Passage

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer Tucker went through the drills with the rest of the squad in a state of meditative indifference. It took focused effort to keep his mech and chem systems in check while still performing well enough to earn one of the dozen seats on…

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The End

Author : Todd Hammrich I never thought I’d live to see The End. In fact, the way I figured it, no one should see The End, I mean, that’s why it’s called The End, there is nothing after that, and certainly no one to see it. And yet, here I was. Floating gently in the…

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Dead Men Died For Your Freedom

Author : Lillian Cohen-Moore I died for this country. Then.. …I came back. Mock me all you want. Say, no, what I mean to say is, “I would have died for this country.” Or, “I nearly died for this country.” You weren’t there, were you? With the grit in your eyes and…

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The Amazing Transported Man

Author : David Bradshaw I always believed that magic was simply what science had yet to explain or tame. When Ashford’s empty frame crashed to the ground, the wild forces at work became far more significant. “It’s going to be one of mankind’s defining moments!”…

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Morning Rounds

Author : Gavin Raine When he entered the room, Olivia was sitting on the edge of her bed and looking out of the window. He allowed the door to close noisily behind him and waited to see if she would notice, but it was hopeless. She was looking at the gardens without…

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Close Encounters

Author : Stephen Graham Jones It came like a Buick from the sky but it was on fire or close enough, hot anyway, blistering white and maybe even velour in places, its rocket engine disturbing the neighborhood at a molecular level, at an emotional level, the individual…

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The Ballad of the Sad Flying Saucer

Author : Kyle Hemmings Another scorched day in Area 51. My job is to keep a surveillance over the “Groom box,” a rectangle of restricted airspace and the large area of land surrounding it. I enforce public restrictions. I also help reverse engineer alien spacecraft….

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The Meaning of Life?

Author : Michael Varian Daly The Jaruzelski Institute buzzed with quiet excitement. JAIC [pronounced ‘Jack’], the Jaruzelski Artificial Intelligence Computer, was coming on line today. Security was high. Many groups, not reassured by statements of ‘friendly AI…

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Updated Expectations

Author : Kevin Jewell I looked up from my screen and was shocked to find the trading floor quiet. When the market was open, that did not happen. Just a moment ago, the floor had been a hectic blur of waving arms and yelling voices; runners hurrying orders from pit to…

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Behemoth

Author : Helstrom The sense that something was missing had been nagging me ever since I came out of the previous surgery. I always seemed to want to take bigger steps, or see out the sides of my head, or move limbs that weren’t there. I felt small and clumsy and soft….

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Foreclosure Sale

Author : D. R. Porterfield “I believe I’ve found just the property you’re looking for, Mr. DelRay,” the agent smiled optimistically. Across the broad, polished desk, his client nodded and said, “Show me.” “Of course. Let’s start with the general area.” A holographic…

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A Hole in the Web

Author : Todd Hammrich Martin’s Crawler moved along the outside of the web like a giant spider lightly dancing among the thin strings of light that made up its surface. A breach had been made in sector EZ-109 and he was moving with all speed for repairs. The Crawler…

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Deus In Machina

Author : – K – It moved about on the monitors, exploring the small space it had been confined to. Its motions were cautious, curious almost, as it poked around the simple imaginary box. Kevin stared at the screen for almost an hour. This was a success. An unforeseen…

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What Are Friends For?

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer James sat in his chair/life-support system in the back corner of the room next to the banks of monitors, keyboards, and mice. He reminded me of the James I used to know. He reminded me of a James that laughed without that edge of…

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Between the Stars

Author : John H Reiher Jr. Family Faxor Kwer had lived on this comet for five generations. The light of the home star Sol was indistinguishable from the light of the twin stars Alef and Bey, or the nearer star Prox. Their ship dwarfed the small comet, stretching far…

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Saturday Night at the Yeti Fight

Author : Joseph Lyons “What part of ‘only bettors can watch the Yeti fight’ do you not understand?!”, he yelled. “Either place a bet or get the hell out of here!” I begrudgingly gave him all of the money I had on me, about two hundred, and placed it on Demonio Blanco….

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Hell on Wheels

Author : Benjamin Fischer “It’s Bronco Eight Seven. He’s down, but he’s alive. Tight canyon, known hostiles–gonna be a hell of an extraction,” said Colonel. “Any volunteers?” Matherson raised his hand, the bandaged one from last night. Colonel looked right through…

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