The Vote

Author : John Tudball A chorus of personalised beeps and buzzing erupts from our laps and in record time we’re tapping on our Panels to see if this is the one, if this is the vote we’ve been waiting for. A chorus of groans, Pete swears at his screen. It’s not. “What…

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The First Warp Drive

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer The ship shook violently as it unexpectedly dropped out or warp. The captain was thrown to the deck where he could feel the tell-tale vibrations of explosions occurring somewhere on the ship. He climbed to his feet and activated…

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The Mutation Parlor

Author : Jeremy Koch Sasha lay on a rust-flecked chrome slab under the rewriter’s dim green light, wincing slightly every few seconds as the self-service amputator locked into place. It slid a sequential series of nine hollow spikes, each six centimeters long, easily…

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Final Exam

Author : Ian Eller At Gemin’s command, “Begin,” Arwa activated her station along with the rest of the students. The lab, spacious and white, was bathed in intense light from a dozen moments of creation. Arwa sacrificed a brief moment to look up from her work station….

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Fly Trap

Author : Brian Varcas OK, time to get going again. I mean, what else is there to do but try to get back to the ship? I can see it only a hundred yards away. It shouldn’t take more than another couple of hours to reach it. If only we’d known before we landed that this…

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Biding

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer The conversation had started in the lab, but while I could work there, I never was at home with my thoughts in that space. I suppose that’s how we came to be in the study. I took a scotch, neat. He declined. “You can’t honestly be…

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Anthropic

Author : Ian Rennie The sky is bright, not noonday bright but rather like the flickering of old fluorescent tubes. You can make out clouds against the light, a sort of dirty grey, but nothing beyond them. No stars any more. Everyone’s panicking, and I’m not sure why…

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Seeding

Author : John Wallace The subtle, pulsing “bing” alert of an unread MindMessage — MM for short — punctuated the Jazz-Trance track she was listening to through her MindTunes channel stream. She switched to the chatView window on her interface, minimizing the music to…

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The Things Between Us

Author : Jason Frank This is how it ends. I turn the corner with coffees for us and everything, everything, is on the front yard. I don’t know how she did it (I wasn’t gone long) or how she did it (I thought she loved me). My eyes race over it all and stop at the…

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Traveler

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer He reeled out of the stinking alley into me. He was nearly eight feet tall and looked too skinny to stand. His hair was several different colours but as I looked at it more closely, it appeared to be made of metal. It sparked just…

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The Wrong Question

Author : Jordan Whicker We’d been asking the wrong question all along. It was first posed by some fringe intellectuals: “Do they feel pain?” Initial research showed that yes, stimuli that might be regarded as ‘painful’ would invoke any number of reactions that could…

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The Anomaly

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer Lieutenant Robinson studied the sensor readings. The Captain stood behind him, patiently waiting for his science officer’s technical assessment. “It’s clearly artificial, sir,” Robinson finally said. “Although its surface…

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Send in the Clowns

Author : Roi R. Czechvala, Staff Writer They had been walking for weeks. They could easily pick their destination at night, or rather avoid a destination from the bluish glow low on the horizon that signalled a radioactive crater where a city once lived. They were…

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Where, When and Why?

Author : David Bastin “Why,” asked the Captain, “have the engines all stopped?” The Chief Engineer grinned. “You never were a man to ask an easy question?” he said. The Captain raised his hand and repeated himself. “Why, he asked, “have the engines all stopped?” The…

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Incarnate

Author : Ian Rennie It was the last day of the forty third reign of the Enduring Prophet, and all was right with the world. The prophet was now bed-bound, and it was widely expected that soon his spirit would leave behind this mortal form, and appear incarnate in his…

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Someday

Author : Erik Goranson Jane and Ellis floated parallel to one another across the vast canvas of space, eyeing the marble-like planets that slowly crept past them. Their skin reflected the starlight with a dull orange sheen. Ellis had called it ‘planet gazing,’ an…

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Blue Beams

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer Anyone or anything that enters the blue beams are sucked up into the ships and never seen or heard from again. The ships populated the sky in one rush of deceleration all around the world. The night side of the planet suddenly…

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Who’s life is it anyway?

Author : Brian Varcas It takes two to tango, so the old saying goes. Nathanial Rogers was doing just fine alone, thanks to the wonderful people at LifeChange Inc. who’s strapline was, “Who will you be today?” Lifesharing™ technology, the company said, was a natural,…

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