Story: The Woman Who Must, by Roderick Gladwish 2

Story: The Woman Who Must, by Roderick Gladwish
Winter was coming to the Black Valleys, and the first snow was grey sludge beneath the mercenaries’ boots as they struggled up the mountain. With no interest in a seventeen-year-old girl too tired to keep up, they staggered past Althea using their spent matchlocks as walking sticks. She tried to catch her breath. The forests ...

Story: Carbonated, by Tom Grayhorse

Story: Carbonated, by Tom Grayhorse
Vampire in the bar eating peanuts, had gone upstairs to check caskets. As the flattened chords of B-flat blues wandered through her oak pollen-filled nostrils, she awoke with lace around her body. The priest was a Martian with a love for whiskey. He took confession at the corner table. Despite vampire’s tastes in blood, he ...

Pink Goo, by Steven Lombardi 3

Pink Goo, by Steven Lombardi
Our story begins with a series of extraordinary events. The first involved a small mouse that burrowed through an inch of steel at the base of a street lamp. After biting its way through, the mouse leapt up a series of wires and, reaching the top, rewarded itself by nibbling away on a juicy red ...

Five Haiku, by Denny E. Marshall

Five Haiku, by Denny E. Marshall
Aliens’ attack Kills less of population Then we do ourselves * * * Black hole Pulls spaceship To the dark side * * * Buried under Mars For millions of secret years Lies Earth’s history * * * New robots for sale With Feelings or No-Feelings — I could not decide * * * The ...

The Final Request, by Sheri Rosen 1

The Final Request, by Sheri Rosen
“Good afternoon, Mr. Whitaker, Charlie,” said the waitress, nodding her head at the old man and young man sitting across from each other in the red booth. “What will you boys be ordering today?” The waitress was perhaps a bit too bright and perky for her age, Carl thought, as he squinted down at the ...

Encounter at Midnight, by Irene Maschke 1

Encounter at Midnight, by Irene Maschke
Mick McLoren was quite an ordinary sort of guy. He was married, had two children, and had held the same clerical job for more than 17 years. He owned a house on the outskirts of London and spent all of his Sundays reading the Sunday newspapers. Like everybody else in his neighborhood, he left the ...

Embryo Transfer, by Edward R. Heard

Embryo Transfer, by Edward R. Heard
(Editor’s note: The following story is a sequel to “Mutant XX Embryo”.) There is no visible light in the horizontal passage that stretches away toward the harbor underground. Two pirates left several minutes ago in search of a way out. Silence is growing to a ringing in the ears of the rocket-van crash survivors, who ...

Embryo Transfer, by Edward R. Heard 1

Embryo Transfer, by Edward R. Heard
(Editor’s note: The following story is a sequel to “Mutant XX Embryo“.) There is no visible light in the horizontal passage that stretches away toward the harbor underground. Two pirates left several minutes ago in search of a way out. Silence is growing to a ringing in the ears of the rocket-van crash survivors, who ...

Crossover, by F. Alexander Brejcha

Crossover, by F. Alexander Brejcha
“See what I mean, Master Gorean?” My diminutive guide pointed to me and shook his head, briefly revealing pointed ears as his long black hair swung to the side. “Danek does not even know who you are – his own father!” I looked over at my supposed father again. No. Right age, but my dad wasn’t ...

Crossover, by F. Alexander Brejcha 1

Crossover, by F. Alexander Brejcha
“See what I mean, Master Gorean?” My diminutive guide pointed to me and shook his head, briefly revealing pointed ears as his long black hair swung to the side. “Danek does not even know who you are — his own father!” I looked over at my supposed father again. No. Right age, but my dad wasn’t ...