by Gustavo Bondoni
The nearest mammoth bull reared up, aggressive pose indicating that he was master of all he surveyed. Behind him, the lead female brushed aside a recalcitrant bush with her colossal head. Nothing would stand in the way of this herd.
And yet something had, millennia ago. Something had transformed these magnificent beasts of the northern steppes into nothing more than a memory. The man who’d created the life-sized holosculpture was a great artist, but he would have had to be much more to bring his subjects to life. Continue Reading »
by Ahmed A. Khan
It was a bright spring morning when Gabriel’s life changed.
At the time, Gabriel was a moderately well-to-do writer and lived alone in a townhouse.
That morning, he switched on the TV. A cartoon was being shown but the sound he heard was not the sound of a cartoon but of news being read. Was something wrong with the TV? Had two channels somehow got mixed up? Then he heard the news reader announce the date. How could it be the 25th of May, today? Yesterday, when he had gone to sleep, it had been the 20th. What was going on? Had he slept for four days – a modern day Rip Van Winkle? He ran outside, picked up the newspaper lying on the doorstep and looked at the date. Twenty first of May. Continue Reading »
by Shweta Narayan
Blue neon catches on chrome, on white shirts and sneakers, on the ashes smeared on my skin. Twin lights cast knife-shadows in rhythm, splitting and crashing together in a cartoon bruise. Like the group onstage, playing the colors.
She tours as Kali and the Backup Smurfs. The smurfs are gnomes in face paint: natural mutation, modification, or little people come out into the open, take your pick. No matter that modding is the likeliest explanation; our kind steps outside and urban legends grow into their predictable trinity — monster, freak, alien. Continue Reading »
by Aleksandar Žiljak
“What was I thinking, marrying a biomecha designer?”
“And what was I thinking, marrying an ichthyologist?”
“May I remind you,” Yagoda replies in her sweetest voice, “that without this ichthyologist here, you would be dead by now.”
“And may I remind you, my dear,” Peter answers, irritated, “that without this biomecha designer here, you would be dead, too.” Continue Reading »
The bright stars had already littered the melanistic sky that blanketed the skyline of the city when Kat was finally able to leave his office. Although he was tired from the various meetings that he had had to attend that day, several points and issues raised during those grueling meetings still lingered in his mind as he drove his car out onto the street of the metropolis and headed for home. He thought to himself, how easy it would be to just leave the pile of work on the desk, like all his workmates do, and go home. But he realized that he would not be able to endure the worry-filled sleepless night, and the endless accusations he would throw at himself about lacking responsibility and abandoning his tasks. Continue Reading »
by Thorsten Küper
The guy crouching at the café table, looking up at me, seems like an inflatable homo-sapien imitation made of light rubber, deflated after somebody let out most of the air. „Really, I’m fine,“ he assures me again with faint mumbled words, whilst tiny saliva bubbles burst between his lips. „I just wanted to inquire.“ A nervous gesture with his right hand that holds a half-burned cigarette. The ash comes off and falls on the table. „I mean…I wanted to ask if…“
It’s his third attempt to utter the same question, again ending in mid-sentence. Continue Reading »
by Cyril Simsa
He had done alright for himself, had PBL, Everard thought, as he sat on the old man’s porch sipping tea.
The cabin had been styled to look as old-fashioned as possible, with jet-black wooden shingles and exterior walls clad in the split trunks of logs as weathered and gnarled as dinosaur bones, but no doubt it would be more modern inside. And the setting was grand, tucked up high on the mountainside amongst stands of twisty, resinous pine and shimmery, pink granite rock formations. There had been deer and beaver in the woods on the way up, and the remains of a quince orchard, long since abandoned by the original homesteaders. Wild strawberries. There weren’t that many people who could still afford to live like this, surrounding themselves with over-priced faux-pioneer chic in a natural setting that was all too real and precious. Continue Reading »
by Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro
This was the first time we made love in more than 170 years, objective time. More important yet: I hadn’t copulated with him since two months before the last period of Sleep, when we were in the Delta Pavonis system. Continue Reading »
by Nick Pollota
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re almost there!” Erik Kaye cried into his hand-held mike, while hanging out the open window of the antique-style train engine.
The cool Titan wind whipped his curly gray hair into a wild frenzy, totally unlike the usual neat perfection his billions of TriD viewers were familiar with, and for the first time in his life, Kaye didn’t give a good goddamn. They were going to make it! This was the story of the year! Hell, the decade! If only he knew what it was. Continue Reading »
by Swapnil Bhartiya Arnie
Jason Lee slid the curtain aside and felt a mild gust of fresh breeze fill his lungs. He stared out the window. Far across the patchless landscape, behind the hedges over steep mountain cliffs the sun was rising with the promises of another warm day. He took a deep breath and turned.
Sarah was still in bed. She stretched her body, sliding the sheet off her face. How beautiful she is. He sighed. Sarah yawned and opened her eyes. Continue Reading »