Good Work

Author : cchatfield I didn’t want to show up to work today. By the time my crew arrived for the usual day of loading and unloading, packing and unpacking, signing and releasing, I’d rehearsed a little speech about the importance of keeping our jobs. “This is a time of crisis and ...

Plant Life

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer Frouda Jeffries touched down on the soil of Binauer 4, smart boots neutralizing any toxins and spreading defoliant footsteps as she walked up to the leader of the plants. ‘His’ name was a gust of pheromones. They just called him Windy. Giant, ...

Acceptance

Author : Suzanne Borchers Arnold, a four-foot bot, assists an elderly woman by holding her drink in one hand and supporting her upright with the other. He had been superseded so many times that today his job is tending the grannies and granddads at Ever Pleasant Retirement Home. ...

Perimeter

Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer The night is slashed with beams of white light and the sky is spotted with technicolour detonations. “Who does that? I ask you. Who does that?” I don’t know how Mitchell can talk and run at this speed. I shrug in reply and keep going. We ...

The Year Rounders

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer A stadium-sized vehicle crawled along on massive tracks to my right. I hadn’t been awarded a sleep cycle for ninety-eight kilometres and was well overdue when the klaxon finally sounded. Not slowing my pace an iota I looked up and saw a half-dozen ...

Take Me Dancing

Author : Brent Benton Marsha leaned back and surveyed the sky from the park bench. “Johnny, will you take me dancing?” “Dancing? Marsha, how can you talk about dancing when things have gone to hell? They force us to sleep outside and barely feed us, and you talk about dancing? ...

Inexplicable Reflector

Author : Jay Haytch Did they teach you in school why the Soviet Union broke up? The story everyone 'knew' was of internal strife and bureaucratic inefficiency, but really it was Space Science. In 1986 we discovered a... 'thing,' which stellar parallax put about 107 light-years away. ...

Refugees From The Singularity

Author : Bob Newbell "Well, Sammy, they're all heading out." Sammy, the brown tabby cat sitting on my lap, is unconcerned by the slowly enlarging starburst on the holodisplay. Spacecraft tracks. Almost all outbound. Heading away from the dot at the center. Earth. Sammy's ears perk up ...

Carroway

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer I’m 43. A year on Carroway is fifty-six earth years long. Its long, lazy, almost-circular orbit kept it temperate for that whole time but the ecosystem had evolved to create 126 distinct ‘seasons’. I’d read of Earth’s four seasons of summer, ...

A Strange Thing About Portals

Author : P. Djeli Clark An extra-dimensional portal has opened up in my grocer's freezer. Not a giant portal, that might send out shaggy mammoth blue beetles with a thousand legs--like what happened to poor Doyle McDonald out at the granary (no one's still quite certain where that ...

Sleeper

Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer “Ten o’clock. Eight o’ clock. Nine. Left. Four. Tang dynasty.” The wavelength goes to static and I roll off the bed, lean back to kiss Tamara, then carry my clothes out of the bedroom and dress in the lounge. My daughter, Sarah, is a light ...

The Archivist

Author : Roger Dale Trexler “It’s amazing,” Hennrich Gould said. He shook his head in disbelief. “A pristine live recording of Robert Johnson….and with songs that have never been released! Where’d you find it?” James Robinson smiled. He reached forward and clicked off the iPod on ...

True Love

Author : Lesley Carhart I want a divorce. I might say it, but as usual, the only sound is the crisp autumn leaves scattering across the gravestones. I glance over to Stephen across the frost-singed grass, and I know he's thinking the same thing. On these cold days, we've both ...

The Planet

Author : Richard D. Deverell We all knew the story. Every child my age had grown up with it. Though the governmental space agencies had long since faded into obscurity and private companies began the exploration and plunder of the solar system, the governments continued long-range ...

A Cello For Amadeus

Author : Damian Knoll The doorbell rang. “Welcome to the Emporium,” I shouted over my shoulder. Before the door closed, a gust of bone-splitting December wind sneaked inside and coiled around my ankles. I quickly shoved the stack of old vinyls aside and laid the refurbished ...

Mayhem

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer I found Gaze at the Drake right where I expected him to be; in the furthest corner from the entrance in a booth which no doubt had the cleanest sight-lines in the club. Between the wire-head and I lounged a crowd of slack-jawed men and ...

Buoy

Author : Roger Dale Trexler We dropped out of warp near the wreckage. Navigator Needham did a fine job and I intended to recommend him for a commendation—if we came back from the assignment. I walked to the view screen and looked out. Ahead of us, less than a parsec away, I saw ...

Drawing Hands

Author : Aaron Koelker The Mind was thrown into turmoil the day we created our creators. Some saw it as a Babel-esque misstep. Others thought it was akin to slitting our own lines and oiling out. All saw it leading to ruin. The Boy was called just that. Grown in a tank ...

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