How to Sleep for 1,000 Years

As part of his education, Praveen had to read the autobiography of Dr. Maaz Ghazali, one of the pioneers of cryonic interstellar travel. It was called How to Sleep for 1,000 Years. Interesting book, if a little dated. It didn't really cover Praveen's current dilemma, but even so, the parallels were enough to chill him to… Continue reading How to Sleep for 1,000 Years

Supersonic Solar Surfer

"So what do you do?" Rhoda looked up from her bowl of micrograins and green sauce—some sort of macronutrient vegetable purée that had more smell than taste. She'd thought she was alone in the Utnapishtim's galley; she was still groggy from cryo, not fully thawed yet. The man before her seemed too young for his… Continue reading Supersonic Solar Surfer

Always the Prankster

It was the first day of the month, and that meant testing all of the pressure relief valves in the First Axiom's water systems. It was just routine maintenance, but Tyrone hated it. He always put off valve 12B-46 for last. It was in the engineering pod aft of the passenger cabin. The only way to… Continue reading Always the Prankster

Worm Food

It wasn't raining this morning, so Eino didn't grab a poncho. But, as he'd come to expect, the weather on Kultainen Tunti could change on a dime. Without the weather mod-sats there was little that could be done about it. At the moment, things were not as golden as the name implied. Eino was soaked.… Continue reading Worm Food

Now They Call Me Lucky

When the starships all fell from the sky, many people died. But for a few, time merely stood still for a while. You'll notice I didn't say "a lucky few." Some people do; they say, "How lucky you are!" And I suppose it's true, if you make no strong distinction between good luck and bad. But… Continue reading Now They Call Me Lucky

Just the Start

I ran down the emergency outer corridor on Lambda Deck, but it looked like all the others. The escape pods were gone. The automatic lighting was intermittent. The long-dried dark brown splatters on the white walls and floors made my heart thrash in my chest and I had to keep swallowing bile, but I refused… Continue reading Just the Start

Return to Paramount

Kace entered the tavern beside the unlicensed spaceport south of New Pennet on Adenin. It was dim inside, and the twin suns at midday turned him into a silhouette in the doorway. For that brief moment, the patrons paid him no mind. He looked human enough. But after he stepped inside and the door fell… Continue reading Return to Paramount

Shiver

Reef thawed out in a rubbery basin. The chemicals prevented his body from shivering, but not from feeling the cold. It was a biting, terrifying cold. He felt like icicles were pinning down his limbs so he could be cleanly dissected. He was glad he was alone; no one else had to endure his screaming.… Continue reading Shiver

Not a Creature Was Stirring

Terran floated down the empty main corridor—two kilometers long—occasionally bumping against the walls. He laughed as he flailed his arms. He laughed at the fat liquid bubbles in the air as he slurped them up. He laughed at his own ridiculous name. Terran. Ha! He was drunk, but not unhappy. Alcohol was prohibited for on-duty… Continue reading Not a Creature Was Stirring

Scavengers

Deadeye saw it first, no surprise. We rode toward the smoke. Loud Mouth couldn't stop giggling, interrupted every so often by that disgusting clicking noise the stump of his tongue made against his uvula. I ran my palm over the smooth end of my left arm, which terminated at the mid-forearm. It was an interstellar… Continue reading Scavengers