Tibambinum

The dream: Jennie Smith woke up in a desert, standing in the center of an endless, cracked sheet of dirt so hard you could scrape your knees on it if you fell down. Above her, the sky was even blacker than her grandmother’s skin, and the moon seemed like a hole carved…

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Will To Live

I’m floating. Well, it seems like I’m more submerged at the moment. It takes me a moment to realize where I am and that still doesn’t make sense. Everything is dark, my body feels weightless but it is not peaceful. My lungs begin to realize; I’m not breathing….

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Equinox

The snow falls on my smile like that old fairy tale—you know, the one about the dwarves and the cannibal queen, the one with the apple. The tableau would be better if it was sunset, because I always liked sunsets best, but you take what you can get. I’m drinking…

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Infatuation

“I don’t want to come home.” Reggie’s wife began to cry, tears sliding around her cheeks. Reggie smiled beatifically. “Don’t cry Carol, its alright, really. You’re young and awfully perky. You’ll find another husband in no time.” “But I’m in love…

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In The Belly Of The Desert

Jack Strap didn’t bother burying the men. Buzzards’ gotta eat, he thought. Same as worms. A man makes his own funeral. You wander in the Desert, you’ll go the same way all Desert creatures do. In the belly of something else. Buzzards weren’t gonna do a thing…

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Post-Biological Clock

Sometimes I pretend I have a metawomb inside me. Things would grow there. Children, I mean. Dozens at a time. Girls and boys. I might not be able to stop. I’d populate my entire livingspace with pudgy pinkfaced versions of myself, and when I went to the recreation…

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Family Business

“It’s a family business.” The shopkeeper trembled, his telltale American face-lights blinking. “My daughter and my wife make the simulations themselves. Very good, high resolution, but they don’t do any touching, they’re good girls, they don’t touch….

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Pluto Immortal

Marcus wiped blood from his chin. The thick red fluid stuck to his fingers. He stood slowly, pushing himself up off the ground with all the dignity he could muster as his foe stood proud and arrogant. Marcus’ feet were pressed into the soft Mars soil as he readied…

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The Uncanny Valley

Purby Stolafson took a deep breath and regarded the man and woman across his desk. He recognized the woman—with her luxurious blond hair, hourglass figure and delicate features, she was unmistakably one of his. He still didn’t know what to make of the man, other…

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The Silence

It made Kara nervous that the wall of her quarters breathed, waves of slow expansion and deflation. Cloth was the only thing between her and the harsh explosive cold of space. Kara knew that the blended weave, was a hundred time stronger than steel, lighter, and…

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Lord Of The Dance

First it was the blacks. That one was easy, like a warm-up. They’re a cinch to pick out after all. Then it was the commies. They were harder, but with such catchy slogans, who could pass it up? Then came the terrorists. That one must have been fun. I mean, when you…

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The Shadow

Tsaro was the image, Tsaro was the shadow. During the hour-long commute into Osaka no less than seventeen people asked for his autograph, and when he transferred to a cab at the end of the line he could feel empty eyes squinting at him, searching for their…

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The New Economy

Don’t believe that bullshit they told you in orientation, kid. It’s always an easy sell. This is a new economy we’re dealing with. Trust the product. You trust the product, it’s an easy sell. You ever been to Lagos, kid? In Lagos, there’s these big bastards,…

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Bugaboo

“This place is a dump,” Headley muttered, for what must have been the thousandth time. Foxworth rolled her eyes. “Of course it’s a dump. It’s our job. If it wasn’t a dump, we wouldn’t be here.” “Yeah, I know,” Headley replied, “But look at this…

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Conquest

Foolishly, my people thought the alien ships were asteroids on a collision course. We launched our most deadly weapons into the sky, which exploded harmlessly off the liquid hull of the invaders, raining poison onto our world. Dust flakes on my head as I walked to the…

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Who Forever Belongs To

The yard sale was one of those haphazard affairs, full of the kind of junk that no one in their right mind would actually take, damaged or torn or merely out of the realms of taste altogether. This is a powerful camouflage for the good stuff, and any experienced…

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Normal

There was nothing special about Ming, nothing unique. She had no exceptional talents, no carefully-kept secrets, no inventive thoughts, no special intelligence. She liked to go to parties and shop for clothes and wanted to be a good mother someday. Her face was…

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Patchers

Talia looked out over the cacophonous melee of engineers in the warehouse. Each of them bustled about; porcupines of fused wiring and welding tools. It made her so proud. A rapid metallic pounding announced the arrival of a messenger. “Take it easy, Dobs. What ya got…

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