Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

Fiction

Science Fiction

Codename: Delphi

“Valdez, you need to slow down,” Karin Larsen warned, each syllable crisply pronounced into a mic. “Stay behind the seekers. If you overrun them, you’re going to walk into a booby trap.”

Science Fiction

Complex God

Dr. Petra Prawatt pulled her jacket tighter and shivered against the cold of a Michigan winter. There wasn’t much left to block the icy, stiff breeze that whipped in off the river, not since the nuke had crushed most of the buildings in downtown Detroit.

Science Fiction

The Legend of RoboNinja

RoboNinja. A name for garbled tongues and garbled times. Interstate mudlarks peer at him from beneath grotty brows as he passes, eyes the size of headlamps reflecting the gelid glow of his visor. He once tried obscuring the light with handfuls of ash, smeared across LEDs and his shining silver carapace like the penitential marks of a sect long forgotten. It had worked for a time, until the monsoon came mocking once more.

Science Fiction

Turnover

I was on my way to Teatro del Sale when I saw the crow that hangs around near the entrance to the Newton strut. Birds don’t generally do all that well on Speranza. Jay says it’s because they like light and the whole inside of Speranza is like an Earth city night, with the lights along the struts and the street lighting.

Science Fiction

The Mao Ghost

I still remember that evening: In the heavy air, the plastic dragonflies hovered just below the eaves like miniature helicopters, drifting about slightly even though there was no wind. I came home, and Dad was already in the house but kept the lights off. The setting sun came in through cracks in the window, and his face seemed indescribably thin in the dim, yellow light, like a stranger’s.

Science Fiction

How to Get Back to the Forest

“You have to puke it up,” said Cee. “You have to get down there and puke it up. I mean down past where you can feel it, you know?” She gestured earnestly at her chest. She had this old-fashioned cotton nightgown on, lace collar brilliant under the bathroom lights. Above the collar, her skin looked gray. Cee had bones like a bird. She was so beautiful. She was completely beautiful and fucked.

Science Fiction

Break! Break! Break!

Earliest I remember, Daddy threw me off the roof of our split-level house. “Boy’s gotta learn to fall sometime,” he told my mom just before he slung my pants-seat and let go. As I dropped, Dad called out instructions, but they tangled in my ears. I was four or five. My brother caught me one-handed, gave me a spank, and dropped me on the lawn.

Science Fiction

Fireborn

Onyx turned her face up to the sky as she walked with her friend Jasper beside a mule-cart on the road that connected Buttercup County to the turnpike. She had spent a day counting copper dollars at the changehouse and watching bad-tempered robots trudge east- and west-bound through the crust of yesterday’s snow. Sunny days with snow on the ground made robots irritable, Jasper had claimed.

Science Fiction

Harry and Marlowe and the Intrigues at the Aetherian Exhibition

Finally, Harry arrived at the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington with her mother and her older sister Victoria. Once they entered through the great gilt doorway, a friendly attendant waited to show them to the royal salon. Harry glimpsed, through another ornate archway, the main hall and the exhibition installed there.

Science Fiction

Water

The water whispered to Simon’s brain as it passed his lips. It told him of its purity, of mineral levels, of the place it was bottled. The bottle was cool in his hand, chilled perfectly to the temperature his neural implants told it he preferred. Simon closed his eyes and took a long, luxurious swallow, savoring the feel of the liquid passing down his throat, the drops of condensation on his fingers.