Yang Paints the Clouds

Author: Peter Fossey Ria is eating one of those flaky pastries with almond paste in, so my coffee tastes like I’ve snuck in a shot of Amaretto, and that makes her laugh. Or one of us, anyway. It was hard to get to know people, for a while. Meeting face-to-face became…

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The Transition

Author: Mark Renney The hardest part for me was the departure, turning from the body, walking away from my earthly remains. I lingered knowing it was dangerous to do so. I couldn’t stay there, in that room. I stepped backward and gazed down at the body slumped on the…

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Chains

Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer The viewing room is hushed as we approach the co-ordinates. Every being not on duty has gathered. For some, it’s a rite of passage. For others, a renewal of faith. “Exiting shiftspace in three, two, one.” Conventional space and time…

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Self Checkout

Author: T. Thornton Gray It’s called no man’s land. That space between the entry doors and the actual store. The sensor zone one must pass through to get in and out. I can see the drone docks overhead and the red blinking eyes of the Taser firing drones where they…

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The Golden Arches

Author: Ken Carlson “Good morning! Welcome to McDonald’s” It was just after 11. The young brunette, Britney, was still going strong. She’d been on counter duty since 6, the friendly gal with cat eye glasses. There was the early rush, the gaggle of seniors, a few…

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The Trial of the Triklorian

Author: David Henson Captain Stanton’s attorney calls him to the stand. I know the blurry figure is indeed the captain, but it’s my job to prove he’s a murdering imposter, a Triklorian. Earth opened its arms to Triklorian refugees after we over-mined their planet and…

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To Soar Like Rockets

Author: Andrew Dunn Ehsan squinted through thick lenses, aged fingers working the tiniest pliers and scissors he had to complete his masterpiece. One by one he weaved threads, each no thicker than the grey on his head, to create rigging every bit as elaborate as that…

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Conoptinium

Author: Subhravanu Das Everyone mines for Conoptinium. I don’t mine. My tongue is phosphorescent; it can fill any room with light. If I were to open my mouth inside a mine, my tongue would fill the mine with light. But this is one ship that can never be launched,…

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Reliable Courier

Author: Russell Bert Waters “I’m a reliable courier,” she whispers to herself while entering the lobby. After the Great Purging, the remaining Humans had been allowed to live, provided they remained useful to the Galactic Council. Trade was the most important function…

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Epic Humanity Failure

Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer “Looks like it used to be a nice destination.” “It was. Had forests in more shades of green than you’d believe possible.” “The usual problems?” “Yes and no.” “Do tell. We’re here until we finish checking the place. Got to make sure…

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Anthropophagi Fame Memoriam

Author: Michael Anthony Dioguardi He who hungers for the past is bound to destroy the future. A whole generation of humans has been given the opportunity to time travel with no impact on the continuum. Any moment in history can now be watched as if you were sitting…

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Ugly

Author: G. Allen Wilbanks “Mama, why is that man so ugly?” “Hush, child,” the mother chastised her son. “That is rude, and quite a mean thing to say.” “But Mama,” the boy protested. “That man is a hero!” the woman proclaimed, loudly enough that if the man had heard…

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Will-o’-the-Wisp

Author: Beck Dacus Morris’s gun bobbed as he walked, a glint of moonlight catching his eye with each step. His progress was slow; leaves, sticks, and stones crunched under his feet, sucking the energy from his stride. He dared not use a flashlight this far from camp—…

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Notes for Leaving Earth

Author: Dr. Ross Clare The craft is the size of a small country, a monument to the colossal space-missiles of classic science fiction. The humans aboard hope that, as was always the case with those rockets of the imagination, this ship will achieve the impossible and…

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Lie Club

Author: Glenn Leung Veritum was founded before Earth went dark and like other human colonies, formed its own ideas on how society should function. Absolute truth was central to Veritumian life. It only took a few philosophers to take in-person interactions out of…

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ANTI-BAD

Author: Mark Renney I once had the Anti-Bad. A petty criminal, a repeat offender I was deemed suitable. Someone who couldn’t help but help himself. They made me an offer and I didn’t refuse. The prospect of prison, of another chunk of my life diced and cubed behind…

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Remembering Us

Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer When you were Josie and I was Serena, not J0513 and 53R3N4: silly affectations to make us ‘more robotic’. Back then you had hazel eyes and brownish-red hair. Now you’ve got blue optics and dreadlocks made from braided string. I’m still…

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Slowboat

Author: David Barber “What you mean, we can’t land?” The Captain looked about, bewildered. The flatscreens and yellowing presskeys of the Pilgrim’s bridge were from a bygone age. People stepped forward one at a time, shy, yet proud of their empty titles. Shaking hands…

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