Nothing Comes From Nothing

The tunnel walls were smooth as blown glass, hard as diamond, and cold as everything else in the empty depths between the stars. A brown marbling splintered across the cream-colored surface like veins. Jiten had never seen anything like it anywhere in the solar system, and he'd been to three rocky planets and a hundred… Continue reading Nothing Comes From Nothing

Resplendent Roulette

"Bull shit," said Myke with his distinctive edge-world drawl. "I got ten coin and a brand new jacket that says you ain't got the guts." He held his hand to his eyes and squinted as the clouds passed and the twin suns beamed warmly on the three boys standing in the short silvery grasses. "You ain't… Continue reading Resplendent Roulette

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

You’re Not Yourself

Meredith Aves looked upon her husband's ashen face through a veil of hot amber sparks that erupted in the space between them. His voice carried a dread she'd never before heard as he asked her pleadingly, "Are my eyes open?" She awoke with a start and barely suppressed a scream. Carter was standing beside the… Continue reading You’re Not Yourself

Meeting Your Maker

What would have been a simple excavation on Earth took more than nine years at Sinus Iridum. Still, it was worth the extra effort to be the first xenoarchaeologist. He'd sold all his worldly possessions, alienated his family, and watched his coworkers turn into tentative friends and then into casualties as Luna did its very… Continue reading Meeting Your Maker

Waking the Clockmakers

I had that fever dream again. I'm walking around the habitat. My feet make hard clicking sounds against the floor, but I can't look down to see why. I'm too busy looking at all the corpses. It's the rest of the team: Wilkens, Kang, Singh, Tenderman, and Din. They're all going about their jobs, cleaning,… Continue reading Waking the Clockmakers

Risks and Rewards

"It's a star; a black dwarf." "I already told you, that's impossible." She reminded him that for a white dwarf to cool to the cosmic background radiation temperature it would take a quadrillion years—70,000 times the current age of the universe. "You can recite numbers all you like, but I'm telling you it's a black dwarf."… Continue reading Risks and Rewards

Under Red Sand

For a while, all they could do was stare at it from the crest of the dune. Jutting up from the rust-colored sand was a fully jointed hand—like a human's—made of metallic plating and electrical cables. It was the size of a three-story house. It was Elliot who finally broke the silence with a long… Continue reading Under Red Sand

Anyone Home?

Asher piloted The Truth About Lies below the bullseye of the ring structure. The giant concentric circles demanded awe from all who saw them, even in their dormancy. There was something primal about the 2:3:5:7 ratio of their radii. A dark cloud of hydrocarbons had coalesced around the structure over eons, huddled around its implied might.… Continue reading Anyone Home?