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Not just rockets & robots...
What is Science Fiction?
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

Hither & Yon


There is some fiction that incorporates aspects of fantasy and science fiction but doesn't have that indescribable flavor that would make it clearly slipstream. China Mieville and his work spring to mind. Wizards on space ships, robots riding magic carpets, AIs on a quest to find unicorns? Could all be candidates to appear here.

by Peter M Ball
Your stomach does this funny lift, when they activate the anti-grav. Nothing crazy, like you'd get if you were on a roller coaster, but my dad, he was never a roller-coaster guy. He had it in his head that the train was going to crash, clutched the armrests with both hands and focused on his breathing. Little shallow breaths, in-out, in-out, over and over for the whole thirty clicks it took to get into low orbit. "Dad, it's fine. We're safe," I said. "Nothing's going to happen to the train, okay?"
Published on Dec 2, 2016
by Milena Benini
***Editor's Note: Adult language and situations.*** Marrakech Express hurdles its great bulk through stringspace. There is no speed in stringspace, but hopping as it does from one planet to the next and trading for a day or two at each, Marrakech Express could be called slow.
Published on Sep 27, 2013
by Deepak Bharathan
Insecurities, angst, and confusion--the kids have it all. That's why the University had me. Ty, my next appointment, was supposedly very special. Aren't they all? The brightest ones seemed to get younger every year. The file said the kid had severe adjustment issues. As he slid into the chamber, the first thing I observed about this chunky looking fellow was his inquisitiveness. Rather unique.
Published on Jan 24, 2017
by Oliver Buckram
When robot mermaids attack, you should flee. Go inland.
Published on Nov 12, 2014
by G. O. Clark
On this day in February 2020, first contact was made with an alien kind. More specifically, a Volkswagen bug-sized flying saucer landed on a Little League baseball diamond, and Cupid stepped out; buck naked, pink bow and arrow clutched in his pudgy little hands; wearing an impish smile upon his pudgy pink face. His robot co-pilot, Obay, stayed inside the saucer, instructed to monitor the encounter with the humans and keep a channel open to the home world.
Published on Feb 13, 2014
by Kate Coe
Published on May 15, 2017
by Michelle M. Denham
The silver doll sat quietly at the corner of 9th and Park, in front of the Ace Hardware. Jack Lattimer did not want to stop. In fact, Jack Lattimer saw the silver doll, looked away, and drove right past. If he could unsee the doll, he would. But he couldn't, and so he spent all day thinking half-finished thoughts he wouldn't allow himself to complete.
Published on Jul 31, 2013
by Jennifer Dornan-Fish
I'd come to kill a god but she was not what I expected. Thousands of universes hung from her neck, each one a precious intaglio charm glittering like a gem. Her eyes mimicked them, lambent little galaxies that were nothing but an illusion. She lifted a charm and whispered, "Flowers and milk and fruit with blood, maybe oakmoss too," to the ruby glass that looked like a drop of blood in her hand. In that little crystal, a new world bloomed. The act of creation her whimsy.
Published on Dec 30, 2015
by Shane Halbach
Hades sat in his office, high atop his dark tower. He put the finishing touches on his black painted fingernails and held his hand up to the light to inspect his work. Perfect. The shade of black exactly matched his hair, his eyes, and his coordinating shirt and pants. Only his pale white skin contrasted the darkness of his appearance. He was just about to complete the look with some dark eye shadow, when he heard a knock. Hades looked up quickly. No one ever dared to disturb him in his tower. "Enter!" he commanded, and the door swung open.
Published on Jan 7, 2013
by Amanda M. Hayes
They went down to Mercury protected by technology in appearance and magic in fact. Truthfully, it taxed his strength to keep the temperature around them to levels the tech could handle, but Dain had a wry hunch they'd rather not know. Under lamplight the southern ice glittered, unbelievable, wonderful.
Published on Sep 15, 2010
by Hans Hergot
It's a sin to kill a lightning bug. Its guts will not turn a whiffle-ball bat into a light saber. Smearing its green butt on your face will not make you a fairy. We knew it was wrong in our hearts. But we did it anyway.
Published on Dec 1, 2014
by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
I love October. That's when I can wear the mask and people ask the right kinds of questions, like who made it, where'd I get it, and what it's supposed to be. The answers vary according to my mood. I never tell the truth--an ancestor made it, it's come down from mother to oldest daughter for more than two hundred years, and it's not what it looks like but what it does that matters.
Published on Apr 15, 2016
by M.K. Hutchins
I'm always the first pulled from the blessed Elysian Fields, leaving behind the peace and comfort of the afterlife to wear a mortal body again. Well, the semblance of one, pulled from whatever dust or rocks are handy. My own body rotted away millennia ago. I could smell a hint of fresh air from somewhere up above, but the sheer, close walls of the ravine blocked out the sky.
Published on Oct 3, 2017
by K.G. Jewell
22 September 1917 Dearest Janet--
Published on Jul 1, 2011
by Jennifer Rose Jorgensen
Emmett Wright had never told a lie. In the year 2230, employed with the Department of Truths, 20th Century Historical Accuracy and Time Travel Division, he needed to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Until this morning.
Published on Jun 7, 2016
by Andrew Kaye
Doctor Longtooth tapped at the x-ray images with a single gold-sheathed talon. A troubled series of clicks rattled at the back of his throat. Smoke dribbled from the corners of his mouth. "I am sorry, Mr. Callahan," his voice rumbled. "It is at stage four. And the tissue is dying." My father stared at the images. What should have been the black shadows of his lungs were instead a foggy white reminiscent of frosted glass. "That's it then," he said, taking my hand and squeezing. "It's over. It was a good life while it lasted."
Published on May 7, 2013
by Simon Kewin
Congratulations on the purchase of your new universe! Your SingUlarityTM is the product of entirely natural universe-formation processes within the greater multiverse, and has been carefully handpicked to offer you a literally infinite range of possibilities! And thanks to our patented CosmOSTM cosmological engineering technology, you now have complete freedom to establish the fundamental physical properties in your universe that you want to see. Please take a few moments to read this quick-start guide, as mistakes in the formation of your cosmos cannot usually be rectified once the laws of physics have been established. In particular, please note that Multiversality® Inc. cannot be held responsible for the nature, character, content or arrangement of your creation. All universes are formed entirely at their owner's risk.
Published on Dec 1, 2015
by Cassandra Khaw
She fits the god's heart, blood dripping gold onto shaking fingers, into the compartment she'd sawed into her golem. It spasms and then slackens, turgid ventricles relaxing into stillness. Her breath catches against the roof of her mouth, pinned in place by a dry, chewed-on tongue. This needed to work. She was running out of gods, out of options, out of second chances.
Published on Nov 10, 2016
by Aaron Matthew Walter Knuckey
Arif stood beside Lisa in the middle of the huge, holographic Milky Way that dominated the flight deck, his prayer mat tucked under his right shoulder. "I appreciate your help, as always, Lieutenant Newsom," he said. Her smile was warm despite the icy blue light illuminating it. "We're both off shift, Arif. Call me Lisa, please." Arif returned the navigator's smile as she took two steps toward one of the ghost galaxy's far arms. "Here we go. Amelia?"
Published on Jun 14, 2017
by Alexander Lumans
Skull: When your last breath issues out, it will be with thanks. Thanks that you are not bedridden with combat injuries or nerve damage. Thanks that you are not interrogated at dagger-point over the whereabouts of your world's supply of silicon and chromium. But before this last breath, it's difficult to ignore two things: the overhead concussions of Ratshot jets breaking the sound barrier and the loud ticking of a strange rain--the enemy's clusterweapon. Odd polymer beads as big as soap bubbles slowly descend out of the sky. You could still be up there, dogfighting the invasion, bombing their coiltrains, living out your dreams--the ones The Wheel of Fortune predicted long ago, that day the three of you (your mother, you on her lap, and the fortuneteller) watched its eight symbols spin around and around. But you went AWOL. You wanted to be content with what you'd already done, not with what you were promised to do. Today, washing a plate, looking out the window, your heart full up like a cup of warm blood, you thank the evening for its devastating view of the American Southwest. "Everything is connected," you would like to go back and tell your younger self, because everything is the same." Across the sunset the winds whip iridescently because of what's falling through the air.
Published on May 28, 2013
by Melissa Mead
When my television died I grieved. It had been a faithful little TV, bringing life to the house for many years with its bright pictures and chatter. I'm something of a Luddite ordinarily, preferring non-interactive appliances, but TVs are special. It's been that way ever since my mother's old black-and-white met me at the door when I got home from school, proudly showing my favorite cartoon. The house felt empty with my television gone, and the neighbors began dropping hints. Wasn't I lonely in that silent house? I needed companionship, and so many televisions needed good homes....
Published on Jan 10, 2012
by Soumya Mishra
It was a Monday morning, and I was already late for work. Hurriedly, I shuffled into my coat, and took my hat off the rack. It was an overcast day, which meant there would be huge traffic in the stratosphere, up above. I tied my yellow balloon to my hat, and off I flew. "I'm running low on Helium. I better fill up my balloon. No one wants to crash land on a Monday morning! What with the raptors scouring the streets!"
Published on May 4, 2017
by Julia Nolan
This Monday, the speed of light is expected to decrease by ninety percent. We've issued a travel warning and recommend that interstellar travel only commence if there are no other options. If necessary, please proceed through specially designated wormholes. Fortunately, gravity will decrease by a balmy ten percent, so it's looking to be a great week on your home planet. On Tuesday, travel warnings remain in effect, but the electron and proton charges are expected to increase three percent. Expect stronger kinetics and flashier chemistry.
Published on Mar 10, 2016
by Kat Otis
Published on Jun 27, 2017
by Christopher Owen
Published on Jun 13, 2011
by M. J. Pettit
Maria wondered how her employer could afford to replace his skin as often as he did. He looked more like an intern than the vice president of the Eversure Insurance Company. But then Mister Bakewell possessed all the accoutrements befitting his standing in the gerontocracy. He wore augmentation casually like a fine-tailored suit, retaining much of his organic core alongside his mechanized extensions. Today, however, his cybernetic eye emitted a high-pitched whine as it rambled about its socket. "It isn't easy being clockwork," he said, adjusting the eye.
Published on Nov 21, 2017
by Gary B. Phillips
There was a hole in the fabric of your favorite dress and the light seemed to bend around it. Light always favored you, softening or illuminating to give you an ethereal beauty at all times. I didn't say anything to you about the hole. I knew how angry you would be. I knew what could happen if your anger got the best of you, but I didn't fear it. I wanted to keep you safe.
Published on Apr 25, 2013
by George Potter
It was a gift, they said, that let her see the quiet, sun-drenched field as a rolling, primal sea. An artistic worldview that heralded great things and a bright future. The wild green grass and sudden bursts of flowers became breaking waves and tiny coral islands. She was only seven when they noticed her strangeness. Charming at first, delightful almost. As she aged, it became mundane, then tiresome, and finally disturbing. It began young, that separation from the normal children.
Published on Dec 19, 2011
by Jon Rollins
"Sarah!" Ah, let's see. According to the chart, it appears one of our clients, Mr. James A. Levitz, has just awakened. If you'll accompany me, we'll debrief Mr. Levitz together, acquainting you with the formalities of this magnificent and quite lucrative new science. Come along, and mind your step; this equipment is both delicate and expensive. Also, before we engage our client, you should remember to always use first names when they wake up. Studies show last names are often disorienting before debriefing. Now, simply follow my lead, take good notes, and please refrain from questions until after I've dismissed the subject.
Published on Jan 12, 2016
by Alex Shvartsman
Bob shuffled into his editor's office with all the confidence of a cat venturing into a kennel. "Peter," he nodded.
Published on Sep 23, 2013
by Marge Simon
May the gods forgive me, for I must have sinned. It began six months ago when I broke out in great welts all over my body. Every pore of my skin was on fire. This wretched condition finally subsided, but then the skin started peeling off my hands and the soles of my feet.
Published on Aug 2, 2017
by Alex Smith
She really did mean every picture. I picked up the closest photograph from the scattered pile and had a closer look. It took a few seconds to spot him amongst all the people, but my eye caught a shock of black hair near the upper right of the picture, and there he was. Late sixties, well-dressed, messy hair--a figure in the distant background, one face in a thousand, caught with his mouth half-open. He seemed to be talking to the person next to him, hidden by the crowd. I turned to her. "Are there any more?"
Published on Oct 11, 2016
by Jeff Stehman
Her first customers of the day were teenagers, a brother and sister. Too young to remember the one they sought. Dolores kept the curtains drawn in her little shop, not for atmosphere, but for the privacy of her customers. From these two, however, she expected no tears, no weeping. They were here on a lark. Their chairs close together for courage, they fidgeted and shared frequent smirks and giggles. Probably ditched their parents in another part of the memorial village.
Published on May 13, 2013
by Brian Trent
"She's planning something terrible," the old woman said for the fifth time since entering his office. Sergeant Percy smiled pleasantly at his visitor. His office was crammed with a dozen other items requiring his attention--a boxful of photos to be reviewed, paperwork from last week's drug-bust to be filed, and meetings he needed to schedule with a murder suspect's gods-damned lawyers. Yet here he was, playing host to a senile and obviously drunk old woman, all because his captain insisted it was a matter of respect.
Published on Jun 13, 2016
by Patrick Leonard Welch
From the desk of Cornelious Jameson Eldrich the Third, Emeritus Wizard, Third Class. Dear Sirs and Madams,
Published on Oct 23, 2017
by Eric M. Witchey
"Go ahead," his father said. "Stand up." Vince was a Vanderpender ninth-grader, and he'd seen flat-bottomed punts in his art history courses. Not that he liked art history. He was a math boy, but he'd seen pictures of men fishing from boats like his dad's. They'd started rowing before sunrise. Now, they floated on glassy water in a back bay of Oleanta Lake in the rolling hill country near the Ohio river. Wisps of steam rose off the water, and a bird somewhere made a really spooky cry. At least his father told him it was a bird. A loon, he'd said. Vince wasn't sure if the name was a joke or not. The cry sounded crazy, and he supposed someone might have named a bird that made that sound the loon.
Published on Jun 13, 2014
by Michal Wojcik
Roses don't grow around New London any more. Cast-off trolleys, engines, scrap metal, and rusted airship frames press up against the city's edge, not trees. The Fraser River resembles a tongue of burnt milk licking the Pacific Ocean. This is the realm of the scrap-runners, tripping through iron mounds to scavenge what they can for resale to the factories. If anything else could grow here, it gave up a long time ago. That didn't stop people from talking about roses.
Published on May 16, 2014
by Nicola Young
I could feel his warmth the day we met. I fell in love with the glowing feeling that grew in my chest when I looked into his eyes. I fell in love with the way he loved me--I could feel the adoration, the excitement, the joy he felt when we were together. I could feel his love for me as well as I could feel my love for him. I could feel his excitement the night he proposed. I knew what was coming because I could feel his apprehension, even before he arrived on my doorstep. I could feel his relief and his joy when I said yes.
Published on Jan 19, 2017
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