Dead Matter

"There is only one true God," said the Exoform, addressing the prisoners. "You gonna tell us it's you?" shouted a man with more courage and less sense than I. "No," said the Exoform. "The only God is Entropy." And then it vaporized the man. Slowly. I dared not turn away, but I unfocused my eyes… Continue reading Dead Matter

Too Short a Visit

Catalina thought she opened her eyes but it was hard to know for sure. She was suddenly blind. She held up her hands but couldn't see so much as a shadow of a shadow. Vertigo swirled in her head like a vortex. The ground was solid beneath her feet but she could've sworn she'd been… Continue reading Too Short a Visit

Painting by Numbers

"First are the golds." Jaylah squeezed paint from the tube. She mixed her colors with meditative patience and focus. She'd spent the week working ahead at a feverish pace. Traffic was cleared; packets were outbound; scrubbers and filters and purifiers were fresh. Islet N114S7-12 was unburdened for the day. So there was no need to… Continue reading Painting by Numbers

A War Like Any Other

Zyon Genna had been away at war for more than two standard years, but the hardest part was going home. The small dropship taking him back to his farm also carried his eldest son, Alistair, and his middle son, Rome. The little cabin was weighed down by the ghost of Emerald, Rome's twin sister. Her… Continue reading A War Like Any Other

The Time Slip Man

He'd called it a bunker, but it was really just a series of empty square chambers carved out of the Tritonian ice, pressurized, and separated by heavy hatchways. Whatever you called it, he wasn't here. Leah could sense Captain West's impatience. "Give him a little time," she said. West snorted. "You'd think he'd be punctual… Continue reading The Time Slip Man

RAM

I had to get some more RAM for my dad. He'd been getting slower for a while, but yesterday he totally locked up midway through a game of gin rummy and I had to restart him. He hates being restarted. Sulked around the rest of the night just pacing and mumbling, his slippers shuffling and… Continue reading RAM

21st Century Sirens

Jericho felt like dogshit. His spring allergies had been especially rough, and that was before he got the call from the top. Before he'd biked home, his mind racing faster than his legs could pedal. Before he packed his shit, kissed his partner, and said, "I'll call you when I can. Hopefully soon." That was… Continue reading 21st Century Sirens

88 More

A swell of nausea pulled Private Elowen Dextre out of darkness. The spinning in her head was a very specific sensation: gravity flux. She felt she was strapped to a flight chair, but her arms and legs were restrained, too. She opened her eyes, and the sight before her gave her stomach a new reason… Continue reading 88 More

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