What Have You Done to be Happy Today? – Kimberly Kaufman

I guess it started with the robot talking to me at the front of Perfect Pizza. It was the check-out clerk, one of the humanoid ones, vaguely male with his square features, bald head and glass eyes. His pupils dilated when the clouds covered the sun, and he had specks of color in each iris: blue and grey, occasionally red. The ‘bot was just human enough to feel comfortable ordering a personal pizza from, yet…

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Papa Pedro’s Children – Karl Dandenell

Peter Carlson held the gurgling two-month-old infant with one hand, while the other dug through a dresser drawer. “Bwa! Bah!” gurgled the baby. “Right as usual, Cassie,” Peter said, pulling out a bright red knit cap. It was too small. Peter shook his head. “I know this fit yesterday.” He found another cap, a patterned alpaca wool hat with big earflaps. He pulled it down firmly over Cassie’s head. “Command: weather,” he said. Twelve degrees,…

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HOPper – Charlotte H. Lee

HOPper shut off the light as his mistress left the kitchen, scrubbing at her eyes while she made her way down the hallway to the bedrooms. Just as Vanessa reached the girls’ door, he dimmed the hall light from the standard eight hundred lumens to three hundred so it wouldn’t wake the children. Once again, six-year-old Sadie’s book of fairy tales had fallen to the floor. HOPper kindled the desk lamp and waited until Vanessa…

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BetaU – T. B. McKenzie

On Sunday, Janie’s com pinged with a message from her cousin who worked for Visage, one of the big city body-mod firms. You should go for this! read the underlined text, which took her to a minimalist page with the company name, BetaU in the middle and a single link at the bottom: Employment Opportunities. Only the fanciest places hired humans any more, and Janie’s curiosity sparked, if not her hope, for they’d only want…

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The Abjection Engine: Fragments From the Diary of Alexi Alanovonovich – Y. X. Acs

Among the infinite forms which the natural world delivers us, none is more fascinating, more truly wonderful, than that incomprehensibly complicated movement referred to, in its entirety, as ‘human life’. True comprehension of life, with its fathomless direction and astonishing intricacy, may ever elude us, and yet we can readily apprehend it as a form of movement; a unitary mass being moved by a force, and thereby, no matter its nature, may come to know…

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One Divided by Eternity – Filip Wiltgren

My happiest ending would be if Offie moved in here and I weren’t alone all the time. “I can’t, Chilli,” Offie says. “There’s not enough room for me.” I know that but I keep asking. I hate being alone. I hate it, hate it, hate it. “Please,” I beg, but Offie doesn’t reply. It doesn’t shut me out. Offie knows how afraid I am of being alone so it leaves the channel open. I could…

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