Half Done

It started with a bar fight. I don’t remember what started the swinging, but I do know that I swung first, and I did it with a double rocks glass in my hand. Dark liquor and darker blood covered the big man’s droopy, drawn-out face and sharp little pebbles of glass scattered over the floorboards.… Continue reading Half Done

I Think, Therefore I Amnesia

“That event horizon’s only getting closer, ExI. Punch the coordinates and jump us out.” The android froze and tilted its face up toward the overhead above the helm. “Aw hell, Exoanthropic Intelligence my left foot! Don’t tell me you can’t remember.” “Bulk expulsion of superannuated data is a hallmark of higher-order cognition.” It pressed its… Continue reading I Think, Therefore I Amnesia

What Comes Lurking in the Light

Miria’s eyesight was poor, and that was before the hibernation sickness. She awoke alone. The Mon Chou was as deathly quiet as space itself. It was a freighter—unglamorous, but cheaper than a passenger transport—hauling a wormhole mouth to Khambalia. Miria wandered the identical empty corridors. Motion sensors kept her spotlit within the surrounding blackness. By… Continue reading What Comes Lurking in the Light

Mind is Mind

The small jump shuttle, its name and serial numbers and various tracking devices destroyed in faraway systems, hard docked with the remote outpost. The ship had never been here before, but the pilot had. Sofia shut down the engines and locked the thrusters. Then she started up the various maintenance cycles, including the FTL scrubber… Continue reading Mind is Mind

A Taste of Vengeance

The morning sky is black, thick with the ash spit from the stacks of the trawlers. The metal-plated machines stretch two kilometers straight upward, maybe more, with wide bases that could cover my entire village twice over. They hover on a cushion of plasma and crawl across the surface in long, ponderous paths, harvesting the… Continue reading A Taste of Vengeance

The Third Age of Sail

The First Age of Sail lasted for 400 years, marking a period when wind-powered ocean vessels were the principal means of human commerce before the rise of steam engines. The Second Age of Sail was a reaction to rising average global temperatures. Wind propulsion, combined with the advent of electric battery technology, again dominated mercantile… Continue reading The Third Age of Sail

Storming the Lighteater

The Lighteater's spherical hull loomed giant over the golden tall grasses like a burned out ember cast from the sun itself, charcoal black and distorted by an energy shell that could be confused with heat waves. Dotting the field were the scattered skeletons of trees with no leaves, even with the lateness of the season.… Continue reading Storming the Lighteater

Gears of the Spheres

"Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton all lived one right after the other. Then there was a pause. There were plenty of smart people, probably, but not a need. Where Newton left off was pretty good for a while. Anyway, then there was Einstein, and that was a big jump that was good enough for a few… Continue reading Gears of the Spheres

Bury the Truth at the Lunhili Graveyard

The red-eyed double suns glared down on the scrap planet Lunhili. An acidic rain drizzled down from diffuse clouds, turning to steam upon the scorched bodies of dead starships and reenacting memories of their glory days when they'd navigated the likes of the Omega Nebula in the name of humanity. But those days were over.… Continue reading Bury the Truth at the Lunhili Graveyard

Critical Resolution

"War's over," said Commander Cotton. I'd never seen her so grim. I remained laying on my cot, having long ago learned how far I could push against the power dynamic between us, even as our relationship evolved into one of mutual understanding if not respect. "Well then, congratulations. What was the final nail?" "Your acting-chief… Continue reading Critical Resolution