Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Fiction

Fantasy

The Steam Dancer (1896)

Missouri Banks lives in the great smoky city at the edge of the mountains, here where the endless yellow prairie laps gently with grassy waves and locust tides at the exposed bones of the world jutting suddenly up towards the western sky. She was not born here, but came to the city long ago, when she was still only a small child and her father traveled from town to town in one of Edison’s electric wagons selling his herbs and medicinals, his stinking poultices and elixirs.

Science Fiction

Ruminations in an Alien Tongue

Sitting on the sun-warmed step at the end of her workday, Birha laid her hand on the dog’s neck and let her mind drift. Like a gyre-moth finding the center of its desire, her mind inevitably spiraled inward to the defining moment of her life. It must be something to do with growing old, she thought irritably, that all she did was revisit what had happened all those years ago.

Fantasy

Forget You

She came into his life the way his cats crept into his lap. One day he was alone, had been alone for years, his life and his home empty of anyone but himself and a few friends who didn’t visit all that often anyway. And then at some point he realized she had been there for a while, in his house, in his bed, in every part of his life, having accomplished the transition so subtly that he could never say exactly when or how it had occurred.

Fantasy

Halfway People

Thunder, wind, and waves. You in your cradle. You’ve never heard these noises before and they are making you cry. Here, child. Let me wrap you in a blanket and my arms, take you to the big chair by the fire, and tell you a story. My father’s too old and deaf to hear and you too young to understand. If you were older or he younger, I couldn’t tell it, this story so dangerous that tomorrow, I must forget it entirely and make up another.

Science Fiction

Test

Something is eating the starship Stephen W. Hawking, chewing it slowly and efficiently to pieces. Hurtling through hyperspace, or merely hanging suspended therein (who can really tell about hyperspace?), the vessel has become entangled with an unknown entity that exhibits at least one recognizable attribute: curiosity.stev

Fantasy

Beauty

Nicole Sanders was beautiful. One night after work, she stopped off at a bar downtown, which is where she met the beast. “Hi,” the beast said, in a gentle voice. “Can I buy you a drink?”

Science Fiction

Electric Rains

Ella sat by Nana’s body for two days before she pushed it out the window. She had spent the first half-day realizing what death was, the next half-day grieving, the following morning waking and feeling reverent if somewhat nauseated, and trying to decide what to do. It was three in the morning when she finally did it, and it was almost the season of electric rains.

Fantasy

The Legend of XI Cygnus

In the fall sky, not long after sundown, you may see Cygnus the swan, which the Greeks called Ornis. In its right wing is the small yellow star that the Arabs (the only people to have named it as far as I know) call Gienah. Its legend is ancient, having reached us at the speed of light.

Science Fiction

My She

I wait outside the speaking chamber, where the young Speakers learn to Hear and Speak. The walls and carpeted floor are purest white, the color of this God place and the Speakers who live here walk by, all dressed in white like the walls and the floor, their palms on the shoulders of their guides.

Fantasy

Alarms

My curse is that I set off alarms. Smoke alarms. Car alarms. House alarms. It doesn’t matter what kind; I set them all off as soon as I get close to them. Close is usually about thirty feet. I don’t know why I set them off. I haven’t always been like this. I used to be fairly normal.