We All Fall Down

The first day the sun didn’t rise, it was business as usual. The trains ran, the offices were open, and we just used a little more electricity than normal. We went to work, fed our fish, and gossiped about the news coverage while waiting for the bus. Over dinner the…

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Chains Of Commerce

“The fact remains, ladies and gentlemen, we have to meet the Geert price,” Fawzia Chiranov said. “We ought to do better than the Geert price, but due to the nature of our company, we’ll probably get by merely with meeting them. But I will tell you this, we…

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Growing Pains

The locksmith knelt down to examine the mangled keyhole in Exetor’s office door. He turned his head and raised a brow at the man seated behind the desk, who was typing with twelve fingers and paying little attention to the tradesman. “So uh, how did this…

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Where The Heart Is

Tomasine Acero folded her hands on her desk, and then opened them in a manner that she hoped would suggest both an understanding on her part and an acceptance of the inevitability of fate. “You have to understand their point of view,” she said. “They are trying to…

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Revolution of the Meek

We know its flimsy façade, we know it’s a broken promise waiting. They said that if we kept working, someday we could make enough to send our kids to college, never mind the dying, the slaughter in the world. Remember the holocaust, they said, but forget the horror…

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TW

Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on Io, I thought I would sail about a little and see the most distant reaches of space. Despite the limitations of technology, the endlessness…

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Walltalkers

Turnstyle aimed carefully, took into account the drift from the barely oscillating fan, and hit his brother Alphonse in the back of the head with a cigarette butt. “Quit that,” Ingram said. Watching this is why she never liked being at Turnstyle’s place, but it beat…

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Writer's Block

“Space-faring monkies with a mirror fetish?” “Yup. In The Day Ambrosia Paled by Kinstev Ramod, chapter six.” “Damn. Okay, uhh… how about ice cream that turns your teeth green and carries a rare strand of the bubonic plague? Unleashed on a modern colony?”…

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Good Morning, Sunshine

After a while, you forget that it’s summer. Months and weeks become meaningless numbers on the monitor’s clock, and you don’t bother asking anyone what they are doing on the weekend. You know. They’re typing. You know. You wait for the end of the shift and…

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Object Of My Desire

Here in the Quiet Dark, a raygun can be your dearest friend. It warms to your touch, responds to your requests, and clears your way. It is the best partner one can expect to have in the Quiet Dark. I’ve had Lizzette here for longer than most of my friends. Certainly…

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Next to Nothing

“I’m sorry, will you repeat that?” Admiral Bunka was squinting to hear, even though his very nervous ensign was right beside him. “We, uh, are at full stop sir. There’s nothing left.” The young man was sweating and the two continued to look out the…

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The Master and the Apprentice

To the farmers the two monks looked like the comedy/ tragedy masks that adorned the theater in town. The older monk was bald, and smiled beatifically, as if every cold breeze was a kiss. The younger monk had a mop of black greasy hair and he frowned, looking again and…

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Meanwhile, at Fox Headquarters…

“Can we say that on television?” Mool asked. He narrowed his eye at the monitor and raised a turquoise tentacle to his mouth as his other three appendages worked the digital controls. “Mistep? Sure. It’s been clear for a decade.” “But what about the Xedrin…

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The Horsemen Of Carnaby Street

If you had asked Tyrone’s father why he kept horses, why he rode them with his three boys down Carnaby Street to South End and back, and why he never seemed to use a car, he would remove his Red Sox ballcap, run his hand over his coarse dreadlocks and proceeded to…

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The Hot Belt

It was two hundred miles to the temperate equator, across the frozen tundra of the planet Dera. At the start of the trip, in front of the mangled ship, the colonists had cursed the planet, cursed their dead pilot, cursed the persecution of the government that forced…

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Don’t Touch

“Simply put, I do not, under any circumstances, want your filthy fingers near me.” Alison was near hysteria by the time Timmy called her. Both had been having a relationship for three years now and it was always the man who made things awkward. Nothing killed a…

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On The House

It was going to be a very, very slow night. Tuesdays usually were. Throw in the hellacious thunderstorm outside, and not even a desperate alcoholic would wander in. I had just decided to close the bar up early when the mother of all lightening bolts hit just outside…

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Nether Lands

Amsterdam is still dry. The whole country is. It’s hard to believe, I know. But it’s true. That’s how you can tell the tourists. Not a single Dutch person is amphibious. They don’t have to be. They’ve held back the waters, just like the little punk in the…

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