Into the Black

Deloza followed behind Metsker, bouncing lightly across the Tirawa basin on Rhea. After a generation of studying from afar, using orbiters and rovers and all variety of instruments they were finally here in the flesh. Humanity had reached the anomaly. Radiance Base was 15 klicks away. They'd taken a buggy most of the way and… Continue reading Into the Black

Return of the Centauri Man

It had been a long time by any measure. But of course, the measure was the whole point. Max was awake and returning to Earth. He'd spent the bulk of the journey in a state of minmet. Even so, his stretches of wakefulness totaled more than four years subjective. Four years, five weeks, two days,… Continue reading Return of the Centauri Man

Breakfast on Mars

"Desmond, it's time for breakfast." He was completely engrossed in cataloging the root structures of the young bean sprouts he was growing, and he ignored the reminder. For a third time. A voice came over the intercom. Not the virtual assistant again, but the commander. Desmond couldn't ignore her. "Stop working and come eat." He… Continue reading Breakfast on Mars

Entering the Throat of Kraken

The little boat was getting tossed around more than she'd expected and it was making her a little queasy. The reduced gravity only served to amplify the effect. Dr. Hena Hanover was entering the Throat of Kraken. Officially it was the Seldon Fretum, a narrow straight separating the northern and southern basins of Kraken Mare,… Continue reading Entering the Throat of Kraken

End of an Era

The sun was only a few degrees above the horizon, but that's as high as it ever got. And though the unfiltered sunlight was intense, it always felt like nighttime at the moon's southern pole. With no atmosphere to diffuse the incoming light the contrast between daylight and shadow was stark. It always looked like… Continue reading End of an Era

Lure

At long last, Jimenez saw the blazing white lance of the beacon in the slate green haze, and after a few more steps forward Leroux's slim profile appeared near the beacon's base. He wasn't moving. She tried hailing him. No response. No surprise; she'd been hailing him for hours. Jimenez approached carefully over the crevices… Continue reading Lure

Attenuation

There was a static hiss. Flickering teal light beyond his visor. His shoulder hurt—must have slept on it funny. Actually, he was oddly reclined. Anton Tereschenko swam out of a foggy dreamless sleep and into a foggy dreamlike reality. He was wearing a flight suit and strapped to a crash couch. He unlatched the harnesses… Continue reading Attenuation

Yellowjacket

After all communications ceased, Flight Engineer Sadhbh Duffy and Science Officer Eddie Takeda stuck it out another nine days before departing in the last Soyuz capsule. They'd tried, but Commander Colin Kask could not be coaxed into abandoning the station. He would remain, alone and without means to escape. The last astronaut. That was 21… Continue reading Yellowjacket

Under the Knife

The Lunar Gateway orbital station was made not only of polymers and carbon fibers and lightweight alloys, but, principally, of rules. If humans had been intended for space they would have been born there. To survive in such a hostile and unforgiving environment, a strict, ordered constellation of rules was required. The Gateway had been… Continue reading Under the Knife

The Astromancer

When the wormhole appeared, we sent through six ships. Each ship brought 36 passengers, including ambassadors, religious figures, military officers, and career astronauts. Only 14 souls returned; a random selection from five of the six ships. They were gone less than a day, and they were recovered drifting naked in open space save for an… Continue reading The Astromancer