My Last Summer at Camp Unterlaken – Eugene Morgulis

Camp Unterlaken wasn’t for everybody. Kids who came expecting a safe and cushy woodland experience barely lasted a week. I mean, you could get splinters from just about any surface, the mosquitoes could eat you alive, and the water in the lake was always, always freezing. But my friends and I went back every summer. We treated Unterlaken’s rustic roughness like a badge of honor. Proof of our toughness in a world of bubble-wrapped jungle …

Comes the Tinker – Karl Dandenell

As always, they heard the children first. Even in the strictest, most conservative towns, somehow, a few of the youngest or bravest managed to slip out to the road and wait for them. In other places, the whole of the population turned out, led by the mayor, or captain, or caliph, holding forth banners and flags and flowers to welcome the Tinker and his wagon, drawn by the steel horses that never tired. “The Tinker!” …

Showtime – Jamie Brindle

Week One The adverts are compelling, but you tell yourself you only watch the show because Mary wants to. Your wife has always loved reality TV. So on day one you tune in like half the nation, and you are hooked. The ten contestants are pretty awful, they always are on these things. But it’s different this time. When this show ends, only one of these people will survive. Though of course, sims aren’t classed …

Shiplight – Benjamin C. Kinney

“Right there, any moment now. Their future,” Jacob said, resentment thick and sour in his mouth. He pointed up into the night sky, above the heads of the close-packed crowd on the porch. Everyone was silent. Despite everything, Jacob and all the other Sea-born natives held their breath. A fresh pinprick appeared in the night’s threadbare shroud. A new star, flickering and bright with the flare of the decelerating pulse drive. Shiplight. Voices erupted in …

So, You’re In an Alternate Universe – Jeremy Packert Burke

So, you’re in an alternate universe. It doesn’t feel alternate. Your mom is still your mom, who smells like fennel, with red-rubbed knuckles. Your dad still has his large tie collection: his wooden tie, his Yellow Submarine tie, his tie that looks like a large fish. Hitler was still Hitler, and Stalin, Stalin. The sun outside is very yellow—is it too yellow? Is that the difference? The scar on your knee is still there. Eileen …

Out Where the Rivenbuds Grow – Mark Rookyard

The second sun sat low in the sky, its pale red light smeared through a blanket of grey clouds. The winter had been a long one; five years, and the rivenbuds were a rare splash of colour in the world. Caitlin fed the plants, her hands wet and dirty. The winding stems twisted above her, green and bright. The flowers of the rivenbuds were blue, red and white, and a score of colours in between. …