The Price of a Scholarship

Irina floated to the catwalk where her governess waited. Instead of taking the water pouch offered to her, she swatted it away and banged her side fist repeatedly against the bulkhead. Her governess swam over and scooped Irina loosely into her arms. "What has gotten into you, child?" Irina shrugged the woman off. "I don't… Continue reading The Price of a Scholarship

War Within the War

After six days, the recycled, re-purified, re-sterilized urine was beginning to taste like what it actually was, but Louisa remained patient and unmoving. Cold but not shivering. Tired but not sleeping. Alert and ready. She was a professional, if a grave robber could be such a thing; and if not, she was at least experienced.… Continue reading War Within the War

Freighthopping

Coleman hopped across the frozen dark brown landscape of Marius Regio north of Melkart—outside its protective bubble. He was picking up speed. He was surprised just how fast he could go now that he was in the open, but even so he was falling behind. Gus was 25 meters ahead and the gap was increasing.… Continue reading Freighthopping

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

Grime Beneath the Gilding

The Valhalla Megacity on Callisto was housed beneath a single continuous dome. It was 3,800 kilometers across, which easily gave it entry to the club of the Seven New Wonders of the Sol System. It helped tremendously with tourism. Valhalla was divided into 361 equal-sized territories; one for each one-degree sector beneath the circular dome,… Continue reading Grime Beneath the Gilding

Terraforming Terra

Cole sat slowly down, owing the slowness to the low surface gravity, and nestled his body down. The armchair shifted on its own to hold his doughy body more comfortably. He bit the tip off of a thick, tightly rolled cigar—imported from Europa—and lit it with the small butane lighter he kept beside the armchair… Continue reading Terraforming Terra

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