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Science Fiction

Beyond Long Radio

Jude and Immogen float in their ship’s sensorium, holding hands and viewing the Schwarzschild radius stamped on the star field before them. The ring of detoured light surrounds a profound blackness that whispers faintly with Hawking radiation. Jude has pondered this quantum flaw in relativity for a long time, as he has pondered death and love.

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Beholder

The girl behind the counter is a waif with mottled cheeks, swaddled in a blue barista’s apron. Her nametag, scratched half-bare, tells me only that she is a trainee. She offers me a timid smile, thin sparkle-glossed lips closed tight. She wears augmentation lenses, red plastic frames that glitter, a cheap pair that clash with her yellow blouse and leave her looking like a deflated circus tent. Through them, she squints at me, perhaps seeking common ground, but more likely gauging the level of customer service I’ll expect.

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