Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Fiction

Fantasy

The Queen of the Earless Seals of Lake Baikal

Dia was four years old when she first saw the earless seals of Lake Baikal, and twenty-four when she met their queen. In the time between, she moved from her small town, which was a short train ride’s distance to the lake, to the big city, which was a short train ride’s distance to everything, and went to university to study hotel management. Dia was well suited for hospitality; she was accommodating by nature. In the city, she learned the art of the turndown: how to dim the lights and plump the pillows just right.

Science Fiction

Civilian Assumptions

Like their battleship, Maddox was born for war. They emerged from the nursery with one purpose alone: to expand the Consortium’s borders, a bloody mission that had lasted generations, and would last generations to come. Any civilian raised in the Consortium would know a few things about Maddox: That Maddox goes into battle unafraid. That they believe the Consortium’s cause is a just one. And that they are blindingly in love with their ship. Like all captains, Maddox raised Olivia—that was what they named their ship, a soft name for a dangerous thing—from a seed.

Fantasy

The Inheritance of Dust and Leather

It never was a love story. Or perhaps it was, but I was too blind to see it. I kissed him because I had to—because the castle demanded it and the servants needed it—and frankly, the dead are talkative bastards. He transformed, and in his place was a man dressed in green and gold with hair that needed trimming and hands instead of paws. And I smiled, because it was expected, and I said “Yes” because it was expected. And then, I married him for his library.

Science Fiction

The CRISPR Cookbook: A Guide to Biohacking Your Own Abortion in a Post-Roe World

If you’re reading this—on some godforsaken imageboard, or dog-eared book page, or in encrypted base pairs sequenced off 3D-printed oligos—you’re probably grappling with a pretty tough decision right now. Breathe. I’m not judging you. I know how it goes. You tried your best but nothing’s infallible, or you slipped up one night, or he just straight-up went, your biological clock’s ticking, and hacked your birth control, knowing once it happens you won’t have a choice. The second his sperm enters your egg, he’s done, back to his star-studded career cranking out Science and Cell papers.

Fantasy

The Clockmaker and His Daughter

Gaza looked down at the city of Nyss, surveying his creation. He thought it was perfect. Well, almost. In the city centre stood several griots spinning a tale to a captive audience, their camels and brightly-coloured caravans sheltering in the shade of palm trees. The griots should be dusty—after all they had travelled some distance, spent several months weathering the harsh terrain of the desert. As it was they looked too pristine.

Science Fiction

The Disappearing Dream Engineer

The first time Reema disappeared was in the middle of an argument with her husband Dean. No, not an argument. Let’s not be euphemistic about it. It was a full-blown battle with words flung like knives during a circus act. It ended with Dean hurling a lava lamp at Reema. That was the moment she vanished. The lamp sailed through a Reema-shaped hole in the air and smashed to pieces against the wall.

Fantasy

Welcome to Oxhead

You should know that we thought our parents were normal, ordinary, super basic. But they weren’t, at all. Let’s start with the way we found out, what some call “how it ended” and others call “the start of it all.” The grid went down. It covered Oxhead and Oxhead Woods and The Annex at Oxhead, the gated communities within the one large gate. It was sudden. One father dropped to the bottom of a shower stall.

Science Fiction

SyncALife

As I read Dad’s eulogy, my mind was on the FedEx delivery that’d bring him back to me. “My father was a thoughtful man,” I said. “In his poems and in his life, he sought to understand people’s complexity. He didn’t believe that people were good or bad. He was most interested in gray areas. With generosity, he saw the world’s ugliness and tried shining a kind gloss on it wherever he could.”

Fantasy

So, You Married Your Arch Nemesis . . . Again

Welcome back, listeners! It’s me, Eli McCarthy, your go-to podcast host for allllll the juiciest super drama. I’m thrilled to be coming to you live from the maximum-security containment wing of Site 92, where I have the pleasure of interviewing Sixten Graves, known by most of you as Sol Undertaker. For those of you living under a rock [chuckles], Sol Undertaker placed themself voluntarily in prison here.

Science Fiction

Among the Marithei

ergey hummed under his breath as he walked to the Marith temple. His steps retraced a path he knew so well, he could have walked it at night, in the dark, even under assault. Yet the Marith enclave was the most peaceful place he’d ever been—so calm that Sergey didn’t even need to hum to soothe his newborn daughter, fast asleep in her sling, bound tight against his chest. Three days old, and still Katya mostly slept.