The Djinn Effect

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer The boss was drunk and telling me a story. I didn’t mind. These long-range voyages could be boring and it was my first one. “It had been noticed for centuries that accidents on the longer-range ships increased over time. It had always ...

The Longest Story Ever Told

Author : Hugh Downs Royce Millison requested cremation. He had got the idea in 1908, early in his long life. He was neat and efficient and said he didn't want his remains 'to take up space'. In 1991 he restated his desire, being a person who tends to repeat himself and ...

The Love Drug

Author : Jacqueline Rochow Jones surveyed the carnage. Under the blood splatters lacing the bed and carpet, the young woman’s limbs were splayed at unnatural angles, her head twisted nearly backwards and her throat crushed. Bites had been taken out of her collarbone, and the ...

Rocky

Author : Roi R. Czechvala, Staff Writer I began my journey out beyond the orbit of Mars and just before Jupiter. I was just hanging around. You know, just doing whatever. Occasionally I'd bump into one of my friends, but we'd quickly go our separate ways. That was just the ...

Damage Control

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer Lieutenant McDonald floated in his EVA suit and directed the external repair efforts. The maintbots were currently welding a splice-plate over a large breach in the hull. From his vantage point, McDonald could see a dozen similar ...

Father of His Country

Author : N. Thomas Parshall I have brought the ship into orbit above Destiny. Forty-eight of my eighty-one years have been spent maintaining the systems and checking the life-pods of the passengers. Now we are here and I can rejoin my reborn body and be a part of a ...

Unleash the Swarm

Author : Clint Wilson It was Professor Decker’s moment of triumph, what he had worked so hard for all these years. As the media looked on he manipulated the keys on his console. At first nothing happened, but then slowly the spherical device atop the garbage heap began to ...

The Last Word

Author : Scot Noel It won’t be a big red button that ends the maniacal arguments of man, no nuclear winter to silence the right, the left, and the in-between. No, just me and my little trick no one else has yet conceived. In the silence to come, no one will ask how I put to ...

Immortality

Author : Matthew Banks Here I am. I've made it all the way to the end. I always said I would. I told them I would outlive the Universe. I was born human, so long ago that the memory is nothing more than a faint impression, a whisper. I lived and loved. Of that I'm fairly ...

Your Children's Children's Children

Author : Glenn Blakeslee I was walking down 87th Street toward Fifth Avenue when a man ran around the corner. He was half-obscured at first by the diesel fumes of a departing bus, but he ran kicking his way through the newspapers which littered the sidewalk, straight toward ...

On the Case

Author : N. Thomas Parshall The Heinlein-Schrödinger gate changed everything. “Anything is possible” went from platitude to a reality. Schrödinger’s cat theorized observation sets reality, and Heinlein’s world-as-myth theorized that thought sets many realities. They were ...

Make Me

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer Joshua's feet pounded against the pavement, bare soles bleeding from the coarse stone underfoot. Within his bare chest, his heart kept time. He navigated the deserted streets outside the perimeter fence from memory, a mental map burned in ...

Better Living Through Chemistry

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer The unit was given mental independence under the Turing Refugee Act but immediately imprisoned. It was a pleasure droid. There had been a lot of blood in the room. Designed to look like a human female, it had been ordered to specs that ...

Forget Me Not

Author : Roi R. Czechvala, Staff Writer The five member crew of the ISS watched in rapt horror as 425 miles below them miniature stars blossomed upon the Earth’s surface. This can’t be happening. It’s not real, Dr. Irena Mikhailovich whispered. Her tears failed to stream ...

Sparky

Author : Sean Maschmann Sparky has never been the cleverest of cats. He's a male tortoiseshell, a one in two hundred chance, so rare that Japanese fishermen used to keep them as good luck charms. The problem is, they are congenitally stupid. Sparky, who was named ...

The Rose of Epsilon Eridani

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer Captain’s log: “This is the third day since we made first contact with the inhabitants of the Epsilon Eridani system. The Kalers, as they call themselves, are an intelligent humanoid species that inhabit the second planetary body from ...

Pascal's Bluff

Author : John Newman “Marcie just radioed in,” Brenda says as she slams another magazine into her M4. She has to scream over the popping gunfire, punctuated by the occasional boom of a grenade. “They can’t hold out any longer. Everything’s fucked.” “Shit,” I mutter. Working ...

Santayana

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer The sleek craft broke the upper atmosphere and fell several kilometers before deploying its chute. The thin film wings weren't extended until they had slowed enough to not risk tearing them off. "We're in stable thermospheric orbit," the ...

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