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

Shiver

Reef thawed out in a rubbery basin. The chemicals prevented his body from shivering, but not from feeling the cold. It was a biting, terrifying cold. He felt like icicles were pinning down his limbs so he could be cleanly dissected. He was glad he was alone; no one else had to endure his screaming.… Continue reading Shiver

Terraforming Terra

Cole sat slowly down, owing the slowness to the low surface gravity, and nestled his body down. The armchair shifted on its own to hold his doughy body more comfortably. He bit the tip off of a thick, tightly rolled cigar—imported from Europa—and lit it with the small butane lighter he kept beside the armchair… Continue reading Terraforming Terra

Reasons of Their Own

The human settlements that dotted the Martian surface with light and color and smoke were as varied as the people who built them. Mars had become a world of people, and they each came for reasons of their own. Some came for love, and some came for money. Some came to feed their wonderment, their… Continue reading Reasons of Their Own

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

The Astromancer

When the wormhole appeared, we sent through six ships. Each ship brought 36 passengers, including ambassadors, religious figures, military officers, and career astronauts. Only 14 souls returned; a random selection from five of the six ships. They were gone less than a day, and they were recovered drifting naked in open space save for an… Continue reading The Astromancer

Not a Creature Was Stirring

Terran floated down the empty main corridor—two kilometers long—occasionally bumping against the walls. He laughed as he flailed his arms. He laughed at the fat liquid bubbles in the air as he slurped them up. He laughed at his own ridiculous name. Terran. Ha! He was drunk, but not unhappy. Alcohol was prohibited for on-duty… Continue reading Not a Creature Was Stirring

Remember to Wave

Lenny felt the warmth of the sun on his face. It felt good. He could see the fuzzy strands of the veins in his eyelids. He yawned, and then remembered the fun he'd had last night. He'd stayed up well past bedtime—not even trying to keep quiet—playing with Legos and swapping secrets with his best… Continue reading Remember to Wave

Walk Away Happy

Red leaves, red bark, red soil. A red jungle beneath a red sky. The pure red sunlight above. Zenn was gray. It was a trick of the light; everything that wasn't red appeared in grayscale to the human eye beneath this unusual sun. No one called Mars the red planet anymore; Rosenhold had taken the… Continue reading Walk Away Happy

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