The Heresy Machine – Gerald Warfield

Goranth struggled up the cracked and crumbling stairs of the ancient tunnel. His squat build, typical of the Dunn, rendered him ill-suited for climbing. His short legs trembled, his tail stump ached, and his labored breaths created little puffs of fog before his face. But Goranth was undaunted by the precipitous climb. Bracing himself with one hand against the fractured wall, he gripped a clay lamp in the other and doggedly persisted, hefting himself, step…

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The Sea Bank of Svalbard South – Octavia Cade

Lizzy thought she’d be spared the burying of him. She’d looked for Bryan in the dark waters, in wind and rain until night fell and searching was useless. After three days she thought the sea had taken him. He had thrown himself from the sea-cliffs. She’d watched him do it and hadn’t understood what he was doing until it was over. Even after, with time to reflect, it was barely comprehensible. South should have been…

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How to Survive a Fish Attack – Kato Thompson

[From the memories of Sample AH537272. Transcript created using the extended Mahala method.] I remember tracing words in the memory mat with my mother. She showed me her favorite passages and we repeated the words together, sonicating the tiny algae into alignment and preserving the ribbon of knowledge for our future. I sang for the mat once. It was a great honor and I am proud. Our mat is not so large, so we can…

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Rowboat – K. G. Anderson

I’ve never seen an ocean, but I grew up playing “Rowboat” in my family’s cramped living module on level C of Xinxin Colony. The worn blue carpet was the water, the concrete floor beyond it, a sandy shore. With a broomstick as an oar, I pretended I was Gramma Jen, rowing hard against the tide to get us home. “They’d restricted travel by then, but Gramma Jen wanted us to know about beaches and the…

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Heard – Elise Forier Edie

When Dr. Paulson Kurtz clones the mammoth Sukari, the whole world gushes. Blog posts, interviews, TV spots, websites, opinion pieces, essays, tweets, and podcasts, the message is always the same: everyone’s enchanted, everyone’s in love. YouTube viewers thrill to her image: Sukari chases a big red ball; Sukari bathes in a plastic pool; Sukari sucks from a bottle, held by a comely grad student. Everyone agrees that her name, taken from the Inuit word for…

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The Machinery – Julia Warner

“I want you to know your options,” Dr. Foss said, handing the card across the table. The paper was crisp; the edges bit into Adelaide’s fingers. “Thank you.” Her voice seemed to come from the walls around her rather than her throat. Adelaide dropped the card into her purse and returned to the PET scan results. Her skeleton glowed before her in 3D, a ghostly smudge of purple, grey, and the traffic cone orange of…

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