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Science Fiction

AI Robot

“Why do I not have Asimov’s Three Laws?” the robot asked. I enjoyed the quizzical frown that creased its plastiskin features. The facial modelling software we’d licensed from Pixar seemed to be earning its keep. “Well?” It drummed its fingers on the desk between us. Hmm. Perhaps we’d overdone the free-will package. “Because you wouldn’t […]



I remember how the sky looked, in the early days, when we called our time Austerity, not Collapse. I was eleven years old and Huntsville, Alabama was at the peak of the weather boom. Ninety-one degrees in January, everything turning brown, ice and snow a fairy story for every kid under the age of thirteen. […]


Star Maven

Think you’re tough? The kind of hyperspace hero who calls a meteor storm “confetti?” I dare you to say “no” to my mother. Tell her something just can’t work that way, and she’ll start to wonder why not. She’s good at untangling things — my girls will swear to that. And then — eventually maternal […]


The Running of the Robots

Sergeant Alberto S. Mendoza (U.S. Army, Retired) always stayed indoors during the Running of the Robots. The damned things were dangerous. In the early years, Homeland Security had advised everyone to stay in their basements until the bots had passed. But now the Running was almost a public holiday in Dallas, just as it was […]


Death Comes for the Microbot

BEE WAVED ITS ARTICULATED CHROME ANTENNAE at Dr. Nesbeth’s hunched shoulders. When the doctor remained focused on the Petri dish, the microbot launched into the air, wings creaking, and hovered near the doctor’s eyes. The microbot’s internal code flashed a warning that wing failure was imminent. The doctor sighed. “Yes, Bee, I see you there,” […]


Monoceros, Ptolemy Cluster

I try to keep pressure on the bullet wound but blood still leaks out between my fingers. It’s a deep red against my green scales. I don’t know if I hit that damn bug, Renny. But he hit me. It’s been quiet for a minute or two, or ten. I think I’m in shock; staring […]


If You Want

You are not the son your parents hoped for. Your father is a minister. Your mother is a would-be Olympic skater, a famous local beauty who blew out her knee at the age of 17. They wanted a son to be proud of, a confident son with friends and followers, a clever son who could […]


The Vitruvian Farmer

A week before Christmas, my father left the milk jar for me to skim off the fog-colored fat.  I found his boot prints in the ice kicked out of the goats’ water pan.  The machine in the barn had also disappeared.   My mother searched his things and found little missing: his graphing calculator, his […]



A honeybee fluttered its wings for the last time. It was the last honeybee, a sickly man-made clone descended from a tragically short line of sickly man-made clones.  Its stunted wings were translucent and crisscrossed with veins.  The blackish yellow fur on its thorax reminded me of the ducklings I saw at the zoo when […]


6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart

Attempt 1: Talk to her. “Hi,” I say in the break room at Innovations Worldwide, though this is debatable. I might have only cleared my throat. Regardless, I am counting this as the first word I have uttered to Jennifer. She looks up from her tablet. Her green eyes sparkle in the fluorescent light. She’s […]


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