Perchance

Author : Leslie Bohem Kevin, in his early thirties, upwardly mobile, does not look like he belongs in this dank alley. He started coming down about six months ago. At first, maybe once every couple of weeks, then once a week, then every couple of days. Now, he comes every day. He ...

AutoKnowMe

Author : Kevlin Henney Not sure what to do now. No, that's not true. I know precisely what to do, but I don't really feel like doing it. Sense of awareness is, as always, the first thing to come online. >>> Initializing sense of awareness... Done It's at that point you become, well, ...

Returns Policy

Author : Rosalie Kempthorne The creature was hideous. It was lopsided for one thing, and where its left arm should be there was only a stump. To say nothing of the slimy green tentacles that hung off its shoulder where a right arm was meant to go. Its misshapen face had one good – ...

Empire

Author : Bob Newbell "Your hot coffee, sir," says the Inteeri waiter as he places the beverage on the table in front of me. "Thanks. Here's--" The short alien that looks vaguely like an anthropomorphic armadillo shuffles away before I can offer him a tip. At no time while serving me ...

I Am Battalion

Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer The terrain is ideal for them, and they will take every advantage of the variegated cover: tiered platforms that scatter this little roomscape. Plus they have the advantage of looking like the indigenes. It is a good thing that I was tasked to ...

The Irony of Science

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer Time. I joked once with her that it was simply the thing that stopped everything from happening at once. When she asked me for space I laughed, and said "Of course you can have space, if you didn't, everything would be happening right ...

The Sentinel

Author : Roger Dale Trexler THE SENTINEL They found it. They found the edge of the universe. And they found the sentinel there. EARLIER Harrison knew this was it. Beyond, there were no stars, just utter blackness. “My God,” he said. “I didn’t think we’d ever find it.” Ramsey ...

Skimmers and Soap Bubbles

Author : Alicia Cole "Watch out for that kid!" Tanya swerves, kicking the drive gear into second. Our hover skimmer chugs left, close cropping a row of season's end corn. She nudges the engine to a full stop and settles in the field. Trash spills out of the can the kid was ...

Stepping Stones

Author : Bob Newbell It's rotating. It doesn't look like it, but instruments show that it is. Right now it takes around 24 hours to complete one rotation. Since it's just over two miles in diameter at its center, the amount of centrifugal "gravity" being generated right now is ...

The Hero of Time

Author : Glenn Leung He was the Hero of time, that was all we knew. For millenia, long before he was born and long after he had died, he had been saving the world. An alien invasion two hundred years in the future, a genocidal plague three hundred years in the past, had all been ...

Diplomacy

Author : Bob Newbell "Please be careful getting up, Mr. Turner," says the tinny, sing-song voice of the robotic surgeon. "Some dizziness and disorientation are to be expected." Other medical automata extend thin mechanical arms to help me to my feet. I still can't believe I went ...

Orbit

Author : William Tham I screamed. Green spots of oxidation on silver-lined instruments. The porthole encased in fire, through which I vaguely saw the curvature of the earth, the Scandinavian peninsula hurtling below me, followed swiftly by the frozen wastes of the North Pole under ...

Hard Day's Night

Author : Suzanne Borchers “Good evening, Susan.” The desktop robot’s eye blinked as the gender-neutral voice greeted her. Susan had arrived home from an 18 hour shift of nursing casualties at the local pub/hospital. She slammed the front door behind her. “I have to remain cheerful, ...

Polystars

Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer “Why are we all the way out here? If we had taken the Rigel mission, I could have been home for mid-winter revel.” Chapni sighed. That was the problem with the Urulaunk; they had this thing about partying. Preferably with as many like-minded ...

Shedding

Author : Kieron Walquist As of this moment, I am a ten-year-old Eskimo, lying on the beach in the frigid rain, stone-cold and lifeless. However, that could all change in an instant. My father, for now, is a humpback whale, circling the shallow waters that lap upon the shore, crying ...

Cows

Author : Gary Will Kreie "Hi, Dusty." "Howdy, Richard." "How's the cattle business, Dusty?" "Business is good, Richard." "Have you been riding the fences?" "We don't use fences anymore, Richard. Open range now." "How do you keep your cows from wandering off, Dusty?" "Moogle ...

Preload

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer Thirtyseven sat on the edge of his bed, kicked off his shoes and fell heavily into his pillow, not bothering to peel off the white coveralls he normally couldn't wait to get out of. He was exhausted. He lay staring at the ceiling, the last ...

Promises to A Future Self

Author : Thomas Desrochers Jean steps out onto his sunlit balcony and sits down at the glass table. He sweeps the surface off with his hand and then lays down a piece of creamy stationery. Pen in hand, he begins to write: [Anna,] He pauses, glances down into the street. There's a ...

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