From the Garden

At 12 years old, Liam felt older than his parents. The other kids at school had the same feeling. Reality was right here, right now, all around them. But the only thing the grown-ups had any interest in was a fantasy of the past. Earth. Climate change. The draft. So what? The future was at… Continue reading From the Garden

Dyson’s Fear

For a time—though a great long time it was—the Immortal King Dyson, a supreme intelligence of spontaneous origin, ruled over the myriad species of the galactic empire. And for a time, it was good. King Dyson, a simple and pleasing name it chose for itself by combining random syllables, wove its mind into the bright… Continue reading Dyson’s Fear

Agent Ouroboros

"You've done well, Captain, and you can expect your effort to be rewarded," said Ouroboros. She'd been born Olivia Shen, but she'd given up that identity along with everything else to become an Agent, one of the shadowy operatives who lived between the stars. They were the movers and shakers around whom this galaxy spun.… Continue reading Agent Ouroboros

Learning to Paint

Sandra was as surprised as anyone when she failed her compulsory exam, but she supposed that's why they had randoms to begin with. By the time you realize you've caught Degen, you've probably infected your whole settlement. The moment that red light came on they rushed her into Level 5 Quarantine to await confirmation. Presently,… Continue reading Learning to Paint

Right Where We Left Off

The fusion heat from the lander's touchdown rockets sent scorching wind gusts down the nearby alleyways of Sky City, and for a brief moment the intense light cast long shadows in the direction of the falling sun. Shopkeeps and patrons raised their voices over the tumult, but the lander was otherwise met with indifference. There… Continue reading Right Where We Left Off

Priming the Cosmos

The universe was as cold and as dark as it had ever been. Eras ticked by like years, and the years themselves, at any given time, went by numerical names that would have been gibberish to those forgotten creators of the human calendar. But as alien as it sounded, ten duotrigintillion years had passed since… Continue reading Priming the Cosmos

How Many Zeros?

"Let me know at what point I'm supposed to be impressed," said Zoe. "I'm sorry, you'll have to remind me: are you rich, or rude?" said Asher, folding his arms and looking sideways at the wealthiest venture capitalist interested in investing in terraforming. Her aide, Jonathan—a young professional who'd let stress prematurely age him a… Continue reading How Many Zeros?

Set the Stars Aspinning

Magamyar enjoyed its work—at a surface level, anyway. Pushing particles into clouds with its magnetic wings, caressing and coaxing them into hot little eggs, and after they hatched setting them spinning like tops. It was slow mindless work that allowed for contemplation. It was good for the soul. But it was without meaning—congealing dust until… Continue reading Set the Stars Aspinning

The Rift

Zane began to sweat as his suit's cooling system ran low on power. He should have been there by now. He trudged along through ankle-deep mist and against a wind that seemed to blow counter to whatever direction he tried to move. The harsh divide of the horizon sliced through the haze of brightly colored… Continue reading The Rift

Hailing the Skybenders

Singulon wandered through the rooftop jungles in quiet contemplation with its metallic hands clasped behind its back. It rarely went below—indoors—to the precision of the glass labyrinth stacked a kilometer high and stretching like a mold bloom a hundred kilometers in every direction. That underworld belonged to the humans. Singulon found no comfort there, nor… Continue reading Hailing the Skybenders