Reproduction in a Closed Loop – Andrew M LeBlanc

The first iteration of General’s life ends with the extinction of the human race. The third, fourth, and fifth iterations fare better, but even knowledge of its past iterations is not enough for General (Gen for short) to change the course of the war. The invaders arrive in endless viral flocks; while Gen can improve its strategies over unlimited iterations, it is not enough to stop the alien tide. By the end of iteration five …

Graven Image – B. Morris Allen

It’s about impressions. First impressions, last impressions, the creased and corrugated impressions that life leaves on our skin as it wears us down to our essentials, and eventually to nothing. I know about impressions; I’m in sales now. Back then I was a lonely xenoarchaeologist, chasing down one more faded rumour, one more mystery worn flat by repetition and examination. Study, publish, repeat, as postgrads say, until there’s nothing left to say, no iota of …

It Feels Like Déjà Vu – Phong Quan

I open my eyes and do the first thing I always do after running the gravitational field generator: remember my name. “My name is Jon, I’m a physicist,” I say. Nothing comes after that. Thoughts begin to form and rise, and just as quickly sink back down; I feel like I’m struggling to stay afloat in a river that’s slowly dragging me under, trapped in its constantly shifting currents. But I fight it. I know …

Time’s Arrow – C. Heidmann

In 2130 the Nelari began resurrecting the dead. In 2133 Talia’s father called for the first time in five years. “You want to bring her back, Dad?” After all this time, after what you did? Talia wanted to add, but didn’t. Couldn’t. Not to his face. Not anymore. She barely recognized the white-haired, eighty-three-year old figure; the holo-projectors in her quarters relayed every etch-mark of time, his still-bright blue eyes peering at her out of …

Strangers in the Night – David Whitaker

Emptiness. A vast, frozen void, stretching out in all directions, extending to the infinite. Like a colossal blank canvas, it was mammoth in scope, yet almost entirely devoid of life, thought, or purpose. The probe was an exception. Easing its way slowly but surely between the solar systems, it glided determinedly forth. In the immense cosmic scale of things, it was nothing; just a slim metal construct a couple of metres across, utterly insignificant in …

Chasing the Light – Gloria Wickman

Markus stood on the rocky hill in front of his house, neck aching as he craned it toward the sky. He’d been waiting for hours. He’d snuck early out of bed, slinking his way through the house and slipping outside into the muggy morning air. He’d climbed the hill, using his hands to steady himself as the ground slipped and slid beneath him, until he reached the highest point in the village. When the light …