How Many Zeros?

"Let me know at what point I'm supposed to be impressed," said Zoe. "I'm sorry, you'll have to remind me: are you rich, or rude?" said Asher, folding his arms and looking sideways at the wealthiest venture capitalist interested in investing in terraforming. Her aide, Jonathan—a young professional who'd let stress prematurely age him a… Continue reading How Many Zeros?

Make Yourself Useful

Make yourself useful, he said. Some goddamn nerve. Two years, Lin had served on the Dauntless. Two long years, without so much as a weekend's leave, making four jumps a week while under-crewed and poorly maintained. And not once had she ever missed her mark. Never. She'd been telling Captain Sayre from day one that a… Continue reading Make Yourself Useful

Gravedigger

"Start digging graves," Dalton told the Lacuna Populous' android attendant. "Graves?" Dalton dropped the legs of the body he was dragging onto the deck and they thudded dully one after the other. He turned his irritated gaze to the android and rubbed his dark, thick beard. "Holes. Outside. To put the bodies in. Find something to… Continue reading Gravedigger

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

Pestilence Is Thy Name

Willow stepped backward onto the ledge and held the vial high over her head. The detective tossed his gun aside and held his open palms in the air, speaking in soothing tones. "Come down off that ledge. Let's just talk. I don't think you want to do this." He was wrong. She did want to… Continue reading Pestilence Is Thy Name

Labyrinth Moon

"Do you like puzzles, Sophie?" She didn't immediately answer. She just stood with her fists at her sides staring hatefully at this ancient woman—if she could even be said to be human at all—who had taken so much from her, and she imagined all the things she'd do to her if she ever got the… Continue reading Labyrinth Moon

Human-Overkill Theory

You've probably heard the name Linda Beckman. Early twenty-second century visionary industrialist, world's first trillionaire. She made some unfortunate political alliances late in life that stained her reputation, but overall she did more good than bad. During the decades between her meteoric rise and her shameful final years, she spent her fortune and her energy… Continue reading Human-Overkill Theory

The Past Casts Shadows As Long As the Future

Marshall sat on the ledge of the fountain in the square in front of the Naluo Center, tucked between the imposing towers of the city and the more imposing crowds that scurried frantically at street level. He was early for his interview; career change. Naluo had a good program, or so he'd been told. He… Continue reading The Past Casts Shadows As Long As the Future