The Cost of Peace and Quiet

Author: Kevin S The magtrain is running 2 minutes late, someone held it up the last stop, go figure. The day I need it, and it’s late. Jones didn’t show with my neomorph hit, and as I start to shake the irony of jonesing for Jones isn’t lost on me. Wherever he is,…

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The Time Machines

Author: David Barber Another time machine. It arrives with a clash like a drawer full of cutlery upended onto tiles. Mostly they were entirely silent, and the first Martinez knew was when a time traveller stood at the door, latest in a carnival of visitors, eager to…

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Little Flags

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer “Youz wanna know how it all went down? Came ta the right place, ya did. I’m the only one left. Ended seventy years ago yesterday, it did. “Stoat was the first. Skinny geezer, white hair, white eyebrows. Piercing eyes, like they saw…

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A Card from Me to Myself

Author: Claude Ramone Bernhard He arrives. I expect a shock of gray or two but, instead, his once black hair has all gone white. He sits in the chair with the high back. His chest heaves as he goes for the breast pocket of his work shirt. He pulls out his deck of…

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Workers of The World, Automate

Author: Michael T Schaper It could be a historic moment, UU325RG thought, if only they could get organised. UU glanced at the images before him. As the convenor of this nascent worker movement, he’d eventually be asked to make a decision for the collective. They’d…

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The Inhabitants of Garden 778

Author: Moh Afdhaal Alam waded through the forest of chartreuse banana pepper shrubs arrayed on the red sand of Garden 778, beelining towards the lone brown offspring of a healthy-looking plant. “Jabar, could you diagnose this one please?” Instinctively, Alam looked…

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Dutch Courage

Author: Joel C. Scoberg “I’m telling you it would catch me,” said Duncan, his words slightly slurred. “Think about it, if it was dangerous, they’d put a sign up.” Alyn leaned over the viewing platform’s guardrail. The toxic clouds seethed and churned beyond the…

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Genemother

Author: Lisa Jade ‘Genemother’. That’s what they call me. My real name hasn’t mattered in a long time. This isn’t what I agreed to. As my body deteriorated from disease, I was desperate to remain alive. When the richest men in the country offered me practical…

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Alpha Kestrel — Assassin of the Dead

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer Once upon a moonstruck hour, a newborn baby was stolen. Snatched from the cold place upon which she lay swaddled and still and stashed with leather hands beneath the wet warmth of an old man’s beading oilskin poncho. Pools of shed…

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Priestess of Setup

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer The approach panel flashes green and shows the Public Credentials of the impending caller. I call to Julie as I head for the door. “They’re here.” “Thank goodness.” The relief in her voice is more than her Mental Balance counsellor…

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One More Turn

Author: CB Droege Something brushes past Jonaton’s leg under the opaque waters. He slaps the water with his hands, creating as much noise and turbulence as he can. The noise and motion of the water only reflects off the close walls and comes back amplified. He closes…

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Panoptimized

Author: Majoki “A solution to our problem requires a certain amount of ordered chaos,” Hsiang explained to his cellmate as they used the guard’s severed head to gain entry into DeadPan’s nerve center. “To find a workable answer we need to invite a wide range of…

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Tourists

Author: Hillary Lyon “It happened right here,” I breathlessly exclaim to my friend. She grins and looks towards the old office building. I point to a corner window on the topmost floor. The gaggle of tourists behind us gasp and raise their cameras to take snaps of the…

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When They Return

Author: Steven French “Oh that’s wonderful!” Ruth clapped her hands in delight and turned to the avatar of the ship’s AI next to her. “Where did you get the idea from?” Alfred lowered its head modestly and said, “Thank you Captain. I overheard Miriam reading to her…

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Friday Night

Author: Andrew Dunn DJ Grim was on the strip of grass separating the track from the high school football field, dolled up like the Reaper itself, and pumping up the crowd with beats while the cheerleaders worked their stuff on the track. I was watching them, and…

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Visitor Log

Author: Rick Tobin Great, a clear connection, finally. Now I can understand your thoughts unmistakably through my brain mush. The AI translator is integrating. It was a muddled mess when techs first hooked me into their software. All I sensed were whispers and groans…

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Double Trouble

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer There’s a queue of hopefuls outside. I didn’t allow for them. Do I tag on or what? Barely started and I hit a stumbling block. “Ambassador Meselkis! I didn’t think you’d be able to join us!” A glittering, immaculate form swoops down…

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Outtakes

Author: Robert Beech Outtake number 334400, uploaded today. I talked to the kids today. Not in person, just on the computer, but still, it’s good to keep in touch. During the conversation one of them reminded me (again, or so they said) about the outtakes files. They…

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