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Science Fiction

Indispensable

He’s the only Indispensable on staff at the high-rise’s coffee shop, and it’s easy to see why. It’s not just his looks; companies claim that outward appearances don’t factor into job permanence decisions, but have you ever seen an ugly Indispensable? Yeah. Me, either. Personally, if I had to guess, I’d say it’s because of his smile. […]

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Poise and Grace

The day was sliding into the night when Dint tightened the last rivet, swiveling her wrist until that final washer squealed against the wood. By the time the stars flickered on, she had replaced her tools in their storage tins, locked the hangar doors, and tucked Father’s key into the notch above her elbow, where […]

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Against the Dying of the Light

The facility is state-of-the-art, all swooping balustrades and huge panes of glass. Mom’s dozing in her wheelchair, and as the lift rises to the clinic on the thirteenth floor, Alyssa brainstorms how she’ll start her article on the procedure. She still can’t shake how excited her editor was, how he’d barely apologised when she pointed […]

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Shelter, Sustenance, Self

“It’s me,” Phil lies. “It’s Phil. It’s Daddy.” Mira and Christy — Phil’s wife, Phil’s daughter — stare at him, daring themselves to believe. Mira puts her hands on Christy’s small shoulders: holding her back, or pushing her forward. The door to Phil’s room is open and, in the corridor outside, one of his doctors […]

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A Hitchhiking Robot’s Guide to Canada

I’m hanging there on the back of a Tim Hortons truck, tracking the kilometers left to Vancouver, adjusting magnet strength as my passenger sags, asleep in the cradle of my frame, when BAM. Metal-on-metal contact, passenger heart rate through the roof, and I’m running subroutines in a blind panic. “Oh, hey,” sends an unrequested packet. […]

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When the Stars Were Wrong

The creature hid in the universe’s shadows, and if we’d known that the Andromeda XI would cross its path, we’d have avoided that quadrant entirely. Or maybe not. Maybe we did know. I don’t recall. The log doesn’t indicate any intention of approaching the cosmic being, though the man called Tyrol suspects the records aren’t […]

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Keeping Time with the Joneses

It didn’t surprise anyone on Peachtree Circle that the Joneses were the first in the neighborhood to buy a time machine. After all, they’d also been the first to lease a suborbital condo, to purchase their own Servo-Droid, and to subscribe to the Alien-Plant-a-Month club. The time machine, which they installed in their rock garden, […]

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An Oasis of Amends

You should have seen this, Rowan. From the observation platform on the converted oil rig, I watch the giant conveyor lift the chunks out of the ocean, see them climb to the coastal plain, see the freeway width of the belt disappear over the horizon, and feel like a Lego figurine in a life-sized industrial […]

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You Can Adapt to Anything

They are one of a kind, both of them. Both want to build the future, attend MIT for the resources and connections. While other people date, they Skype with engineers at the LHC. Afterward, people say they’re glowing like they’ve screwed all night. “Multiverse Theory is like screwing—” Miguel says. Juniper finishes, “—always splitting zygotic […]

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The Thing About Heisenball

“The thing about Heisenball,” Paulie tells me with a grin on their face, “is that you can’t win. But you can’t lose, either. Not really. It’s not about the game.” “Yeah,” I say. “I know. You’ve told me like a million times.” Ever since we started dating, I add in the privacy of my own […]

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