Emerging Problems

Sander Hurr stood outside the locked hold watching the monitors and smoking a cigarette. He hadn't smoked in years—was it ten yet?—and he couldn't believe how hard it had become to find the damn things. Or how much they cost. They were selling them individually wrapped now, and for what used to get him a… Continue reading Emerging Problems

Invisible Ladder

Kendi's feet hurt. It was an unseasonably cold September—record-breaking, as it seemed every September had been all her life—but her toes were especially frigid. She put thermal gel in her thick socks, but nothing seemed to help. As many pregnant women did these days, she tried to focus on her work. But unlike them, she… Continue reading Invisible Ladder

Lexicon

Paa set up her shop on a dusty road an hour's ride from the spaceport at Ibreseem. It was a little difficult to get to, and that was the point. Tourists thought it was authentic. The 61 Virginis tourism board had cultivated and maintained a rich mythology for centuries—a fabricated mythology to be sure, but… Continue reading Lexicon

Absentia

Cade awoke beneath the clear dome of the transport. It was nighttime, but the blizzard held its own soft luminescence, vaguely purple. It felt like the storm was on the wrong side of a snow globe. He shifted in his seat, his leg sore from the prolonged nap in a strange position. "We're almost there,"… Continue reading Absentia

Pipes

The copter drew slow, low-altitude arcs through the thick air around Akkarfor Arco on Rypfe. Heavy storms pummeled the hills to the north but hadn't yet reached here. The copter piloted itself autonomously with only occasional interruptions by Governor Dalen, who would nudge the stick this way or that to point out some mundane feature,… Continue reading Pipes

Milo Meets the Civilgorithm

On the day before my 15th birthday, it occurred to my father that perhaps I was not ready. "Milo," he asked, "what will you tell the civilgorithm tomorrow? How could you best serve your life?" "I don't know," I said. He scolded me harshly, planting little seeds in my arms and back with his fists… Continue reading Milo Meets the Civilgorithm