Son Of Steel

Tristan was methodically taking apart his hands when the doorbell chimed. He jumped at the sound, going to the door in such a hurry that he left behind the joints and pieces of his left hand on the worktable. All nine of Tristan’s eyes blinked and strobed expectantly,…

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Hypoch Andrea

Andrea had never had to wash blood off of her hands before. She dripped the clear dose of hydro-oxygen conservatively over her fingers to flush the crimson stain down the reprocessing disposal. Sweat dripped down her forehead and cheeks but never reached her mouth,…

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The Laughter of Flutes.

“Don’t worry Miles, you’ll find me attractive. After the change you’ll be programmed to find me attractive.” Auroras voice sounded like two voices, a harp and a flute playing together. She stretched her lean blue body against the circular view port, the lights from…

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God Of War

There’s blood up to the windows. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time, to stack the bodies in the Mercer Building, to get ‘em off the Rail. But I can’t help wondering if the allusion to gore behind those art-deco panes is worse the actual carnage. At…

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Alien Love Affair

The orphanage was in the ghetto of the city, below the levels that Anodramida’s mother had forbidden her to visit when she was a podling. It smelled like metal and sulfur, and the darkness made her shake. Christopher wrapped her tentacle around his arm, and his…

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Red Letter Day

Bernard held the letter loosely in his hands. He sat down on his bed, staring at the blank taupe walls of the Renewal center and didn’t look at the letter. Bernard’s Renewalist, Maureen, had suggested he try and read the letter again today. He’d been trying for…

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In the Garden

Dust filled the air as a sand blast landed on the flames coming from the cathedral of St. Liz. Brother Kyle’s red mechanical eye, the Snipers Lover, adjusted to the lower light as he ran towards the Archbishops secretary. “Brother Alexander! Who is in the…

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Like A Stone

“Hey, neighbor!” Chawly called down from across the way. He had a pint glass of something that looked like red wine in each fist. I knew it couldn’t be–not in Topside–but Chawly had his ways. Chawly yanked the line-suspended basket that served as dumbwaiter between…

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Dropping a Pebble in a Dry Well

Hello. My name is Demetri Thornwick. I’m a graduate student in physics at Hawking University, but in your century you probably know it as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I just left Professor Mendalin’s Temporal Physics class, where I just received a D- on…

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Real Estate

The couple broke fast in the mountain retreat, dining on fresh red melons and purple berries. Marta, their robotic guide, served them with diamond plates on the giant stone balcony overlooking the forest. In between delicate bites, Rae remarked that the whole…

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The Final Voyage Of Captain Shakespeare

The crash was magnificent, heard three systems away and felt by half the galaxy. The other half were immediately informed via telepathy, televisapathy and tele-empathy, and felt as if they had felt it. Such was the impact. The grand old captain himself, however, newly…

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The Surprising Events of Springtime in Rodchester

Tycho Villiare never asked why his employers had chosen to duel. Gentlemen seldom fight duels themselves. One gentleman may challenge another to a duel, but since duels end in death, a state most gentleman find inconvenient, Men of Arms are employed to fight duels for…

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Home Defense

Marla just didn’t understand. Bernie couldn’t give up his collection. He tried to explain it to her, but it was futile, he knew it. “They’re not just collectables, Marla. They’re history. I would think you would understand that. You buy for a museum, you should be…

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Tear the Wall

On the surface, everything is smooth. On the edges, the shiny plastic cracks, dirt comes out of nowhere, and doorknobs pinch the skin. Tear at the wall a little, underneath is not solid, it is a metal matrix, mostly air. We live in a kind of illusion, frayed at the…

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Mirror, Mirror

Stevie glanced over his shoulder, tiptoeing barefoot through the deepest corridors of the Barnum. The ship was huge, as ponderous and lumbering as a garbage barge, but Stevie had lived here all his life. He knew the corridors like the back of his hand—even the ones…

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Replica

After four months of backed up deadlines, CD came to the hard conclusion he already knew was coming. He needed one more of himself. CD had to present his application in person, which he felt was a ridiculous waste of time. He wondered why the psychologist couldn’t…

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Trimming Back The Growth

“I see you’ve done some pruning,” Margaret’s therapist said. “I like what you’ve done with the branches around your sternum.” “Thank you,” Margaret choked out. It had been a trial learning how to talk with roots entwined around her larnyx, but she…

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The Education of Legs McGee

“Swimming’s easy,” Aaron said as he tightened the foam ring beneath her shoulders. “There’s only one rule: keep breathing. If you can’t find a way to breathe, that’s when you’re in trouble.” Leah nodded as her brother gathered her into his arms, lifted her from the…

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