Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Fantasy

Homecoming

The locker room is always tense before a game. Alisa is trying to get her uniform to stay in place, counting more on safety pins and prayer than she probably should, and Birdie—true to her name—keeps whistling, which is probably going to get her slapped if she doesn’t stop soon. Cram twenty girls from opposing squads into one small space and tensions are going to flare.

Fantasy

Suzanne Delage

As I was reading last night—reading a book, I should explain, which was otherwise merely commonplace; one of those somewhat political, somewhat philosophical, somewhat historical books which can now be bought by the pound each month—I was struck by a certain remark of the author’s.

Science Fiction

Face Value

News of the disappearance of inventor Felix Frey spread through the Air with electric ease. It was exactly the kind of distraction I needed. There are only so many quaint old thefts and counterfeit scams I can pluck from policing archives while my girlfriend Billie works in her studio, adjusting facial nerves, muscles, and skin cells to fit her clients’ desires.

Fantasy

Breathless in the Deep

When Jantz spotted a black skeleton jutting up above the water, at first she thought it was just a tide-battered tree, but before long she could make out the shredded ropes and scraps of sail. The wooden bones were the charred yardarms of a sunken ship.

Fantasy

The Litigation Master and the Monkey King

The tiny cottage at the edge of Sanli Village—away from the villagers’ noisy houses and busy clan shrines and next to the cool pond filled with lily pads, pink lotus flowers, and playful carp—would have made an ideal romantic summer hideaway for some dissolute poet and his silk-robed mistress from nearby bustling Yangzhou.

Science Fiction

The Knight of Chains, the Deuce of Stars

The tower is a black spire upon a world whose only sun is a million starships wrecked into a mass grave. Light the color of fossils burns from the ships, and at certain hours, the sun casts shadows that mutter the names of vanquished cities and vanished civilizations. It is said that when the tower’s sun finally darkens, the universe’s clocks will stop.

Fantasy

The Stars Below

The wooden house and outbuildings caught fire fast, blazed up, burned down, but the dome, built of lathe and plaster above a drum of brick, would not burn. What they did at last was heap up the wreckage of the telescopes, the instruments, the books and charts and drawings, in the middle of the floor under the dome, pour oil on the heap, and set fire to that. The flames spread to the wooden beams of the big telescope frame and to the clockwork mechanisms.

Science Fiction

Cancer

This certifies that HELEN FRANCES LAWRENCE, sex FEMALE was born to JOHN DENISON LAWRENCE and VIRGINIA MATILDA LAWRENCE on SATURDAY at SIX TEN PM, this EIGHTEENTH day of AUGUST, 1990 at the MONTFORT HOSPITAL in OTTAWA, ONTARIO and will die of CANCER.

Fantasy

The Boy and the Box

The boy looked like any other boy his age, except that, thanks to him, there had been for some time now no other boys his age, or of any other age. The elimination of all others had transformed him into the entirety of a subset that had once numbered billions. He was now the platonic ideal of his type, not just a boy, but the boy.

Science Fiction

Division of Labor

No one said anything, but Sull could tell they were all a little jealous when he lost his arms and legs. The arms went first, the left one during a bath and the right one a few days later, while he was being fed. Then both legs went at once, which was rare, and Sull was proud of it. He was sitting in a marketing meeting with Glenda and Farook when suddenly his legs quivered and then turned into a slightly viscous liquid that ran out of his trousers like toothpaste from a tube. The liquid ran down the drain under the table with a soft slurping sound.