Science Fiction & Fantasy

REENTRY by Peter Cawdron

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Fiction

Fantasy

Healing Benjamin

I got the healing touch when I was sixteen years old kneeling over my dying cat Benjamin in my bedroom. He was trying to crawl under the bed to die, but I wouldn’t let him, hauling him out and wrapping my body around him, my forehead pressed against his. He was a year older than me. He’d been there my whole life. I couldn’t imagine life without him. He stopped breathing, his heart stopped, and I prayed for him, though I rarely prayed then.

Science Fiction

Marlowe and Harry and the Disinclined Laboratory

Lieutenant James Marlowe watched a room full of grown, distinguished men act like young ladies at their first ball. Flustered, fidgeting, adjusting each others’ cravats, going back and forth from one table to another inspecting equipment and displays that were already perfect, they were exhausting to watch, and so he tried not to. He had only ever been to three balls in his life, before he ran off to join the Navy, and this was a reminder of why he hated them.

Fantasy

The Terrible Oath

The nation greeted Vrath with great warmth and approval. The Burnt Empire regarded its liege as nothing less than a demi-god; in a sense, this was not far from the truth: Whether or not the Krushan dynasty was in fact born of stonefire, they were certainly something more than human. In the Krushan tongue, which was the official language of the capitol Hastinaga and the rest of the Empire, there was no word for “lie” or “falsehood.”

Science Fiction

The Incursus by Asimov-NN#71

The Death of Science Fiction had remained a perennial, if tiresome, subject for reviewers of SF novels for decades. In each case, the supposed flatline of the genre—whether in terms of quality, viability, or intrepidity—has leapt back to gloriously resolute life, producing enough notable books in each surge of the commercial ECG that one must finally consider another oneself amid a de facto deferral of the end.

Fantasy

Ti-Jean’s Last Adventure, as Told to Raccoon

Okay. So. There’s a time when I’m looking for Coyote, because I need to tell him this story. So, I walk the St. Lawrence River from one end to the other, and I cannot find him. Check the Rockies—he is not there. I even paddle to Baffin Island, because he likes to sleep on it. It is Coyote-shaped, a little. He’s not anywhere. But me, I have a story to tell, and so I look for someone else. Raven is not home, and Muskrat is doing Netflix and chill.

Science Fiction

Okay, Glory

My bathroom scale didn’t recognize me. I weigh in and weigh out every day when it’s possible—I have data going back about twenty years at this point—so when it registered me as “Guest” I snarled and snapped a pic with my phone so I would remember the number to log it manually. I’d lost half a pound according to the scale, and on a whim I picked up the shower caddy with the shampoo and so on in it.

Fantasy

The Perpetual Day

The story goes that Jackson Chua, of Chua Drugstore: King of Pills, finally slept the sleep of the dead for the price of one carton of rat poison. For days there was nothing else to say but, Well, that marriage was going nowhere, He was nearly bankrupt anyway, He couldn’t take any more of his mother’s demand for a son. Shameless lies, especially the third, because old Mrs. Chua was the type who played the bouzouki at a faux-Greek restaurant.

Science Fiction

Life Sentence

Home. He recognizes the name of the street. But he doesn’t remember the landscape. He recognizes the address on the mailbox. But he doesn’t remember the house. His family is waiting for him on the porch. Everybody looks just as nervous as he is. He gets out. The police cruiser takes back off down the gravel drive, leaving him standing in a cloud of dust holding a baggie of possessions.

Fantasy

Endor House

Meet Hermes Maleficarum, the reclusive force behind the multiverse’s biggest publishing house. A mystery generations in the making. The first thing I notice about Hermes was how unlike the rest of his family he seems. Hermes’ parents, Taliesin and his wife Morgana, were something of a power couple in the magic business, cutting a twin swath like obsidian blades at every fashionable event.

Science Fiction

The Book Collector

“Go away, Todd. We’re busy,” Larry said. “Besides, you’re wasting your time. You know she only likes to fuck imaginary people.” “That’s because she hasn’t tried the real deal,” Todd said. “And that would be you?” Larry asked. Col yawned ostentatiously at Todd, but he didn’t take the hint. He was thick that way. There was hardly room for two people in the cubicle Col shared with Larry.