The Eighth Fathom – Chris Panatier

First Fathom, The Plunge In a past beyond the reach of time’s measure, we fell from the Galaxy Beam and into the waters of a primordial world. From the shattered wreckage of our Great Hull, we salvaged the ascension core and dove into the salted darkness. And within the abyssal contours of this alien planet, we made our home, awaiting the wobble of the zenith star that would presage the Beam’s return. Ook crept down …

Grow, Divide, Sacrifice, Thrive – Jo Miles

The circular driveway at the Randolph family house was already full when Chris arrived, packed tight with cars all the way out to the curb, so Chris parked on the street. It seemed fitting that there was no space left for them, and anyway, their scraped-up little Honda didn’t belong next to the family’s Lexuses and Teslas. Evening bathed the neighborhood in softening shadows, drawing the eye to the lit windows of the Randolph home, …

Choice – Tomas Marcantonio

The giant apartment complex was unfinished, like almost everything else in Pyongyang. It loomed over the city, a grey, oval-shaped mass rising like a fungal growth on the bank of the Taedong River, swarming with half-lived lives. The western side was wall-less, held together with sagging electrical wires and iron bones stripped of their skin. Multitudes of drones hovered outside windows, transporting deliveries or simply spying, like mechanical wasps searching for a nectar that no …

Notes from the Laocoön Program – Phoenix Alexander

The orbital module fails to detach and we ignite in the full-mouth kiss of the planet’s atmosphere, spinning with a velocity that pushes us to the black brink of unconsciousness. G-force grinds us into seats molded for our forms. There is the view through the porthole in my periphery – of jittering flame and cartwheeling stars and the glowing edges of unfamiliar continents – and the interior of the capsule in front of me. My …

What Lies in Light – Laura Duerr

I dream about the volcano again. The broad bowl of its crater is filled with shimmering light. I am standing at the rim like always, watching the warm and welcoming glow eddy and dance just a few feet below me in a swirling ocean of opal. I keep thinking I can see something beyond, or under, or within the lights, but it’s too distant to view clearly. I hear voices, too. That’s new. The voice …

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 …