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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

In the Belly of the Angel – Henry Szabranski

It was Full Night, the climax of the two-week Festival of Threll, and the narrow streets of Thranrak heaved with the devout, the curious, and the avaricious. Freya Adinyan plunged past the torch-lit processions and the bustling market stalls, her heart pounding in time to the drums. Tonight she was determined to leave Thranrak and the world of man behind. She forced her way through the mass of festival-goers crowding Ascension Square, towards the tower …

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 …