The Daughters of John Demetrius By Joe Pitkin (excerpt) On waking he felt again the perfect confidence that he would walk out of Dessicant Wells with the child of Lupe Hansen. The night’s sleep, the revitalizing Ambrosias, the brilliant white tunic all convinced him that success was a foregone conclusion.
It Takes More Muscles to Frown By Ned Beauman (excerpt) “Cantabrian don’t have access to any pipeline data,” I said. “But they built our security architecture. They have back doors.” “The programmers are in Singapore,” said Soto.
Planet of Fear By Paul J. McAuley They sweapt through the building. Dormitories. A mess hall. Offices. Stores. Two generators purring in a shack constructed from concrete blocks and corrugated iron. An assay lab and a small clinic. A cold store with three bodies wrapped in black plastic sheeting. One had been badly mangled in […]
Inhuman Garbage By Kristie Kathryn Rusch (excerpt) Getting the crime scene unit to a warehouse outside of the dome took more work than Ethan Broduer liked to do. Fortunately, he was a deputy coroner, which meant he couldn’t control the crime scene unit. Someone with more seniority had to handle requisitioning the right vehicle from […]
Machine Learning by Nancy Kress (excerpt) Building 18 was devoted to machine learning. Ethan’s research partner, Jamie Peregoy, stood in their lab, welcoming this afternoon’s test subject, Cassie McAvoy. The little girl came with her mother every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday after school. Ethan took his place at the display console.
Trapping the Pleistocene By James Sarafin (excerpt) He could see the lighted tower, looming ever larger through occasional gaps in the trees, well before he arrived. An example of the newest footprint-reducing architecture, the tower was built like a giant morel: a tall, narrow cap with an irregular, ridged surface overhanging a smaller, round base. […]
City of Ash By Paolo Bacigalupi The thought filled her with relief. The dream of escape… She could still see Papa flying, proud and strong, free of all the tethers that kept them trapped in Phoenix. This broken city wasn’t the last stop as Maria had feared. It wasn’t their dead end. She and her […]
Today I Am Paul By Martin L. Shoemaker (excerpt) Today I am Anna. Even extending my fake hair to its maximum length, I cannot emulate her long brown curls so I do not understand how Mildred can see the young woman in me; but that is what she sees, and so I am Anna.
The Children of Gal By Allen M. Steele (excerpt) In the days that followed, Sanjay did his best to put his mother’s banishment behind him. With less than three weeks – thirteen days – left in summer, there was much that needed to be done before the season changed: fish to be caught, dried, and […]
Consolation By John Kessel (excerpt) Esmeralda The blast blew the door across the lobby into the plate-glass front wall, shattering it. But then I was out on the sidewalk. I set off through the downpour in the direction of the train station.
Botanica Veneris: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathagan By Ian McDonald (excerpt) In the name of the Leader of the Starry Skies and the Ever-Circling Spiritual Family, welcome to my hoondahvi. My apsas speak; my gavanda sing, may the thoo impact their secrets! I understand completely that you have not come to drink. But the […]
Calved By J. Miller (excerpt) Thede’s eyes burned with wonder, staring up at the fretted sweep of the windscreen as we rose to meet it. We were deep in a days-long twilight; soon, the sun would set for weeks. “This is not happening,” he said, and stepped closer to me. His voice shool with joy. […]
Rates of Change By S.A. Corey (excerpt) The footage of the accident plays on a little wall monitor in the medical center. The actual water had been too deep for natural light to find them, so the images have been enhanced, green and aquamarine added, shafts of brightness put in where a human eye – […]
The Audience By Sean McMullen (excerpt) The Javelin expedition had a single point of failure, which is something that disaster recovery people hate. There was enough reaction mass to get us to Abyss and stop with our tanks practically empty. All the gas giants of the solar system had ring systems of ice, so the […]
Bannerless By Carrie Vaughn (excerpt) Enid requisitioned a solar car from the local committee and was able to take to the Coast Road the next day. The bureaucratic machinery was in motion on all the rest of it. Committeeman Trevor revealed that a couple of the young men from Apricot Hill had preemptively put in […]
The Muses of Shuyedan-18 By Indrapramit Das (excerpt) Teysanzi means new life, or beyond-life. Not quite afterlife, because of the connotations with death. I was thirty when I arrived at the Protectorate, and forty-two when I met Mi, new like I was but younger and still nan tizan, “blue-eyed” with memories of Earth. But she […]
The Astrakhan, the Homburg, and the Red Red Coat By Chaz Brenchley (excerpt) Our unannounced visitor, the uninvited, the unknown: he was tall even by Martian standards, and the shortest of us would overtop an average Earthman. Mr Holland must have been tall in his own generation, six foot three or thereabouts; here he was […]
Gypsy By Carter Scholz (excerpt) The launch of Earth’s first starship went unremarked. The crew gave no interviews. No camera broadcast the hard light pulsing from its tail. To the plain eye, it might have been a common airplane.
Meshed By Rich Larsen (excerpt) What do you mean he’s hot getting meshed? My boss pings me, plus a not unusual torrent of anger/confusion emotes that makes my teeth ache.
Another Word for World By Ann Leckie (excerpt) “Oh, Ancestors” cried the Sovereign, and smacked the groundcar steering in frustration. “I always say the wrong thing, I wish Timran hadn’t died, I wish I still had an interpreter.”Tears filled her eyes, shine in the dim light from the groundcar controls.
Ruins By Eleonor Arnason (excerpt) “The replica of America on Ishtar Terra, and the remains of the USSR on Aphrodite Terra,” said Arkady in a genial tone. “It might make a good story. At least they did not ask for mostly naked natives. We don’t have any, except in saunas and swimming pools.”