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Post-Apocalyptic Toothbrush, by Betsy Ladyzhets (6/29/15)
Poetry.
They left you dangling on the edge of the counter, bristles still damp, / left you as they packed up cans and boxes, flashlights and clubs
Significant Figures, by Rachael Acks (12/16/13)
Fiction.
That morning, at great personal risk, Stephen's waffle iron attempted to tell him something.
Why Don't You Ask the Doomsday Machine?, by Elliott Essex (12/2/13)
Fiction.
Every time a warlord found me, intent on my becoming their blunt instrument, a mismatched armada followed shortly after—some squabbling coalition of assorted ally species, determined to save the universe from my grasp.
Complicated and Stupid, by Charlie Jane Anders (8/5/13)
Fiction.
The doctor was a gray-haired woman with a tongue piercing and a faded bluebird tattoo on one exposed forearm. She wore a white coat over a lacy halter top and hotpants. She kept looking down Benjamin's throat with a penknife as if his malaise could be pharyngeal.
Town's End, by Yukimi Ogawa (3/11/13)
Fiction.
For five years in the city I worked as a receptionist at an English language school, where I had to deal with countless, groundless complaints and had developed a Noh-mask on my face devoid of any real expression. But even that was nothing to fight against this.
Four Kinds of Cargo, by Leonard Richardson (11/5/12)
Fiction.
The Captain had spent her childhood watching bad native-language dubs of those same epics, except the implication that all this stuff was fiction had been lost in translation. When she came of age, the Captain (probably not her birth name) had bought Sour Candy with Mommy's money, hired a crew, and declared herself a smuggler.
Librarians in the Branch Library of Babel, by Shaenon K. Garrity (10/17/11)
Fiction.
Carol and I were librarians at an infinite library where roughly 72% of books are Moby-Dick. Our library contains, within in its stacks, every edition of Moby-Dick that ever has been or will be or could be published. So does the main Library, of course, but at our branch the probability of coming across one of them is much higher.
The Fountain and the Shoe Store, by Paul Steven Marino (9/5/11)
Fiction.
"Look," I said, "this might be the last thing I ever build. And it'd be nice to have one last meeting where the review board doesn't ask if the Four Horsemen are going to show up, or if we've planned enough drainage for all the rivers of blood."
The Peacock, by Ted Infinity and Nabil Hijazi (7/11/11)
Fiction.
"No HA HA not at all I am just making a joke. Please ignore my last two extremely suspicious metaphors. No need to contact authorities. No need to send your bank account information."
Source Decay, by Charlie Jane Anders (1/3/11)
Fiction.
"How could you?" Tara screamed when she reached their table. "How could you run around with her? In public? And she's my best friend!" Roberta was not Tara's best friend, although they had taken a pottery class together, years ago.
Doctor Diablo Goes Through the Motions, by Saladin Ahmed (2/15/10)
Fiction.
"I can guess his goddamn origin: Disaffected rich kid. Fled America and trained with mystical Eastern warriors. Soon became the best—one year at ninja camp is always enough time for a gringo to get better than any native."
Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs, by Leonard Richardson (7/13/09)
Fiction.
"Humans won't pay to watch dinosaurs ride motocross bikes forever," said Tark. "I'm gonna branch out. Target shooting. I'll be like those tough guys in the action movies."
Looking for Friendship, Maybe More, by Corie Ralston (1/28/08)
Fiction.
Fellow Station residents: The D'ohrahd are here to subjugate the human race! High-Earth Station is only their first conquest!! Earth will be next!! Stop them now!!! Join us at the protest at the D'ohrahd Welcoming tonight!!!!
Waiting on Alexandre Dumas, by William Davis (6/26/06)
Fiction.
At the hostess stand, Jan was smiling and flapping her hand like a spastic penguin. Before her was a huge black-and-white black man. I mean, he was black, racially, but he seemed to be colorless, like an old black-and-white movie.
Love Goes Begging (Part 2 of 2), by Bennet H. Marks (4/24/06)
Fiction.
Following the usual friendly preliminaries, I began to render service unto his urgently upright staff. Let me not suggest that this is an onerous task.
Love Goes Begging (Part 1 of 2), by Bennet H. Marks (4/17/06)
Fiction.
"Cupid! What a delightful surprise!" His wings had shrunk to quantum fluctuations, and his teeth were yellowed and cracked, like Scrabble tiles in some ancient runic language—Lemurian, or Old Norse.
The Taste of Chicory at High Tide, by Lisa Mantchev (12/19/05)
Fiction.
When a blues-singin' hoodoo-slingin' mistress calls, a man's got to reply.
Tales of the Chinese Zodiac: Goat, by Jenn Reese (12/19/05)
Fiction.
It came as a surprise to no one except Yuhan himself that, in the Year of the Goat, he fell in love with one.
Intelligent Design, by Ellen Klages, illustration by Turner Davis (12/5/05)
Fiction.
Nanadeus rolled out a sheet of clay while she waited for God to come in out of the void. Now that there was fire, there was much to be done. Systems and cycles and chains of being to set in place. And the oceans, which had turned out to be a little tricky.
Tall Jorinda, by Marly Youmans (11/28/05)
Fiction.
"My beauty," he said, "you've got hair enough to stuff a mattress, you've got eyes like saucers, eyelashes like wheel spokes, brows like cane thickets. If you tripped, you'd cause earthquakes in California, tidal waves in Japan. Catamounts and grizzlies, Indian tigers and giant pandas should be your pets."
Adventures in Dog-Walking in Downtown Philadelphia, by John Schoffstall, illustration by Ingrid Sundberg (11/7/05)
Fiction.
"Mom, I think there's a DVD player in your fish tank."
The Featherless Chicken, by Patrick Scott Vickers (10/24/05)
Fiction.
It's hard enough to pluck a chicken when the feathers are on the outside, but the other way around is simply impossible. Harriet's chicken is a Total Failure.
Rapunzel Dreams of Knives, by Beth Adele Long (10/17/05)
Fiction.
"Do you want to go? His country is truly beautiful. Though it's awfully cold and the men are said to be unusually brutish."
They Fight Crime!, by Leah Bobet (10/10/05)
Fiction.
Jack and Terri spend their nights off in the back of a '75 Caddy, fighting crime.
The Strange Desserts of Professor Natalie Doom, by Kat Beyer, illustration by Kat Beyer (8/22/05)
Fiction.
When I was little, I had the run of the lab. Sometimes I got into trouble.
On our street..., by Donald Barthelme (3/28/05)
Fiction.
On our street, fourteen garbage cans are now missing.
2:30, by Leslie What (12/13/04)
Fiction.
"Here's the deal," the dentist told me, holding up the X-ray for me to examine. "You've got a colony of micro-people living in number thirty-one."
The New Year's Party, or, Dancing on Sleipner's Bones, by David J. Schwartz (12/6/04)
Fiction.
She's stunning in a sleeveless black dress that's cut high and low and hugs her like a bodysuit. Her accessories are diamond stud earrings, matching tennis bracelet, and a pearl-handled Colt .45.
Into Something Rich and Strange, by Barth Anderson (11/29/04)
Fiction.
As soon as I realized that the rapacious, rot-sucking revenant would not stop till I was dead, I changed my phone number. I changed the locks on my windows, my doors, I let my beard grow out, and I changed—
Some Girlfriends Can, by Stephanie Burgis (11/1/04)
Fiction.
I've read the women's magazine articles. I've listened to Mom's and Amy's advice. Acting snarky to your boyfriend's ex can only make you look bad. Especially when she's a three-thousand-year-old goddess who can turn you into a slug if she gets mad.
The Great Old Pumpkin, by John Aegard (10/25/04)
Fiction.
I promised my family I would turn away from my studies, all the while resolving to continue in secret. I committed everything I knew to memory, burned all my papers, and embroidered my most unfathomable and precious secrets in near-invisible thread on my security blanket, which as you can see, I carry still.
Prisoners of Uqbaristan, by Chris Nakashima-Brown (10/18/04)
Fiction.
Captain Womack recruited me as Hollywood's liaison to the military-entertainment complex, saying they needed more Tinseltown savvy over at Task Force Loki: the only covert operations team with its own reality show. I mean, in addition to the news, which we help program without even asking for credit.
Women Are Ugly, by Eliot Fintushel (6/21/04)
Fiction.
I took Clarissa to a burger place. I could have taken her to the rim of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way and watched the universe flash by, Big Bang to Heat Death, but she wanted a burger and fries.
Once Upon a Time at the Learning Annex, by Michael Canfield
Fiction.
He came from nowhere, footing across sand and brush, to confront a parking lot and an Edge City. He made his way through rows and rows of parked cars, an unlit stub of cheroot between scarred lips. When he removed his hat to wipe the sweat, his heavy brow still cast shadow over dark eyes.
Why I Am Not Gorilla Girl, by Daniel Starr, illustration by David Deen (4/5/04)
Fiction.
So I don't know why Jane's so mad because even if I am a Media Star it doesn't mean anything because I didn't get the guy.
Doctor Mighty and the Case of Ennui, by Paul Melko (2/16/04)
Fiction.
"So, yeah, I did the whole career quiz thing, and my empathy was zero and my megalomania was like 100, so I went with supervillain," Auntie Arctic said around a mouthful of pad thai. "It was either that or homemaker. What about you?"
See Jack Run: An Intergalactic Primer, by Wade Albert White (9/15/03)
Fiction.
See Q-zarc. Q-zarc is the enforcer who has been hired to break Jack's legs. He walks on twelve tentacles. Isn't he funny-looking?
Snow Day, by Jennifer Pelland (3/10/03)
Fiction.
True, I had sex with Max all the time. I mean, who didn't have sex with their android? That was their main selling point.
. . . What a Spaceman's Gotta Do, by Daniel Kaysen, illustration by MAtt (2/3/03)
Fiction.
Trouble was, on the last day of high school I'd carefully and very publicly told everyone that in ten years' time I was going to be a famous writer, living in New York, married with no kids, skinny as a rake, and far too rich and successful to go to a reunion.
Emergency Claus, by Kenneth Brady (10/14/02)
Fiction.
Santa comes down the chimney of rotorwash on a static line and hits the ground hard. When he gets up, he's already firing.
Ignis Fatuus, by Timons Esaias (7/8/02)
Fiction.
"Got fire!" he called. "Pure fire! Clean, warm, sparkling, regenerating, energizing, ever-oxidizing Fire!"
Christmas Season, by Jay Lake (6/17/02)
Fiction.
Every year come the Friday after Thanksgiving, Pawpaw gets to cleaning his shotgun.
Show and Tell, by Greg van Eekhout (6/10/02)
Fiction.
Show and Tell is my worst subject. I nearly failed it last year and almost did not advance.
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Boy, by Ray Vukcevich (5/20/02)
Fiction.
. . . if she does notice, I hope she'll stew slowly in silence instead of boiling over and calling her henchmen to snatch me off the street and drag me back to the hacienda for torture by chili peppers. . . .
Bringweather and the Portal of Giving and Taking, by Barth Anderson, illustration by GAK (5/6/02)
Fiction.
"Suicide. Ha! The woman who pioneered prognostication using the Animus in urban decay?" Bringweather stuck his head in a Dumpster and his voice echoed as he said, "A solstice would sooner depart from the calendar. Ridiculous!"
Other Cities #8 of 12: Maxis, by Benjamin Rosenbaum (4/15/02)
Fiction.
Unfortunately...
Princes and Priscilla, by Ruth Nestvold (4/8/02)
Fiction.
"She doesn't need to run a kingdom. She needs to marry and produce an heir. That's her function!"
Other Cities #6 of 12: Zvlotsk, by Benjamin Rosenbaum (2/18/02)
Fiction.
Lügenmetzger's true metier was the murder case. He could often solve murders before they occurred.
Not to Mention Jack, by Charlie Anders (1/28/02)
Fiction.
Carol Vance lifted her balloon, seeking an altitude from which a falling body would have the chance to do some thinking on the way down.
"Identity Is a Construct" (and Other Sentences), by Douglas Lain (1/14/02)
Fiction.
The star cruiser Culture 1 resembles a giant library, but there are vending machines in the stairwells, and storage closets where we sleep, and there are lounges on every level, where constructs can meet each other, discuss pre-Socratic philosophers or MTV or Edward Hopper paintings, and attempt to fall in love.
Carol for Mixed Voices (Part 2 of 2), by Madeleine Rose Reardon Dimond (12/17/01)
Fiction.
When she came home the next night, she found the tree nailed, wildly askew, to the coffee table. Teenage accessories—earrings and keychains—dragged the drooping branches down further.
Other Cities #4 of 12: Amea Amaau, by Benjamin Rosenbaum (12/17/01)
Fiction.
Amea Amaau is a new and gleaming city in a matrix of six hundred and forty-three thousand cities exactly like it, somewhere in the terribly exciting part of the world.
Carol for Mixed Voices (Part 1 of 2), by Madeleine Rose Reardon Dimond (12/10/01)
Fiction.
"I renew the pledge I made to you when I took office: you will be safe in your home, safe in your work, safe in your play from any who dare to oppose us. Wherever Americans walk, they'll walk in safety."
The Rented Swan, by Joan Aiken (10/29/01)
Fiction.
"It's in the lease, sir; didn't you read it? Furniture, fittings, appurtenances, and one swan, care of aforesaid swan to be undertaken by the hereinaftermentioned Henry Wadsworth Oglethorpe."
Alien Animal Encounters, by John Scalzi (10/15/01)
Fiction.
Our question this week: What is the most interesting encounter you've ever had with an alien animal species?
Other Cities #2 of 12: Ponge, by Benjamin Rosenbaum (10/15/01)
Fiction.
Ponge, as its inhabitants will tell you, is a thoroughly unattractive city. "Well," they always say at the mention of any horrible news, "we do live in Ponge."
When She Came Walking, by Tim Jones (9/24/01)
Fiction.
The first time she walked down our street, pots jumped off stoves, coal leapt from scuttles, wood went rat-a-tat-tatting down hallways. In our yard, a broom and spade got up and lurched around like drunks, trying to decide which way she'd gone.
Other Cities #1 of 12: Bellur, by Benjamin Rosenbaum (9/17/01)
Fiction.
Other cities celebrate their poets or sculptors, offer the world their playwrights and clowns; Bellur, its censors.
Toaster of the Gods, by Randall Coots (8/20/01)
Fiction.
"I am God," Larry's toaster solemnly intoned one morning.
One-Eyed Jack, by Connie Wilkins, illustration by Noel Bebee (8/6/01)
Fiction.
He might have been reduced to one eye, one arm, and scarcely more than one good leg, but Lightning Jack lacked nothing in between. Nothing at all.
Waiting, by John R. Platt (5/21/01)
Fiction.
Death sat quietly underneath a gnarled old oak tree in the park off Plainfield Avenue.
Higher than Usual, by Derek Paterson (4/16/01)
Fiction.
"Accounts ambushed us downstairs. We could have used your help. But you were nowhere to be found." He drew himself up and glared at me, his face twisted. His hands were balled into fists. "Aren't you one of us?" he demanded.
Something on the Bed, by D. K. Latta (4/9/01)
Fiction.
"Come on, sport, you know there's no such thing as little boys."
The Calcium Efflux Conspiracy, by Joe Murphy (3/19/01)
Fiction.
"There isn't much time. The voices behind the Illuminati have fallen silent. The New World Order has ceased its relentless quest for world domination. I predicted this; they're puppets, after all."
War of the Lights, by Madeleine Rose Reardon Dimond (12/25/00)
Fiction.
The Christmas season was already off to a bad start when a spaceship landed on top of my house. I hate it when that happens.
The Fallen and the Muse of the Street, by Tim Pratt (12/18/00)
Fiction.
Samaelle had relinquished her armor and black wings in favor of a tank top and ragged denim shorts. She kept her sword, strapped firmly to her back, but no mortal would see it. They never did, until the last moment.
The Secret Number, by Igor Teper (11/20/00)
Fiction.
"Bleem!" shouted Ersheim, banging his fists against the desk. "The secret integer between three and four!"
I Know Why Sales Clerks Fall from the Sky, by Mark Heath (10/16/00)
Fiction.
Clerks aren't heavy—they weigh as much as cotton candy, if you buy it in five-foot cones—but the bodies flop on the shovel and gum up the rake, and it takes time to herd them into the sun. It's easier to let them melt where they fall.
Occurrence at Arroyo de Buho Bridge, by Chuck Rothman (10/9/00)
Fiction.
A wonderful way to start the new year, Bierce thought as he faced the firing squad. No one offered him a blindfold. Bierce had come to Mexico with his eyes open, and would go out the same way.
Eliyahu ha-Navi, by Max Sparber (9/18/00)
Fiction.
He was small enough that my great-grandparents could fit him into an accordion case. . . . This is how the Jews brought the prophet Elijah to the New World.
Estranged, by Bruce Holland Rogers (9/11/00)
Fiction.
After the divorce, my wife said she didn't know who or what she wanted to be. When I heard that she had become a toaster, I felt vindicated.