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 …

Suzy’s Friend – David Hammond

From: gruntbuggly54@gmail.com To: shanover@fnal.gov Subject: Water temperature Dear Dr. Hanover, I am writing on behalf of the Octopus bimaculoides in your office aquarium whom you call Suzy. The water is too warm. Please reduce the temperature to 18℃. She would greatly appreciate it. Sincerely, Suzy’s Friend                   From: shanover@fnal.gov To: gruntbuggly54@gmail.com Subject: Re: Water temperature I don’t know who you are, and this is obviously some kind …

Calm Folk, Come Forth! – Adan Berkowitz

The bear stood on its hind legs and roared. Its fur was matted and tangled, brown with hints of orange, and one of its ears was mostly gone. Gray eyes and long sharp teeth. Rancid breath wafted over me, and I pinched my nose. I was pretty sure it was a grizzly. Dad said grizzlies were big, and mean. He said if you got between a grizzly sow and her cubs, you’d better watch out. …

Koehl’s Quality Impressions – Tim McDaniel

Early Wednesday morning, not much past 10:30, I wheezed my way through downtown in my old ‘31 Ford. Down to White Center, where the city sprawl collided with the suburban rents, resulting in rows of dingy cheap apartment buildings, absentee landlords and the retreats of the old or underemployed. I found the place easily. A building of wooden clapboard, still advertising ‘covered parking’ even though those parking spaces were filled with rusting Chevys, discarded washing …

Cathedra – M.C. Tuggle

We glided out of the base’s garage onto smooth tarmac, but once we hit the icy terrain, things got bumpy. The rover shimmied up a rise pocked with shallow fissures and slowed to a crawl as we neared the crest. I gazed up. Saturn and its massive rings dominated the sky, glowing in the dim bronze light of early morning on Enceladus. We stopped. Rafferty tapped my shoulder from the rear seat. I was so …