The Meaning of Life?

Author : Michael Varian Daly The Jaruzelski Institute buzzed with quiet excitement. JAIC [pronounced 'Jack'], the Jaruzelski Artificial Intelligence Computer, was coming on line today. Security was high. Many groups, not reassured by statements of 'friendly AI programing', ...

Updated Expectations

Author : Kevin Jewell I looked up from my screen and was shocked to find the trading floor quiet. When the market was open, that did not happen. Just a moment ago, the floor had been a hectic blur of waving arms and yelling voices; runners hurrying orders from pit to pit, ...

Behemoth

Author : Helstrom The sense that something was missing had been nagging me ever since I came out of the previous surgery. I always seemed to want to take bigger steps, or see out the sides of my head, or move limbs that weren't there. I felt small and clumsy and soft. The ...

Foreclosure Sale

Author : D. R. Porterfield "I believe I've found just the property you're looking for, Mr. DelRay," the agent smiled optimistically. Across the broad, polished desk, his client nodded and said, "Show me." "Of course. Let's start with the general area." A holographic map ...

A Hole in the Web

Author : Todd Hammrich Martin’s Crawler moved along the outside of the web like a giant spider lightly dancing among the thin strings of light that made up its surface. A breach had been made in sector EZ-109 and he was moving with all speed for repairs. The Crawler was a ...

Deus In Machina

Author : - K - It moved about on the monitors, exploring the small space it had been confined to. Its motions were cautious, curious almost, as it poked around the simple imaginary box. Kevin stared at the screen for almost an hour. This was a success. An unforeseen and ...

What Are Friends For?

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer James sat in his chair/life-support system in the back corner of the room next to the banks of monitors, keyboards, and mice. He reminded me of the James I used to know. He reminded me of a James that laughed without that edge of ...

Between the Stars

Author : John H Reiher Jr. Family Faxor Kwer had lived on this comet for five generations. The light of the home star Sol was indistinguishable from the light of the twin stars Alef and Bey, or the nearer star Prox. Their ship dwarfed the small comet, stretching far past it ...

Saturday Night at the Yeti Fight

Author : Joseph Lyons “What part of ‘only bettors can watch the Yeti fight’ do you not understand?!”, he yelled. “Either place a bet or get the hell out of here!” I begrudgingly gave him all of the money I had on me, about two hundred, and placed it on Demonio Blanco. Damn ...

Hell on Wheels

Author : Benjamin Fischer “It’s Bronco Eight Seven. He’s down, but he’s alive. Tight canyon, known hostiles--gonna be a hell of an extraction,” said Colonel. “Any volunteers?” Matherson raised his hand, the bandaged one from last night. Colonel looked right through him, ...

Good Doctrine

Author : Ari Brill It is always a joy to bring rightness to God’s creation. The Good Doctrine’s shiny hull glimmered in the blackness of space, the eerie light of the alien sun reflected off of it and somehow purified. The 100-meter-long starship had just completed its ...

Rough Trade

Author : Steve Davidson Grrxynyth stripped off the artificial covering. "Man! Did you see the way he was looking at me!?" Aaarraxanth tentacle gestured in the affirmative. "Couldn't keep his eyes off of you. Thought he was gonna die when you started taking off the ...

Marshall’s Restaurants

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer “How can I be of service?” asked Sam Dixon, Private Investigator. “I need you to investigate a major competitor of mine,” replied Donald LeDuca, of LeDuca’s Fine Eateries. “I assume you’ve heard of Marshall’s Restaurants?” “Ahhhh, ...

Culling

Author : Michael Varian Daly The city had once been prosperous and beautiful, tall shining towers, broad tree lined boulevards, full of vitality. Now it was a smashed ruin. Most of that had happened during the Age of Storms, Category Six monsoons scouring those once shining ...

Oates

Author : Ian Rennie I don't want to do this any more. It's cold, and we're all hungry. I knew it would be like this, but that's the difference between knowing and experiencing. Nobody talks much any more, Scott least of all. When we were on the way there, he tried to keep ...

Instruments of War and Peace

Author : John Logan Leviathan IV floated in space, amongst the debris of its brother and sister starships, somewhere in close proximity to Alpha Centauri. Inside its massive hull, a team of veterans were preparing for their last mission. They were the last hope for their ...

The Electric Olympian

Author : Ken McGrath John sat down in a corner of the canteen, spread his newspaper out in front of him and began to unpack his lunch. ‘THE ELECTRIC OLYMPIAN’ screamed the headline plastered across the front page of the red top. “Hey Johnny, have you seen this?” a voice ...

Circus of Grotesques

Author : Q. B. Fox With her middle finger she idly traced the ragged designer scar that ran across his tanned bicep, but she appeared unimpressed by it and her mind was obviously elsewhere. He stared at her pale, flawless skin where it stretched over her perfectly proportion ...

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    Author : Brian T. Carter Baritone, protesting groans shudder through …