Hope Incarnate

Soft orange light bathed the Trailblazer III as it tumbled out of bulkspace, and the captain of the expedition, Paz van Dijk, finally set eyes on the citrine sphere that was UDF 2457. The red dwarf didn't even have a proper name, but to Paz it was hope incarnate. "Nice and easy," she said. "Maintain… Continue reading Hope Incarnate

Ex Astris

Roman's heart raced. This was it. The culmination of three years of painstaking nonstop work. Truly nonstop; he'd found it easier to live in the lab for the last several months—years? Surely it was only months—venturing out less and less frequently. His fellow lab assistants shared his zeal, but no one could compare to Dr.… Continue reading Ex Astris

Short Sighted

A silent gray burst of ejecta fountained up from Miranda's edge, bright as it caught the sunlight against a black sheet of sky, and Evelyn knew it was done. Aboard the Force Majeure, she walked from the bridge to the galley and poured herself three fingers of cognac and threw back a good portion of… Continue reading Short Sighted

Colony Collapse Disorder

The deep blue crescent of Surefire grew to unfathomable size as the shuttle descended on the night side. High white chains of clouds disappeared behind the orange glow of reentry flames. Tina kept her dark eyes downcast and rubbed her fingers. She was collected but didn't want to invite conversation. Speculation as to what had… Continue reading Colony Collapse Disorder

A Serious Problem

Its face was a putrid shade of orange, like fruit gone to rot. It had only the most basic impression of the necessary features—eyes, nose, and flat mouth—but lacked detail. No wrinkles, no whiskers, no creases or blemishes, no freckles or scars or tired bags beneath the eyes. The lack of definition made the flecks… Continue reading A Serious Problem

Some Bullshit About Dogs

"They're descended from dogs. You know that?" said Kieran. Eva was incredulous, and she didn't try to hide it. A white bandana covered her nose and mouth from the wind and dust, but her eyes did the talking. Kieran was a bullshitter through and through, and a motormouth to boot. Eva had learned that if… Continue reading Some Bullshit About Dogs

Happy Families Are All Alike…

Landon von Rutzer looked down upon Amycus crater with rheumy eyes. His ship had parked itself in orbit above Dione's trailing hemisphere which, paradoxically, was riddled with impact craters while the leading face remained relatively smooth. The universe doesn't give a Sam Hill for your expectations. It just is as it is. He squinted as… Continue reading Happy Families Are All Alike…

Consequences

The still, cold night was momentarily disturbed by the sounds of bare feet slapping against damp leaves on asphalt, and hands and uncovered knees scrambling over moss-laden car bodies, until the only sound was a labored breathing that gradually eased. After a few minutes the world seemed like it had rolled over and gone back… Continue reading Consequences

What You Bring

The Milky Way spun about its warm core, far from Ariadne's cramped cabin aboard the Trillion Rising Suns, and she felt very far from center. "Let me out dammit! Do you hear me?" She'd been at it for the better part of an hour and her voice was well past hoarse. Her throat felt like a… Continue reading What You Bring

Murder on Oasis 4320

It had been a million years since the last star stopped shining and the sky darkened forever. Michael didn't think much about it; he was born thirty thousand generations too late to know the difference. Besides, when the sky turned dark, we turned our backs on the sky. We clustered around the darkest parts of… Continue reading Murder on Oasis 4320