Tender, Tether, Shell

FICTION by M. J. Pettit in Issue 191 – August 2022

The intact remnants of Tess’ pressure suit sat alone at the bar, slumped before an untouched pint of beer. No one around the Waystation blamed Hae’cera for what they did after the reactor blew. According to the logs recovered after the accident, the blast killed Tess instantly while only damaging the alien’s shell. In their […]

The Pirate's Consigliere

FICTION by Bo Balder in Issue 191 – August 2022

Sometimes piracy is easy. The generation ship invited us aboard in the first sentence of their message. No threats needed. The ship was gigantic, at least two centuries old. That and the utter naivete told me a lot. “What does that mean, consigliere Katla?” Einar, the captain, growled. “Trap?” He was standing dead center on […]

Pollatomish

FICTION by Finbarr O’Reilly in Issue 191 РAugust 2022

It was on the day of the last wake that the Murchú exploded. Mickey clasped her hands to her chest as she felt the dull concussion of detonating hydrogen and oxygen tanks rattle through her kidneys and bowels before exiting through her sternum. She looked down at the front of her blouse, past the two […]

Polly and (Not) Charles Conquer the Solar System

FICTION by Carrie Vaughn in Issue 191 – August 2022

This is Chapter Thirty or so in a whole ongoing saga that I don’t have time to get into right now. I’m jumping in at the point when my Machiavellian twin brother Charles decided to take over Mars, and I decided to help. My big failing is I never figure these things out until I’m […]

Slight Forms

FICTION by R.T. Ester in Issue 191 – August 2022

You’re five and your teacher tells you fear weighs exactly ten pounds. You come home and you ask Mum and Dad if it’s true, and you don’t stop asking why after they confirm it is. You don’t stop ’til they tell you about the Slight. By age nine it becomes embarrassing to still believe the […]

The Scene of the Crime

FICTION by Leonard Richardson in Issue 191 – August 2022

Ioris had learned one rule early in his pupal stage: never call the cops. The Akate take care of their own. However bad the trouble is, bringing in the greengloves will only make things worse. Apparently that rule didn’t apply here on the frontier. Ioris had brought a problem to Dr. Miew’s attention, and instead […]

Migratory Patterns of the Modern American Skyscraper

FICTION by Derrick Boden in Issue 191 – August 2022

They call it the pinnacle of architectural innovation. An affordable housing revolution. They call it Plexus, and it built this neighborhood in seven days. It starts as a colloid, a nanoparticle superfluid, a pale blue sludge that erupts from the nozzles of a hundred carbon fiber tubes on a cold Wednesday morning in late February. […]

The Strange Girl

FICTION PODCAST by Xiu Xinyu, translated by Emily Jin in Issue 190 – July 2022

The Sadness Box

FICTION PODCAST by Suzanne Palmer in Issue 190 – July 2022

Carapace

FICTION PODCAST by David Goodman in Issue 190 – July 2022

To Be

FICTION PODCAST by Ahmed Asi in Issue 190 – July 2022

The Forgotten

FICTION PODCAST by Eliane Boey in Issue 190 – July 2022

The Forgotten

FICTION by Eliane Boey in Issue 190 – July 2022

It was the cockroach from the crack in the bathroom wall, tapping a defiant dance on my haptic suit, that made me pull up Sociable, to post a comment to my Constituency Administrator. I’d killed the damned thing yesterday, watched it kick its hairy legs in the air. Yet somehow, life asserts itself, and accepts […]

To Be

FICTION by Ahmed Asi in Issue 190 – July 2022

Raza stepped downstage, using the warmth of the lights on his synthetic skin to find his spot. Waiting in the wings, he had tuned his embod unit’s still unfamiliar receptors for this moment. Turned up touch until light and shadow were tactile pools of warmth and cool. Turned down sound as Eric exited, stage left, […]

Carapace

FICTION by David Goodman in Issue 190 – July 2022

The first thing I am aware of is the lack of a heartbeat. Then, the volume of human blood that coats my interior surfaces. Precisely 0.019 milliseconds after activation of conscious response and autonomous threat analysis, I become an I. Three milliseconds later I began this automated logging process, in order to provide a coherent […]

The Sadness Box

FICTION by Suzanne Palmer in Issue 190 – July 2022

“Okay, so you know those things they sell called ‘useless machines’?” the inventor says. He is smiling. Of course, the boy knows them; he’d briefly had one that had been plucked from his bedroom floor and relocated into the inventor’s basement workroom almost immediately, as if his father had been lurking and waiting for the […]

The Strange Girl

FICTION by Xiu Xinyu, translated by Emily Jin in Issue 190 – July 2022

She closed her eyes and imagined holding the boy in her arms: smooth pink skin, lush and fuzzy lanugo, monolid eyes that took after Shengyuan. She lowered her head, planted a kiss on his cheek, and lightly patted him on the back. The boy, as stubborn as babies could be, wriggled and kicked. A vibration; […]

Termination Stories for the Cyberpunk Dystopia Protagonist

FICTION by Isabel J. Kim in Issue 190 – July 2022

Cool and Sexy Asian Girl stands outside the convenience store under the striped awning and waits for the rain to stop. The rain is never going to stop. Cool and Sexy Asian Girl would need to go to a different city for the rain to stop, a city not built on phosphorescent fluorescence and slick […]

Marsbodies

FICTION PODCAST by Adele Gardner in Issue 189 – June 2022

Inhuman Lovers

FICTION PODCAST by Chen Qian, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 189 – June 2022

Company Town

FICTION by Aimee Ogden in Issue 189 – June 2022

The company alarm sends Cass flailing out of bed with its first chime. If she lingers under the blankets, she’ll disturb Maya: if she doesn’t get up before the second alarm, the volume ratchets up to eighty decibels, and the smart thermostat will crank up the furnace to make the bedroom unpleasantly hot. She’s not […]

Company Town

FICTION PODCAST by Aimee Ogden in Issue 189 – June 2022

The Art of Navigating an Affair in a Time Rift

FICTION by Nika Murphy in Issue 189 – June 2022

In this timeline, crayons litter the kitchen table. Red for Mars. Pink and orange for clouds. Cerulean for the dot in the sky I call home, in this timeline. Jeannie sticks out her tongue when she colors. Her knuckles turn white as she rubs the crayons to nubs. She hands the picture to me as […]

Manjar dos Deuses

FICTION by Anna Martino in Issue 189 – June 2022

I. “Some would say it’s mercenary to charge people for their memories. What do you have to say about that?” Trust a reporter to sour the beauty of my work, Daniel thought. “I’m not charging for their memories. I’m charging for the reconstruction. Every one of my clients is special—every food memory is unique, and […]
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