City People

The clouds were catching on the pointed tips of the skyscrapers like stray threads on a cotton sweater. A light drizzle spilled from the tears. They weren't supposed to be here, and that's what made it exciting. They were explorers, rediscovering ancient secrets and pocketing old-world treasures. Mikey found a little black rock—a pebble, really—with… Continue reading City People

Can’t Change the Past

A temporal switch-box is a complicated device, to put it mildly. It made an 18th century Swiss timepiece look like a mud pie by comparison. So Will was understandably upset when Kai blew theirs to smithereens with a shift grenade. It was Thursday, October 10th, 2307—78 years in the past, to them, and three days… Continue reading Can’t Change the Past

The Last Wonder

Above, thick bundles of diamond nanotubes cut thousands of parallel vertical lines in the air, disappearing in low cloud cover. Below, the ruins. The buildings that were still standing were either skeletons or bloating, sagging corpses. Shipping containers were strewn about among the hulls of gondolas like a knocked-over bucket of Legos. Capsized ships and… Continue reading The Last Wonder

Ghosts of the Array

Whenever her mother needed a fresh bucket of water, Karmina always volunteered to get it. For starters, it got her out of whatever chore she was muddling through. Often times one of her brothers would finish her chore for her before she returned. But more importantly, she loved to see the array. Mother told her… Continue reading Ghosts of the Array

Yellowjacket

After all communications ceased, Flight Engineer Sadhbh Duffy and Science Officer Eddie Takeda stuck it out another nine days before departing in the last Soyuz capsule. They'd tried, but Commander Colin Kask could not be coaxed into abandoning the station. He would remain, alone and without means to escape. The last astronaut. That was 21… Continue reading Yellowjacket

Insanity on the Darkstar

Zeddex strolled through her private rock garden, brooding. The historian, Wenloden, must be insane and would have to be executed before spreading her dangerous ideas. What troubled Zeddex so was the familiarity of the claims. Intelligent life once existed off the darkstar. Preposterous. But before Wenloden, Yannish had spouted the same heresy, as had Vinzhadel before… Continue reading Insanity on the Darkstar

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

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

A Good Find

Unontu skipped barefoot down the dusty alley, enjoying the shelter the buildings and banners offered from the sun. He'd had a growth spurt this year and his mind hadn't adapted to his body yet. His feet thwacked loudly against the hard ground with each step. Though he looked older now, he was still on the… Continue reading A Good Find

Mantis

The Kalypso III sailed onward toward the bright center of the muddy red nebula they'd taken to calling the mantis. The visual required a touch of imagination and some squinting, but the name had stuck. The brain is funny in that way; latching onto any idea, no matter how implausible, is better than the shapeless chaos of… Continue reading Mantis