Science Fiction & Fantasy

Null States

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Science Fiction

Nightside on Callisto

A faint, steady vibration carried through the igloo’s massive ice walls—a vibration that shouldn’t have been there. Jayne heard it in her sleep. Age had not dulled her soldier’s reflexes, honed by decades spent on watch against incursions of the Red. Her eyes snapped open. She held her breath.

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

The Gravedigger of Konstan Spring

There was something more civilized about a town that could bury its dead, if they stayed dead, and so Folkvarder Gray put out the notice for a gravedigger.

Science Fiction

The Sighted Watchmaker

The Makers had been dead for billions of years, yet Umos discovered one caught in the starship’s net. A young one, naked, with still-fused dorsal fins.

Science Fiction

The Nearest Thing

We know you love your family. We know you worry about leaving them behind. And we know you’ve asked for more information about us, which means you’re thinking about giving your family the greatest gift of all: You.

Science Fiction

Eliot Wrote

Eliot’s father had been entered into Ononeida Psychiatric Hospital ten days ago, for a religious conversion in which he saw the clear image of Zeus on a strawberry toaster pastry.

Science Fiction

All That Touches the Air

The fog crawled out of the water and over his body, colonizing his pores, permeating bone and tissue, bleeding off his ability to yell or fight back. He was on his side in a convulsion before the Vosth parasites took his motor functions and stood his body up.

Science Fiction

Woman Leaves Room

She wears a smile. I like her smile, nervous and maybe a little scared, sweet and somewhat lonely. She wears jeans and a sheer green blouse and comfortable sandals and rings on two fingers and a glass patch across one eye.

Woman Leaves Room by Robert REed

Science Fiction

In-fall

The stars seemed to flow around an enormous, circular gap in the star field. It had many different names, this region of space. The astronomers who discovered it centuries earlier had called it Bhat 16. Later physicists would call it “the sink.”

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.