The Breadhead Boys

Author: Thomas Desrochers This mess I’m in, it’s kinda my fault. You see, I was hanging down at Louie’s, yackin’ with the other breadheads in the back room, and Mack comes in with this smirk like he’s scored big. I asked him what the deal was and he took me aside and…

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The Souvenir

Author: Hillary Lyon Micah stood up straight, pushed back his hat and flashed his brightest smile at the tourist taking his picture. They always placed their family members on either side of him and made sure they got the heavily forested mountains in the background….

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Leaving Behind the Bright Lights

Author: E.M. McCarthy I shop here. There are better places to stop and shop, better prices, better inventory, but this place reminds me of the good old days, and they replicated the look of the old stores pretty well too. Same bright lights, same late hours, same rows…

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Delphine

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer The Major can taste the sweat as he walks through the brothel. He likes it and he rolls it in and sucks it beneath his tongue. The door at the end of the corridor is open and a slue of framed photographs and bunched flower offerings…

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Black Rainbow

Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer I always remember the secret my great-grandfather told me: “Absinthe was never to blame, my dear. It’s what was added to the absinthe that caused problems. By accident or design, adulteration led to unexpected side effects.” There’s a…

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Dodgy Homebrew Love

Author: Thomas Desrochers The most popular topic of all was always Love. That was how neuro-sims came to the forefront of entertainment, you know. Plug in and a skilled corporate smartiste can have you feeling all that nervous giddiness your stomach borrows from your…

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Q&(A?)

Author: Alex Z. Salinas There was once a creature much like a man who lived on a planet all alone. He was carbon-based, drank water, and received nutrients from luscious plant life born from fertile soil. Because the creature was always left to his thoughts, and…

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A Man and Three Brothers

Author: Mark Joseph Kevlock A man and three brothers knew the secrets of the world. Thus, they began a quest to unlearn them. They sought a place to pour out their secrets, where none would ever find them. They found a cave that ran deep and walked down its throat for…

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Two’s A Crowd

Author: Thomas Desrochers Effedel and Ifrit found each other in the subspace E-bands while they were still more than five thousand light-years apart. Both were on sponsored three-decade survey flights finding out just what exactly their sponsors had laid claim to, a…

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Customer Service

Author: Ken Carlson “Where did you find this one?” “Does it matter?” “No, I suppose it doesn’t.” “Then stop asking!” Norris kept his mouth shut. What was the point now? He and Sheila decided this was the path to follow. That was that. Norris and Sheila stripped the…

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Aroha

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer An escape pod drifts. Radioactive crystals cling as hair to its skin and a man’s voice pleads out and into the void. A voice where an automated signal would suffice. Futility borne of desperation. “… fuck. Shit. Fuck” “You’ve…

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Seventeen Moons ’til Doomsday

Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer The young man is wearing a vantablack bodysuit that leaves only his face discernible. Matching cloak, gloves and boots are stacked next to the log he sits on. A sensor-laden facemask lies in his hand as he starts speaking. “You wanted…

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The Coordinates in Time

Author: Alzo David-West Contrary to the anticipations of the ancients, the problem had not been solved after eighteen-thousand years. It was still impossible for a bioform to travel far forward into and back from distant time. Observer Jon-Rey contemplated as he…

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One-hundred-ten Percent

Author: Richard M. O’Donnell, Sr. The toddler unclipped his seatbelt and floated away, gurgling and laughing as he drifted toward the… The what, Lady Maggie Durante wondered. There was no ceiling in the Vista–View space lounge. Just a sphere of glass and a grand view…

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Hypocritical Oath

Author: Ken Carlson The pain in his side was a steady series of jabs. Alone it wasn’t enough to knock him down; no, the bill from the hospital was good for that. Six months of security work on this mining colony might just cover it if Murphy didn’t worry about food or…

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Journey to the Center of the Bureaucracy

Author: Thomas Desrochers Basil had never imagined he’d be a bureaucrat, but The Tower housed eighty million bureaucrats servicing a legal machine a thousand years in the making – it was inevitable. His job was simple: audit the legal codex. An automated program could…

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Eyedentity Theft

Author: David Henson I go to the woman at the check-in of the Identity Bureau and touch the space where my right eye used to be. “I’m Roger Sanders and —” “Look at the scanner to verify.” I clear my throat and swirl my finger around in my empty eye socket. The woman…

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The Red Lion

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer The man awakens and he is sitting in a tavern. His fingers trace the time beaten patina of the hard wood upon which he rests and his eyes trace the exposed beams that dance and flicker at the ceiling. The woman who sits across from…

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