Late

In the full body cycle Linda’s chest burned, sweat slipping into her eyebrows. She could feel their eyes on her, the children watching the old woman strain. The lines of her skin betrayed her. Generations blended, their cells dividing perfectly, making exact copies,…

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Favor Fishing

Malcolm should have been thinking about shrimp, but he was thinking about Sumitra’s smile instead. He hated himself for it, but he was almost glad for the leak in the shrimp pond, since it gave him an excuse to call her. And Sumitra’s voice was well worth the cost of…

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Because We Can

The officer approached, hands clasped behind his back, staring unabashedly at the young astronaut, raising his slender brow in cynical awareness of the situation. He reached across the stark white table and clicked the record button on the small tape recorder. His…

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Licensed

Slug eased himself onto the barstool, a lazy grin on his face. His hair had been professionally tussled that evening, and with his new hologreather jacket, he was confident in his irresistibility. “Start me up a tab, barkeep,” Slug said, withdrawing his credit…

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Toy Store

“What I want to know, really, is where we are.” Lee was aggravated, partly at himself, for following Jason’s directions, and partly at Jason, for being a dick. “Where we are my friend, is in grave danger.” Lee looked around. “We are in grave danger in a toy store?”…

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Space Ghost

Radiation Levels: Acceptable. “Okay, lads, we’re good. Let’s not mosh this up, right?” Lars, encased in a plastisteel suit, stepped his near-weightless form through the breached opening of the hull. The three stripes indicative of a mission commander on his right…

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The Spindle

They are not awake. They have been asleep for days, years. They lie sprawled across train platforms, clutching cellphones, notebooks, and mp3 players. Their hearts barely beat, drowsy with decreased metabolism. Their fingernails have grown long, curling under. They…

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Ambrosia

“Oh my God. Peter, you didn’t.” Peter smirked at his wife’s gaping stare. “You bet I did,” he told her smugly. “Nothing’s too good for our anniversary.” “It looks fabulous.” Beatrice’s eyes shone as she ran a finger over the plastic wrap,…

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Built To Last

Her hands were starting to look like lobster claws. She said she wasn’t going to go all the way, and wiggled the smaller claw to show it was still opposable. She said she liked the little teeth, though, and squeezed my arm too hard. She laughed at the little…

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Sex & The Superheroes

No one really found out how. In 2009 there were no more than twenty super-powered heroes trying their best to save the world, spread out thin as they were. They were always so busy. The Blaster stayed in the US, fighting off organized crime, while Sister Scion dug…

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Dust In The Wind

Day 192 Passed by that star today. The charts say it’s called Erigo, but it might as well be Antarctica. Nothing. No inhabited planets, no probes, no satellites. No sign of life. No useful supplies, either—most of its planets are gas giants, and there’s no way I…

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Nexus

I was a Nexus then, regulating and regurgitating information into packets that were fed to the meat files of mainstream media. I was constantly hooked in, floating in nutrient-gel, eyes covered, fingers locked, steering, loading and filtering information so that…

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Aida

It isn’t about the air. Everyone thinks it is, but it’s not. The air is beautiful and salty sweet, but it’s meaningless after the comedown. It’s about the dreaming. That’s all there really is. My first time was a girl. Her name was Aida and her skin was blued out with…

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The Water's Fine

Uchenna watched his eight-year-old daughter Nat charge into the surf. She let out a piercing cry that was one part scream and three parts laugh as soon as the water hit her bare skin. “It’s so cold!” she said, adjusting her bright red and yellow goggles. Nat grabbed…

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Flat Tooth

“Everyone in the room wants to eat you, kid.” U-Tee shrugged. “Whatever.” He hated it, but the Verba was right. When U-Tee stumbled into the bar, he immediately knew he had walked into the wrong place. The diamond eyes and lizard-like movements in the shadows…

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The Nine Billion Names Of God

After three hours, the old man in front of me had worked his way through six beers, in addition to every help desk joke I’d already heard. The cupholder. The any key. The write click. These are the stories people tell, now. These are the fish that got away. “Let me…

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Eye For An Eye

“Arthur Lewis Jacobson of Earth. You are here and in the presence of these Justicars found guilty of engaging in sexual conduct with Ilexya Eiin Dephryn without her consent. By treaty #84753 between Earth and Ungöthein, you are hereby relinquished to the Justicars…

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The Old High

Gavin stood before the mirror, dragging soft-tipped fingers over his face. He felt like he experiencing something for the first time—or was it the last? He caught a glimpse of his own broken will deep in his sunken eyes, lost in the years of self-abuse and emotional…

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