Thought Criminals

Author: Alicia Cerra Waters My mother came home from work that night with the corners of her mouth turned towards her chin. She took off her yellow fluorescent vest and hardhat, which was scarred with dirt and the colorless remains of the unionist sticker she’d…

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The Cosmic Patriot

Author: Steven Watson “It’s not the end of the world.” This was how Clara consoled herself: by affirming the exact opposite. For it was the end of the world. The earth was dying, and only a small mountainous corner remained habitable. A band of several hundred humans…

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Yellow

Author: Jes Sanders “This is war now.” Murfree Tain blinked his retinal feed off and scowled at the cityscape sliding beneath him. He couldn’t bear watching his company’s stock dive any further. His companion, Bill, clicked a Zendorphin dispenser that doled out one…

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Apples

Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer The moon picks out bright lines from the vegetation-shrouded hulks at the sides of the road. High above, our Night Ravens duel with watch drones. So high that any kills fall outside our ken, leaving the night undisturbed. “A long time…

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I Noticed the Roads Were Empty

Author: Janet Shell Anderson I married for money, wasn’t much good at it. I used to hunt. Last week, driving west from Valentine on 20, I noticed the roads were empty. Not a stock truck, horse van, pickup. Not an old rez beater, though we’re pretty far south of Pine…

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Easy Pickings

Author: Palmer Caine Every hair on Dexter’s body stood erect, his pupils dilated and his ears began to twitch. Xians’ caused this reaction in humans when on the hunt, it was defensive. In memory time would slow, every sense overloaded. He’d been working the Plaza all…

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The Wobble of the Light

Author: Alzo David-West Allen Etter was stranded in deep space. The propulsors of his small hypercraft had exploded, and he was thrown off course. His initial hope had been to make geostationary orbit in the gravity field of the nearby artificial planetoid Beta until…

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Immunity

Author: Rick Tobin “May I speak frankly?” Preston Daniels stood before Secretariat Chrisom, ruler straight, staring at the Marscape beyond his superior’s office windows. “With care, Preston. You always have delicate propositions, often nothing to do with our mission:…

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The Peace Broker

Author: Helena Hypercube ‘Ndrea pressed herself into the blood-soaked ground and swore under her breath. She had never had a peace-brokering mission go this badly wrong before. Someone in the Central Office had severely underestimated the volatility of the situation,…

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Impression Encounter

Author: David Henson As I take in the barren, alien landscape in orange and tan, I notice someone at the top of a steep rise not far away. I shout for help, wave one of the crutches I’ve fashioned from a landing strut. The figure disappears over the hill. I struggle…

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Home Ground

Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer Sweating people are moving quickly down the High Street, frantically making angular edifices with cardboard boxes and spray paint. I’m working with Heather, rigging cat’s cradles of fishing line between the trees and bushes in the…

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Things To Come

Author: David Barber In the darkened room, snores come from the bed. The dim figure in the doorway is noiseless on bare feet, except when its toenails, two inches long and yellow as piss, scrape the polished floorboards. There it is now, silhouetted against the embers…

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The Last Word

Author: Roger Ley We were all staring up at the sky, waiting for the ‘Dawn Treader’ to light up her Hawking drives and start the journey to Alpha Centauri. There were hundreds of us, all members of the design and construction team with our partners and children,…

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Tic Tok

Author: Salvatore Difalco Clanking past the barber shop, the parking bot looked ramshackle—steel alloy and green rubber, with the jaw of a hippopotamus. “They could’ve made those things more attractive,” said Varner, a Third Grade Nonpolluter, proud of his…

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Who remembers Mrs Tolstoy?

Author: Mina Amaya strode down the gently curving corridor, glad she had worn her sensible heels to the reception. All the corridors at the Lublina Space Station curved gently. It made you long for straight lines and sharp, right-angled corners. She was worried and…

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Memories of Mia

Author: William Sieving My cell was full of beautiful memories, when it wasn’t covered in dirt and grime. Instead of smooth stones I often felt the coarse texture of my family’s ceremonial robe, a blue and white gown that my daughter Mia had received on her eighth…

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Caeruleum-7

Author: John McLaughlin Proceedings of the 31st Conference on Pre-Symbiotic Human Societies, New Ashen University “The containment hood is breached! Hello? Yes, that’s correct. There’s been a breach. Lock down the floor! I said–” The panicked voice cut out suddenly…

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Training Run

Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer There’s another muted ‘thud’. Bangstri leans its eyeball on the cool bulkhead. “How many is that?” “Seventeen, Venerated Piloting Specialist.” It rotates it’s necktacle to glare. “My appellative is Bangstri. You are to use it at all…

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