Ghosts of the First Era

A fog rolled in between the sheer face of the cliff and the jagged limestone columns that towered over the valley, riding a sulfur breeze that tickled the nose. She hadn't understood what all the fuss was about, but now that she was here, Elise was spooked. She wiped her sweaty palms on her pants,… Continue reading Ghosts of the First Era

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

Live Worlds

Dustin came around when Len threw a fist-sized chunk of wreckage at this chest. The escape pod was in rough shape. Some of the coolant tanks had ruptured and caught fire. Dustin unstrapped himself from his crash couch and activated the Halon system. There were gaping holes in the hull; given the fire he'd just… Continue reading Live Worlds

Eureka!

Malachi was sick of this damn ship. The other families didn't have anyone his own age, just a bunch of crusty old adults and little snot-nosed kids. The whole trip was pointless; he'd legally be an adult in a couple of years and would just move back home anyway. In the meantime, he decided to… Continue reading Eureka!

Race to the Bottom

Jorde climbed further and further, placing each step with great care, further than anyone had ever gone before. He was nearing the bottom. The glorious cream-colored mesas of Apexa towered dauntingly over him, rising miles and miles into the stratosphere. The air along the plateaus of their summits was light enough to be oxygen rich… Continue reading Race to the Bottom

Star Child

Yensuensu'suneasun—Yensu, for simplicity—awoke in a bath of bright silver light. The long night was not over; it was too early to wake. He stretched his proto-limbs against the strong thin filaments of webbing and the syrupy fluid within the interior of the pod. He did not know the word mother, but that was what his spindly… Continue reading Star Child

With Only Moons to Bear Witness

The sulfur sky was a thin fog that smeared the horizon like finger paint and turned the three moons—Miya, Dota, and Castelor—to triplet discs devoid of definition. It smelled like pig shit. Jorge tried not to talk to keep the taste out of his mouth. "How far you think that tower is?" asked Dom. Jorge… Continue reading With Only Moons to Bear Witness

The Ru Rempisa

Fallon had nearly given up, and was at that moment considering turning back, when she saw them over the next rise. There were two tall figures wearing dark hooded cloaks the color of red clay. Each held a long black pike. And between them, in similar garb, was Ira. They stood as if they'd been… Continue reading The Ru Rempisa

Prepared for Anything

The Cada's crescent outline still faintly glowed violet in the skies above Nova Aparanta as the lingering exotic matter decayed and fell away from the ship's shielded hull. Omari was among the survivors, looking down at unnamed continents and murky freshwater oceans, knowing their fates were chained to this unknown world as sure as the stars… Continue reading Prepared for Anything

Fate of the Denali

"Commander, this is Spatha Six." Horace stood alone on a grassy outcrop overlooking a calm river that curved to the south through brilliant grasslands. But there was tragedy here. "Go ahead, Six." "I've got something you'll want to see, ma'am. I think I found the main drive system." The quiet hum of radio noise shushed… Continue reading Fate of the Denali