Daniel woke up with a note pinned to his pillow. His first thought was that his home had been invaded. Like most nights, he’d slept alone. He pulled on pajama bottoms and grabbed the baseball bat he kept by the bed. He searched his one bedroom efficiency apartment in seconds. The bathroom was empty, the two closets unoccupied, and the refrigerator held only leftover pizza and milk with a questionable date. The door was triple locked from the inside, deadbolt in place, chain engaged, and the hinge lock fastened. He put the bat back by his bed and unpinned the

The Titan entered Marak’s field of vision abruptly, looming overhead as it emerged from the cave. He ducked behind a rock, not wishing to draw its attention. They weren’t ready for that. Behind him, his team followed suit. “Commander?” asked Bor. “Hold steady. Examine, but don’t approach”. In the rocky clearing above, the creature moved, its angular limbs thudding against the ground. No attempt at stealth, or caution, henoted*. They’re beyond that now – the reports were right.* His mind shuddered at the implications. His name was not Marak, of course, and he did not call it a “Titan”. The

Adelle Montessori set down her landline, again infuriated with how her husband’s divorce lawyer chose to play the game she intended to win. Taking a calming breath and reminding herself she was sitting behind her office desk – her domain – she exhaled to look up as her glass office door opened. ‘The… freelancer has finished packing up his equipment,’ her assistant, showing that frightened glint in her eyes Adelle had grown to disdain, shared. ‘He’s waiting outside.’ ‘Well, show him in,’ she instructed, before rising off of her leather chair. Adelle was a slender, yet curved, African woman in

At a time of night when sensible paranormal paraphernalia should have been snoring in a hole somewhere, something woke Brad up from a deep and boozy sleep. Propping himself up in bed, he looked across at the wall opposite and caught his own reflection in the mirror, picked out by the shaft of a sodium street lamp through the ill-drawn curtain. The reflection was blurred. In Brad’s condition, it was going to be, but this was not a kind of blurring that was familiar to him; as if the mirror was vibrating. Brad sat bolt upright as the mirror fell

Luna sat shuffling her tarot cards in the farthest and darkest corner of the bar. She watched the tourists coming in, with the traders and the shippers and the seekers. What were they seeking? Lots of things could be found that far out in space and lots of things couldn’t be. It tended to be the things that couldn’t be found that they were seeking. The bartender, Gil, held up a teapot across the room and nodded to her, She shook her head. He kept a pot of hibiscus tea brewing just for her, as everyone else was drinking much

Spring Cowan was walking in the woods the first time he saw Angel. He was really looking for a haunted house the real estate lady told his parents was back there and he’d walked further into the woods than he’d ever gone before. There was an inch of snow on the ground except where the sun came through the trees for most of the day. In those places the ground was muddy. Cowan felt the crisping of the snow under his boots and looked at his footprints, wanting to remember what they really looked like when he could really see

Thesis Suddenly, E-boyd realized that his left arm, just below the elbow, had transformed into a machine. No, more of a bionic extension of his flesh—but then he noticed, when he rotated his elbow into the light, that the flesh seemed to transition smoothly into metal, a soft aluminum, or brushed titanium covered by a translucent finish. He touched the seam between skin and metal and felt the uninterrupted progression of organic matter into inorganic material. When the change had taken place and why were questions he momentarily failed to consider—he was overwhelmed by the beauty of the engineering, and

Like every modern scientist, Ferdinand earned his pay by making persuasion videos. A compelling enough documentary usually led to a brief crowd-funded career. Though traditionally trained, he eased into the dominating entertainment era with all the other academics who now had to film for income. His decades-old, unhip publications meant nothing anymore. Thus, at age 56, he took on the latest tactics of the cyber economy. He strolled into the shanty town with a minicam in each of the two buttons of his white shirt collar. His straw hat hid a microphone. The thin power cable ran down the back

Ever fulgent Pandia Selene cast red-limned shadows across the landscape. On any other night, Nedra would’ve stopped to admire the moon, but out here, near the edge of the Mandy Brots, she forced herself to stay alert. The fetid air and the twisted fungal structures that loomed in the ruddy moonlight suffused her with the nervous excitement of meeting a long lost friend. Nedra filled her lungs through her nose filters. This was where she’d remade herself back before Boom Shroom went out of style. But nobody wants this stuff anymore. Why had Dok Shabbat sent her here? The market

Karen Walker had been in the malodorous gravity chamber for almost an hour, gradually dialing up to an unpleasant 0.8 Earths as she pounded the cross-trainer. She was pushing it, but not too hard, careful after what happened to Rashford. Her straw-colored hair was dripping and her vest ringed with dark sweat marks when she finally gave in and stopped. Passive conditioning time now in the tiny, mildewed Alu-foil chamber. She sat, dialing the crushing simulated gravity up to full Earth. Karen closed her eyes and let her heartbeat slow, drifting as she tuned into to the familiar bass note