Dead Matter

"There is only one true God," said the Exoform, addressing the prisoners. "You gonna tell us it's you?" shouted a man with more courage and less sense than I. "No," said the Exoform. "The only God is Entropy." And then it vaporized the man. Slowly. I dared not turn away, but I unfocused my eyes… Continue reading Dead Matter

Anachronic Lag

All the windows were boarded shut from the inside. Jacinthe didn't even bother with the front door. Instead she walked around the sun-scorched and weather-beaten house, expecting very little and generally having her expectations met. The midday brightness baked the earth. The heat almost seemed to rise up from the cracks in the yellow-white clay.… Continue reading Anachronic Lag

Too Short a Visit

Catalina thought she opened her eyes but it was hard to know for sure. She was suddenly blind. She held up her hands but couldn't see so much as a shadow of a shadow. Vertigo swirled in her head like a vortex. The ground was solid beneath her feet but she could've sworn she'd been… Continue reading Too Short a Visit

One Wrong Move

Keaton sat hunched over the game board, considering the endless permutations. His clothing clung to his sweat and he shifted uncomfortably. The room itself was very comfortable; the ornate game table sat in the center of a dedicated high-ceilinged room larger than most homes. Intricate gilding covered every surface, from the massive columns to the… Continue reading One Wrong Move

Gears of the Spheres

"Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton all lived one right after the other. Then there was a pause. There were plenty of smart people, probably, but not a need. Where Newton left off was pretty good for a while. Anyway, then there was Einstein, and that was a big jump that was good enough for a few… Continue reading Gears of the Spheres

Turmoil in Ceres Inner

Ceres had two domains: the outer and the inner. Almost no one lived on the outside. It was just a scattering of spaceports and solar farms and the excavated rubble of the asteroid's now hollowed interior. The people lived inside. Ceres inner also had two domains: the ceiling and the floor. The tubular cavern wrapped… Continue reading Turmoil in Ceres Inner

Mary’s Other World

Mary sat in the dark in her home office beside the living room. She quietly shimmied open the desk draw and removed an Augmentium headset. She slipped it on, leaving one earpiece off. She was still in her office, but a parallel version of it. A version she couldn't have in reality, but one which… Continue reading Mary’s Other World

Let’s Do This Again Real Soon

The night was black and starless. Even the moon dared not sail that darkened sky. But below, New Manzhouli's neon glow dazzled, cold and bright. Yuxi stood in the in-between. She could be a phoenix rising from electric ashes, or the angel of death descending from the heavens into the City of Dis. Tonight, she… Continue reading Let’s Do This Again Real Soon

Was It Something I Said?

Ambassador Neph sat in the partitioned meeting room aboard the Diplomacy II, bouncing her heels off the floor. She wiped off her sweaty palms on her pant legs. Every time she realized her legs were bouncing she would stop, only to soon realize they'd started again. The door on the other side of the transparent partition… Continue reading Was It Something I Said?

We’re Not Alone in Here

Dallas was awake. The projection clock on the ceiling said it was 4:13. Too early to get up, but late enough that if she went back to sleep she'd be groggy all morning. She wasn't going back to sleep though. Something else was in the room with her. A fly. She could hear the buzzing… Continue reading We’re Not Alone in Here