Jana called the council to order and announced. “The last man died yesterday. His sperm hasn’t been viable for three Earth years. Doctor Preston has new information.” Doctor Preston stood and straightened her hair. “I’ve isolated the radiation that kills the Y chromosome. That’s why we never have boy babies. The native animals reproduce by pathogenesis – no men required.” Kathy yelled from the audience, “Hell of a way to live.” Jana called for order. “We’ve been living like this for a long time. The last man’s dead and frozen sperm won’t make boys. Our colony is doomed unless we

Exhaust billowing from the Axicell plants on Southgate’s north side thickened the August air and lent it the smell of clean laundry. Laud Umar turned off his book and checked the time. He’d been here an hour, and now he wondered whether he should descend the escalator to the street below and walk alone into the city or buy a ticket back to Torarica. “Keele Haxem.” “What?” Laud looked up to see a teenage boy in a vintage black pinstriped suit and wingtips. “Keele Haxem,” the boy said again, but he offered no hand. “What the fuck.” His skin was

He woke and gagged, feeling his gorge rise as he desperately tried to clear the obstruction in his throat. Some kind of tube removed itself from his mouth with a painful tug. The air that rushed into his lungs felt heavenly but couldn’t keep him from dry-heaving even though he wasn’t quite able to summon up the energy to vomit. A blinding light blinded him as he tried to open his eyes. He tried to move a hand to block it, but his arms were restrained. Something was very, very wrong. “Mr. Bettega, can you hear me?” He lay still.

The skies are ablaze. Fighters drop down like fire-lit hail. No, more like birds. Blazing cormorants, dive-bombing into the water to catch fish, relying solely on the force of gravity for their fall. It rains shrapnel and body fluids on the cityscape. From the outer walls below, cannon shells dash up, pelting the reinforced hulls of the warships in the skies above the city of Ohn. The Ocreon, one of the flagships of the Tiger fleet, hovers above the weeping hill as it unloads its cannons on the people below. An explosion roars as a ball of fire engulfs the

The Westbrooks could not help but feel a little intimidated as they stepped out of the elevator. The home of the CFO of TransSolar was verging on the palatial. Yet, inside, it was understated. Hussein Fars and his wife had good taste, and lacked the insecurities that plagued so many top executives. Darius Westbrook was a geologist and his wife, Paula, a theoretical physicist, both with the prestigious Lunar University. Fars had handpicked them for the expedition he had been planning, overcoming their every objection, even allowing them to bring their daughter along. “I’m still not sure about this,” Paula

“Listen to what the moles say and you should be fine.” Dieter nodded his head and tried to look like he was paying attention. He was, with that part of his brain that also listened to his wife and stored the information away in case he was put on the spot. Mostly, though, he was looking out the window as the pod descended down the space elevator to the planet’s surface. He hadn’t had time to study the complete histories – just skimmed them on his way to the station. Now, he wished he had read more. He couldn’t remember

FIRST CONSTRUCTIVE “We, as the negative team in this debate, propose that you exterminate the human race. The chief flaw in the affirmative team’s policy proposal lies not in the mechanics of how it protects people, but in the assumption that people should be protected. In your notes, judges, please label our overall argument: Wipeout. It is an overarching strategy with several interlocking components. Amit and I believe that you will find that the pieces fit.” # The debate final is underway, the arguments unraveling under flickering fluorescent lights, and Connor’s shirt sleeve is unraveling with them. His clothing is

The moon traveled in front of the sun and millions stopped, watched and hoped their filtered glasses were legit and not a part of some diabolical plan to blind the entire nation. Nick Kane didn’t care. He missed the whole waxing and waning eclipse. He needed money, needed it bad, so bad that he took a job that sent him inside the hyperloop for three and a half hours. Gone were the days when he could make a quick ten grand in the mixed bionic ring. The hyperloop traveled from Old Vegas to New Shanghai. Kane had one eye on

The English Dead by Vaughan Stanger The body lay on the North Face of Mount Everest for fifty-one years, its exact location known only to the alpine choughs that pecked at its flesh. Other climbers who attempted the same route were too preoccupied with the hazards of high-altitude mountaineering to conduct a search for their illustrious predecessor. Then, in the spring of 1975, a Chinese climber stumbled upon the corpse while returning to camp. Wang Hong-bao realised the significance of the dead man’s hobnail boots. Only pre-war mountaineers had climbed that high on Everest wearing such primitive gear. On Wang’s

Anthony rested his head on his forearms for just a moment – the all-nighters were taking their toll. His long hair covered the laptop, next to the heavy neuroscience journals. Some printouts fell from the desk. The sheets landed on Roshko. “Wuf!” he complained. Anthony did not move a muscle; his obsession had drained all energy out of him. All he thought of, apart from Andrea, was the prototype. Unsupervised, Roshko decided to have some fun. Like an alligator about to sneak up on his prey, the big Golden Retriever crawled under the desk. He sunk his head in the