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,...

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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,...

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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...

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How much has really changed in Los Angeles? It’s true that our visitors are very free with their favorite weapon, the good old-fashioned mind control ray from outer space, but is it really so different? I wake up again, Echo Park, it is one o’clock in the afternoon and I have nothing to do. No one will hire someone with a history of mental illness. The irony is that now we should all be insane, we should all be crackers. But it’s as though alien occupation is only a mild heat wave. As though the “Stasi” of 2012 (From the...

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Now Sam realized that for the first time in years, he was actually scared. The sensation, however, had not been inspired by the automatic gunfire ringing in his ears, nor was it attached to the potential for death that the noise represented. Sam hadn’t even wanted to be alive for a very long time. What was really getting to him right now, though, was the glass. The enormous hospital windows that overlooked the southern parking lot were shattering and spraying everywhere… just like the night when his entire world had turned into a nightmare. # One year ago “It’s just...

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You don’t love me. He says. His voice is red wine, whiskey and fermented onions. He’s random: cigarette draped between his tar-blackened lips, eye liner days old from the Halloween Black Sabbath party, and the funky “MOM” tattoo screaming at him to watch the road as it dangles out the driver side window of his 2012 Ford Focus. I change the radio from Sex Pistols to Dolly Parton. I crack open two more pistachio nuts. I eye the tight sash around my Betsey Johnson gown and think I’ll be puking later. And then I spit out every nut into the...

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Beneath the creeping ice of an uncomfortable planet in the constellation of Cassiopeia, the Caph had sifted for centuries through the endless dimensions. The seemingly hopeless quest was devoted to what had become their Holy Grail. With technology of reality-scrambling complexity they interrogated the infinite chaos and sought out warps in the fabric of Time, Space, and Otherthings, that might have given away its existence. Much closer to home, things were happening they would have found very interesting, even when shrouded under the tediousness of Derek (the humanoid to which these interesting things were happening). Derek was a boring fart...

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I worked all night trying to find trying to find a quicker, less expensive cure. The colourful boxes of anti-viral agents, tailored bacteria, and antibiotics littered the work surface. In the corner of the sick bay the radiation lamp flickered, blood-coloured light over a tray of discarded Petri dishes. As the night wore on, my treatments became increasingly experimental. I tried the wilder, alien technologies. I placed the smooth mites of the Pincer world onto the faces of the crew in the hope that the burrowing insects would seek out and consume the infection. I pounded strange aromatic herbs. I...

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In the moment before Saskia Brandt awoke, she had a vision of red chrysanthemums falling. The flowers looked unreal. Their stems were too straight and their falls too slow. Their Gestalt was artful sadness. Then the sky beyond them wintered and the dream faded. She awoke to freezing darkness. Her throat was dry. She turned and coughed. The edge of her breast touched a cold surface and, with a shock that stopped her coughing, she understood that she was lying on a metal tray, naked but for a loose shroud. She raised her knees until they bumped metal. She passed...

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The Messiah’s sermon was running especially long this Easter. He’d woken up and come out of the tomb and it had been appropriately sparkly, like always. George knew how lucky he was to have won the Party lottery to attend the Resurrection in person, but brunch wasn’t served until after the speeches and George was starving. Truth be told, George was still a bit hungover from Friday night. The twin Easter Festivals – Friday’s raucous Euthanization followed by the Resurrection on Sunday morning – brought out the wild side of many citizens, and George was no exception. (Green Party Euthanizations,...

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