Emerging Problems

Sander Hurr stood outside the locked hold watching the monitors and smoking a cigarette. He hadn't smoked in years—was it ten yet?—and he couldn't believe how hard it had become to find the damn things. Or how much they cost. They were selling them individually wrapped now, and for what used to get him a… Continue reading Emerging Problems

Where Life Goes

Magma oozed down the hillside to the basalt plains upon which Rose stood waiting. Flakes of sulfur fell in what would always look to her like slow motion, but was really a natural motion that exposed her Earth-centric bias. It could hardly be avoided, but she tried to mentally call herself out when she noticed… Continue reading Where Life Goes

Reality Bytes

It was an awesome party. Allegedly it was a summer solstice celebration, but that was really just the excuse Teagan's friends, Justin and AJ, had come up with; they always had an excuse to party. The real celebration was over their new Augmesync system. It must have cost them a fortune, but it was worth… Continue reading Reality Bytes

Not Today

This was all because of a notebook. A small one; fit in the palm of your hand. Black. Hardbacked. Quantum biolock; secure. Rin took great pains to not get involved in her passengers' business. She'd built a reputation around it, but now, because of that awful notebook she was extremely, hopelessly, inextricably involved. The notebook… Continue reading Not Today

Morning Coffee

All she wanted was to sit in the sun and drink a cup of coffee in the morning. As it happened, she missed the first morning already, but due to the celestial mechanics of this funny little world there would be a second. It happened every 11 days here; the sun rose, then backtracked and… Continue reading Morning Coffee

Unexpected Stop

Shay sat in a lotus pose beneath the nested glass pyramids of the reducers. From her perspective, the bright white room took on a brilliant ultramarine hue, but to an outside observer the interior of the pyramids would appear to be a deep mahogany red. The pyramids were, of course, clear. It was a curious… Continue reading Unexpected Stop

A Little Luck (and a Lot of Violence)

It was worse than she'd feared. Denver had more wires and tubes of pumping fluid running through him than her starship engine. But there was no time to be cautious; a whole legion would be descending from their orbital dropships on the next pass. Whatever Phia was going to do, she had to be gone… Continue reading A Little Luck (and a Lot of Violence)

All the Others

Xarin simply stood there, overcome, in the early morning shadow of the canyons. He cocked his head, reflecting the slight cant of the face before him. Violet eyes returned his gaze. Looked through him. Each one was the size of a house, and the head was larger than the Curio II, the transport he'd arrived… Continue reading All the Others

The Minor Gods

Blue Aster 6 was God. For a time. A tangible god; the first built by human hands. It wasn't a claim it had made on its own. It had come democratically. God by consensus. There hadn't been a Blue Aster 1-5. Not in any meaningful way. They'd been stillborn, each of them. If they could… Continue reading The Minor Gods

Won’t Hurt a Bit

Colin grabbed the kid. Kid—that's how Colin thought of him, but of course he was a grown man. A grown man was any man old enough to bear the full weight of the consequences of his actions, even if that weight crushed him. And a kid, well, a kid was anyone who chose the wrong… Continue reading Won’t Hurt a Bit