Holy Roller

Author: David Barber “Drugs. Alcohol. Sex.” The missionary was praising the tolerance of the Jirt. She leaned forwards. “They don’t care.” Francisco shuffled awkwardly on the bench. A woman like her saying sex. His grandfather placed a heavy hand on the lad’s shoulder ...

A New Year Story on Another Planet

Author: Glenn Leung The Star was rising to the Significant Angle once again. The inhabitants of Planet finished their chores and went to bed. We had to keep our celebratory noises down as they don't take kindly to drunken songs and pointless countdowns. Some of us gathered ...

Auld Lang Syne Revisited Again

Author: David Henson Debra dipped a shrimp in cocktail sauce. “I’m glad my folks could take the kids so we could have a quiet night in. How’s your father spending this New Year’s Eve? As if I have to ask.” The couple sat at their dining room table in a space open to the ...

Revolutions Around A Star

Author: Steve Smith, Staff Writer Carter sat on a long low bench in the middle of the observatory and stared out into deep space. He hunted the blackness for a fleck of light, then watched it hawklike, trying to gauge its position relative to the edge of the viewport to see ...

Happy New Year, Sad Old World!

Author: Irene Monaner Matthew had never heard of the Association of Friends of Planet Earth until he was invited to their NYE Gala Dinner. Having no better plans for the last evening of the year, he had donned a tuxedo and now shared a table with a couple of herpetologists, ...

Warmth from a Distant Sun

Author: Lachlan Redfern My mother once told me I will never know the feeling of sunshine on my face. I remember telling her that was ridiculous. I’d felt the warmth of UV lamps, and in terms of physical sensation, there wasn’t any difference. Mother told me that there was, ...

Maximizing Self-Interests

Author: Dylan Otto Krider We had a problem -- and by “We,” I meant for the people who make the decisions which, in turn, meant for the people who funded efforts to elect the people who make decisions. The problem was this: How do you leave the plebes with nothing, and yet ...

World 174

Author: Andrew Grenfell You have chosen World 174. World 174 comes with a long list of warnings – that is, this list! World 174 is worth 12,000 points per instantiation (“life”). Of all the worlds we offer, it ranks among the highest in points per time due to the extreme ...

The Painting

Author: Cesium When we left work that evening, they'd started blocking out the murals in the stairwell already, so we had to step carefully around the cans of paint piled on tarps and the walls still wet with fresh colors. They were going for a more abstract take on the ...

Amid Stacks, the Sweeper Sweeps

Author: Ian Hill                 As the Sweeper sweeps, therein dwells another and smaller Sweeper—a microcosmic miniature, cuter than a button, armed with duster and eyes lit with adventurous delight.

My Lucky Number’s Wrong

Author: Steve Smith, Staff Writer Christopher swore if he ever set his feet back on solid ground, he'd never put them back in a spacecraft again. He'd been assigned to this mission for a one year tour, but that had been extended five times, and he wasn't sure how much ...

A Christmas Future

Author: David Henson The crotchety old bastard ducked when a boy in a SuperSuit streaked above him. As he straightened up, a SuperSuited girl knocked his hat off. The crotchety old bastard shook his fist in the air. “Let the kids have fun,” a passer-by on the crowded ...

Too Good

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer He rests the butt of the rifle on his hip, trying to look casual despite torn and bloody clothing. Pausing his posing to light a cigar, he snaps the lighter closed and returns it to his beltpouch. Looking about the scene, he lifts a leg to ...

The Same Old Story

Author: Daniel Tenner Kristofer notices his next victim across the buzz of the entrance to the Christmas market, or maybe she notices him. She’s short, slim, tanned, draped in a sleek, long coat with a shimmering grey techwool exterior. Short hair, sharp features, and those ...

Grey Soup

Author: Gerald Keaney Behind the baroque crags of the planetoid peak, galactically sheeted stars gushed like a fusion fountain. Bounding in the low gravity, he grasped an outcrop that seemed to have been gnarled into divisive twistings by the cosmic wind itself. It was half ...

Map

Author: Cesium I started making a map of the places in my dreams. It used to be that more often than not, when I fell asleep I'd find myself wandering the streets of an old new city. I'd ride the 88 bus alongside a gaggle of frat boys in dresses heading to a Mardi Gras ...

The Change

Author: Alzo David-West The Man walked into the empty room. He sat down on a chair. “Why do you want to change?” the Voice asked. “Because I'm tired,” the Man said, “because I'm tired, and I'm broken.” “Please explain your reason,” the Voice required. “Yes. You ...

The Stuff of Humans

Author: David Henson Lt. John Peters tosses a foam ball to his son, Petey. The boy giggles when it goes through his hands and bumps him on the nose. Lt. Peters lies back on the gurney. Norene sits, legs crossed, anxiety like a current of electricity twitching her ...

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