Sunset on Immaculous

Sutter awoke for the last time feeling calm. He had a twinge of anticipation in his stomach, but no remorse. His respect for the Council was impregnable, and when they sentenced him to the sunset he accepted it fully, embraced it even. The stories say it's beautiful. The garden world of Immaculous had been spared… Continue reading Sunset on Immaculous

Undercity Revolution

Everything was sore. Elenore wiped the grit from her eyes and stretched her long arms and legs like a modern take on the Vitruvian Man. The space she encompassed was her own, but only that and nothing more. She slid one of the empty ten-liter plastic cartons out from under her bed and squatted over… Continue reading Undercity Revolution

Micro Problem

When Micro got really mad his pockmarked pointy-chinned face turned bright red; it made his head look like a strawberry with a wet mop on it. Right now, Micro was really mad. His nasally voice echoed in the concrete substructure beneath the abandoned launchpads, out beyond the city walls. "What. The fuck. Is this?" "It's… Continue reading Micro Problem

Return of the Maleficarum

As a young man, Rich Speyer thought he'd seen the last of the Maleficarum. At the time, he commanded the special joint task force responsible for the Sweep—the rounding up of the dissenters, the objectionists, the pacifists, the skulking members of the anti-party-party, and shuttling them off world to take their deviant ideas to the stars.… Continue reading Return of the Maleficarum

Not Alone in the Dead City

Martina crouched low as she picked her way through the dead city, sprinting between scattered debris. It was hard to tell what used to be a street and what used to be a building and what used to be a body. She popped out from behind a twisted rail switch, wrenched up from the ground… Continue reading Not Alone in the Dead City

The Truth About Exile

Officially it was called Humanis Beta, but everyone just called it Beta. They pronounced it Bait-uh, like the Americans used to say it. Ah, to have been an American, Apurna thought; a people liberated by the notion that the future was a thing already dead and buried. Apurna was still trapped in the here and now like it was flypaper.… Continue reading The Truth About Exile

Stealing Secrets From the Dead

She didn't feel a pulse, and he wasn't breathing. He was dead; the dumb kid was dead. But River wasn't about to call the authorities. Her little 27-hour tea shop enjoyed the best Net connection on the planet because she'd tapped into the government hardline by digging down to it through the basement. It made… Continue reading Stealing Secrets From the Dead

Seven Summers From the Forge

Child sat on a low sandstone wall outside the city gates with Rewel—of his many, many mothers, she was his favorite because of her loud and frequent laughter full of snorts and screeches. But she had no laughter now. Together they waved as the caravan rolled past, and they watched it disappear over the hills… Continue reading Seven Summers From the Forge

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

The Highway

"It's alright. We'll take the Highway." Alexa's eyes widened like twin full moons, large and desolate. "We can go around." Her voice was small against the wind. Joel waved his arm at the wasteland before them, still smoldering and stinking sourly of burnt outgassing. "It goes on like this all the way to the coast."… Continue reading The Highway