Through the tinted glass of the office window, the clouds above the sea seemed to Joseph like enormous swollen bursts of orange dust. He sighed. He looked from the flat plane of glass to the bowed screen of his computer monitor. He tapped weakly at the keyboard. Symbols flickered back at him, tiny and meaningless. Joseph glanced at the clock on the wall above the photocopier. 12.40pm. He darted his eyes over to where his Team Leader was sitting. She hadn’t noticed his attention shift away from his desk. She hated it when people clock-watched. Joseph felt his stomach contract

Feuhl Walomendêm: The End of the World The decision was made the day my friend Toli came running straight through our inner yard and into my room, shaking and mumbling disjointedly about the end of the world. Even his presence in my family’s house was something special that summer, since I’d been spending almost every afternoon at his place or at band practice with him and Dewa. My family wasn’t really speaking to each other, and I still wasn’t allowed to even go near Wëlë’s boat. In the evenings I generally tried to stay out as long as possible, so

My mistress calls me her mimic. It’s as good a name as any, and I have had more names than I can clearly remember. Each has left a trace in my genetic structure, and, in a sense, I am all of those names and none. I am, however, whatever name I need to be at a given time, and today I need to be Cillian Truffant. Unfortunately, this name is already owned by another man. Not unfortunate for me, mind you, but unfortunate for him. From my position above the wide arcade in Titan’s Huygens City, I study Truffant as

I gave my skateboard one last kick and watched it roll across the porch. It came to a halt by the door, which stood ajar. I went inside the little house, leaving behind the stifling heat and a sleepy subdivision. Just another Wednesday afternoon. “Anyone home?” Inside, it was cool. AC: the air of modernity. As usual, the den looked like a tornado had just hit. Coke cans, plastic water bottles, pizza boxes, various food wrappers. I picked my way through toward Marc’s room. A noise came from my left. A figure took shape, coming toward me. A nice figure.

Captain Yuel Telspa walked with a swagger and appeared quite comfortable on her feet, even though it had been a good three years since any of her trio of followers had set foot on a place that had full gravity. The rest of her crew rocked on the balls of their feet, had to fight for every step forward. “The Wanhanii system is getting crowded, ain’t it?” she asked, laughing at their difficulties, “When I started mining the rocks, I swear there wasn’t a single soul in the middle regions of the Harlish Galaxy, not counting the Rockers. They all

Lunch that day was cubes of honeyed melon lightly dusted with sugar. Father placed each cube, one at a time, on Ayako’s tongue, the sweetness filling her mouth with light. When the last piece of melon was gone, Ayako made her way back to the library. She walked the winding corridors, sometimes of stone, sometimes of crystal, sometimes of meat that heaved like the sides of a dying animal. She walked the corridors and into the library, and to the marble table that held the Register. It continued to count even if the brief time it had taken to eat,

While Holly worked, Wyatt looked out over the edge of their campsite. A light drifted closer, a man on a horseback, close enough to their meeting spot that the local theme set took over. The rider brought his horse to a stop at the edge of their mesa before wheeling his horse around and galloping away. They were just two people meeting out on the frontier, nothing too strange about that. Wyatt pulled at the collar of his plaid shirt, trying to cinch it tighter around his neck. Who would have figured the desert would get so cold at night?

In pure silence, exploration craft Onomatopoeia traverses through interstellar space. Yataro Kobayashi – seated in Zen position – is trying to keep as much of the outside Universe out as possible, while the instruments of his space craft are trying to take as much signals from the surrounding void in as possible. Strangely, their goals are almost the same. I am nothing, Kobayashi meditates, like all the rest. I am one with the Universe. Apart from a myriad of stars, cosmic radiation and some undetectable quantum fluctuations – the sensors report to the board computer – there is nothing. Yet,

How long is a piece of string? In my case, it’s about eighty-five thousand kilometres. That’s the distance from the Anchor in Heinlein all the way up to the Lentil, that impossibly huge lozenge of frozen comet that flies like a giant’s kite on a piece of spiderweb over the lunar equator. I was there when the tether first made moonfall, spun out from Partway Station in twenty-four barrel-thick lines, each one three times as strong as it needed to be. For every kilometre that went down towards the Moon, another kilometre reached up towards faraway Earth. In those days,

Miranda Axel didn’t think much of The Domes when she first arrived. They were plain grey spheres cut in half and slapped against the ground; their alien humps out of place on the red desert sand of Solastam. Now that Miranda Axel had got a closer look, sitting there with a bottle of Iced Brandy, she was never going to think about her time on Solastam without remembering the mysterious alien city. As much as she wanted to see what it looked like from the inside, it wasn’t going to happen. Outsiders were strictly forbidden. The Kyith had extended their