Science Fiction & Fantasy

Null States

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Science Fiction

Simulacrum

[A] photograph is not only an image (as a painting is an image), an interpretation of the real; it is also a trace, something directly stenciled off the real, like a footprint or a death mask. —Susan Sontag

Simulacrum by Ken Liu

Science Fiction

Long Enough and Just So Long

He talked about rain, about slow gray clouds and tearing nor’easters. Rain drumming on a tin roof versus its sound on slate. Fine spring mist and the hot rain that fell during drought, coin-sized and evaporating too quickly.

Long Enough and Just So Long by Cat Rambo

Science Fiction

The Elephants of Poznan

Into this square came the elephants, a group of males, making their way in what seemed a relentless silence, except that a trembling of the windows told us that they were speaking to each other in infrasound.

The Elephants of Poznan by Orson Scott Card

Science Fiction

Black Fire

So while I watch, all this fire-thing just storms into and through the trees and down and it hits the ground, and I think something’s crazy then, because there should be a God-awful great bang, yeah?

Black Fire by Tanith Lee

Science Fiction

The Silence of the Asonu

The silence of the Asonu is proverbial. We know now that the Asonu are not dumb, but that once past early childhood they speak only very rarely, to anyone, under any circumstances.

Science Fiction

Jenny’s Sick

She’s sitting bolt upright, propped by pillows, and there’s so much sweat everywhere that it’s like condensation in a steam room. I’ve seen her look bad before but never quite this bad.

Jenny's Sick by David Tallerman

Science Fiction

The Observer

I kept ripping and gouging and pulling and yanking until my fingertips were bone. By then, I hit the circuits inside the door and fried myself. And woke up here, strapped down against a cold metal bed with no bedclothes.

The Observer by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Science Fiction

Ej-Es

“There are skeletons throughout the city, some in homes and some collapsed in what seem to be public spaces. Whatever the disease was, it struck fast.”

Ej-Es by Nancy Kress

Science Fiction

Hwang’s Billion Brilliant Daughters

He wishes he could find Grishkov and scream at him, but Grishkov is dead, of course. He died sometime that night, the first night Hwang slept and jumped through days, years, decades.

Hwang’s Billion Brilliant Daughters by Alice Sola Kim

Science Fiction

Standard Loneliness Package

Root canal is one fifty, give or take, depending on who’s doing it to you. A migraine is two hundred. Not that I get the money. The company gets it. What I get is twelve dollars an hour, plus reimbursement for painkillers. Not that they work. I feel pain for money. Other people’s pain. Physical, emotional, you name it.