City People

The clouds were catching on the pointed tips of the skyscrapers like stray threads on a cotton sweater. A light drizzle spilled from the tears. They weren't supposed to be here, and that's what made it exciting. They were explorers, rediscovering ancient secrets and pocketing old-world treasures. Mikey found a little black rock—a pebble, really—with… Continue reading City People

Real Bad Debt

The smell of rotten eggs was suddenly strong and inescapable. It made Florencia scrunch her nose, and her back teeth floated. She scooted off the hard and scratchy sofa, shifting her weight from one hip to the other until she was up. Her slippered feet shuffled over the engineered vinyl flooring to the sliding door,… Continue reading Real Bad Debt

A Little Chaos

Though the sky was the dark of night, interrupted only by the steady smiles of distant stars and the blue-green arc of the Ring, the clouds far below glowed with orange light. They looked remarkedly like hot coals ready to be fanned into glorious flames. Tareq sipped his cortado. He was fortunate, and he took… Continue reading A Little Chaos

Ghosts of the Array

Whenever her mother needed a fresh bucket of water, Karmina always volunteered to get it. For starters, it got her out of whatever chore she was muddling through. Often times one of her brothers would finish her chore for her before she returned. But more importantly, she loved to see the array. Mother told her… Continue reading Ghosts of the Array

Yuna’s Demon

There was a chill in the night air. Yuna stretched her long sleeves down over her palms and held them in place while she bounced lightly through damp underbrush on her way to the river. She had to go speak to her demon. There was a cherry tree down by the bank, and Yuna stopped… Continue reading Yuna’s Demon

From One Violence to Another

The scorching white sun was overhead and the humidity was oppressive, but even so, the alleys of downtown Gemini City were crammed with people. People everywhere, so close they had to swim and shuffle past each other. A city this big could never be built to a plan. There were no streets to speak of,… Continue reading From One Violence to Another

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

From the Garden

At 12 years old, Liam felt older than his parents. The other kids at school had the same feeling. Reality was right here, right now, all around them. But the only thing the grown-ups had any interest in was a fantasy of the past. Earth. Climate change. The draft. So what? The future was at… Continue reading From the Garden

Studying the Sunseers of Titan

A young woman prepares her canoe. She has a name, but not one that can be easily written, so it will be omitted here. Her people communicate only in a language of gestures, having abandoned their vocal chords while designing their new bodies so many generations ago. She finds a tall, straight pillar of water… Continue reading Studying the Sunseers of Titan

The Child From Qas

Rin stood at the counter in the orphanage's galley when the boy entered. At first he just stood beside her, watching her scoop the guts out of several sugar squash—the guts are the only digestible part—grown right here on Nayim. The boy waited to get her attention until she'd finished with the squash in hand.… Continue reading The Child From Qas