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Not just rockets & robots...
"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.



Fortunetellers, precogs, future knowers. In science fiction, time travelers mostly go back. In fantasy, they see forward.

by R H Arnold
There is magic in the world. Some of it is subtle: coincidences, dreamers, the shock of what a strong will and capable hands can accomplish.
Published on Jul 10, 2020
by Dani Atkinson
***Editor's Note: Issues of Self-Harm in the Adult Story that Follows*** It's a Ghost Night tonight. The weather reports all agreed for a change, and nobody really needed the warning. The birds aren't flying. They're perched low on fence posts and bushes, grumpy and silent, acting as if it's pouring too hard to fly even though skies are calm. Anybody who pays attention knows that means Ghost Night, long before the phone apps start beeping warnings.
Published on Jan 1, 2016
by Stewart C Baker
On the worst days, just the knowledge that you're dreaming is enough to set you shivering in the cot, neck stiff from the cables. Eventually one of your wardens will come, so you wait. They are little more than shadows, these days: features you can't quite bring into focus; skin tone somewhere between ivory and midnight. You can't remember any of the names you gave them when you first arrived.
Published on Nov 18, 2014
by Peter M Ball
At first, I considered changing laundromats. I mean, sure, the Five Star was just two blocks from my apartment, but there's something 'bout the presence of a ghost girl by the dryers that kinda takes the thrill out of throwing your wet laundry in and settling into an ugly plastic chair to wait 'til the job is done. It got worse when there were four of us, 'cause no one wanted to be stuck using the last dryer on the left. The closer you got to the ghost girl, the weirder it felt. She'd stare at you and offer the pink balloon tied to her wrist, and it felt like your skin was trying to peel its way free and get the hell away. I stayed because she fascinated me, even if I felt terrified.
Published on Jun 3, 2016
by Peter M Ball
It's Morley's hotel. I didn't know that when I checked in, when I told the night clerk my name was Mister Cassidy and asked for a room on the top floor. The knowledge came slowly. Slower than it should have, considering. It's Morley's hotel and Morley's on his way and I no longer have the energy to run.
Published on Dec 2, 2011
by Chris Batchelor
Cavanaugh reached up the rock face and felt smooth concrete. At last. It stung his raw fingers under the afternoon sun, but he held on and savored the dry, gritty texture. He pulled himself up and sat on the lip of a broken sidewalk to gaze back into the rift. It roared at him. Waves of heat and noise blasted up the blackened walls from a surging lava flow in the bottom of the chasm. He scowled at the thing, etched in the Earth in defiance of nature, in a perfectly straight line, exactly a hundred feet wide and a hundred feet deep. It pushed everything apart. The house on Cavanaugh's right had been split to reveal street after street of interrupted roads, sidewalks, and lawns, all the way to a gap in the distant hills.
Published on Jul 18, 2014
by Tara Isabella Burton
***Editor's Note:Adult Language, Mature Themes*** Miles is an empath. "Gets it from his father," says his mother. "Always all about him."
Published on Aug 19, 2014
by A.J. Coan
The house was old, a 1920s Victorian-styled red-bricked beauty surrounded by lean metal fencing and thick spring grass. I easily imagined a playground on it. It was the perfect home for a young couple like us. "Do you think it's haunted?" I asked.
Published on Oct 24, 2017
by Emily Craven
Molly wasn't certain at what point she sensed someone hovering over her in the bus aisle. Initially she'd ignored it as some sort of mind trick, thoughts crowding to fill the morning. But when a clearing of the throat shifted Molly's hair across her face, she reluctantly cracked the mottled dark of her eyelids and raised her brown eyes. An old woman loomed, her face a map of wrinkles, hills and valleys of folded skin that both filled her face and made it sag. Wisps of hair escaped from under a quilted hat that half-shadowed eyes locked on Molly's own. The bus jerked and the old woman stumbled into the yellow pole, her hand sliding down the metal in an uncertain grip.
Published on Nov 17, 2014
by J. Lee Crow
I carefully prepare her plate. She can be finicky, sometimes. The peas are the tricky part, they can't touch anything. None of her food can touch. "Thanks, Dad," she says, as I set her dinner in front of her.
Published on Sep 17, 2014
by Marion Deeds
SCENE: Imagine a cozy sitting room with two overstuffed chairs. The walls are lined with saint candles and figurines of mythic figures, and we'll further imagine that mandalas line the walls. We imagine a window stage left, drawing in a faint reddish glow, or maybe, if we're very imaginative, we see a large neon outline of a human hand through the panes. DANIEL and EMMA sit facing each other. DANIEL sets a cup of tea down on the side table. DANIEL might be thirty, and dresses academic-casual. He has a cool but friendly manner--he is used to being the smartest person in the room. EMMA is about fifteen years older than he is. She's wearing yoga pants and a nice top. She seems harmless at first.
Published on Jun 24, 2016
by Malai N Escamilla
As a skill, reading is interesting. It takes a while to learn, and at the beginning it requires focus, repetition, and preferably a teacher. Once you do get the basics down, it's hard to forget--so long as you practice now and then, you can read just about anything. But with only the basics you're slow, you misinterpret, and it takes effort. You have to keep practicing, you have to read often, and you have to read diversified material. David Cayce read minds. Maybe even better than he read words.
Published on Apr 12, 2021
by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
***Editor's Note: Adult story.*** I don't know how many of us are in this head. I just got here, and I'm ready to leave.
Published on Oct 27, 2014
by Kenneth S Kao
I'm in the bookstore's coffee shop--by the windows, reading--when I suddenly must look up. She is there.
Published on Aug 7, 2013
by Leonard B King
It's meeting new people that's the hardest. Of course, what could I expect, when before I even know someone's name, before I even shake their hand, I know exactly when and how they'll die?
Published on Dec 1, 2017
by Jamie Gilman Kress
As the plane rose steadily into the sky, water vapor streaked up the glass like tears in reverse. Kiya, her head resting on the cool plastic near the pane swore she heard the movement of the rivulet, a dry slither like a snake through dry summer grass. A trick of her imagination; impossible to hear anything over the rumbling of the giant engines. She liked that about flying. The isolation. Thirty thousand feet from everything, the world hidden behind a shield of fluffy white cotton clouds. Only the other passengers in existence, and each of them pigeonholed into assigned seats and lost in their dreams or books or vacant thoughts. Every person a microcosm of their own, none touching Kiya, a realm onto herself.
Published on Jan 16, 2015
by Jamie Lackey
The family's guardian ghost lived in a large green gem embedded in a thick silver setting. It had protected and cared for us for generations. And of course, just a week after I inherited it, it went completely mad. Instead of offering sage counsel, it laughed, manically and nonstop. It was getting to be enough to drive me mad, too. In a fit of pique, I threw it into the fountain in the main courtyard. The green gem flashed in the clear water, and the constant cackling finally ceased.
Published on Mar 30, 2017
by Terra LeMay
Heaven is perfect. Her golden ringlets fall into her face to curl over golden eyebrows and golden lashes. Her eyes are an electric, neon blue; her cheeks are plump, like ripe peaches; and her mouth curves softly, like rose petals. She never frowns. She is small and fine-boned, but my Aunt Janice says she has just the right amount of baby fat for her age, which is seven. When Heaven laughs, her ringlets bounce, as if they are laughing with her.
Published on Jan 21, 2011
by Avra Margariti
Our bed isn’t ours tonight. Two people who are not us occupy it. When they reach out, their touch sinks right into us. They might as well have run us through with a sword as we gasp and howl to rival the wind. The couple in our bed sit bolt upright. “Honey, did you hear that?”
Published on May 14, 2021
by Emily McCosh
Clara faces the attic door, armed with a picnic basket and shielded with blankets. She drags a stool into the hallway so her eight-year-old arms can ease the folding-ladder out inch by inch without squeaking. The clock on the wall says 1 am, far past her bedtime, but this is the only chance she'll get. Daytime is no use. The attic is dank, smelling of mold and years-old dust. Her parents tried to stick a dehumidifier up here once--it didn't last long. Her father found it taken apart screw by screw and piece by piece, deposited beside the attic's trapdoor. Opening the little window in the far wall only succeeded in it slamming shut later that night. A sliver of moonlight reaches through it. There's the patter of little feet along the grimy wood. Clara hopes they're mice--rats are the worst.
Published on Jan 1, 2019
by Kurt Newton
The figure emerged inside the three-dimensional matrix. My brother, the mathematician, looked on as if he had never had a doubt the algorithm he devised would work. Using our own energy signatures as an identifying marker was pure genius, even if the probability of success was equivalent to locating a specific speck of dust on a landscape the size of planet Earth. But we never gave up. After years of searching, using an etheric energy detection and capture system I designed, at last we had him, our very own Shroud of Turin. Only this one was made of energized plasma. He wasn't Jesus Christ, but he was God to us. "Dad? Can you hear us?" There was a slight crackle as I locked in the coordinates. I stared at the image of our father floating before us in the lab.
Published on Jul 11, 2011
by Scott E. Ritter
Mom and I had arranged to meet Dad at the town museum. The special exhibit, "Unrealized Potential," only showed once each year from midnight until six AM on the summer solstice. The season's young heat hung in the humid air after the warm June day, and the first bold insects interrogated the darkness around the tired wooden building with their tentative rasping calls. It was only eleven thirty, but locals of all ages had already begun to gather. For many of them, attending on even such a mild night was not a trivial undertaking. They rolled up in wheelchairs, teetered on prosthetic legs, tapped red-tipped canes, or were limply carried by parents and determined friends. Others doggedly towed along their own life support mechanisms--tenuous tangles of wet tubes and wires precariously perched on squeaking wheels.
Published on May 21, 2014
by Kelly M Sandoval
After your death, everyone's so ready to move on. They offer to help me pack up your things, and then, to pack up my things. It's only weeks and my father's talking about cleaning out his guest room for me. Honey, he says, you can't sleep in the same room where Gemma passed on. That's how they say it. Passed on. At the funeral, the priest talks about heaven, about God welcoming his daughter home. He talks about all the good you did, and how you deserve your rest.
Published on Aug 24, 2015
by Chris Tissell
"Why don't they move?" "They're paralyzed."
Published on Apr 24, 2015
by S.C. Wade
I stepped out into the rain, my flat cap shielding my mat of gray hair. As I walked with my hands in my trench coat pockets, I noted each imperfection on the concrete. Each hand- and footprint a kid made when it was still wet; every discarded wad of gum. Over the years, I had become familiar with them all. What I wouldnt give for the days when I would walk with my head high, my beloved Mildred on my arm. I shut my eyes, looked up, and allowed the water to strike my face. After a moment, I lowered my head and pressed on.
Published on Nov 24, 2010
by Filip Wiltgren
The house was dark, spider webs covering the chandeliers where gaslight used to dance. "Here," said the no longer quite-so-young girl, "is the hall of the murder."
Published on Jan 7, 2016
by K. J. Zimring
The target was short, dumpy, and kinda cute, in a squashed-face way. We sat around a conference table deep in the heart of the Pentagon and watched the clip. She was shopping. At a flea market. She appeared to be very interested in textiles. "Seriously?" I said. "You can't catch her?"
Published on Nov 10, 2014
by Paulo da Silva
A statuesque woman steps into my dad's workshop. "I need a soul," she says. Dad's face brightens up. "What kind? Lost? Astray? Depraved? We have them all."
Published on Oct 28, 2016