Hail Mary 1230

Hail Mary 1230 The world looks peaceful from up here, the irregular polygons of the old fields and forest divisions looking like they’ve been cut by a toddler with a pair of stolen scissors: straight lines, weird angles. But this is the exclusion zone and the people have gone and left their straight lines behind….

Tethered

Tethered “Come on, it’s New Year’s.” Maria’s tone was pleading. “Show off those new cybers. Put my dancing to shame with your robot legs.” My new upgrades let me bench press 800 pounds and run a 3-minute mile, but I couldn’t afford good batteries. The club said its wireless electricity for fully T6 but what…

Sui Generis

Sui Generis I needed something unique. Groundbreaking. Twelve hours before the science fair and no ideas. Last year’s winner, my sentient rhinocopter, buzzed around the room looking bored. A living cup that produced milk and sugar for your coffee? Not enough time now. A catbird? I might as well make a baking soda volcano. I…

Boot Reboot

Boot Reboot “What’s this Leagz7 project you’re working on?” the CEO barked. “Seven league boots,” Brad stammered. “Unfortunately, one foot originally traveled 21 miles before the other one moved.” “Huh. Sounds like a crotchal—I mean, crucial design flaw.” “We fixed that with Leagz7 2.0. Now just the boot travels, not the foot.” “Where’s the market…

Beyond Macaroni Art

Beyond Macaroni Art My ten-year-old 3D-printed me a car for my birthday. He downloaded the plans from the Internet, he said. I was still making macaroni art at that age. “You like it?” “Yeah. It’s . . . something.” His eyes are shining and I’m wondering if this green monstrosity actually runs, what kind of…

To Serve Man (and Woman)

To Serve Man (and Woman) The book was called To Serve Man. It was a cookbook. We told our Yrganian hosts that humans was preferable, but even aliens like obscure cultural references. The Yrganians were hospitable, but since most of their food would kill us instantly, they meticulously compiled a list of non-lethal foods and…

Shell Game

Shell Game The stall was just a door-on-sawhorses table spread with a selection of fantastical shells you could never find in a marine biology textbook. Most ships avoided the rift that had recently opened offshore, but this girl and her brother were clearly more enterprising. “How much?” I pointed at a coconut-sized blood-red shell. “10?”…

Reunion of the Titans

Reunion of the Titans They arrived together, monstrous ships blotting out the sun as they landed. Trash dervished in the still air. Security forces poured out, forming concentric perimeters around the Meeting Location, scanning for threats in three dimensions. The two Titans descended, walking towards each other like a Wild West re-enactment. Either of their…

Dinner at Maison Centrale

Dinner at Maison Centrale “Do you think it’s safe?” Chantelle asked. She rapped the clear table. Tabitha sipped her wine. “Undoubtedly.” She smiled at the prisoners gazing up through the table from the floor below. “I feel bad for them.” “This is your civic duty, darling. Let them continuously see and smell wonderful food just…

Tremors from Eden

This story is based on the writing prompt from Muse on Monday – June 27. Tremors from Eden I still remember the first time I leaned against the wall and heard music. It was not complete: just like the trash I scavenged which was stripped of nutrients and value, the melody was undetectable and only…