Face Changing

FICTION by Jiang Bo, translated by Andy Dudak in Issue 177 – June 2021

Xu Haifeng sat down at the desk and tapped a button. Large screens slowly rose to surround him, like a three hundred and sixty-degree theater. All kinds of data scrolled on the screens in a never-ending torrent. Xu waved his hand and the screens responded, scrolls coming and going. When the capital flowchart revolved before […]

Embracing the Movement

FICTION by Cristina Jurado, translated by Sue Burke in Issue 177 – June 2021

We are not so different, sister sojourner. Correct us if we are mistaken, but we are both creatures trying to survive under the most adverse circumstances, evading hazards, defying misfortune, and eluding death. We share more in common than you think. Yet we have never seen anything like you, a strange being from an equally […]

Spore

FICTION by Tang Fei, translated by Andy Dudak in Issue 176 – May 2021

This is a small story, so don’t expect too much from it. The tale proceeds directly from beginning to end and wastes no time about it. Truth be told, I never thought the day would come I’d write it down. The first time I saw her, I didn’t think anything would happen. Nothing worthwhile ever […]

Catching the K Beast

FICTION PODCAST by Chen Qian, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 175 – April 2021

Catching the K Beast

FICTION by Chen Qian, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 175 – April 2021

July 9th, 2089 The beast-catching mission was off to a rocky start. Once our spaceship cut into Lamo’s planetary orbit, Old Liu and I sent down atmospheric sensors and language-recording equipment. The data they beamed back informed us that the atmosphere was breathable without mechanical assistance, that the locals were one hundred percent vegetarian, and […]

The Orbiting Guan Erye

FICTION PODCAST by Wang Zhenzhen, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 174 – March 2021

The Orbiting Guan Erye

FICTION by Wang Zhenzhen, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan in Issue 174 – March 2021

“Old Liu, what do you say we keep a bird here in the space station?” I turned my head and asked, setting down my tablet. Old Liu’s full name was Liu Zixuan. He was three years older than me, the ranking officer in this humble little space station, commanding exactly one subordinate, one of the […]

Terra Rasa

FICTION PODCAST by Anastasia Bookreyeva, translated by Ray Nayler in Issue 173 – February 2021

Terra Rasa

FICTION by Anastasia Bookreyeva, translated by Ray Nayler in Issue 173 – February 2021

The train hurled along at such speed my ears kept popping. We rushed through Voronezh in minutes. More accurately—through what was left of Voronezh. Where there had been a river, there was an empty trough. The fire had burned away the flesh of humanity here and retreated—for a time. Back when trains went slower, I […]

No Way Back

FICTION PODCAST by Chi Hui, translated by John Chu in Issue 171 – December 2020

Niuniu

FICTION PODCAST by Baoshu, translated by Andy Dudak in Issue 170 – November 2020

No Way Back

FICTION by Chi Hui, translated by John Chu in Issue 171 – December 2020

Master Hacker 11:30 a.m. knock, knock, knock. “Hey, Xuejiao, someone’s knocking at the door.” Aksha puts its paw on my face. “I know.” I roll over to my other side, pull the blanket over my head, and continue to dream happy dreams. knock, knock, knock. Aksha burrows out from under the blanket, stretches gracefully, and […]

Niuniu

FICTION by Baoshu, translated by Andy Dudak in Issue 170 – November 2020

1 Dong Fang still clearly remembers the joyous love of that rainy night. It seemed quite bad at first. After three years of dating and two years of marriage, their formerly shy and sweet explorations had become routine business. Nevertheless, he was in the mood that night. At 11:00 p.m. he turned off the light […]

All Living Creation

FICTION PODCAST by Xiu Xinyu, translated by Elizabeth Hanlon in Issue 169 – October 2020

All Living Creation

FICTION by Xiu Xinyu, translated by Elizabeth Hanlon in Issue 169 – October 2020

[1] Lying in bed, I reaffirm to myself that all is well. In some corner of the world, there is not another me, forced into life, sold, kept as a pet, tortured out of spite, assigned to a dirty, dangerous task. There’s only me. It’s lonely, but it’s a reassuring loneliness. That night I can’t […]

The Book Reader

FICTION PODCAST by Keishi Kajifune, translated by Toshiya Kamei in Issue 168 – September 2020

The Book Reader

FICTION by Keishi Kajifune, translated by Toshiya Kamei in Issue 168 – September 2020

Outside the window, a large whale swims, or rather floats, in the clear, early-summer sky. As its disproportionately huge eyes turn toward me, the whale’s body becomes tinted eerily dark red, and its flesh starts dripping. I gaze around the white-walled physics classroom. The digital textbook remains open on my tablet, still showing today’s lesson. […]

The Plague

FICTION PODCAST by Yan Leisheng, translated by Andy Dudak in Issue 167 – August 2020

The Plague

FICTION by Yan Leisheng, translated by Andy Dudak in Issue 167 – August 2020

I knew I was mad. It had to be so. No one would volunteer to do what I did. I wore a biohazard suit every day, sealed tight from head to foot, and it didn’t bother me at all. Actually, I was quite at ease suited up. A normal person wouldn’t be so calm. No […]

The Language Sheath

FICTION PODCAST by Regina Kanyu Wang, translated by Emily Jin and Regina Kanyu Wang in Issue 164 – May 2020

Three Stories Conjured from Nothing

FICTION by ShakeSpace, translated by Andy Dudak in Issue 166 – July 2020

1: Name A strange feeling suddenly arose in his body, flowing from head to foot. His vision went briefly dark, and deep thought was arrested. It took some time for his mind to return. He lay on the ground, gasping for breath, not eager to open his eyes. “Get up, my left neighbor. Information has […]

Debtless

FICTION PODCAST by Chen Qiufan, translated by Blake Stone-Banks in Issue 163 – April 2020

The Language Sheath

FICTION by Regina Kanyu Wang, translated by Emily Jin and Regina Kanyu Wang in Issue 164 – May 2020

1 Shall I go ahead? The recorder is on? All right, let me begin. My name is Ilsa. I’m honored to have this job, acting as the sole sampling subject for Babel’s planned Kemorean language sheath. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised that they chose me. Let’s just say that I knew I would get it. You […]

Debtless

FICTION by Chen Qiufan, translated by Blake Stone-Banks in Issue 163 – April 2020

In the history of human writing, the earliest word for “freedom” is found in Sumerian, signifying freedom from debt. —Treatise of Our Divine Debt, 02:35 1 The dream’s last sequence looped in my memory. A sticky black tide swept every inch of my body. Its rippling foam splintered into tiny chains that swarmed my skin, […]

Eyes of the Crocodile

FICTION PODCAST by Malena Salazar Maciá, translated by Toshiya Kamei in Issue 161 – February 2020

Eyes of the Crocodile

FICTION by Malena Salazar Maciá, translated by Toshiya Kamei in Issue 161 – February 2020

My return to our ancestral roots began with a crocodile’s eye that sprouted on my right breast. It felt like a grazing kiss from a razor-sharp bamboo tip, or the sting of the cold current of a river that once flowed on the ruined Earth. I chewed on bitter, nameless herbs to soothe my pain. […]

The Perfect Sail

FICTION PODCAST by I-Hyeong Yun, translated by Elisa Sinn and Justin Howe in Issue 160 – January 2020

The Perfect Sail

FICTION by I-Hyeong Yun, translated by Elisa Sinn and Justin Howe in Issue 160 – January 2020

“You’re dying,” the stranger told Chang. “To tell you the truth, you have less than a week left to live. I advise you to hasten your decision. If you remain here, you will surely dissolve into nothingness.” Suddenly, her Lu plummeted earthward at frightening speed. Chang sat, stupefied. The stars and clouds howled as they […]
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