She Hunts

Author : Helstrom They call her “The Flying Dutchman”. Don’t ask me what a Dutchman is, or whether or not it is supposed to fly – it’s apparently taken from one of old Earth’s folk tales. It doesn’t really matter, but I suppose every ship needs a name. The Flying…

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The Birds and the Bees

Author : Roi R. Czechvala “…but I think,” it said “No, you process.” “I dream,” it replied. “You analyze.” “Cogito ergo sum,” it asked hopefully. “No, Cogito, ergo SUM.” The overworked engineer’s voice was strained. His patience was wearing thin. He thought of his…

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The Black Star

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer The attack cruiser Etherwolf docked at the Alliance Refueling Station orbiting Vesta, the second largest planetoid in the asteroid belt. Captain Olbers disembarked the Etherwolf and was greeted by the Station Commander. Sarah…

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Coconut Milk

Author : David Dykes Geoff said to Alice, ‘I like how you smell. It reminds me of Bounty bars.’ With a slow realisation, she noticed that the sounds bouncing off the work office walls were speech; then, as they entered her ears and travelled to her temporal lobes, she…

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The First Hunt

Author : Benjamin Fischer “How do I feel about this?” Tavare said, repeating Arcand’s question. The hard-faced Spaniard frowned and didn’t immediately answer. Arcand was tempted to open his mouth again, but then Pack Instructor stopped that mistake. “Arcand! Suit up,…

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18th Birthday

Author : Nathan Andrew Blaisdell “What you choose as your first improvement says a lot about you.” Sam said thoughtfully through a mouthful of pizza. I agreed with a nod, glanced up at the TV in the corner of the restaurant, and gave him time to swallow. “I mean, it’s…

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Placelessness

Author : Glenn Blakeslee They said the best thing to do was stay at home. That way, they said, the retrovirus would have fewer chances to spread and the effects would be minimized. We made it for three days, Donna and I. We had plenty of food we’d saved for…

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Proteus

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer Proteus is Neptune’s second largest moon. When unmanned probes were sent to explore Proteus in 2308, the radioactive decay of uranium-238 into thorium-230 revealed that the moon was not 4.6 billion years old as expected, but was…

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Cerulean

Author : Gavin King The edges of my vision blurred blue. I shook my head to clear the visual illusion away, but it just seemed to intensify, the padded walls of my room taking on a strange, mottled cerulean that dissipated when I looked directly at it. Was this what…

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I, Lensman

Author : Adam Zabell The Einsteins aren’t allowed to pilot the ships because they’ve all got some manic desire to fix the universe. Save Gandhi, kill Hitler, vote in Florida or Minnesota or Puerto Rico, stuff like that. There’s even one who wants to kill Lincoln. For…

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Survivor

Author : Tim Crosby I am weeping in the burned rubble that used to be my home, in the ash that used to be my hometown. Every day I look for other survivors. I have not seen anyone else in over five weeks – and even that was just a fleeting glimpse of silhouettes in…

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WAMB

Author : Jeff McGaha John fumbled at the door, the alcohol hindering his coordination. His frustration, first directed at the keys, grew to include the lock, the door, the house and eventually Mary. His fury cresting, he pounded his fist into the door….

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Mistake

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer It was a rookie mistake. It was embarrassing that someone of my history and career would do something so basically stupid. I liked working with primitives. I remember living with the Inupiaqs, sharpening arrowheads with them,…

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Ugly Fish

Author : Q.B. Fox When we broke down, it left me with some time to kill, so I slipped into a little café near the port and bought a latte and a muffin. The breakfast rush had long gone and it was still too soon for an early lunch, so I was the only customer apart from…

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Hot Rock

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer Kruger had given up wiping the dust off his goggles, relying instead on the shadow cast by the ridge line for direction, a shadow that was shrinking. They’d have to find a pass to the other side before the sun swung overhead, or risk…

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MindShare

Author : mjcast I toss and turn trying to log on to the sleep server. By myself in my bed, my apartment, yet never alone. The endless chatter of the web constantly bombarding my consciousness with pictures, messages and update streams. I am unable to tune it out, log…

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Grafting

Author : A. Munck Man claims a bad joy. He has his hand on the radar. The oil, sweat sheen on his palm reacts with chemicals on the screen and reveals ships in the darkness. Man has waited a long time alone in the dark. “Stasis… two-thirds.” The new planet spun…

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Only the Good Die Young

Author : Gavin Raine A small child came up to me while I waited in the park. Came right up to me, touched my colourless hair and ran his fat little fingers over the wrinkles on my face. When he asked me what they were, I told him that old father time had carved them…

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