V.O.L.E. Control

Author: Mina Voice ad on the New York subway, London tube, and Paris metro in 2067: Buy your V.O.L.E. now while stocks last! This compact and sleek e-bot can take over the running of your house from cleaning and stocking up your fridge to paying your bills. Why waste ...

Ad Astra Per Aspera

Author: Paul Garson Billy Forester sat in the rocket ship waiting for fuel. There was a big splotch on his helmet's faceshield. It looked like one of Saturn’s moons. Then he remembered. His mother had kissed him good-bye. Suddenly there was a knocking sound on the ...

To Thine Own Self Be True

Author: David C. Nutt His laugh was annoying, his smirk maddening. His attitude… beyond human arrogance. I suppose that was the point, as he wasn’t exactly human anymore. As a parole officer, I had to deal with plenty of his kind. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, and I ...

Message from the Fleet

Author: Brian C. Mahon The Ultimo stood high on the pinnacle of the spiraling, marble-faced steel staircase, the dais of control, his seat of power. “Come, Sarai,” his voice echoed in the white chamber and in my mind. “Ascend. Join me.” I took in the height and climbed, ...

Eternal Dreams

Author: William Norberg Dreams. Were they pleasant? I can’t remember... Sleep used to come easily in the darkness of the night. But now I trudge endlessly through choking shadows. Where neither sleep nor death will come to me mercifully. Naked, cold, starving. A sickly ...

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Author: Samuel Stapleton We work with law enforcement often, but we’re not cops. We work with business beings from every populated system, but we’re not economists. We work with medical professionals, but we’re not even versed in basic first aid. In our cheapest job, we ...

Soul Tether

Author: Steve Smith, Staff Writer When they first met, it wasn't the clumsy exo-rig she was using to navigate the university halls that caught their attention, or the baggy tie-dye jumpsuit her body was hidden inside. It wasn't the way the students parted around her as the ...

Beware the Sages

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer The observation tower runs up through a hollow tree. Not sure which was here first, but it sure looks real. From the top, you can see damn near to the horizon in all directions. A view which is, no matter where you look, shades of green ...

Gilded Cage

Author: Rick Tobin Nondescript gray gruel drifted over the worn stainless spoon stirring in a prisoner’s brown wooden bowl. Two ragged, worn men sat facing each other, heads bent down toward a stained wooden picnic bench, one lifting a metal water cup to dilute rancid ...

The Aliens Finally Find Something Edible

Author: Ken Poyner So what: a fleet of alien starcraft sets down in Ohio and lets us know we are not alone in the Universe. Okay. Our rent is still due. The last of that special jam we bought at the farm store just over the state line has soured. You still prop yourself up ...

Leviathan

Author: David Barber A sudden rash of volcanoes, spewing poisonous smoke and ash; any closer and rock lofted by the eruptions would be raining from the clouds. So we fled underground, a move not without risk. Sometimes with eruptions come more quakes and roof-falls, but ...

V-3

Author: Thomas E. Simmons That spring, the young woman we now know as V-3 crashed; purpled herself across a dead bocage of extraterrestrial mire with the proud medallions and Coat of Arms of the sovereign clipped to her lapels, while back home they made a wearisome postage ...

Life Beside the Beautiful People

Author: Matt McHugh We got the aliens' first message when they were nine years out, about the distance of Neptune. It was a series of microwave pulses repeating the prime numbers between 1 and 1000 every few minutes. We replied with different sequences—squares, cubes, ...

Queen of Lies

Author: A. Lyn Thomson “Mother, where are we?” “This, my dear, is called the Male Incubatorium, and as the new Queen of our world, it is now your responsibility.” Shock flows through my veins as we stroll through a room I have never seen before. The fact that I have never ...

Rome in a Day

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer The view outside is breathtaking, one that many would pay to see. The lights of Xīn Xiānggǎng spread as far as the eye can see, both into the distance and up into the skies above: islands of light connected by the coruscating ribbons and ...

The Ascension

Author: Ilya Tolchinsky Oleg was playing his mod of the classic Asteroids game. Instead of triggering the usual pain that put Oleg on disability for the last two years, the gameplay soothed his damaged wrist. It was as if the FeelGlove controller was expertly massaging ...

Take Me in your Arms and Let me Cry

Author: Arkapravo Bhaumik It was on the insistence of Tom that I agreed to that silly piece of imitation. James died a frightful death, his cancer gnawed through him in less than ten months, and ever since I have not been able to clear out the lump in my heart. He is not ...

Trapped

Author: Marina Barakatt You don’t know where you are or how you got there. You figure that it’s technically a prison, but nicer than anything you’ve ever paid money for. The bedroom alone is as big as your apartment. There’s a King bed and a hammock on the patio. The patio ...

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