Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Fiction

Science Fiction

Requiem in the Key of Prose

There is such a thing as an antifuse. This device is used to maintain the ongoing flow of electricity when there is local failure. The antifuse works similarly to a fuse in that it is designed to be sacrificed for a specific goal. But while a fuse is sacrificed to stop electricity from flowing, an antifuse is sacrificed to guarantee that the electricity does not stop.

Science Fiction

The Way of Cross and Dragon

“Heresy,” he told me. The brackish waters of his pool sloshed gently.

“Another one?” I said wearily. “There are so many these days.”

Fantasy

Lost

Let the world tell all the lies it wants; I was there in the Year of the Children, and I know the truth. This is how it happened.

Science Fiction

A Plague of Zhe

My inquisitor wore a hangdog look more than earned by the absurdity of this official interview. Had I the ability to be annoyed, I didn’t even imagine I would have been. Amused? Possibly: The incompetence of these proceedings was palpable enough.

Fantasy

My Teacher, My Enemy

My enemy’s body is still warm when I take my knife to him. Stripped to his skin and lain upon his back, he looks much less frightening than he had when he was alive, armed, and desperate to kill me. But there is still power in the shape of his relaxing muscles and the size of his cooling frame, and, as he is a foot taller than I am, I feel a surge of pride in my accomplishment that is even greater than the hot pleasure of the kill.

Science Fiction

Contact

The Desert of Winds was inland, a four-day flight from the eyries along the coastal mountains. After the eight-day fast, it was a long journey, even for the strongest-winged. But when they felt the high, hot desert wind lift them like dry leaves, even the most exhausted stretched their wings to the fullest and surrendered to the euphoria of approaching death.

Fantasy

Renfrew’s Course

Six feet tall, the statue had been carved from wood that retained most of its whiteness, even though the date cut into its base read 2005, seven years ago. Jim thought the color might be due to its not having been finished—splinters stood out from the wood’s uneven surface—but didn’t know enough about carpentry to be certain.

Science Fiction

The Cristóbal Effect

The wooden detour barricade is barely in place when I spot the car closing fast from the east. Just a glint of light against the desert hills, yet I know it is his car. I ignite the last flare and toss it onto the centerline of the lonely rural two-lane highway.

Fantasy

Cup and Table

Sigmund stepped over the New Doctor, dropping a subway token onto her devastated body. He stepped around the spreading shadow of his best friend, Carlsbad, who had died as he’d lived: inconclusively, and without fanfare.

Fantasy

Mother of All Russiya

She paced the stones, her feet separated from the chill by sable-lined slippers. She was cold despite them, cold from her toes to her crown. Perhaps it was the vengeance of the fire, that she had not joined her husband in its embrace. Long ago, he had decided that he wished to be immolated in the manner of their ancestors.