Science Fiction & Fantasy

Advertisement

Fiction

Fantasy

Soccer Fields and Frozen Lakes

Dear Sara: The official verdict that I am no longer classified as human arrived in a windowed envelope bearing the return address of the Bureau of Lineage Affairs. There is one envelope for me and one for you, although I haven’t opened yours. Except for the return address, these envelopes look like something from the bank, or perhaps an offer for home insurance, the kind we throw away.

Science Fiction

Come-from-Aways

Come-from-aways think it’s the tides that brings the wreckage in, but any local child will tell you the truth of the matter. You can have fifty fine days in a row and the beaches will be clean and empty, except for the usual haul of rockweed, driftwood, and old plastic bottles. Fifty fine days, and then there’ll come a thick, foggy night of the sort we do so well around here.

Fantasy

La Peau Verte

In a dusty, antique-littered back room of the loft on St. Mark’s Place, a room with walls the color of ripe cranberries, Hannah stands naked in front of the towering mahogany-framed mirror and stares at herself. No—not her self any longer, but the new thing that the man and woman have made of her. Three long hours busy with their airbrushes and latex prosthetics.

Science Fiction

Death Every Seventy-Two Minutes

Negelein is at his workstation working on the Lafferty file when the bone spear arcs over the sea of cubicles and strikes just above his right ear, penetrating his skull with a wet crunch. Oblivion is not quite instantaneous; his neurons all fire at the moment his brain goes soggy with blood, giving him, in his last instant, an overwhelming taste of peppermint.

Fantasy

The Stone Lover

When word came that the king had died, Kyros began packing his tools. Agathon had been a fine patron, commissioning statues and friezes for his capital’s many temples and his own palace, but his wife had no reputation for piety or art. He was surprised, then, when one of her pages delivered a scroll requesting his services.

Fantasy

The Debt of the Innocent

On October 11, 2035, Jamie Wrede, R.N., was the sole employee staffing the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Temperance United in Martinsville’s Pine Ridge district. In the course of her career, she’d been asked to kill nine newborns. That morning, she planned to kill four more. Jamie woke at 6:45 and began preparing breakfast for her eighteen-month-old daughter, Claire. At 7:34, she picked up a “crank call” and listened for three minutes.

Fantasy

Phantom Pain

He was in the library. It was quiet. No guns. No mud. He could crawl in peace, as long as he didn’t make any noise. Mrs. Dientz, the librarian, wouldn’t allow noise. Ed was worried that he would get dirt in his wound, and it would get infected. The library is full of fungus, like a locker room: You can get athlete’s foot in places you would never put your feet.

Science Fiction

The Worldless

Every day NuTay watched the starship from their shack, selling satshine and sweet chai to wayfarers on their way to the stars. NuTay and their kin Satlyt baked an endless supply of clay cups using dirt from the vast plain of the port. NuTay and Satlyt, like all the hawkers in the shanties that surrounded the dirt road, were dunyshar, worldless—cursed to a single brown horizon.

Fantasy

The Elixir of Youth

Frederic Paschel, a wine merchant who lived in the town of Sylah in the valley of the river Dordogne, was left a widower when his two sons, Gilbert and Benedict, were in their infancy. The younger son, Benedict, was as dutiful as any father could ever have desired; he was amiable and pliable, ready and willing to be molded in the image of his sire as a respectable tradesman. Gilbert, on the other hand, was surly and rebellious.

Science Fiction

The Last Garden

The Surrogate walked past Casey’s window. She watched its shadow slip across the shade, then she stood and zipped up her flight suit. This was the day. No matter what. The doorbell rang. It was polite, the Surrogate. It had manners. It rang the doorbell. It said please and thank you. It had saved Casey’s life, twice, and the first time she had been grateful.