Beautifully written science fiction and fantasy.

Spoiler: She Leaves Him – Jack Noble

There is no doubt about how this is going to go. “You’re not leaving me,” I tell her. It isn’t a plea. It’s a fact. It’s written in stone. I’ve seen it. She stands in the hallway, mostly hidden within a raincoat of garish red. It’s two sizes too big and the hood is bunched up at the back of her head. Her small face looks out at me, jaw set firm but something shifting…

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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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La Belle Dame – Sabrina N. Balmick

The scribe met the knight on the old stone road. The castle was a couple of hours away. Three, at the speed his donkey was trotting. He’d meant to deliver his news of no news and stumble off to a bath and, if he were lucky, into a warm bed with a warm wench. Instead he found himself conversing with a knight who hunkered in a smear of blue-violet twilight. Cloaked in shadows, he looked…

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Seeders – Jamie Killen

The wheat died three days after Elin’s skin began to itch. The itching started as a rash on the backs of her hands, little round bumps standing out from her skin. She ignored it at first, went to work at the diner as always. But by the third day it had spread up her arms and started on her feet. She came downstairs early in the morning after a sleepless night, knowing her parents would…

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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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