The Ballad of Jack

Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer Jack came down from Elevator Town with a tale to tell and a song to sing. He sung it good and told it fast, but we didn’t believe him. Who would? What could make a man flee from Orbitopia to come and grub in the dirt with us who didn’t pass the ...

Bulletproof–A Love Story

Author : Gray Blix, Featured Writer [ bio ] Richard walks the dark streets of the worst part of town, a noir figure in a fedora and trench coat, his eyes casting about for shadows that move, his ears ...

Outsider

Author : Rick Tobin “Two percent remaining. Warning.” A calm woman’s voice filled his helmet. Night jasmine. There was that cloying odor. A cup of sugar poured into the nose. Drawing and repulsing. She wore it on their first date. Her ring remained, partially scorched in his ...

The Hero

Author : R Patrick Widner The signal light above the airlock door glowed red. Tense seconds passed. The atmosphere in the chamber equalized. Finally the interior doors slid open and the rescue team hustled in carrying an improvised battle stretcher. The soldier being carried ...

Discovery

Author : Stephanie L. Dunn Sol System: 4509 CE “Final log: Every planet has people on it, most of the moons as well, hundreds of sovereign city stations scattered like a game of marbles between Venus and The Kuiper belt and a few brave colonies even further out. Twenty Billion people ...

Time EMT

Author : Ron Riekki “A Curious Knot God made” --Edward Taylor We got the call for a girl hit by a drone. My partner drove. He hates patients, so he prefers to be behind the console. He leaves me in back to treat the patients. Although there’s not really much we have to ...

Sculptures Of Solitude

Author : Roger Dale Trexler They answered the distress beacon but what they found was unexpected. The planet was far off the beaten path, and it was sheer luck that they received the transmission at all. Still, it was a requirement of the Space Guild that all distress calls be ...

The Final Patient

Author : Sean Kavanagh “Save me, save yourself,” the old man muttered, as he did every morning. There was nothing kindly in the sick old man’s words, and the nurse shuddered to hear them or to touch him. Behind her stood a phalanx of three doctors, all looked weary. They were ...

Lunch Break

Author : Rick Tobin “Let’s fly to Oberon for fresh grub. Old Billy’s is good. That crusty Aborigine’s got odd ancient cuisine that’ll sharpen our palates. Maybe invite Ciers over. Missed him lately.” Jensen Elbat corrected the freighter’s navigation towards Uranus, a sharp turn ...

Just visiting

Author : Piotr Swietlik ‘I told you we shouldn’t have...’ says Hun-Hunapu as the executioner slowly approaches. ‘Oh don’t be a wuss. You’ve seen the time progression’ replies Vucub Hunapu narrowing yellow eyes, identical to his twin brother’s. ‘We’ll get reincarnated and it will be us ...

Aliens

Author : Suzanne Borchers I am programmed to destroy the invaders’ outpost by pushing a hidden button on my exoscreen that is surrounded by artificial hair. While probing the captured alien’s centralized core, my masters discovered the invaders seem to trust a particular creature. I ...

Troll Hunting

Author : Lee S. Hawke Cxx61 stares down at the knife embedded hilt-deep in his chest. It’s so cold. Without thinking, he takes a breath, then stutter-shrieks in pain as his muscles shift and contract around the blade, shredding himself from within. He has no measure for how much this ...

White Sol

Author : Roger Dale Trexler They gathered, all of those interested in watching, at a position twice the distance Pluto was from the sun. Onboard the maiden ship, Corosin, Trya watched intently. “It’ll happen soon,” Gavin said. He smiled, revealing a perfect row of teeth. Long ...

Java

Author : Bob Newbell I handed the teenager her milk and syrup laden drink and went back to the cash register. Just then, a Yedla walked into the coffee shop. He was a good seven feet tall and had a row of sharp teeth in his two mandibles. The other patrons in the shop fell silent. As ...

Blue Jumpers

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer They call them Blue Jumpers. I've also heard them referred to as the Kangaroos. It's a space version of the Screaming Meemies or the Heebie Jeebies except that it happens in low gravity atmospheres. You get carried away with how high you can jump ...

Leer

Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer The Gynler are a race that specialises in winning wars by slow, psychological means. They pride themselves on not having had to use a weapon of war in over a century. When it came to conquering Earth, they spent a long time in planning their ...

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, covering her ...

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 that they’re ...

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