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The Martian in the Greenhouse – Geoffrey W. Cole


December 2019

“Can you sit?”

Honoré awoke to find herself lying on a cot in a little room full of mostly empty boxes of medicine and medical supplies. The woman who had asked the question loomed over Honoré. Pale, oily skin stretched tight over thick bones. Grey hair tied up in a bun. Ice-blue eyes set deep.

“Shush,” the woman said. Honoré realized she’d been moaning in pain. It felt like she was steeping her extremities in hot tea. “The pain will go away. You’ll keep most of your toes, and all your fingers. Our Doctor Madsen is very good.”

Bandages wrapped Honoré’s hands and feet. The woman offered her a small plastic cup full of awful-tasting water that she swallowed with difficulty.

“I’m the Captain,” she said. “And you are Honoré.” Honoré flinched as the Captain probed her arms. “You spoke in your sleep. We didn’t know if you would make it. How did you find us?”

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The Martian in the Greenhouse – Geoffrey W. Cole
“Can you sit?” Honoré awoke to find herself lying on a cot in a little room full of mostly empty boxes of medicine and medical supplies. The woman who had asked the question loomed over Honoré. Pale, oily skin stretched tight over thick bones. Grey hair tied up in a bun. Ice-blue eyes set deep. “Shush,” the woman said. Honoré realized she’d been moaning in pain. It felt like she was steeping her extremities in …
Read it "The Martian in the Greenhouse – Geoffrey W. Cole"
The Lonely King – Gunnar De Winter
Once, he’d had loyal subjects. Now he only had bricks and sand. Immortality was not a blessing. He had dragged his throne to the highest tower of town. It had been an arduous task, but he’d had – quite literally – all the time in the world. The top of the tower had long since crumbled, exposing king and throne alike to the elements. Mocking desert winds threw hails of sand at the king’s weathered …
Read it "The Lonely King – Gunnar De Winter"
Fur and Feathers – Jess Koch
Dad was the first in our family to change. It was slow in the beginning: one morning he woke to find the skin on the back of his hand had hardened and darkened overnight. When I asked about it, he told me it was just dry skin, and I believed him because I was only twelve at the time and didn’t know what I know now. As weeks passed, the dark patch grew. It spread …
Read it "Fur and Feathers – Jess Koch"
A Time for Understanding – Lisa Fox
I lay your bulky, yellow head on my lap, your labored breaths hot against my nightdress. Your massive Labrador paws thrash against an unrelenting hardwood floor, as if you’re trying to run to a place without pain. I press my cheek into your soft fur; it cushions the fear that strikes with each violent spasm that threatens to take you from me. I pull you close, wrapping myself around you until the yelps subside to …
Read it "A Time for Understanding – Lisa Fox"

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More about Phoenix Alexander

Phoenix Alexander is the Science Fiction Collections Librarian at the University of Liverpool and curates the largest collection of SF in Europe. He is a queer, Greek Cypriot scholar and author of speculative fiction that is as much concerned with inner worlds as the spaces between stars.

phoenixalexanderauthor.com, @dracopoullos


Phoenix Alexander’s story “Notes from the Laocoön Program
in Metaphorosis Friday, 27 December 2019.
Subscribe now for e-mail updates!

The Martian in the Greenhouse – Geoffrey W. Cole

“Can you sit?” Honoré awoke to find herself lying on a cot in a little room full of mostly empty boxes of medicine and medical supplies. The woman who had asked the question loomed over Honoré. Pale, oily skin stretched tight over thick bones. Grey hair tied up in a bun. Ice-blue eyes set deep. “Shush,” the woman said. Honoré realized she’d been moaning in pain. It felt like she was steeping her extremities in …

It came from Tomas Marcantonio

Tomas Marcantonio’s story “Unmasked” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 31 May 2019. I’ve always enjoyed reading about dystopian societies, especially ones where the main characters are in the dark about their pasts or the nature of their worlds. The set-up and slow uncovering of the truth is usually the highlight of these stories, but I wanted to write something that challenged the reader even after the “grand reveal”. Min-soo, the protagonist of “Unmasked”, spends …

A question for Laura Duerr

Q: Do you ever feel bad for what you put your characters through?

A: It’s funny that this question comes up in conjunction with this story because this is far and away the cruelest I’ve ever been to my characters. This story has a high body count (actually, this is only the second story in which I’ve killed a character), a narrator with a pretty high degree of self-loathing, and three other characters who confront past traumas. But I like to think everyone except Colin (sorry, Colin) got a happy ending, somehow. In everything I write, I want there to be an element of hope or redemption, so while my characters may go through challenges, they survive them and conquer them, and hopefully inspire readers to keep conquering the darkness their own lives.


Laura Duerr’s story “What Lies in Light
in Metaphorosis Friday, 13 December 2019.
Subscribe now for e-mail updates!

About Lewis Gershom

Lewis Gershom is a writer of speculative fiction. He writes about the issues he sees in his hometown of New York City. When not writing, he teaches middle school English and computer science.


Lewis Gershom’s story “The Dybbuk
in Metaphorosis Friday, 20 December 2019.
Subscribe now for e-mail updates!

The Lonely King – Gunnar De Winter

Once, he’d had loyal subjects. Now he only had bricks and sand. Immortality was not a blessing. He had dragged his throne to the highest tower of town. It had been an arduous task, but he’d had – quite literally – all the time in the world. The top of the tower had long since crumbled, exposing king and throne alike to the elements. Mocking desert winds threw hails of sand at the king’s weathered …