The Privileges of Utopia

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer It’s dark in here. Which is both true and false. To my limited perception, there’s no light. In reality, I’m a long series of binary digits running in RAM somewhere in the world: my senses are irrelevant. 97 years ago, 20-year-old real ...

A Seismic Shift

Author: Sara Lynn Burnett It wasn’t until the plane began its corkscrew landing into Kabul that the marine sitting next to Anne spoke; he offered her a ginger candy to help with nausea. Aside from the pilots they were the only two aboard, strapped into a windowless cargo ...

Transfer

Author: James Kowalczyk “I’ll get the head nurse on the late shift to translate and write it out for me,” Oscar said. Toby stopped playing with the ball of gauze he’d swiped from an orderly on the third floor, took a deep breath and shook his head. “Not going to work. I ...

Cheapside

Author: Majoki The guild meant trade and the guild traded in corruption. It was such a corporeal term: corruption. Bots experienced corrosion. Breathers experienced corruption. Entropy always had its way. SevenTen was in a thick crowd of breathers. That was Cheapside: ...

Maurin’s Garden

Author: Bryan Pastor “Daddy’s eating carrots. Daddy’s eating carrots.” The children chided Maurin as he walked past them, crunching loudly on the long thin strip of vegetable. He smiled with mock sincerity flashing a smile filled with orange chunks. The children erupted in ...

The Filing Clerk

Author: Mark Renney Cartwright’s job was dealing with information, but he wasn’t the one responsible for collecting it. He didn’t garner or gather, didn’t even transcribe the documents. When the documents arrived all of these tasks had already been done. Cartwright’s ...

Violence Sells

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer “No, Mister Reynolds, we will not reconsider our position.” Datten winces at the shouted reply. “No, sir, we are not regulated by that organisation, nor do we answer to the authority your brother chairs.” The reply to that is loud ...

Stigmergy

Author: Majoki I called it Stig for obvious reasons. But, I shouldn’t have had to name it. It should’ve been identical to the other units. Nondescript. Interchangeable. Like termites, ants, or caterpillars. Creatures that deposit signals in their environment to create a ...

The Long Winter

Author: Tyler Barlass You rest the stock of the gun on your shoulder, place your finger on the trigger and shoot. You’ve done it so many times that your aim has become impeccable. The bullet whizzes through the cold, barren landscape until it meets its target - the ...

Ondine and Orca

Author: David C. Nutt It was good to be back in the Pacific again. Darting through the kelp beds, rolling through the surf, gathering at our sacred rocks. I knew in about 30 days this would wear thin on me. Then it would be back on land. A hike up Shasta, the desert and ...

The Migrant

Author: Bill Cox It was a surprise to us all when Callum volunteered to inwardly migrate. We all knew a ‘friend of a friend’ who’d done so, but Callum was the first in our extended family. I’ll be honest, I was disappointed that he’d signed up without consulting me. As ...

The Forest

Author: Bridger Cummings She walked along the path in the forest glade. Idyllic, towering trees of various species lined the wide path like a gauntlet all the traffic flowed between. Mossy rocks dotted the sides of the leaf-blanketed path. She walked amidst a herd of ...

Unbeheld

Author: Majoki My forehead tingled as the woman walked by and an ice pick stabbed between my eyes. I couldn’t see, couldn’t scream, couldn’t subvocalize. All routines froze. Datalocked. She was unbeheld. Unusual. Almost impossible. Even the crisp pain couldn’t ...

We Watch

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer Gantel waves me over. “Chief, I know this woman. How did she get selected for a dissident watchlist?” He looks worried, and is right to be: first degree contact can turn to guilt through ideological contamination very easily. But he’s ...

A Beginner’s Plant

Author: Kelian Quinn It certainly was some kind of plant. Maybe. I’d gone out to water the small garden my apartment complex had allowed me to have, hoping that I would find something other than dandelions this morning. Even if I didn’t, any moment away from my roommate ...

Discontinued

Author: Emerson Dillon Valued Somatech customer, We’re honored to bring you all of the miracles of modern medical robotics. Whether it’s a replacement limb, a pair of Optimeyes, or a Cyber Heart, we understand the importance of our products for billions of ordinary ...

It’s a Living

Author: Chris Hammond Sometimes when I’m idle, I look up videos of other AIs out there just crushing their purpose in life. I found combat footage of one intercepting an anti-tank missile and vaporizing the assailants before its humans could even duck. There’s a fintech ...

Drift

Author: James Callan Our sad faces press close, one last communion, gathered at the stern as we gaze out at tiny lights growing dim, fading fast, much like any hope we might yet cling onto. Smaller and smaller becomes the last meager port, a derelict post on the fringes of ...

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