Roll

It didn’t look like much of a robot. It was soft and lumpy and didn’t have any flashing lights or make any noises beyond a low hum. But it could hold a drink tray steady enough to entertain at parties, so she was satisfied. Its warm battery was also a comfort on…

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Six Days After Impact

April was a maintenance worker, so she lived on the inner ring. The cheaper quarters meant less gravity and thinner air, but it rarely bothered her. In fact, after five years in the belly of the satellite she found herself nauseated by the full gravity of the outer…

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Some Girls They Got Natural Ease

For Naru, and for Mae’s bedroom wall. I had a scrambler at home, up on the shelf where it wouldn’t be noticed even if someone was looking. It was long and thin, like the baton they used to wave over your body when you set off the metal detectors at airline…

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What Mechanics Do

“No, I don’t think you understand. Let me tell you about death.” The mechanic’s subject blinked. The mechanic allowed himself a bit of wonder at the ingenuity behind that movement. It did nothing; the subject’s glass eyes were not cleaned or refreshed with…

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Feeling Blue

Riktor ducked beneath a broken beam in the house and kept his live porta-mic on at his side. The satchel strapped around his left shoulder hugged him tightly. “This is Rik Vance with Underground Union reporting to you from housing project 56.” He heard the groans…

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A World Without Stairs

Two weeks ago Forsythia moved into a new apartment in a beautiful old high-rise. Everything there was antique, from the dark wood paneling to the rich carpeting. It was a far cry from the decaying 20th century-style cinderblock tower that Forsythia used to live in….

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Rebirth

Her hair is wet and stringy with amniogel and the tips of her fingers are wrinkled. She is thrashing around as much as the restraints will let her, choking and vomiting the pink nutrient liquid. This one is well-preserved. The centuries have left her untouched. Her…

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Imagine

Kadence smiled, looking over the vast rolling hills of sun soaked wheat. Her hair waved in the wind and the world seemed to pause to give her innocent beauty notice. Palestine approached from behind with soft footsteps, coming to watch the same glorious picture….

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The Wish

When Ren won the global lottery he thought his handheld had been hacked. He knew his chances of winning were small but he bought his tickets daily just like everyone else. The ads said that you paid for the excitement of playing and Ren knew it was true. As soon as he…

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Sum of Her Parts

We are using your ankles, he said. She sat in the cold plastic chair, watching the scientist twirl the vial of her blood. Only my ankles? You have strong ankles. They hold your feet well. He put the tube in a plastic holder. The top of the tube was red and black…

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Deo’s Hole

Down the hill, past the cornfields, just north of Brattleboro and west of New Hampshire is a bend in the river that they call Deo’s Hole. It’s a deep place that comes just after some tame rapids, a perfect swimming hole that just happens to have a rocky…

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This World's Not Built For Lovers

“I’m going to have to break this off, Siobahn.” Rupert hadn’t been looking forward to this, and the confusion on the poor girl’s eyes only made it worse. He had chosen one of the more romantic dungeons to break this news to her, and that may have been a…

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Translation

Her name was Bianca. She was thirteen. She only spoke French. No one spoke French. The resistance brought her here after she’d been hit by a Federated tank. The gash stretched from her ribcage to her hip, opening up like a silent and thirsty mouth. I realized, after…

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Copy

“I still don’t understand how anyone could justify putting a little kid through this.” Quinn’s father glared at the doctor, viciously protective. The doctor shrugged. “It’s to discourage use. They didn’t intend it for little kids.” His mother had been…

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Digital Multiplex

“So what about ‘light blue’ or ‘dark blue’? Can I just say ‘tinoh ekilit’ and ‘tinoh saikilit’? Or do you have to use a separate word?” “No, no, you’re missing the point. They don’t have light blue or dark blue. It’s either blue or it…

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Soul Drive

Turning a page in the magazine, Martha looked up to glance around at the others waiting in the lobby. The sound of dizzying muzak resonated around the off-white walls. She was nervous, but she had no reason to be. She was going to help a lot of people. Across the room…

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Party Girl

Which one of you did I go to the DEX with last night? Fess up fuckers, cause one of you left me floating in R-space without my pants. At first, I didn’t even know I was awake, there was light inside of my head and I couldn’t make it dark. Then I realized that my…

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Tomorrow Is Suburbia

“They’re shutting down another museum?” Michael groaned as he turned the page over. “Who do these guys think they are? There’s like, what… two museums in the world left?” Michael’s co-worker slowly raised his head above the cubicle and cocked a brow. “Mike, do you…

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