Tests

Author : Bradley Hughes

“Fucking tests.”

I turned to look at the speaker sitting beside me at the bar. I noticed she had a small doll on the bar along with her drink, one of those wooden posable dolls made of jointed oval sections. I've always assumed they were for practicing ...

Git Along Little Dogie

Author : Bob Burnett A glint of reflected sunlight caught Will McRae's attention. He ground-hitched his sorrel gelding and bellied up the slope to look into the next draw. He scooted back down the slope, turned on his back and stared at the sky, his mouth suddenly dry. ...

The Gyre

Author : Christopher Kueffner The ocean swell was enough to induce the whisky to move back and forth in the glass, but just barely. This spectacle occupied the close attention of Arlen Tidmore, Systems Assurance Specialist II. The minutely swaying liquid in the glass was ...

Desperate Measures

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

A few hours after Tom and I had the science module operational, we decided to explore the terrain around the base camp. Silex IV was a warm, barren, desolate planet. There was no oxygen in the atmosphere, and no water anywhere, surface or ...

Honest People

Author : J.R. Blackwell, Staff Writer

Joseph’s Grandfather knocked down the cabin door, and stood silhouetted in the blue morning light of Io. Inside, Joseph and Thomas and Betti and Lil lay sprawled over the king sized bed, naked. The room smelled like sex and sweet wine. ...

Reverse Psychology

Author : William Tracy

A stranger walked through the door of the diner. The man sported sunglasses and a comb over. He was sweaty from driving through the desert in his suit. His collar was disheveled; his tie was loose. He must have been lost—people like him were not common in this ...

Record Game

Author : Jacinta A. Meyers

He had a reputation from the time he brought in his first kill from the lush planet. Walked through the warden’s office lugging the thing in a sack over his shoulder. Everyone involuntarily gasped when they felt the floor shudder, heard the thunder of his ...

Rigg(ed)

Author : Sam Clough, Staff Writer

Jack sighed, and tabbed through the moment's top links. They hadn't changed much since earlier that morning: still the usual desultory mix of politics, tech articles, and irreverent 'humour'. Lolcats had been ceased to be funny almost as soon as the ...

Deus Ex Survivor

Author : Asher Wismer

Here’s me, walking through the deserted streets of Chicago. I can see a few ravens pecking at some unidentifiable detritus in the gutter; somewhere, a car alarm is weeping to the night sky, and I can still smell the restaurant exhaust on the ...

Rocktopus

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

Nothing could live in a volcano. That was the assumption of the landing party.

The twenty-meter slab of articulated rocktopus that turned a diamond eye to these squishy walking icicles of meat was puzzled at first, then alarmed. The meat ...

The Perfect Vacuum

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

Dr. Kathleen Haley walked into the dimly lit Advanced Physics Laboratory at Cambridge and spotted Dr. Thomas Mitchell staring intently at a one meter in diameter, hollow transparent sphere. “Hey, Tom. How’s the experiment ...

Inheritance

Author : J.R. Blackwell, Staff Writer

Doctor Yun was a bit of a flirt, which put Charlotte at ease. She cradled her left arm in her right hand. She was in pain, but years of larger pains had made this one seem inconsequential. Four children, three planned, one a surprise, skin ...

Eulogy

Author : Sharoda

My father died today, not from the invaders but from old age.

When the First Wave was discovered heading for earth I was still young. I can remember everyone sitting around the TV watching the talking heads as they pretended they had a clue what was going to ...

Cancerman

Author : Asher Wismer

"It's spreading, isn't it." It was not a question. James looked wan, as always, but now his voice was tinged with a hopelessness that I had never heard before. It almost broke my heart.

"I'm afraid," I said, "that the cancer has spread to your lymphatic ...

Are These Truths Not Self-Evident?

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

The USS Manila-Galleon was returning to Earth from the Quaoar Mining Station in the Kuiper Belt. The massive cargo vessel was carrying 250 million tons of ore, and 118 miners rotating back to Earth. As the ship crossed the orbit of Neptune, ...

Fortune Bay

Author : Sam Clough, Staff Writer

In the far distance Sahar could see the barest hint of a glimmer: sunlight on water. The ocean. In the other direction, the city stood rose up from the scrubland, as if challenging the world. It looked for all the world like a cluster of termite ...

Small Unit Action

Author : Michael Varian Daly Tzisoc knew they were about fifteen miles south of Zhytomir, but until they saw the rail line and the village just to the east – Vertokyivka she believed – they had no map fix. Artillery 'crumped' to the north, fellow Black Guard units fighting ...

Triangulation

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer I deserved the black eye. John stood there, lip quivering, blood on his fist, fiercely willing his tears to stay in his eyes. He looked at me with shining hatred. I couldn’t blame him. I picked myself up off of the floor. We were in one ...

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