding sounds as I move, gears gone years without servicing. There’s not much time to think about how old my bones may be, however. ...

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