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The Beef, by J.D. Moyer (5/23/16)
Fiction.
Jeffries says he's worried about the retrovirus. I think he just doesn't like Matthews, doesn't want him hanging around. Truth is, myself and the kids excepted, Jeffries likes cattle and dogs more than people. He'll get over it.
This Is a Letter to My Son, by KJ Kabza (4/11/16)
Fiction.
When I was little, I didn't understand. I'd tap the icons on my tablet randomly, looking for her. Dad would have to help. "Mommy's right here," he'd say, pointing to the icon of the white bird. His warm hand folded over my tiny one, guiding my finger to the bird's neck.
Meltwater, by Benjamin C. Kinney (3/14/16)
Fiction.
My lover waits for me in the flooded church. She's died one time too many, and I can't get her back without her help. At least, at last, it gives me a reason to see her again.
The Angel of Divine Intent, by Tim Akers (3/7/16)
Fiction.
The choir-drive raised eyeless faces to the stained glass portals of the clerestory, their voices lifted in ecstatic calculation.
First Do No Harm, by Jonathan Edelstein (11/16/15)
Fiction.
Mutende was amused to see how many other students, high-born though they were, made signs to ward off evil.  Less amusing was that he had to stop himself from doing the same.
Needle on Bone, by Helena Bell (11/2/15)
Fiction.
I should have known you were an alien because of the tattoo on your left shoulder.
The Game of Smash and Recovery, by Kelly Link (10/19/15)
Fiction.
If there's one thing Anat knows, it's this. She loves Oscar her brother, and her brother Oscar loves her.
Beyond Sapphire Glass, by Margaret Killjoy (8/10/15)
Fiction.
We told you what we told every pilgrim: if your health wasn't bad, you had to stay with us a year before we'd lead you into the depths, before an angel would show you to the sapphire gate. Before we'd let you upload your mind, before we'd incinerate your body.
It Brought Us All Together, by Marissa Lingen (7/13/15)
Fiction.
I really was thinking of following Mom and Dad into mycogenetics.  But people freak out when they hear that.  It's like I'm supposed to go into the fetalposition and twitch and occasionally whimper, "A fungus killed my parents.  I'll never forgive those dirty spores."
The Lone Star Sin Eaters, by Evan Berkow (7/6/15)
Fiction.
We've been meeting every week for the past month. The first time I could see something in his eyes. Not exactly fear, but some itching doubt. Like maybe he should feel guilty about how things turned out, about what was happening to me.
By Degrees and Dilatory Time, by S. L. Huang (5/18/15)
Fiction.
Zara’s response was the best one, when he told her his diagnosis. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry we as scientists haven’t fixed this yet. That we haven’t fucking solved it. We should have a cure.”She was so angry. At the world. At her scientific brethren. At human progress.
Even the Mountains Are Not Forever, by Laurie Tom (3/2/15)
Fiction.
Every child knew the story of Kunchen and how she had led her people millennia ago to a snowy world so cold that it was only possible to live in the mountainous equator.
She Commands Me and I Obey part 2 of 2, by Ann Leckie Illustrated by Tory Hoke (11/17/14)
Fiction.
The noise rose. Qefahl Brend seemed paralyzed in his seat. The novice next to Her-Breath-Contains said, "She can't do that! Can she do that?" Meanwhile, Ultimately-Justice strolled unconcerned to the center line, looked at Seven-Brilliant-Truths, and gently, sweetly, smiled.
A Moon for the Unborn, by Indrapramit Das (11/10/14)
Fiction.
Every night around 1 a.m. Earth-clock, I'd see the shadows of the camp's dead children on the windows as they walked by in silent single-file.
She Commands Me and I Obey part 1 of 2, by Ann Leckie (11/10/14)
Fiction.
She wore no jewels, only the short trousers of a ball player and an undecorated armguard that covered her from wrist to elbow, her hand curled into a fist to hold it in place. She wasn't jumping or crouching, only standing, her arms at her side, her head tilted just slightly, as though she were listening to a voice only she could hear.
That's Entertainment, by Meda Kahn (11/3/14)
Fiction.
There was silence as they set up the webcam. Gilly and ten other residents, bobbing and flapping and milling around, in wheelchairs or out, crutches and canes, a regular freakshow. Gilly turned to the rest of them with hawk's eyes, fierce and focused. "If they're going to do this to us," she said, "we might as well make them pay."
Dream Cakes, by Kelly Jennings (10/20/14)
Fiction.
The recipe was never the same twice. Often Ella was not precisely aware of what she mixed into the cakes. Oh, rice flour, certainly. Well-beaten egg. Coconut milk. Honey. Spices—cardamom, or ginger, a ghost of anise, a drift of salt.
The Great Detective, by Sarah Brooks (9/15/14)
Fiction.
It was the alien that made Mayumi's Grandma into a detective. 'Not just any detective,' says Grandma. 'The Great Detective.'
Four Steps to the Perfect Smoky Eye, by Claire Humphrey (9/1/14)
Fiction.
Dad bought my safekeeper from the school.  The company had some kind of booth at Parent-Teacher Night.  He gave me this box tied with a purple ribbon.  I opened it and saw the black plastic handcuff, decorated with a row of number keys and a port on the side to charge it.
Chambered Nautilus, by Élisabeth Vonarburg (6/30/14)
Fiction.
When she realized that this time she couldn't leave, the Voyager decided to keep a diary.
Storytelling for the Night Clerk, by JY Yang (6/16/14)
Fiction.
You are most aware of building-think in bad weather. The night had brought with it a tropical depression, Typhoon Senti, but all you note of its howling winds and bullets of rain are the data readings collected by the National Archive Complex.
Pavlov's House, by Malcolm Cross (4/21/14)
Fiction.
The brothers should not have set that revolutionary alight and thrown him from what was left of the third floor, but the revolutionaries did not fucking understand that they would never take the brothers out of the house, alive or dead, because the brothers were dogs who had been genetically engineered to kill human beings more quickly and efficiently than even the biowarfare agents could.
Lysistrata of Mars, by Tory Hoke (2/10/14)
Fiction.
Poli sized Kay up. "No reason a girl like you can't make a living out here." Kay sized up Poli right back. "I'm not a hooker. No disrespect." "Hooker's better than homeless. Even so, there's a flyer on Tower Ten you might want to see." Poli walked on.
Palimpsest, by Anders Åslund (1/20/14)
Fiction.
They say that when neural reconstruction was new, they tested the technique on a single mind. One single mind was transferred to new bodies over and over again.
The Serial Killer's Astronaut Daughter, by Damien Angelica Walters (1/6/14)
Fiction.
Twelve dead women, all with families and loved ones, and the media has decided to focus on me. No, it doesn't make sense, but it makes a hell of a headline, so they say. Most people don't remember the names of the victims anyway.
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.
The Mythology of Salt, by O.J. Cade (11/11/13)
Fiction.
Makareta could not look away from the chisel and the mallet. Even the dye making, the kapara charcoal ground into dust, mixed with water and decanted into a mussel shell, could not hold her attention. The chisel – sharp and straight, the blade wide and shining – was all that she could see.
Red Matty (Part 2 of 2), by Nisi Shawl (9/30/13)
Fiction.
Now Baby Boo's plan seemed stupider than ever. Betty made up her mind. She pawed Gray Hawk's leg for attention. "Listen, I need to break a promise I shoulda never made."
Red Matty (Part 1 of 2), by Nisi Shawl (9/23/13)
Fiction.
She found the cat there, lying on the warm, shiny bottom of an upturned wheelbarrow. Baby Boo was the first modded animal Betty had made friends with. "I got a feelin," Betty announced. "That Matty one of us."
ARIECC 1.0, by Lillian Wheeler (9/16/13)
Fiction.
You are speaking to the Automated Road Information and Emergency Contact Computer, version one point zero. How may I help you?
Difference of Opinion, by Meda Kahn (9/9/13)
Fiction.
Problem is Keiya's brain never told her to paste her lips upright if she wants people to be nice. It's the IQ machine. She's been told she'd make a very good robot, all things considered.
A Plant (Whose Name is Destroyed), by Seth Dickinson (8/19/13)
Fiction.
Naveen's boyfriend is now certainly a god.
Din Ba Din, by Kate MacLeod (8/12/13)
Fiction.
I look down at my hands, past the dirt. Sun-darkened, wrinkled, but not loose skin on bone. I'm forty, maybe nearly fifty. This isn't the rocket launch I dread, not yet.
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.
Ten Cigars, by C.S.E. Cooney with illustrations by Rebecca Huston (7/15/13)
Fiction.
They solemnly passed the cigar around, sucking the non-lit end and exhaling deeply. Only Rosa got it right. She coughed up ten butterflies right away.
In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind (Part 2), by Sarah Pinsker (7/8/13)
Fiction.
George had only ever taken one trip without Millie, in the fall of 1951. A letter had arrived from the army asking him to fly to New Mexico.
In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind (Part 1 of 2), by Sarah Pinsker (7/1/13)
Fiction.
"What are you talking about, old man?" she asked, but he was already someplace else. He opened his mouth as if to say more, but no words came out.  
Jinki and the Paradox, by Sathya Stone (6/3/13)
Fiction.
"Years of erosion, that means the wind and water broke bits off the mountain along that way," he pointed east. "And brought them down here, to be dust." / "What mountains?" / "They're gone now," said Mr. Quest. "Eroded. You can see them if you look through Time."
Hiding on the Red Sands of Mars (Part 2 of 2), by Anaea Lay (5/20/13)
Fiction.
Tyson was suddenly very absorbed in the deer carcass he was dressing. "You were fathered by the revolution. I'd have stepped in anyway, but Harry... your mother knew better."
Hiding on the Red Sands of Mars (Part 1 of 2), by Anaea Lay (5/13/13)
Fiction.
"While we were on our way, when Mars was still a tiny ball in the distance, I plucked it out of the sky and rolled it between my hands to warm it up for us. Just like I do for you when you get cold."
Hear the Enemy, My Daughter, by Kenneth Schneyer (5/6/13)
Fiction.
Now Kesi is four and does not mention him at all. She remembers him; when I point to his picture, she tells me who Jabari is. But she does not begin conversation about him. She does not ask when he will return. She does not ask what it means to die.
A to Z Theory, by Toh EnJoe (3/18/13)
Fiction.
Nowadays, this amazing theorem is held to be incorrect, in terms of even elementary mathematics. Hardly anybody ever even thinks about it anymore, because it�s just plain wrong.
The Clover Still Grows Wild in Wawanosh, by Kelly Rose Pflug-Back (2/18/13)
Fiction.
Some of those ashes are the burnt-up bones of the men and women and little kids trapped inside after the bombs, and back when the compound was still at the ruins, sometimes I'd find pieces of bone in the ash I brought out for the gardens.
The Long Road to the Deep North, by Lavie Tidhar (2/11/13)
Fiction.
Like the first Bashō, this one, too, had worn and discarded names with each stage of his journey through life, at last taking on the name of a living tree and a dead poet.
Inventory, by Carmen Maria Machado (1/14/13)
Fiction.
"I'm the dad, and you're the mom," she said. I pulled up my shirt, she pulled up hers, and we just stared at each other. My heart fluttered between my legs, but I worried about daddy longlegs and her parents finding us. I still have never seen Jurassic Park. I suppose I never will.
He Reminds Us, by Jennifer Linnaea (11/12/12)
Fiction.
The premier landscape artist of the century tells me that the light is wrong. He tells me we'll have to come back tomorrow.
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.
The Lord of Discarded Things, by Lavie Tidhar (10/15/12)
Fiction.
There were still alte-zachen men in Jaffa and Central Station in those days, as there always were and always will be, and chief amongst them was Ibrahim, he who was sometimes called The Lord of Discarded Things.
The Bear with the Quantum Heart, by Renee Carter Hall (8/20/12)
Fiction.
And when I said hello and asked what my name was, she didn't hesitate. "Bear-Bear!" she proclaimed, and so I was.
Over the Waves, by Louise Hughes (8/13/12)
Fiction.
Rain had fallen overnight and Campbell's boat wouldn't start.
Zero Bar, by Tom Greene (8/6/12)
Fiction.
The doctor thinks she knows what's going on--with the father's race, I mean. She must see a lot of women with something to hide.
Elsewhere, by Benjamin Rosenbaum (6/18/12)
Fiction.
Much of what was timelike for Unlike Themselves was spacelike for Not Very; in addition, their ontologies were skew, so it was difficult to converse. We all know how difficult it is, to live together across incommensurability.
Bright Lights, by Robert Reed (5/7/12)
Fiction.
It is immediately apparent who is useful here and who must be sacrificed.
The Gods of Reorth, by Elizabeth A. Lynn (4/30/12)
Fiction.
Jael remembered years of famine, of drought, of blight. Once she had sent a plague. It had hurt, watching the inexorable processes of disease and death sweep over her people. She had not asked reasons for that.
Beneath Impossible Circumstances, by Andrea Kneeland (4/16/12)
Fiction.
Analise wants to have a baby. A real baby. I tell her that if we had a baby together, it would be a real baby. It would be a real baby and it would have parts from both of us, and it would be a real person made from both of our genes.
Area 54 (Part 2 of 2), by Hunter Liguore (4/9/12)
Fiction.
The look in Daddykins's eyes that had been gone for so long returned, and with it came regular surveillance of the night sky.
Things Greater than Love, by Kate Bachus (3/19/12)
Fiction.
There's a pre-quake, very often, a smaller tremor like the skin of the rock bunches up, muscles tensing before the ground opens and cuts loose and really shakes hard. There'd been a few of those in a row, now.
Aftermath (Part 2 of 2), by Joy Kennedy-O'Neill (2/13/12)
Fiction.
They came at all hours of the day and night. They scraped along the side of the house, moaned at the doors, ran their fingernails over the boards.
Aftermath (Part 1 of 2), by Joy Kennedy-O'Neill (2/6/12)
Fiction.
Things seem almost back to normal--there is no smoke on the horizon, the barricades have been removed, and grass and bluebonnets grow on the side of the road. There are birds singing, red-tailed hawks catching the thermals, and the buzzards are only devouring roadkill. It's just a possum. Everything is fine.
The Chastisement of Your Peace, by Tracy Canfield (1/30/12)
Fiction.
"Midnight Cruiser abducted the president of the American Psychological Association and fed him to her pet hyena," said Jenny. "Oh my God, she is awesome."
In the Cold, by Kelly Jennings (1/9/12)
Fiction.
Without anyone ever exactly saying so, I know I'm top of the stack for Chair of Executive when the time comes for Second to take charge: the obvious choice, the only one of us with the math and the mouth and the will to step up. Which does not mean I like the idea.
Eight, by Corinne Duyvis (11/14/11)
Fiction.
If everything went well, I'm back in safe, familiar 2020, and across from me in this slowly forming room, in the center of all these people awaiting my arrival, is twenty-one-years-young me.
Counting Cracks, by George R. Galuschak (11/7/11)
Fiction.
Four of us, jammed into my sister's Ford Festiva, going to kill the monster.
Particle Theory, by Edward Bryant (10/31/11)
Fiction.
"If you're right," she said, "it could be the most fantastic event a scientist could observe and record." Her eyes refocused and met mine. "Or it might be the most frightening; a final horror."
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 Fourth Board, by D J Muir (10/10/11)
Fiction.
Today, the Tyrant will ask Jinli's father to bring out the hao ryl set, sit down with him, and play a game. When the game is decided, the Tyrant will ask Father to bring Jinli before him, and to have her read his future. And Jinli knows that things will not happen this afternoon quite as anyone has planned.
A Box of Thunder, by Lewis Shiner (9/19/11)
Fiction.
«Everyone here,» Alex said, «is supposed to have signed the compact that pledged us to nonviolence.» He felt like an imposter, piling lies on top of the blatant violation of his own code that was already in progress. «We knew there would be a test sooner or later. This is it.»
Messengers from the Stars Will Come To Help Us Overcome the Obstacles That Hold Us Back From Achieving Our True Potential., by Grady Hendrix (9/12/11)
Fiction.
The Staging Area was full of purpose that morning. Everyone was excited about the Upload and we were all on task for Mission Success. I woke up full of glory and went down to Room A to calorie load, which was what we called breakfast.
Souvenir, by Genevieve Valentine (8/15/11)
Fiction.
The body's a week old, and Claudia hopes there's still a nice sharp souvenir left. Cops don't like vague answers from touches.
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."
One-Eyed Jack's, by Tracy Canfield (7/4/11)
Fiction.
She oughter do something about the Sing. She oughter do something about One-Eyed Jack's. But if she took one of them on, the other would have the valley to itself; and she wasn't certain she had the strength to fight them both, what with keeping one eye on I-79 every minute of the day.
The All-Night Truck Stop Polka Band (part 2 of 2), by Shaenon K. Garrity (6/20/11)
Fiction.
A muscular, white-toothed UPS man stood in the hall. Except that he wasn't a UPS man. Someone had clearly put a lot of work into the uniform, but it was the wrong shade of brown and some of the insignias read PSU. He had two lobes on each ear, which was probably another mistake.
The All-Night Truck Stop Polka Band (part 1 of 2), by Shaenon K. Garrity (6/13/11)
Fiction.
Meanwhile, the band members were busy. They were saving the world. They mentioned this pretty often, although all they seemed to do was drink beer, smoke Marlboros, watch TV, and raid the kitchen. They all loved TV. They'd missed thirteen years of it, and everything fascinated them.
After All, by Carol Emshwiller (5/30/11)
Fiction.
I was thinking to write a story about somebody who needs to change (the best sort of character to write about), and all of a sudden I knew it was me who had to change. Always had been, and I didn't realize it until that very minute. So I have to be the one to go on a journey, either of discovery or in order to avoid myself.
The Holder's Black-Haired Daughter, by Kelly Jennings (5/16/11)
Fiction.
This is a story you can hear told through all the stations over there by the Drift and just beyond, and if you put a gun to my head I would not swear to you one way or another whether it is a true story, but it is true enough. It will do.
Young Love on the Run from the Federal Alien Administration New Mexico Division (1984), by Grant Stone (5/9/11)
Fiction.
When she gets it right, it will signal the mothership. If there's a mothership. She thinks there's a mothership, but the smile she gives him, trembling slightly at the corners, shows she's not completely sure.
The Thick Night, by Sunny Moraine (5/2/11)
Fiction.
She doesn't look at it the whole way home. She doesn't know how to look at it: you look at a person one way, and a thing another way, and the two are not the same.
Items Found in a Box Belonging to Jonas Connolly, by Laura E. Price (4/18/11)
Fiction.
A woman swung toward us out of the sky on a knotted rope, a pistol in her free hand. The ocean roared around us; the hull sunk away from underneath us; my mother's grip on me shifted and tightened around my waist. "Hold tight," our rescuer said to us.
Trouble, by David M. deLeon (3/14/11)
Fiction.
Now our eyes were used to the dark, about as open as they get, and she was right, the view was better than Cafe C. There were so many stars if I started counting em I'd lose my place and count em all over again.
Widows in the World (part 2 of 2), by Gavin J. Grant (2/14/11)
Fiction.
She'd never liked her mother's houses. Even when she'd cracked the codes in order to program her own spaces, she had always known the deep programming wasn't hers. She'd been forced old so fast that by the time she was twelve she wanted her own place.
Widows in the World (part 1 of 2), by Gavin J. Grant (2/7/11)
Fiction.
The Granny put the gun down. She picked up her embroidery, told the house, "Let's move." She kickstarted her rocking chair as she felt the baby kicking inside. The carpet was soaking up the mess her mother's body was making. The rest of the family wives muttered as the house trembled, withdrew its roots from England's northernmost tip, checked for clearance, and slowly took off.
The Space Between Stars, by Cassandra Clarke (1/10/11)
Fiction.
I was a young man then, and I lived underground and served my country in ways I can't confess to, under the threat of fines and imprisonment, and you talked to me one night in a bar in a city built entirely out of neon and luck. A city of no substance. The best thing about Las Vegas was always you.
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.
Zookrollers Winkelden Ook, by Tracy Canfield (12/13/10)
Fiction.
Jason Fischer-Varon hated to block email from his dead husband, but he was getting over a hundred of them a day, and they were breaking his heart.
Lily, by Emily Gilman (12/6/10)
Fiction.
Lily was, to all appearances, a twenty-something-year-old girl staring dreamily out the window: the fact that she was even sitting here on a train was proof that she could pass for human.
Blood, Blood (part 2 of 2), by Abbey Mei Otis (11/22/10)
Fiction.
I lean into his blows. Each punch he lands unmoors me a little more. If I can turn every inch of my body to bruise. Convert the entirety of my flesh to pain. Then by default, the mysterious points of anchor will sever. I will rise into the air.
Blood, Blood (part 1 of 2), by Abbey Mei Otis (11/15/10)
Fiction.
I'm sixteen when George and I figure out the aliens will pay to watch us fight.
Household Spirits, by C.S.E. Cooney (11/8/10)
Fiction.
This here's ghost country, just like you said. Can't imagine a more haunted place on all Athanor, no, nor at the bottom of the nine seas where the nine old cities fell. Frontier, we call it. Makes it sound like it'd never been lived on, never been worked. But you look hard enough, you see signs everywhere.
Seven Sexy Cowboy Robots, by Sandra McDonald (10/4/10)
Fiction.
When I was a much younger woman, as part of the divorce settlement from my then-millionaire inventor husband, I asked for our house in Connecticut, a modest amount of alimony, and six sexy cowboy robots. Sentient sex toys, if you will.
Iteration, by John Kessel (9/13/10)
Fiction.
At home that night Enzo received an anonymous email headlined "Re-invent the world." No text—just a link.
Aphrodisia, by Lavie Tidhar (8/30/10)
Fiction.
We'd shared a hub in Tong Yun City years before, the asteroid-worm and the orbital hafmek and me—shared food and drugs and sex and minds—but we were younger then, on Mars.
The Big Splash, by George R. Galuschak (8/16/10)
Fiction.
"I thought you might be able to help him." I tried to keep the tremble out of my voice. "Maybe reverse the aging process. You're an alien and all."
Ghost of a Horse Under a Chandelier, by Georgina Bruce (8/9/10)
Fiction.
It's easy to lose the Book because it's always changing. There isn't an author's name on the cover. And every time Zillah opens the Book it's different. Everything is different, even the title. Today, it starts like this.
Where It Ends, by Swapna Kishore (8/2/10)
Fiction.
God, he looked so old. What had gone wrong?
Father's Day, by Jen Larsen (7/26/10)
Fiction.
My father spent years building his Doomsday Machine.
The Red Bride, by Samantha Henderson (7/5/10)
Fiction.
The story of the Red Bride is a slave's tale in slave speech, which I do not generally hold in my head around humans lest my face betray me, so I must shift words around from one meaning to another like stones on a reckoning-board, each stone taking meaning from a square where another stone was a moment before.
Out of Sombra Canyon, by Kyri Freeman (6/28/10)
Fiction.
In four days, we haven't recaptured any of the hummingbirds we've banded, or even seen one a second time. Without that, we have no way of tracking their movements, learning their behavior, what territory they need.
How to Make Friends in Seventh Grade, by Nick Poniatowski (6/21/10)
Fiction.
We knew that our stupid model rockets wouldn't be able to reach the Watchers, and she knew that we knew. But Mrs. Hildegaard had taught kindergarten for fifteen years before teaching science at East Junior High, and old habits die hard. So she gave us our assignment with the conceit that our spray-painted tubes of cardboard would somehow have enough force to break through Earth's atmosphere and grab the Watchers' attention.
The Night Train, by Lavie Tidhar (6/14/10)
Fiction.
Her name wasn't Molly and she didn't wear shades, reflective or otherwise.
The Freedom, by K M Lawrence (4/26/10)
Fiction.
I jerked the head back a bit. As often happens, the reflex brought with it the feeling that the body was truly mine.
Somadeva: A Sky River Sutra, by Vandana Singh (3/29/10)
Fiction.
These old stories have as many meanings as there are stars in the sky. To assign one single interpretation to them is to miss the point.
After We Got Back the Lights, by Eric Del Carlo (2/8/10)
Fiction.
It was always a small town. Not insular, and not poor—not by a long shot—back when money was a measurement. Those who stayed and those who survived turned out to be decent people. Maybe I was surprised at just how decent, or how capable, or how willing to dig in and do what work needed doing.
The Mad Scientist's Daughter (Part 2 of 2), by Theodora Goss (1/25/10)
Fiction.
"There, you see? I'm not saying we should spend all of our time planning to take over the world. I have other commitments myself. But I do think we should start giving it some serious consideration."
The Mad Scientist's Daughter (Part 1 of 2), by Theodora Goss (1/18/10)
Fiction.
We don't judge. Who, indeed, are we to do so? We have all done things of which we are not proud. The club is a haven for us, a port in a particularly stormy world.
Four Lies from the Mouth of God, by Megan Arkenberg (1/4/10)
Fiction.
The day the soldiers came, I drank cold coffee out of a cold mug and tried not to think about Jul.
All the Anne Franks, by Erik Hoel (11/23/09)
Fiction.
When the aliens came and cut the sky up into golden ribbons Dan Milestone ran inside to get his daughter Margaret and put her up on his shoulders in the front yard and told her that this was history and she told him to put her down because he was embarrassing her.
A Brief Investigation of the Process of Decay, by Genevieve Valentine (11/16/09)
Fiction.
There was a pause before "interested" that meant "acclimated," as if Mars was going to be just like the rez, except without oxygen.
Nomadology, by Chris Nakashima-Brown (11/2/09)
Fiction.
On-screen, stop-motion set pieces illustrated a science fiction fantasy of the destruction of the state apparatus and the abolition of private property mediated by alien invasion and natural disaster. The only sound in the room was the soft clicking of aluminum knitting needles, like a DIY Geiger counter monitoring our entropic half-lives.
The Second Conquest of Earth, by L. J. Daly (10/12/09)
Fiction.
The Kus left us our religions, to keep us docile. My mother's brand of snake-oil soothsaying passed the test, thanks to years on the best-seller lists. That this Kus hasn't killed me tells me he thinks I can read his future.
And This Also Has Been One of the Dark Places of the Earth, by Anna Feruglio Dal Dan (9/21/09)
Fiction.
It is probably the sodium glow of the streetlamps I remember—who would have thought I would ever miss it.
Salt's Father, by Eric Gregory (8/3/09)
Fiction.
For a moment there was only silence. The old man wondered if the servitor had died of hunger. Then it crawled out of shadow, its head swiveling left and right with a high, hurtful screech of metal on metal. Sensors and little pincers dangled out of its too-wide-open mouth.
Bespoke, by Genevieve Valentine (7/27/09)
Fiction.
The floors were real dateverified oak, the velvet curtains shipped from Paris in a Chinese junk during the six weeks in '58 when one of the Vagabonder boys slept with a Wright brother and planes hadn't been invented.
Second-Hand Information, by Jennifer Linnaea (6/15/09)
Fiction.
The next day I go to Pisha's house as usual, but his parent meets me at the door and looks at me extra long with her small, pink eyes. "I tell you first-hand that Pisha can't play today," she says. "He's gone in."
A Journal of Certain Events of Scientific Interest from the First Survey Voyage of the Southern Waters by HMS Ocelot, As Observed by Professor Thaddeus Boswell, DPhil, MSc; or, A Lullaby (Part 2 of 2), by Helen Keeble (6/8/09)
Fiction.
Listen. Listen. These are the stories of your lives I am telling you, the real stories, the way that things should be. This is not real, this stinking prison where you cannot live, this cannot be real, I am not watching you be born here, no—
A Journal of Certain Events of Scientific Interest from the First Survey Voyage of the Southern Waters by HMS Ocelot, As Observed by Professor Thaddeus Boswell, D.Phil, MSc.; or, A Lullaby (Part 1 of 2), by Helen Keeble (6/1/09)
Fiction.
By Divine providence, we captured the mermaid with neither loss of life nor injury to any seaman, nor any harm done to the specimen.
Baby in the Basket, by Cecil Castellucci (5/18/09)
Fiction.
When she knew he had arrived again, she could feel her heart beat faster. She couldn't help it. She loved that little boy. She had become attached. Danielle grabbed the mail and ran up the stairs. Five flights. Breathless. She didn't stop running until she was sure he was really back.
The Rising Waters (Part 2 of 2), by Benjamin Crowell (5/11/09)
Fiction.
"Was that the police?" asked Debbie about the invisible ghosts I'd been shouting at. "I don't like police. They hurt Alan Turing, and I can tell you're scared of them. I wish I could see them."
The Rising Waters (Part 1 of 2), by Benjamin Crowell (5/4/09)
Fiction.
The official working hypothesis was that he was nonresponsive (don't say autistic) due to a mismatch (don't call it boredom) between processing power and input bandwidth.
Husbandry, by Eugene Fischer (4/6/09)
Fiction.
Next is a family with a nine-year-old boy and a dead parakeet. They aren't just dropping off the carcass for deactivation and disposal, they've come to have Gerry, a professional, explain death to their son. Gerry talks to their son about what happens to the bodies of animals when they die, and points out to him the things that make it clear that his bird is dead: the uncoordinated motion, the abandonment of normal behaviors, the lack of interest in water.
Turning the Apples, by Tina Connolly (3/30/09)
Fiction.
"This ain't a negotiation, boyo," says Jonny. "They're fresh and Hawk's in a lather, he needs what you do." Then Jonny is gone and Szo is sick to his knees because he's just remembered that fresh means awake and screaming.
Diana Comet (Part 2 of 2), by Sandra McDonald (3/9/09)
Fiction.
Diana had held jewels and diamond crowns; she wasn't impressed by an oval of copper and scrap inscribed with a seal and three-digit number. Things men held dear never ceased to amaze her. Dutifully she said, "It's quite lovely."
Diana Comet (Part 1 of 2), by Sandra McDonald (3/2/09)
Fiction.
Miss Harvegstraem tilted her head. "Let me guess. A handsome visitor, both well spoken and highly educated. Scion of some wealthy family. He came to you in the cover of darkness, promising sweetness and fidelity, stealing your hard-protected virtue."
Sometimes We Arrive Home, by K. Bird Lincoln (2/23/09)
Fiction.
This alien air feels familiar, like something from her own pores.
Obedience, by Brenna Yovanoff (2/9/09)
Fiction.
She checked the cuffs of her jacket, tucked them deep into the tops of her gloves. Outside, pale hands seemed to float, palms flat against the windows. They were laughing, a storm of high-pitched giggles.
This Must Be the Place, by Elliott Bangs (2/2/09)
Fiction.
It's probably simplest to say that I first met Loren Wells in a club in San Francisco. We'll set aside for the moment that it wasn't the first time he'd met me.
The Shangri-La Affair (Part 2 of 2), by Lavie Tidhar (1/26/09)
Fiction.
"Many wish to purchase peace," the Clockwork Boss said. "And too many would like to keep it."
The Shangri-La Affair (Part 1 of 2), by Lavie Tidhar (1/19/09)
Fiction.
It came spilling over Asia like grains of rice measured into a pan. Digital systems were corrupted. Tailor-made viruses swept through urban populations, spread out to villages, sometimes merely killing, sometimes transforming people into ... into other things.
Greetings from Kampala, by Angela Ambroz (1/12/09)
Fiction.
It was dangerous on such an epic level of dangerous that Ghada was awestruck by the captain's lethal levels of stupidity. If you went down the wrong Drop, the space-time anomalies could rip you apart.
Engines of Survival, by Larissa Kelly (12/22/08)
Fiction.
It's always the little things in the future that are the hardest to adjust to.
The Same Old Story (Part 2 of 2), by Naomi Bloch (12/8/08)
Fiction.
Sarah was trying to come up with something friendly, but not empty, to say to her husband. Since the conversation in the lab they had kept their dialogue to a few safe, neutral subjects.
The Same Old Story (Part 1 of 2), by Naomi Bloch (12/1/08)
Fiction.
Sarah smiled at her. "Well, she certainly shares her mother's intelligence and charm. And those incredible violet eyes—it's hard not to fall in love with those." Nicole nodded, a bit bored. "That's how Jake ordered her, obviously."
Until Forgiveness Comes, by K. Tempest Bradford (11/17/08)
Fiction.
Sadana Manu, under-cleric of Iset, gave the sign for mourners to station themselves near the main blast sites for their glimpses of loved ones long gone.
Return (Part 2 of 2), by Eric Vogt (11/10/08)
Fiction.
Before Tima had left, he and Svena used a 0.7-Turing AI to build a reactive construct of him. That construct was all that Vishi had known of her father.
Return (Part 1 of 2), by Eric Vogt (11/3/08)
Fiction.
He wasn't Rapid Combat, but a standard and very lethal fight package was part of his Mass Dynamics Overtraining. He was very, very aware that the hand holding her to the wall was in a position to crush her trachea with just a small twitch.
Just After Midnight, by Christie Skipper Ritchotte (10/20/08)
Fiction.
He thinks there's a reset button: that people can die and start back at level one. He thinks Laura will walk through the door any minute now.
The Lion and the Mouse, by Kaolin Imago Fire (10/13/08)
Fiction.
It was a simple matter for Mouse to rip apart the thorny mess; and with that hindrance gone, even Lion's outdated meta-processes began to salve stressed joints and re-connect wounded couplings. Thanking Mouse profusely, Lion recalculated his entrance and A*'d his egress.
Swan Song, by Joanne Merriam (10/6/08)
Fiction.
"High fever. Dehydration. Recurring dreams of swans," the doctor has noted in the description area.
Kimberley Ann Duray Is Not Afraid, by Leah Bobet (9/29/08)
Fiction.
They bombed the clinic again at seven a.m. that Friday, between my shower and the hunt for a clean pair of socks.
The Future Hunters, by Christopher J. Clarke (9/8/08)
Fiction.
The ancient grey-walled fortress, built from the bones of the city, now housed the Library and the Academy. Kale entered under the bell tower and made her way across the hard red-earth enclosure, basket at her side, greeting several of her acolytes as they went to study.
There Once Was a Fish, by Brandon Myers (9/1/08)
Fiction.
"Do not touch them," her mother warned her, "they're very fragile."
Sex with Ghosts, by Sarah Kanning (8/18/08)
Fiction.
Sex. All those complications, all that messiness. It's like watching a group of enthusiasts really get into a hobby that you don't share.
Down the Well, by Alaya Dawn Johnson (8/4/08)
Fiction.
I saw her clearly, then: beautiful and terrible, ancient and radical, a goddess as much as any human can be. Killing a hexapedal carnivore with a hand-made spear, hiding for two days from a giant amphibious jellyfish desperate for food, surviving alone in the Well for five years before the computers on this side even registered the malfunction—those rumors had floated around the agency for decades. I'd found it impossible to believe that such a small, unassuming woman had done all they said she did.
Called Out to Snow Crease Farm, by Constance Cooper (7/28/08)
Fiction.
Margit worked the latch-bar of the gate, which was socketed in the bony pit of what must be an adzehorn skull. With its broad-bladed prongs removed—for tools perhaps?—and the flesh long gone, the skull looked bald and vulnerable, as homely as a cattle skull.
Jimmy's Roadside Cafe, by Ramsey Shehadeh (6/30/08)
Fiction.
After the world ended, Jimmy set up a roadside cafe in the median of I-95, just north of the Fallston exit.
In Lieu of a Thank You, by Gwynne Garfinkle (6/16/08)
Fiction.
Unlike you, Ernest was ill-versed in the ways of love, hearts and flowers and everything designed to trap a woman. I was trapped by Ernest, of course, but there was something honest about the arrangement.
Running, by Benjamin Crowell (6/9/08)
Fiction.
"In this situation we give you a two-week emergency air stipend, but it's intentionally set so low that you can't really live on it. Frontier here, can't afford to support people who aren't contributing. You'll need to find some way to make up the gap."
On the Eyeball Floor, by Tina Connolly (6/2/08)
Fiction.
People in Organs go home coated with grease and vinegar; people in Bones have lost fingers to the machines, and still nobody wants the job where a hundred half-live cyborgs line up in rows, twitching when your back is turned.
The Gadgey, by Alan Campbell (5/5/08)
Fiction.
Besides, E.T. was plastic-looking, not like the proper aliens he'd seen on Sky when he was round at Gordie's. Not like this thing. This thing had a whole bunch of tentacles, like wee willies, hanging from its chin.
Five Good Things About Meghan Sheedy (Part 2 of 2), by A.M. Dellamonica (4/28/08)
Fiction.
The dust bomb had been concealed under the steps of the infirmary, just on the edge of the playground. Dispersal had spread it like a ball of seeds from a dandelion, and now the infirmary was missing a perfect quarter-sphere of its structure.
Five Good Things About Meghan Sheedy (Part 1 of 2), by A.M. Dellamonica (4/21/08)
Fiction.
It was a way of dealing, Dinah knew, and she tried to ignore Aidan as he threw an imaginary grenade and then made a sprinkling motion over Jesse, a finger-waving shorthand that used to mean falling snow.
Linkworlds (Part 2 of 2), by Will McIntosh (3/24/08)
Fiction.
"Tweel, I think I've spied an unrecorded world! Come take a look!"
Linkworlds (Part 1 of 2), by Will McIntosh (3/17/08)
Fiction.
I didn't like the way all the marbles were piled on top of each other, because that's not how the worlds are. Worlds have lots of space between them, and they whiz around, and they bounce off the edges of the universe and whiz back toward the middle, or they bounce off other worlds, only worlds don't collide much any more because people steer them with their singing.
Kip, Running, by Genevieve Williams (3/10/08)
Fiction.
Almost as one, the runners leap from the shelter roof. When the maglev leaves the station, they'll be on top of it, heading for the labyrinthine transfer station beneath the eye of the ancient, decaying Space Needle.
Where We Live, by Daniel J. Pinney (2/18/08)
Fiction.
He emerged first with a crate of unburned incense, a second time with a blasphemous but remarkable painted ceramic statuette of the Prophet, the third time with a round mirror, almost a meter across, perfect blown glass backed with silver inside a ring of something golden. My father flashed it to me in triumph, catching the sun, and then he tumbled backwards.
We Love Deena, by Alice Sola Kim, illustration by Hellen Jo (2/11/08)
Fiction.
I don't remember which attempt it was, how many people I had been so far. But this time I was Pam, a girl who worked at the bookstore in Deena's neighborhood. Pam, whose hair was the same color as her skin, a monochromatic honey shade that would have been boring and dreary on other people but looked delicious on Pam. I was reasonably sure that if Deena didn't love me anymore, she would love Pam.
Tokyo Rising, by Lynne Hawkinson (2/4/08)
Fiction.
The fifth time hurt him. That was when the giant secret government robots went berserk and bombed the schools during the national examinations. Kai lost his young daughter, and he had not yet found a way to replace her
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!!!!
R3 (Part 2 of 2), by Dennis Danvers (12/17/07)
Fiction.
Everybody's watching the same scenes: the fiery crash, the swelling tributaries of desperate people filling the huge parking lot, the surrounding neighborhoods and beyond, a sea of people as far as you can see, more and more all the time, looking to the sky, for what? For relief, for hope, for something impossible to believe in. For us.
R3 (Part 1 of 2), by Dennis Danvers (12/10/07)
Fiction.
Donner's a mess—grazing on the wrong shrooms again. She's let a little spider make a web in her antlers and won't let me touch it. "At least it's real," she says. "It is what it is. What are we? Freaks. Genetic meatloaf. Reindeer who can sing and dance."
Airport Shoes, by Ursula Pflug (11/26/07)
Fiction.
Airports are about coming and going; they are never about being anywhere, except perhaps the bar. I paid out a lot more cash to bartenders and ticket agents than I ever did on rent that summer.
Goat Eschatologies, by Margaret Ronald (11/19/07)
Fiction.
The sign over the refrigerator had been knocked off-center. Pre-Apocalypse Sale on Cheese, it read in Gert's angular handwriting—a joke to start with, less and less funny every day. By now Gert was almost too ashamed to take it down.
Ghosts and Simulations, by Ruthanna Emrys (11/12/07)
Fiction.
"Don't call them dead in front of visitors, unless they say it first. Also, you keep an eye on the clients. They talk to each other. There's a monitor you can look at, I'll show you later. But they're stubborn. They don't change their minds much, so they get into loops sometimes."
Making Payments, by Jason Stoddard (10/15/07)
Fiction.
I imagined some young Comparative Value Analyst factoring that into her stellar rating for the Young Couples' Complex. But they didn't tell you they charged you anyway, even if you didn't drink the damn stuff. And they didn't tell you about the upsells.
The Master, by Lavie Tidhar (10/8/07)
Fiction.
He was no longer fashionable, and had not, in fact, written or published a book for several years. The children, too, were now almost alien to him: they were a generation he had not anticipated.
All Kinds of Reasons, by Katherine Maclaine (9/3/07)
Fiction.
Tony skimmed the cursor over the image's direction arrows and made the baby spin. "Twelve months after birth. EEC Syndrome and sirenomelia, mostly. A couple of personality disorders too, according to the prediction software, but I think that's my fault."
Practicing My Sad Face, by Marc Schultz (8/27/07)
Fiction.
My recall is getting better as the doctors fine-tune my hippocampus. Now I can remember that Joyce is my girlfriend without looking her up in pMemory. I still don't recognize her face or voice, but those are separate problems.
Little Ambushes, by Joanne Merriam (8/20/07)
Fiction.
He twisted his fingers together as though emphasizing his alienness, every one of them looking like a slender thumb, and she thought his hands looked like a big, black spider wriggling at the end of its thread.
Artifice and Intelligence, by Tim Pratt, illustration by Mack Sztaba (8/6/07)
Fiction.
"I think I do not believe in ghosts. But if someone had asked me, three months ago, if I believed in spontaneously bootstrapping artificial intelligence, I would have said no to that as well. The world is an uncertain place."
29 Union Leaders Can't Be Wrong, by Genevieve Valentine (6/18/07)
Fiction.
He's not, though; no better and no worse. He looks like someone he would know. He touches his cheeks, runs his finger down the bridge of his new nose. When he cries Callahan stares at the cabinets until he's got hold of himself.
Private Detective Molly, by A. B. Goelman, illustration by Egypt Urnash (6/4/07)
Fiction.
That's when I see my new boss. Four feet of trouble. Brunette variety. Tear tracks cutting through the dirt on her face, wearing jeans that were already old when Molly Dolls were nothing more than molded plastic and fantasy homes.
Ex Machina, by Margaret Ronald (5/28/07)
Fiction.
"'And One said, I will choose among you certain of your folk, that they may know the lightning's path, and the mysteries of light, and the knowledge to heal that which was made and not born. For learning fails, and inscriptions weather away, and records molder, but the blood carries on.'"
Ferryman's Reprieve, by Kate Bachus (4/23/07)
Fiction.
"I killed a woman was dear to my heart. I knew it was a mistake when I done it."
How the Mermaid Lost Her Song, by Mark Teppo (4/16/07)
Fiction.
"Fascinating," he murmured, staring into the squid's blank gaze. "Protector or devourer? I wonder." The squid shifted color again, draining to opaque white as if to give nothing away to the detective's question.
What the Thunder Said, by Lavie Tidhar, illustration by Robert E. Hobbs, Jr. (4/2/07)
Fiction.
Certainty made his voice heavy, his Other whispering all the while in his ear, a warning Mr. Nine fought in vain to ignore. "It was no inyanga who did this to your friend. The boy's soul was taken by the storm."
Harvest, by Joanne Merriam (3/26/07)
Fiction.
Soldiers surround the area and shout at the humans to please step out of the line of fire. A tank raises its turret and somebody is shouting something about surrendering and then the aliens just aren't there anymore.
The Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun (Part 2 of 2), by Paula R. Stiles (3/19/07)
Fiction.
"We're talking about respectable people, here, not honest or kind or honorable ones. They'll do whatever it takes to keep looking respectable."
The Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun (Part 1 of 2), by Paula R. Stiles (3/12/07)
Fiction.
"I found her in a disposal on Zero Level. I don't know if she's got kin or not, but if she does, I figure they'll be pretty worried about her. And if not, she'll need looking after."
Horatius and Clodia, by Charlie Anders (2/26/07)
Fiction.
"If you're a foreign currency, you can't come in," I said. "I'm not set up to do forex yet."
Somewhere in Central Queensland, by Grace Dugan (1/22/07)
Fiction.
They were the ones sheltering the dissidents who fled from the cities, and accepting the refugees who still continued to come from the north, when the government would have left them to starve.
Godtouched, by Sara Genge (1/15/07)
Fiction.
She knows so many things she shouldn't. It's the hum, the godtouch that has told her all of this. Sometimes she knows if someone is alive or dead, sometimes she can tell if the clans will raid their dirty village. Most of the time she doesn't understand what she hears.
Pockmarked Cement, by Kaolin Fire, illustration by Thomas Dodd (11/6/06)
Fiction.
Dharma Shankar, Ph.D., is in his field, juggling ears of corn while the locusts approach.
High Windows, by Lavie Tidhar (10/23/06)
Fiction.
The collar closed around my neck as the Ibn Al-Farid began its gentle acceleration towards the Jupiter system.
Spinning Out (Part 2 of 2), by Jamie Barras, illustration by Carole Hall (10/9/06)
Fiction.
In ages past, on other earths, Pateelhogol's people, the Telorim, had controlled a great empire built on fabulous devices like the weather wheels. But they had warred amongst themselves. Their empire had fallen.
Spinning Out (Part 1 of 2), by Jamie Barras, illustration by Carole Hall (10/2/06)
Fiction.
As night fell, Cap'n Macintyre gathered the crew on the quarterdeck for a council of war. "Well, lads," he said, "what's it to be: keep running or turn and fight?"
Mayfly, by Heather Lindsley (9/25/06)
Fiction.
I'm talking about flexing my infant fingers with the memory of arthritis in my grandmother's hands. I'm talking about reading before teething. I'm talking about taking my first clumsy steps toward an electric bill I already know is due next Thursday.
The House Beyond Your Sky, by Benjamin Rosenbaum, illustration by Vladimir Vitkovsky (9/4/06)
Fiction.
Among the ontotropes, transverse to the space we know, Matthias is making something new.
The Town on Blighted Sea (Part 2 of 2), by A. M. Dellamonica (8/28/06)
Fiction.
"They tossed away a million of their fry." Bitterness clawed her lungs; it was always a mistake, discussing this with kids. The words coughed out in spurts, like blood.
The Town on Blighted Sea (Part 1 of 2), by A. M. Dellamonica (8/21/06)
Fiction.
She took in everything at once. The blood, the corpses—one human and female, one squid and male—the smell of puke and, most important, the lack of an immediate threat.
Draco Campestris, by Sarah Monette, illustration by Mack Sztaba (8/7/06)
Fiction.
They were once a prized exhibit, but after the great taxonomic scandal under the previous Director, they became an embarrassment rather than a glory, banished to a cavernous hall in the sublevels of the Museum.
The Women of Our Occupation, by Kameron Hurley (7/31/06)
Fiction.
They were from a far shore none of us had ever seen or heard of, and every night my father cursed them as he turned on the radio. He kept it set to the resistance channel. No one wanted the women here.
My Termen, by Eliot Fintushel (6/19/06)
Fiction.
Has not one experienced this with radio whine when one moves about the room, and the static shall sing? So my Termen already had observed in 1919 at Yoffee Institute, when he is inventing said instrument. This is one's theremin, what my Termen called ethervox or termenvox, voice of Termen.
Dogtown, by Amanda Downum (6/12/06)
Fiction.
She looked stretched tight too—something had her nervous, and it wasn't the killer across the table. Dark eyes flickered toward the window, and the night beyond.
Cinderella Suicide, by Samantha Henderson (5/15/06)
Fiction.
Cinderella Suicide had the Whoremaster backed against the greasy-smooth wall of the Tarot, blade beneath his chins. She had that grinning-skull look that meant she didn't give a damn anymore.
The Purple Hippopotamus Wading Pool, by Joanne Merriam (3/6/06)
Fiction.
Sherrie looked at him critically: dark hair, thin, tall, wedding band, nice suit. It was three o'clock in the afternoon on a Wednesday, and this was his fourth beer. Angela was sitting at his table, looking affordable.
Historians and Degenerates, by Joey Comeau (2/27/06)
Fiction.
Who lives off the grid, anyway? Revolutionaries and criminals and historians.
Ignis Fatuus, by Eliani Torres (2/20/06)
Fiction.
Catherine closed her eyes and stretched, throwing her head back and crossing her wrists high above her head. She reminded him again of a barely tamed feline, a leashed snow tiger, the old breeds of grimalkin.
Portrait of Ari, by Mary Robinette Kowal (1/30/06)
Fiction.
Ari looked up from the mat she was cutting. "So the secret to getting you to dance is sleep deprivation?"
Bearing Witness (Part 2 of 2), by Marguerite Reed (11/21/05)
Fiction.
"You show me a cosmonaut who doesn't have nightmares, you're showing me someone with no imagination. We all have 'em, we just don't talk about it."
Bearing Witness (Part 1 of 2), by Marguerite Reed (11/14/05)
Fiction.
The biohazard bag floated by her knee. She pushed the pipettes in and zipped it shut. "Twenty more to go, and I don't have to run an experiment to tell you they'll turn out nonviable."
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.
Exception (Part 2 of 2), by Jason Stoddard (9/19/05)
Fiction.
But Arcadia couldn't be destroyed. It ran on its own set of self-replicating nanoscale processors that blew on the wind until they found a place with sun and silicon and set about reproducing.
Exception (Part 1 of 2), by Jason Stoddard (9/12/05)
Fiction.
Something had reached through her memories, sending tendrils of thought from deep in her past to her present. As if another mind had tried to force itself into hers.
Family Tradition, by Frank Byrns (8/29/05)
Fiction.
An amateur, like I said, but still ... he's keeping up with me.
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.
Red Sky, by Celia Marsh (8/15/05)
Fiction.
She knew all the risks involved. She just thought that it would be worth giving up everything for even one trip. To be up there, looking up, falling down, nothing but distance all around.
Cloud Dragon Skies, by N. K. Jemisin, illustration by Frank Wu (8/1/05)
Fiction.
Even so, we kept our guard up. Who knew what new diseases they might have developed, up in the sky and surrounded by strangeness? Infected blankets. Germs as spears and arrows. Accept no gifts from them, the griots had warned, but of course people are greedy.
Pursued by a Bear, by Hannah Wolf Bowen (6/27/05)
Fiction.
He was there, later, when they took the last bear from the wild. He followed her until she fell, tranquilizer dart bright against her shaggy coat.
She Called Me Baby, by Vylar Kaftan (5/30/05)
Fiction.
"The exact wording was 'I wish for my daughter to be cloned from my DNA, so that I may give her a secure future in every cell of her body.' Your mother was giving you a gift—badly, perhaps, but she meant well. Now, will you go see her as she's dying?"
Planet of the Amazon Women (Part 2 of 2), by David Moles (5/23/05)
Fiction.
In Myrine all they have is a cenotaph. Nobody knows what happened to the bodies. In Themiscyra they do not even have that; when they talk about men it's like they're talking about a metaphor, or a myth.
Planet of the Amazon Women (Part 1 of 2), by David Moles (5/16/05)
Fiction.
But when it came it came suddenly, sweeping across Hippolyta in less than a year, in its progress less like a disease than like a curse. It defied drugs and vaccines and quarantines, brushing past exploration-grade immune enhancements as if they were so many scented medieval nosegays.
Archipelago, by Anil Menon (4/25/05)
Fiction.
The idea was to get a group of people to hook up their sensoriums in a certain way and then use a data feed—the "stim"—to trigger a synchronization of minds; a firefly swarm, as it were, of minds all blinking, signalling, and responding in unison.
The Diogenes Robot, by Mark Rich, illustration by Avijit Das (4/4/05)
Fiction.
I had fallen into a controlling mindset, the numbers said. Manipulative. Maybe I even lied, when I spoke to her. Maybe? The Truth Machine said I had, and that was that.
Tales of the Chinese Zodiac: Dog, by Jenn Reese (3/21/05)
Fiction.
Because it was the Year of the Dog, and because Hsien had grown tired of his ancient body, he went down to Meat Swap on Sunday and bought himself the body of a forty-pound mutt.
The Jenna Set, by Daniel Kaysen (3/14/05)
Fiction.
...and then if they say no you flip to page two and you ask them if it's the dinner or the oral sex that they have the problem with.
La Malcontenta, by Liz Williams, illustration by Emily Tolson (3/7/05)
Fiction.
In the centre of Winterstrike, Mars' first city, in the middle of the meteorite crater that gave the city its name, stands the fortress: a mass of vitrified stone as white as a bone and as red as a still-beating heart.
Moons Like Great White Whales, by Charles Coleman Finlay (2/28/05)
Fiction.
"You love the way we're alone together, with whole worlds to ourselves. Whenever you start thinking about colonists following after us, changing the landscapes we've shared, you always get depressed."
A Coffee Cup/Alien Invasion Story, by Douglas Lain, illustration by Jeff Foster (2/7/05)
Fiction.
The UFOs in the sky over Portland look like hubcaps. Silver or chrome-plated saucers, all of them roughly the same size and all of them spinning, hang miraculously in midair, but most people either don't see them or pretend that they don't see.
Homestay, by Tim Jones (1/31/05)
Fiction.
Nicola and I admitted that yes, we too had wings, but that we preferred to open them only when needed for flight. "Or in private," added Nicola. Her gaze swept the room as she said it, and I saw male gazes linger in return.
Two Dreams on Trains, by Elizabeth Bear (1/3/05)
Fiction.
A city like drowned New Orleans, you don't just walk away from. A city like drowned New Orleans, you fly away from. If you can. And if you can't . . . you make something that can.
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.
Time's Swell, by Victoria Somogyi and Kathleen Chamberlain (11/15/04)
Fiction.
Sometimes she tells me that she met me here, six months ago, that she knows nothing about my past. And then there are the days when she tells me that we've traveled through time, that we have come from the future and are trapped here. She tells me that she was a temporal scientist, that I was her project. Those are the bad days.
Echo, Sonar, by Kate Bachus, illustrations by Mats Holmgren (11/8/04)
Fiction.
Lost, Vaughn had thought to himself, as the commander's voice floated past him. He repeated it, thought of the tower of waves in squall and his father's big wool sweaters in the same somber gray. My father is lost at sea.
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.
Revision (Part 2 of 2), by Jason Stoddard (9/20/04)
Fiction.
"There's no UNDO button. There's no 'just kidding' switch. Edits are permanent. Your mind is forever changed."
Revision (Part 1 of 2), by Jason Stoddard (9/13/04)
Fiction.
When you're very old, the tree of the mind does require pruning. But altering the imbalance of personality should not be part of what an Editor does.
The Green Glass Sea, by Ellen Klages, illustration by Greg McBrady (9/6/04)
Fiction.
In the summer of 1945, Dr. Gordon was gone for the first two weeks in July. Dewey Kerrigan noticed that a lot of the usual faces were missing from the dining hall at the Los Alamos lodge, and everyone seemed tense, even more tense than usual.
The Pale, by Liz Williams (8/30/04)
Fiction.
She came out of the poisoned sea, my mother, out of darkness and winter.
Crossing Borders, by Tom Doyle (8/9/04)
Fiction.
Her most controversial feature was her face: the face of a precocious, prurient child, the kind of face that made the most innocent of lollipops look naughty. All the genders with a taste for human females found her repellent and irresistible at the same time.
The Algorithms for Love, by Ken Liu (7/12/04)
Fiction.
Every interview we did followed the same pattern. The moment when Clever Laura™ first turned to the interviewer and answered a question there was always some awkwardness and unease; seeing an inanimate object display intelligent behavior had that effect on people. Then I would explain how Laura worked and everyone would be delighted.
Straw, by Sarah Monette (6/28/04)
Fiction.
"Everyone I loved was dead, kid. Everyone. And I probably killed them, although I don't remember it."
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.
Unfinished (Part 2 of 2), by Jason Stoddard (5/17/04)
Fiction.
"I would like to have the focus to paint again. I would like to be able to remember what I did the day before, without confusing it with a day from forty years past. Or a hundred years past."
Unfinished (Part 1 of 2), by Jason Stoddard (5/10/04)
Fiction.
"Most cases are only eighty to a hundred years old," I said. "In their first light mindclutter. I don't know why Clariti sent me to Edit you. I would think they would have sent someone more experienced."
Tetrarchs, by Alan DeNiro, illustration by Carole Carmen (5/3/04)
Fiction.
Buying oranges, one at a time, was one of my favorite things. Along with jazz, which was one good chord after another.
Alone in the House of Mims, by Barth Anderson (4/26/04)
Fiction.
"Your celebrity impressions are hilarious," said Wyhoff, smiling. "I love your Dick Cheney as Lon Chaney as Wolfman eating the senator. Nicely layered. Each imitation distinct."
Burn Here With Me, by Amy Hembree (4/19/04)
Fiction.
The day that Caleb signed the record contract, the first thing his brother told him was not to fly in planes. Rock stars die in plane crashes, he said.
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.
Rapture (Part 2 of 2), by Sally Gwylan (3/22/04)
Fiction.
I believe but for the events of this week, Josef would have been in a cell alongside Kropotsky & the others. As things stand it's almost certain he will instead bear witness against his comrades.
Rapture (Part 1 of 2), by Sally Gwylan (3/15/04)
Fiction.
A small man whose gestures & intonation burned with fevered zeal, Owings exhorted his audience to Pray! Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead them into the ways of righteousness! As he shouted, the air inside the hall began to sparkle, golden motes drifting down. I doubted my eyes, but others were seeing it too, looking up, gaping.
Genderbending at the Madhattered, by Kameron Hurley (2/23/04)
Fiction.
By the end of the night, we were always drunk. Page and Nib would be yelling about whose turn it was to be male in their ongoing adolescent opera, and Rule would be wearing a dress, illegally.
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?"
Century to Starboard, by Liz Williams, illustration by Ursula Freer (2/2/04)
Fiction.
The sea looks just like my Versace silk camisole, but apparently we're expecting a storm later on. We've been through a typhoon already, off Manila. I thought I'd be terrified, but actually it was quite exciting, and we couldn't feel it at all—the Ship's big enough to ride out even huge hurricanes.
St. Ailbe's Hall (Part 2 of 2), by Naomi Kritzer (1/26/04)
Fiction.
This past Sunday had been the craziest yet. There had been protestors outside the church—some objecting to Jasper's presence, others defending her right to be there. Three quarters of the people waving signs weren't Catholic, and nearly all of them were from out of town.
St. Ailbe's Hall (Part 1 of 2), by Naomi Kritzer (1/19/04)
Fiction.
There was a Siberian husky in the last pew of St. Mary's. It was standing on its hind legs, holding a hymnal and singing, so Father Andrew knew that it must be an enhanced dog—but what was it doing in church?
The War of the Flowers, by Brenda Cooper (1/12/04)
Fiction.
Before I could touch my daughter, at the end of every day, I had to take a decon shower and pull on an ugly jumpsuit. That should have been enough penance.
Three Tales from Sky River: Myths for a Starfaring Age, by Vandana Singh, illustration by Naomi Nowak (1/5/04)
Fiction.
Her scalp was no longer bare, but covered with tentacles, each as thick as her little finger. They writhed and looped about her face, and gave her otherwise pleasing appearance a terrible aspect.
In the Late December, by Greg van Eekhout (12/22/03)
Fiction.
Santa goes down the list, pushing the team relentlessly across the black. Little girl after little girl, little boy after little boy, absent, vanished into the emptiness of the old, dying, dead universe.
Toobychubbies, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (11/24/03)
Fiction.
When you have two kids who are less than four years old, you view the Toobychubbies as a godsend. No matter how good your intentions are to be the best mother in the universe, you have a finite amount of energy, and the kids are perpetual motion machines.
Twenty-One Pennies, by Joel Best, illustration by Robert J. Beam, Jr. (11/3/03)
Fiction.
The things people pray for, you have to wonder. Stone, he just wants to be human again.
Indra's Rice, by S. Evans (10/20/03)
Fiction.
Ganesh, in his aspect as Gajanana, loomed behind her, his trunk curling and uncurling. The noose he carried in his upper left hand rested loosely about her neck, rope prickling against her pulse-points.
Rushes #10 of 12: Deka Logos, by Jay Lake (10/20/03)
Fiction.
Are these injunctions? Instructions? Perhaps commandments to the faithful? None can say, though theories abound.
The Cleansing Fire of God, by Jay Lake (9/29/03)
Fiction.
Officially you're here for reading proscribed foreign journals. That and your history of secularism. But we both know you're really here because of the message you got from the moon.
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?
Pressure, by Jeff Carlson (8/25/03)
Fiction.
Beyond this shelf, the sea floor plunged away for miles. This place was like another planet, strange and new, and I was the very first.
Momi Watu, by Nisi Shawl (8/18/03)
Fiction.
I scanned the labels of the laundry bags. Entomologists say two weeks is long enough. They've studied the life cycle; they should know. But it was researchers that got us in this fix in the first place, so I wait three, just to be sure.
Rushes #7 of 12: Stars in the Sky, by Jay Lake (7/21/03)
Fiction.
Pleiades boosts outsystem on a slow, spiral orbit, jealously leaching energy from bloated Sol, staying ahead of the limits of the radiation shielding. Sister Sun eats her children.
The Riverbed of the World, by B. C. Holmes (6/23/03)
Fiction.
"Suppose you were me," Kolay said to Galla, "and a foreigner came to you to ask why there are transsexuals in the world. What would you say?"
Linear Projection, by Tom Crippen (6/16/03)
Fiction.
That was 1965, the beginning of the silver epoch. Bud did not give it that name until enough decades had passed for him to finally catch on.
Lost and Found, by Sandra McDonald (5/26/03)
Fiction.
Mom considered the contraption over the rim of her coffee cup. "Where are my car keys?" The machine hummed for a moment and then displayed its answer in green block letters: "In the basket by the front door."
For the Plague Thereof Was Exceeding Great, by Jennifer Pelland (5/19/03)
Fiction.
Kathleen Murphy gripped her can of Mace tightly as she rode the Red Line to work, hands sweating inside the latex of her surgical gloves. All around her, her fellow T riders were openly clutching Mace or pepper spray as well, all glancing around the car from behind safety goggles and surgical masks.
Fetch, by David Moles (5/12/03)
Fiction.
"The Russians can't get their dog back," Akers said. "No way the capsule can reenter without burning up. Our guys think she's got air for maybe a week—ten days, tops. The President wants NACA to mount a rescue mission."
A Chromepunk Anthology, by M. Bennardo, illustration by Linus Persson (4/7/03)
Ram turned over his engine three times, six times, nine times, feeling the hot gasoline roar in his veins. He arched his chassis and spread his axles, chrome glinting everywhere under the sun.
Visit the Sins, by Cory Doctorow (3/31/03)
Fiction.
The kids had been scattered, unable to focus. Then they had the operation, and suddenly it wasn't a problem anymore. Whenever their attention dropped below a certain threshold, they just switched off, until the world regained some excitement.
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.
Why the Elders Bare Their Throats, by Patrick Weekes (2/17/03)
Fiction.
One day, the village children were out foraging with an elder when a Rikath came upon them, a great snarling gray creature with long fangs and crimson eyes. The children froze just as they had been taught, and the elder bounded off. The Rikath darted after him, stone knife ready in one paw.
. . . 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.
Interrupt, by Jeff Carlson (1/13/03)
Fiction.
Whatever happened to the sun seems to be intensifying. This time I blacked out for at least five days.
It Takes a Town, by Stephen V. Ramey (11/25/02)
Fiction.
THORNHOPE
POPULATION 850
HOME OF THE MARS ROCKET
The Scent of Rotting Roses, by Jay Lake (11/18/02)
Fiction.
"Do you know what that plant is worth? The gene package by itself, let alone a growing, healthy specimen." He grinned. "More than any bonus for old tech ever paid. And we found it."
Unspeakable, by M. C. A. Hogarth, illustration by M. C. A. Hogarth (11/4/02)
Fiction.
None of them were comfortable tales, and most of them were edloña, unspeakable, unthinkable. Why I returned, I could not say.
Wantaviewer (Part 2 of 2), by Michael J. Jasper (9/23/02)
Fiction.
"You may want to come by some other time, ma'am. Sometimes the Wantas get that way, get a little out of control."
Wantaviewer (Part 1 of 2), by Michael J. Jasper (9/16/02)
Fiction.
Nobody from the Netstreams had been able to get closer than this, and the airspace around all thirty landing sites had been restricted since the arrival of the ships in November.
Looking Back, by Corie Ralston (8/26/02)
Fiction.
My wedding band caught the light from the front porch. I pulled the ring from my finger and placed it on the table just inside the door. A small parting gift.
Lion's Blood (excerpt), by Steven Barnes (7/29/02)
Fiction.
Out of an enfolding bank of mist glided twin dragons. Rearing back like sea horses, stub-winged and fanged, each dragon was perched on the prow of a ship, each ship about fifty hands in length. The ships' oars scooped water and sculled ahead silently, every motion practiced and perfect.
Dream the Moon, by Linda J. Dunn (7/15/02)
Fiction.
Maybe it's better never to dream. Then you don't have to live with failure.
Other Cities #11 of 12: The Cities of Myrkhyr, by Benjamin Rosenbaum (7/15/02)
Fiction.
Each behemoth that screams by overhead is a mile wide, blotting out the sky in all directions.
Confounding Mr. Newton, by James Allison (6/24/02)
Fiction.
"The sun should be yellow, perhaps? Not black."
"That's not the sun," explained my brother. "It's me. I'm in mourning, you see."
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.
Freedom, Spiced and Drunk, by M. C. A. Hogarth (5/27/02)
Fiction.
No anadi, no female, can escape the mind-death. It may claim you while you carry your first child or wait until your sixth, but it will claim you.
Other Cities #9 of 12: Jouiselle-aux-Chantes, by Benjamin Rosenbaum (5/20/02)
Fiction.
Jouiselle-aux-Chantes is the city of erotic forgetting.
Quink, by H. Courreges LeBlanc (5/13/02)
Fiction.
Base personality my ass. Yigs didn't have one, not even retreads. But people believed what they needed. They were all of them blinded by emotion.
Shepherd's Calendar (Part 2 of 2), by Alan DeNiro (4/22/02)
Fiction.
"Some of the priests on the ship, the telepaths mostly, wanted to know the shepherds more. Maybe they thought that the shepherds were closer to God, closer than humans ever could be."
Shepherd's Calendar (Part 1 of 2), by Alan DeNiro (4/15/02)
Fiction.
The shepherds made only two requirements of the crew on wherespace voyages: no sex, no violence.
Agent Provocateur, by Alexander Irvine, illustration by Ben Strickland (4/1/02)
Fiction.
Baseball fans are always alert to the possibility of history being made.
Miss Parker Down the Bung, by Kate Bachus (3/25/02)
Fiction.
Jenkins was a fierce free climber, for a digger. Likeden they'd have made her a rift scout, or even a survey crewman, hadn't it been for the trouble on that deep drop some time ago.
Other Cities #7 of 12: New(n) Pernch, by Benjamin Rosenbaum (3/18/02)
Fiction.
There is only one thing the machines cannot build, and that is the guiding intelligence of the new city.
The Final Solution (Part 2 of 2), by K. Mark Hoover (2/25/02)
Fiction.
My father was an electrician. My mother taught piano. I don't remember much about my sister, except that she was very beautiful. There are no photographs; all I have are memories.
The Final Solution (Part 1 of 2), by K. Mark Hoover (2/18/02)
Fiction.
"You're the only man who can do it, Paul. The only one who can set right what, surely, was never meant to happen. You'll be healing an open wound in the history of our species."
Time of Day, by Nick Mamatas (1/21/02)
Fiction.
I had just gotten off work and was on my way to more work when the phones in my mind rang. It was another seven jobs calling in, begging for my attention.
Other Cities #5 of 12: Ylla's Choice, by Benjamin Rosenbaum (1/21/02)
Fiction.
Ylla's Choice is a spherical city of several million. Its bonsai gardeners should be famous throughout the galaxy; its actors orate well; its corridors are clean, and through the shielded glass windows of a marvelous design, the glowing swirl of gas outside is beautiful.
"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.
driftings, by Dana Christina (1/7/02)
Fiction.
I am repetitive function, he said, and you
are decorative. Existence depends on quality
of performance. To avoid termination,
I must not err, and you must not break.
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."
Money for Sorrow, Made Joy, by M. C. A. Hogarth (11/26/01)
Fiction.
One by one the rest of the caravan joined us: sturdy eperu, neuters, the only sex of the Jokka that could withstand the grueling travel of a trade caravan. Last of all came little Thodi, our orphan found two circuits back.
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?
Ovigonopods of Love, by Joe Murphy, illustration by Gavin Schnitzler (10/1/01)
Fiction.
The first moon has passed its zenith. He-towers rise on all sides. Long slender Haes sail between them, skimming along the surface, their pods flared as sails. Shadows under the moon as shaes flit through the sky with pods spread to glassy thinness in crescent wings.
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.
In a Mirror, by Kim Fryer (8/27/01)
Fiction.
Libby smiled. "It's okay to say ovarian cancer." Roger made a small sound and Libby looked up at him. "Not using the words gives them too much power," she added.
Toaster of the Gods, by Randall Coots (8/20/01)
Fiction.
"I am God," Larry's toaster solemnly intoned one morning.
Right Size, by M. L. Konett (8/13/01)
Fiction.
"We're sick of hearing about how perfect it is where you're from. If it was so good, how come your family's Okies too?"
Understanding Human Behavior, by Thomas M. Disch (7/30/01)
Fiction.
He wondered, as all erasees do, why he'd decided to wipe out his past.
Explosions, by Michael J. Jasper (7/2/01)
Fiction.
The Wannoshay had been here only eight months when the brewery blew up.
Going Once, by Mark Rudolph (6/18/01)
Fiction.
No matter how hard Aaron tried, he couldn't ignore the day he dreaded most: the day Darren's body would be auctioned off, piece by piece, to the highest bidder.
A Piece of Bamboo, by Derek James, illustration by Socar Myles (6/4/01)
Fiction.
"Today you will learn to fight," his father said. "Though I hope you will never need to."
Slugball (Part 2 of 2), by K. Mark Hoover, illustration by Frank Wu (5/14/01)
Fiction.
We plunged into blackness. Icy wind whipped tears from my eyes and blurred my vision. The grumble of the generator faded above, letting other sounds intrude: the squealing whine of the rollers sliding down the guide rails, cables straining with an unnerving twang, the metal car rattling and shaking.
Slugball (Part 1 of 2), by K. Mark Hoover, illustration by Frank Wu (5/7/01)
Fiction.
"Aleksander, if there's any trouble during the flight, kill Ms. Tal immediately."
Underground, by Jennifer de Guzman (3/26/01)
Fiction.
Fairy dust makes everything beautiful: when you're using it you look beautiful and everything looks beautiful to you.
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."
Last Call in Temperance, by Alan DeNiro (2/19/01)
Fiction.
I fished the whiskey out of my pack, took a hot swig, and considered Sonny's dead body sprawled on my tomato-red couch.
Mary Margaret Road-Grader, by Howard Waldrop (1/29/01)
Fiction.
It was the time of the Sun Dance and the Big Tractor Pull. Freddy-in-the-Hollow and I had traveled three days to be at the river. We were almost late, what with the sandstorm and the raid on the white settlement over to Old Dallas.
Crossing the Camp, by Michael J. Jasper (1/22/01)
Fiction.
They step back to examine him. Most of them are already taller than me, almost as tall as Jaime. The adults, when they walk upright like humans, are nearly seven feet high.
Unreliable Witness, by Jo Walton (1/15/01)
Fiction.
My name is Katherine Whippleshaw, and I'm eighty-nine years old. Last week I was visited by an alien.
Late for Dinner, by Ursula Pflug, illustration by Christiane Pflug (1/1/01)
Fiction.
"Your mother knew enough to paint the doors and windows to other worlds. Those are the most important doors there are; it's only through them that the terrible darkness of our time can escape, only through them that the fish can swim here. She painted maps for them. If those doors are shut forever, we're all lost."
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.
Words of Love, Soft and Tender, by Mark Rudolph, illustration by Cathy Buburuz (12/4/00)
Fiction.
Two black eyeless heads, one over each of her shoulders, puffed out green feed-me spoors. Garskein should have left her babies at home—her neck pouch must ache from the weight—but no one could tell her anything. Usually, a parent ate a first brood before their mouths opened.
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!"
Little Brother™, by Bruce Holland Rogers (10/30/00)
Fiction.
"Little Brother™ isn't like your other toys, Peter," Mommy said. "You have to be extra careful with him, as if he were a real baby."
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.
Triage, by Tamela Viglione, illustration by Darryl T. Jones (9/1/00)
Fiction.
Forty-eight cases. Currently available public ward beds: twenty. Health care was a constitutional right. Universal health care, government-subsidized medical treatment, was available to all. Within limits.