Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

With lost marbles over mixed drinks, I stare at the face reflected in the oak bar. It looks more real to me, somehow, than I feel.

The bartender comes over to me. His huge moustache is waxed to slippery perfection. He looks down at me ...


Author : Robert Niescier

The bacterium was our lab’s greatest achievement. An organism engineered to metabolize cellulose into ethanol quickly and efficiently would eliminate humanity’s dependence on fossil fuel and make energy shortages a thing of the past. It was our gift to ...


Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer The rain had stopped some time ago, but the roofs still unloaded their catchings through countless broken eves-troughs and missing downspouts. A man pulled his coat tighter around his sunken chest, and squeezed himself deeper into the shadows of the ...


Author : Debbie Mac Rory

The weather had turned bad during the night; the low air pressure finally bringing on the threatened storm. All occupied buildings had been sealed to maintain environmental controls and life support systems and all transport had been grounded for the ...

Moore's Law

Author : Gavin L. Perri

Sometimes I wake in cyberspace and remember the wizened words of the old man, ‘When I was a one year old we didn’t have self-evolving tutorial programs, we had to learn by listening’. I try to picture what he looked like but all I get are a series of ...

They call it a Fable

Author : John Tudball

When we are young we are told a story of a ship.

As the story goes, the ship is damaged beyond repair and is set to crash into its destination planet. The crew on board consists of one android, one clone and one pure born. There is only one escape pod ...

Childhood's End

Author : Kaj Sotala

Even after nine years, people still stare at us. We're used to it.

The plague that suddenly made all of humanity sterile wasn't easy on society. There was panic, rioting, doomsday cults. But eventually people adjusted and things calmed down, and scientists ...

The Gambler

Author : James Smith

Nardo sat in his broker's office, running his "impatience" script. He occupied himself with the U.N. Secretarial bout running on hologram in the corner. One American candidate had just tagged out and his partner climbed to the top rope, towering above the ...

Project Starshot

Author : William Tracy

It was late after hours at SETI headquarters. Still, two men hunched over a computer, it's light bathing them in a blue glow.

“I can't believe it, Jim.”

“There's no doubt. Arecibo is picking up an artificial signal from an intelligent ...


Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

Susan crept downstairs slowly, curious about the noises she was hearing from the kitchen. The lights weren’t on. It was Christmas morning so it was still dark out at five in the morning. Her parents slept far away from the kitchen all the way ...

The Upgrade

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer Deep in the bowels of the Top Secret Experimental Vehicle Development Center, sat the most technically advanced aircraft ever developed by General Motors. As the ship rested solidly on its landing skids, I meticulously guided the ion-vapor ...


Author : Matthew Green

There were rumors of course, most were squashed, but on a ship full of soldiers with nothing to do but watch the stars go by, rumors happened. It was like getting cleaning detail, no use trying to prevent it, just grab a space suit and scrub.

The ...

Last Letter

Author : Debbie Mac Rory

Dear John,

How are you? Such a stupid way to start a letter like this. You’ll probably never get it anyway, and even if you do I’ll never know your answer. But I hope you’re well. I just wanted to say I’m sorry. You were right. But I don’t ...

Raining Cellos

Author : Pyai (Megan Hoffman)

Anton set the hypernav coords to just beyond the rim of debris.

"Aren't we cutting it a bit close, Captain?" a thick gravelly voice came from behind him. Silverlo, whose face was a mess of scars, wrinkles and facial hair, frowned at him. ...

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, Gene

Author : Tony Pacitti

Jack pulled a SimStik out of its small plastic container and placed it between his lips. Alice cleared her throat and looked at him through drunk eyes and a patch of blonde, wind blown hair.

“Sorry,” he mumbled, the SimStik bobbing up and down as he ...


Author : Benjamin Fischer

The Shore Patrol has to ring three times before she comes to.

“Ma’am, we would prefer to not break down the door,” one is saying. “Please open it now, ma’am.”

Groggy and maybe still drunk, she paws at the suite’s ...


Author : Roi R. Czechvala In a dark, empty hanger, a needle-like flat black fighter rested in its cradle... thinking. “You see General,” a small man in white gestured toward the ship, “those pods mounted beneath each ‘wing’ are the main armament. The magnetic rail ...

Finnegan Sue

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

Finnegan Sue was a pit fighter.

She wrapped leather around her knuckles, mindful of her nails, and ran her sharpened tongue around her poisonous needled mouth. She sung a tune while she prepped. Her horrible lisp made a mockery of the ...

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