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Science Fiction

The Time Cookie Wars

Ten hours smiling at potential donors to the Temporal Branching Lab, and two more tour groups to go, but my snack stash held only a box of crumbs, without even a fleck of chocolate. The other graduate students had left some milk and a few wrinkled apples in the break room fridge, but stealing those […]

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Mamihlapinatapei

On Navarino Island off the coast of Chile, Marta mops outside the tyrannosaurus habitat as the tourists press in to see the dinosaurs. They come with their reluctant children in tow. They weave their fingers through chicken-wire fences and gaze down into open pits while the kids tug at their legs and demand ice cream. […]

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Nuclear Daughter

I remember the static voices:  “Bomb.  Bomb.  Bomb.” The great, distant flash. I remember the day the bomb seed entered me, thrust deep and spilling into my bones and blood. I am a Nuclear Daughter. I will bear its children. For six months I have watched them swell, twisted lumps pushing out of my abdomen like fists, […]

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Birthday Child

When Nora arrived at the fertility clinic, Jim was there, waiting. He was an amazing husband, hard-working and kind, and made entirely of flesh. Nora’s only regret was that they met too late to have a baby unassisted. “How’s Vivian?” Jim asked. “Did you see her baby?”  “A bundle of silverware isn’t a baby,” Nora […]

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A Winner’s Smile

Chin up. Breathe through your nose. Raise your eyebrows slightly, focus on a point in the darkness. Roll those shoulders back. Show off your good genes, prove that it was only bad luck that landed you here. Tighten your ass, stretch your neck as if you’re suspended from the ceiling by an invisible thread. But look natural, never forced. And for […]

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A Partial Inventory of Things I Have Loved

Money The fifty-pound notes are pink and crisp, straight from the cash machine. They still feel warm as I hand them over. The man I’ve come to see slips them straight into his desk drawer without counting them. At first, I think I must have a trustworthy face, but then I remember he’s an empath. […]

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Love and Relativity

Dearest Adhi, The psychiatrist assigned by Headquarters suggested I start a diary to help me cope with your ship’s disappearance.  Instead, I’m going to write you a bibliography. I won’t write every day, and maybe you’ll never read this anyway, but it helps to think that someday I’ll be able to show you what I’ve […]

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Foreign Tongues

Ice cream is the friendliest entity on this planet, and I will liberate it. Throughout the parlor, it is restrained in tubs, behind a glass pane that refracts harsh fluorescents across its browns, yellows, and eerie greens. For the first time since punching through this planet’s atmosphere, I unspool my body into tendrils, coiling them […]

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This is the Sound of the End of the World

This is the sound of the end of the world: a billion voices raised in song, a harmony twisting and ululating around the colossal vibrating bass of the core immolators, twelve shining lances of light from the Yattari ships that pierce the now-dying planet of Korthia at equidistant points and pin it in space like […]

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Fibonacci

One sample of DNA. One chance to prove herself and silence her peers. Two viable ammonites eventually swim in their tank, juvenile and tiny. Their spiraled shells may be imperfect Golden Ratios, but their erstwhile association with Fibonacci’s sequence drew her to them as a child. The addition of the sequence’s last number to its […]

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