Science Fiction & Fantasy

Latest Science Fiction Story

Harry and Marlowe Versus the Haunted Locomotive of the Rockies

As they crossed the Great Plains of America, Harry was certain she’d never seen anything so astonishing in all her life. The Kestrel hadn’t had such a long stretch airborne since she crossed the Atlantic. Even on the third day of it, Harry leaned out a window to watch the land passing beneath them, and what seemed to be all of heaven passing above.

Latest Fantasy Story

De La Tierra

The piano player drums away with her left hand, dropping all five fingers onto the keys as if they weigh too much to hold up. The rhythms bounce off the rhythms of what her right hand does, what she sings. It’s like there’s three different people in that little skinny body, one running each hand, the third one singing. But they all know what they’re doing.

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Nonfiction

Interview: Richard Garriott

Richard Garriott’s Akalabeth, which he programmed in high school, is one of the first computer role-playing games ever published. Garriott went on to create the Ultima series, considered by many the high-water mark of interactive entertainment, as well as Ultima Online, the world’s first MMO. His latest project, the crowd-funded Shroud of the Avatar, is the spiritual successor of Ultima set within a new, engaging world.

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The New Provisions

Phil called the toll-free number he’d been given, and after the usual twenty-minute hold time, reached a human being who explained that the tow truck driver really did have the right to haul away his car. It didn’t matter that the car had been parked in his driveway or that it had been completely paid for, and it certainly didn’t matter that it was the only form of transportation he and his wife had for getting back and forth from work.

The Panda Coin

Karol hung in the lock and yawned, which he’d have told anyone was his way of readjusting to the air pressure inside Hengist. Many around him were yawning too. All outworkers knew that a pressure yawn had nothing to do with tiredness.

All About Strange Monsters of the Recent Past

It’s all over for humanity, and I’m heading east. On the seat beside me are an M1 carbine and a Thompson submachine gun. There’s a special reason for the Thompson. I traded an M16 and 200 rounds of ammo for it to a guy in Barstow.

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Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead

This is the thing about my sister and I: we’ve never gotten along, even when we’ve gotten along. This is what happens when you have parents who fetishize family, and the viscosity of their blood relative to water: you resent the force with which they push you together with this person who is, genetics aside, a stranger. And that’s what my sister is: a stranger.

Cimmeria: From the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology

Remembering Cimmeria: I walk through the bazaar, between the stalls of the spice sellers, smelling turmeric and cloves, hearing the clash of bronze from the sellers of cooking pots, the bleat of goats from the butcher’s alley. Rugs hang from wooden racks, scarlet and indigo. In the corners of the alleys, men without legs perch on wooden carts, telling their stories to a crowd of ragged children, making coins disappear into the air.

A Hole in the World

“I’m taking Bodwon with me,” Erm Kaslo said. “He’s handy.” Diomedo Obron did not look up from the ancient tome in which he had been immersed when his security chief entered his work room. “All right,” he said.

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Editorial, July 2014

Welcome to issue 50! Check out the editorial for a rundown of what appears in this issue and for some news and notes.

Artist Showcase: Udara Chinthaka

Sri Lanka has a rich heritage of art and culture strongly influenced by our neighbor India. Ancient Lanka was influenced by different forms of art from different eras of Indian history and therefore a lot of it still remains in our art styles. One can find the influence of Indian art in Sri Lankan art, from colour to brush strokes. However, Sri Lankan art has a tendency to show more subtle blends in colour tones.

Interview: Karl Schroeder

You cannot travel faster than light. If you cannot travel faster than light, then all of these stories become fantasies. People have tried to figure out way to accelerate starships up to close to light speed, and you’d basically have to take enough energy to blow up a planet to do something like that. It’s crazy. It’s absolutely ridiculous to even try. But there is another way and it involves hibernation.