In A Teapot

“There’s a storm coming,” Leaphorn said, and moved to close the shutters. Zhang removed his ear-buds and glanced up from his monitor, looking out the window. Beijing looked as clear as ever. He dismissed Leaphorn’s prediction with a wave of his hand, rose, and…

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Prevention

“What’s your business?” yelled Marie from the gate tower, pointing her rifle at the small caravan below. A man emerged from the covered wagon holding a wool hat in his hand. He was gaunt, his bones pulling hard against his leather skin. “Ma’m we were hoping…

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Simpler Times

Sammy, don’t stray too far now.” Alice had a firm grip on her six year olds hand as they walked through the courtyard of the Faire. A woman stood near the front gates and handed out what was supposed to be paper. For only a thousand credit entry fee, however,…

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Seizure

“Dan, please, calm down.” Daniel had only been home for a few moments, but the slammed door and Daniel’s flashing eyes told Gabe that the results of the subpoena had been poor. “How can you say that? How can you say ‘calm down’?” Gabe pressed his lips together but…

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Newsworthy

By the time he was seven, Oman knew he wanted to be a pony. It wasn’t the pay. It wasn’t even the glory. He didn’t want to be a common pony either, the kind that tourists rent for a few weeks. No, Oman had a plan. He wanted to be a journalist. He wanted to change the…

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Real Girls

“I just don’t see what’s stopping you, Raylan.” Piper adjusted her thick-framed glasses before jamming her fist back into the pocket of her hoodie. Raylan’s show at The Xanadu Carousel had been over for awhile, but the rain outside had only now just stopped. Piper and…

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Exchange

Annabelle could have gotten stapled, pumped, sucked and tucked, but she had always been a bit of a herbhead, and she wanted to do it the natural way. It was more expensive, to be sure, but in the end, the results would be cleaner. She had looked for the hostess…

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The Anachronists

“They’ll find you,” the chronomancer told me. “They always do. One day you’ll be sitting around sipping tea, playing Mah-Jongg, and BAM!” He slammed his fist on the rickety card table, nearly upsetting his coffee and definitely upsetting Sib. She moaned loudly and ran…

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Earth Belongs To No One

“Diggs! C’mon man, we gotta keep this moving or we won’t find squat for real dirt by the end of the day!” ‘That had to be Brennan yelling over the drill tube. He’d been at work on that machine, trying to suck up the dry mud and debris, hoping for a better chance at…

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How Much Will You Take?

With each stroke of the knife, I knew he loved me. It started with my nipples, him telling me how much he loved me and how sexy I would look without them. He touched my face as he did it, cooing and kissing my forehead and telling me how much he loved me. He kissed…

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Pierre

Peter did not remember the first time he used the displacement generator. That was how it should be, of course. When used properly, the generator always erased the traces of itself. If it didn’t, a person could get tangled up in time, strangled by tethers of…

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Villia

Outside the dome, the earth was sealed with cement; the towers of processed plastic, retrieved from the treasure chests of ancient dumps, grew, broke and branched like mad metal trees. The glimmering city sang in a constant low thrum, tiny machines building additions,…

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The Dead Done Gone

The walls of Maria Gracia Plana’s prison had long since fallen, the building having crumbled along with the Empire that constructed it. The planet’s wealth and populace have gone, leaving it boundless and bare, a relic of times long past. Maria Gracia Plana’s…

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The High, Hot Summer

The thousand babies slept in the high, dry grass as late summer breezes caressed their cradles. Local farmers, paid by the government not to grow food, had abandoned the field and left their farm equipment to rust. The summer had been blazing and the ground cracked…

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Enlightenment

“So you see,” Bigsby slurred, “So you see, that’s why we’re better than you.” “No,” Jack replied, “I don’t see at all.” “Okay. Okay. I’ll explain it again. It’s like this. The beer, see–” He held up his own glass for demonstration….

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The Europa Colony

Seventeen years ago, when I returned from the Europa colony, I was asked to give a speech at a middle school assembly. For two hours I talked about recycling. Recycled air, recycled food, recycled water. We throw things away here, but there, everything is recycled….

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Invaded

We think large. We may be small creatures to you, but our lives extend far beyond the miniscule moments you possess. We think large, and we think long. Have you ever looked at a mosquito, closely? It’s a strange shape, all hunched over and crooked. Even by your insect…

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Postcard

The back of the postcard says “please don’t give up.” She lives on the seven hundred and thirtieth floor. The elevator takes nineteen minutes to reach the livingfloor, when there is no one else getting on it, which has only happened twice. Otherwise, it takes an extra…

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