The Last Parcel

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer I’ve just got back from the pyre lighting when a grey and blue Mercy drone descends from the overcast and beeps cheerfully at me. I fish around in my pocket and pull out our fob. After I confirm my thumbprint, the provisions box drops to ...

Benefits

Author: Ken Poyner The robot has seen his finger smashed by the iron press. His job is to slide uncoiled metal plates into place for the iron press to complete flattening them. But the press came down while the target was still being settled into its brackets. He has to ...

Death In Marsport

Author: Alastair Millar Look, dying on Mars is easy. Equipment failure, sudden illness, inability to follow the safety instructions, they can all lead to the same (you must excuse the phrase) dead end. Making something look like a genuine accident is tricky, but it’s ...

Changing Leopard Spots, A Theorem

Author: Ross Field “It’s time Mason”. His flip flops slapped down the hallways, they seemed as foreign to him as the hands holding his shackles and shoulders. Hands crawled all over his body as soon as they dropped him into the chair. Restraints were winched, electrodes ...

Fragog

Author: Bill Cox “Hello, my name is Fragog”. The voice was the deepest I’d ever heard. I’d been playing in the garden with some action figures, as you do at age seven and looked around to see who’d spoken. “Oh, I’m not there on Earth,” Fragog explained, somehow ...

The End

Author: James Callan Picking up the pieces is useless, a failed enterprise, like eating bisque with a fork. The bits that were my lover are like autumn leaves late in the season, too many to count, frayed, half-liquefied, one with the mud. I hold what may have been her ...

Greenbelt

Author: Majoki Location. Location. Location. That’s what I always preach. You have to really think about where you’re going to live. Really consider what a place is going to mean to you and your family over the long haul. That’s why the greenbelt is perfect. Space. ...

Drive On

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer There’s always warning. No matter how sneaky they are, they can’t help themselves. The urge to see our reaction means they telegraph every strike. If our side managed to spot that more often, it’d be hilarious. “Four o’clock low.” I ...

Too Far

Author: Tim Goldstone I first met you at that stage where I couldn’t sleep because I needed to stretch and stretch and stretch but it’s never ever enough all night long, every night, and I know the only certain way to achieve relief is to stretch so far so violently that my ...

Journey to Pluto

Author: Bill Cox Hi Ted, let me tell you my story. Some of it you’ll know, but some will be new. I fervently hope that it’ll become your story too. In 2006 the New Horizons probe was launched from Earth. Its goal was a flyby of Pluto, which it achieved on July 14th, ...

A Meal of the Past

Author: Benjamin DeHaan The Delta 21’s hull creaks as she slows and comes into view of the alien space bubble, a pink translucent sack hovering in outer space. At its current rate of expansion, it will enter the stratosphere by nightfall. By next week all of Earth will be ...

Into the Blue

Author: Anna Jackson I couldn't look at it, but it stood tall and imposing before me, like it was begging me to see. I knew it was time, I knew that I didn't have a choice, but that didn't make it any easier. The Gateway was open and it was my turn to step through it. ...

We’ll Be in Touch

Author: Hillary Lyon “So we’re outside, drinking on the patio like we do sometimes after work, when Ellie looks up at the sky and goes—” “I said, ‘What is THAT?’” Ellie laughed awkwardly. From his seat next to the sofa, the interviewer, Mister Guest, leaned towards her, ...

Kepler-16b

Author: Reba Elliott The sun rises and sets, then the other sun rises and and sets, and then the planet rises and the sun rises and the planet sets and the other sun rises and the sun sets and the other sun sets. There is light everywhere. Leaves grow long and wild and in ...

Start Something

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer The city burns behind them. Long shadows stretch almost to the citadel of government. Late afternoon sunlight picks out moments in bright clarity: metallic reflections from the bent panels of a vandalised coupe, a discarded sheet spread ...

The Hot Equations

Author: Rainbow Heartshine We have enough feathers for a couple of mattresses now. I'm not such an awful person as to use so, but how are you supposed to dispose of angel down? Whether they count as the real thing is over my head, theologically. It shouldn't be. When ...

Mars

Author: James Moran In the days when Earth was small the other planets eyed it hungrily and argued over how they would split it up. Like a mother protecting her young, the Moon circled Earth, a wary eye on each of the planets. She visited the ears of Venus and Mercury ...

End of Empire

Author: David Barber Rumour had it that Mother would soon order them to quit the planet, so Six rose early, trying not to wake her sisters as she donned her mask and breather. Outside, dust swirled around remotes abandoned the previous day by her siblings, who gloved ...

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