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"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


by Liz Argall
Dear Mr Moon Man or Ms Moon Lady, I would like very much for gravity to continue to suck or pull or whatever it does, but if you could do so with just a bit more nuance I would be very grateful. My brother, Henry, keeps jumping off the roof in a Wonder Woman costume and I would appreciate it very much if his limbs wouldn't break so much. Henry is very determined to fly through the air with a cape and although I tell him Wonder Woman flies an invisible plane and has no cape he just tells me I am old school and should get with the program and Wonder Woman could kick Superman's ass any day. Last time Henry jumped off the roof he blamed his crash landing on the cast still on his right arm. He said it pushed him off balance. Henry then left the last good mattress out in the rain and now we have to sleep on the floor.
Published on Nov 23, 2010
by Dani Atkinson
# You liked showing me the ancient tech in your attic. # It always made you happy.
Published on Jan 30, 2014
by Matthew W Baugh
The small grey man walked into Ben Murphy's office and stared at him with enormous black eyes. Ben had seen a lot during his fifteen years as Sheriff of Chaves County, but nothing like this naked, spindly-limbed, huge-headed critter. For that matter, he couldn't rightly say whether the thing was a man or not, despite the lack of pants. Still, Ben knew the value of remaining calm and helpful, whatever the situation. "Can I help you?" he asked.
Published on Dec 5, 2011
by Oliver Buckram
Welcome to Dystopian Airlines. We now request your full attention as our flight attendants demonstrate the safety features of this Boeing 666 aircraft. Should we experience a loss of cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop from the compartment above your seat. Place the mask over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band, and breathe normally. The flow of oxygen will start once you swipe a valid credit card into the credit card reader. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, swipe your credit card first, then assist them with their credit card. Tampering with, disabling, or destroying the credit card readers is prohibited by law.
Published on Nov 4, 2015
by VG Campen
CONVERT NOW--THE END IS NEAR. The sign, held by a tiny pink paw, bobs along a path that cuts through the ferns. "They're everywhere nowadays," I say. "Used to be they'd run away, or at least hide in the shadows."
Published on Sep 20, 2012
by Michael Canfield
Albe ignored Tic, who exclaimed "huh!" after stabbing another Wikipedia article in his usual overly-enthusiastic way. Albe then watched Tic push the article off the sharp end of his poker into the bag. Tic wiped his hand on his leg, as he did every time he cleared his poker of trash. Albe had gotten himself knee-deep in Myspace pages, which had started to seep through his garments and cling to his skin, so he didn't care what Tic chose to vociferate about.
Published on Oct 24, 2011
by Matthew Castleman
We'd like you to hear us out on this. We know that change is unsettling, often frightening. It's one of those great human truths, the kind people put on their mantle in carved wooden letters. No major shift in human society has ever been easy. There is always anxiety, sometimes even panic. And there are growing pains. Not everyone is as adept navigating the lanes of the new as they were in the well-worn roads of the old.
Published on Mar 31, 2020
by Gregg Chamberlain
“Moooooommmmm! Pleeeeease?” “No,zBilly,zyou can’t have one.” Billy’s mom picked up another plate, one of the chipped ones, and started wiping it dry with quick, almost-savage strokes of the dishtowel. She knew what was coming next. “But why, mom?” argued Billy. “Jimmy Smith has a dinosaur!” Billy’s mom sighed. Put the plate in the cupboard, reached for another, began wiping it dry. “If Jimmy Smith’s parents choose to let him have a dinosaur, that is their decision and they can afford to do so. Me, I really don’t think it’s proper to let a child have that kind of a pet.” Even if it is “just a micro-sized plant-eater” like that Amelia said. “But moooooommmmm!” “Don’t “but mom!” me!” Billy’s mom spat. “No dinosaur and that is final!” Billy scuffed a sneaker-clad foot against a crack in the kitchen linoleum. “S’not fair. Jimmy Smith gets to have a dinosaur, he gets to ride around on his own SeaSkidoo, gets to learn kickboxing with Jackie Chan’s clone, go to Mars for summer holidays, to…” “Oh, for pity’s sake!” Billy’s mom cried in exasperation. “If Jimmy Smith got permission to jump off a cliff, would you want to go too?” Blessed silence followed. For a moment. Then… “Jimmy Smith has a jetpack.”
Published on Mar 14, 2013
by Gary Cuba
The front doorbell jingled. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov reflexively pushed his aged body up from his chair, his bones creaking in protest, and shambled to the foyer to answer it. Was it the postman, delivering good news? Probably not, he thought. He hadn't received any good news for years now. Pavlov opened the door and, after a moment of mental confusion, recognized Sergei Mikhailovich Tyshenko, his old friend and patron, now the head of the Soviet Bureau of Physiology and Psychology. "Welcome, comrade! It's been a long time. Years!"
Published on Sep 16, 2013
by Ellen B. Denton
He walked quietly among the leaves, every sense organ available to him at full alert and extending out in all directions. Despite his deafness, he always had a 360-degree sweep of what was going on around him. This was pure instinct for him and had been since he was born.
Published on Feb 12, 2015
by Kris Dikeman
I reach for a package of chocolate chip cookies. "Partially hydrogenated oils," the cookies say. "Palm oil, even. Be quicker if you just stabbed yourself in the heart. Also, we've been sitting here for... gotta be eight months."
Published on May 4, 2015
by Aidan Doyle
This all happened so many years ago that I can finally tell someone the true story of how I stopped an alien invasion. For reasons I won't go into, I was assigned to an outpost in a part of the galaxy frequented only by mining robots. Sometimes you're just in the wrong place at the right time. Well, all right, if you must know, I didn't make a lot of friends in my previous posting. All I'll say is that if you're ever assigned to a battleship called Invincible 3, asking what happened to the first two Invincibles probably won't endear you to your commanding officer.
Published on Aug 10, 2015
by Nicky Drayden
Being a little curious doesn't make you a deviant. On Vero-Avalon Station, with its hundred and fifteen sapient species, it'd be weirder not to wonder about the alien biology of your cohabitants. You see them in the mess hall, slurping up trans-dimensional slugs, gnawing on Yuvvian bark, sipping pink clouds from see-through thermoses, and dining on the finest spiced lava rock this galaxy has to offer. You don't blink an eye when a proboscis appears from a rift in space-time and oozes purple acid onto freshly killed Frall. And when an Undulite consumes its still living mate right in front of you, you don't judge. You're something of an amateur anthropologist, after all, and a curious one at that. Curious enough to enter through that doorway, the one with the symbol on the front that you can't quite decipher. Not the symbol of the humanoid man, nor the humanoid woman. Not the generic fish symbol for the aquatics. Not the avians, nor the giant blue placard for the restroom designed especially for the spatially challenged.
Published on Jan 3, 2011
by ANNE Patterson FRIEDMAN
Emjid was thrilled to be using human eyes. As he pushed his cart down the aisle, he turned his head to the left--a joy with a twistable neck--and savored the red of tomato-paste cans. What fun! "Excuse me, sir."
Published on Dec 16, 2010
by Preston Grassmann
Standing outside his house, Einstein thinks about the subjective nature of time and relatives. At the edge of an event horizon, there are theories about time dilation, but the nature of his relatives will explain his lack of punctuality better than relativity. He hears their loud voices beyond the door, realizing how much easier it is to make laws for stars and light than the behavior of in-laws. As he watches them from the doorway, he wishes they were more like celestial bodies. Despite their influence on the space around them, they are not dependent on mass, but the inescapable gravity of guilt. He is never far enough away to avoid its pull.
Published on Feb 23, 2017
by Karen Heuler
Dear Space Mama, I joined an exploratory company about ten years ago, and have been traveling ever since. Lately, I met a being on Celsia 9 who exists midway between a corporeal and non-corporeal state. That is, he/she/it (undetermined) feels more like liquid than solid and is somewhat permeable. We don't really speak directly, instead doing a kind of mime of what we want. It's a slow and interesting process. Since this is a new contact, there is no handbook on what any of this means, but I have been feeling more and more like staying on this planet rather than continuing to explore. Oddly enough, all my crewmates feel the same way and we have wondered if there might be more to this attraction than we're aware of. What do you think?
Published on Oct 1, 2013
by Matthew Johnson
Four stars Dinner for two $120-160 with wine, tax and tip
Published on Sep 27, 2010
by Andrew Kaye
Jonathan ate elves because they were high in protein and vitamin B, and he fed them to his wife for the same reason. She was three months pregnant and couldn't stomach most foods; only elves satisfied her without bringing on a ripple of nausea in her belly. He prepared them for her like a tuna fish sandwich, chopping the cooked meat into small, moist chunks and mixing it with mayonnaise and a blob of sweet relish, then smearing the resulting paste between slices of toasted Wonder Bread.
Published on Mar 10, 2011
by Ahmed A. Khan
Come closer, dear lads and lasses, as Kai Lung II unfurls his mat and regales you with tales filled with monumental happenstances, awe-inspiring wonders... and dubious morals. Once upon a time, the dolphins had had enough of the humans polluting their seas. They decided to conquer and subjugate humankind. With this purpose in mind, they manufactured an array of dangerous and deadly weapons, and they manufactured an army of androids designed to look, talk, and act like humans.
Published on Mar 18, 2019
by Art Lasky
Virgilius the Potter made pleasing plates and beautiful bowls. He made comely cups, and the prettiest pitchers; but, the artistic altitude achieved by his saucers was unmatched. Artists wept for joy at the sight of a Virgilius saucer. Competing potters wrecked their wheels, and crushed their kilns upon seeing one of his creations. Wars were fought, and ransoms paid for his saucers. Thus he came to be known from the tip of the Western Kingdom to the shores of the Eastern Isles as Virgilius the Saucerer. Virgilius and his entire village thrived on the trade in his singular saucers. One day on the grassy common at the center of the village square a sinister figure appeared. Leaning on an ebony staff topped with a jagged crystal that pulsed with a malevolent sanguine light was Wargnuff the Scourge, a dark sorcerer of foul repute.
Published on Oct 2, 2019
by Tim McDaniel
"Sit down, sit down," Algrin said to the client. A youngster, really just a boy. "I don't think I've seen you in here before, have I?" "No, no," the young man said. He wouldn't make eye contact. Well, that wasn't unusual.
Published on Dec 16, 2015
by Tim McDaniel
“You know, Billy,” said George Washington, “When I was a young boy, my mother used to say something to me, by way of encouraging me in my childhood endeavors.”
Published on Sep 30, 2010
by Brooks C. Mendell
Daniel, our nine-year old son, walked his cockroach out to the edge of the driveway where I stood reading the newspaper. "Full frontal assault in the kitchen, Dad," he said. "I've got even money on Mom. She's battle-tested." I turned the page to scan headlines about aliens invading the country, our national labor shortage and a spate of violent cyber-attacks. Then I looked down at Daniel holding tight as Richard tugged its leash. And I thought about the alien in our home.
Published on Jan 22, 2019
by Jaime Lee Moyer
My Dearest Miranda, I must apologize for being so remiss in not answering your last letter promptly. I do hope you'll forgive me once I explain.
Published on Oct 18, 2011
by Tim Pratt
For the musically-inclined tourist, ancient Rome is a must.
Published on Sep 6, 2010
by Joshua Ramey-Renk
On the day the world began, there were 100 monkeys in the trees. The next day there were 500, then 1,000.
Published on Aug 22, 2011
by R.P. Reed
Silence in the medicenter. There's no electronic hum in spacecraft in this century, nor vibrations from the anti-matter engines. A dim healing green light pulses from the walls, floor, and ceiling. Perfect for maintaining the wellbeing of the four patients. There's a glint of moving metal in my peripheral vision as the medidroid monitors the condition of the final patient. Four surgery capsules lie before me in a neat row. "Everything is always in neat rows," I remembered Asami saying with a laugh. Through the liquid nitrogen mists I can see the occupants: young faces, dressed in red and blue uniforms. I can't see the badges on their chests, but I know the motto reads, "Not for oneself."
Published on Jun 6, 2014
by Jenn Reese
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Beloved of trillions, How I Met Your Broodmother is the comedy masterpiece billed as humanity's Three's Company [archive link] meets Sk-Tk-Daa's Thirty-thousand Laugh Moments. It matches Tk-Tk-Kaana and Tk-Tk-Akaadi--two ambitious young Catlixian breeders trying to adjust to life on a new planet--with their fleshy human lair-mate, Jessica. Here is our optimized strategy map for successful re-enjoyment. Read thoroughly, as there is a special announcement at the end, certain to engorgify even the most emaciated of interest sacs! 8. Episode 1, "Pilot!" The least successful episode of the show is its very first, due to a misinterpretation of the human concept of "pilot" as it relates to entertainment media. Audiences and critics are unimpressed by raw footage of the eating of vast quantities of tasty human aircraft drivers, citing sloppy camera work and "lack of narrative conflict." Showrunner Ck-Ck-Preedi secreted its grave apologies and vowed to do better.
Published on Apr 4, 2019
by Chuck Rothman
There was no doubt. Green clothing? Check. Top Hat? Check. Red Beard? Check. Smoking a pipe? Check. It was a leprechaun.
Published on Mar 16, 2015
by Liz Schriftsteller
Today I learned that anything is edible with enough salt. It started this morning when my little brother Todd bit through the cardboard packaging to get at the sugarcoated marshmallow cereal bits inside. "Spit that out," I told him. "You can't eat cardboard."
Published on Jan 13, 2014
by Margaret Sessa-Hawkins
You meet up with Lucy around a quarter past ten, on one of the benches beside the football field. "Charlie Brown," she hails you, in that Lucy voice, all authority and confidence.
Published on Feb 12, 2018
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 Alex Shvartsman
Lieutenant-Admiral Whiskers stared at the ominous planet on his view screen. It was still very far away, a tiny fishbowl with an even smaller moon hanging at its side like a saucer of milk. The view grew steadily clearer as the invasion fleet approached its target. The sound of the war council entering the room broke his reverie. Whiskers turned and stood at attention as a pride of elderly felines shuffled in. They wheezed as they struggled to climb into the seats placed around a long oval table. Whiskers thought it ironic that not a single one of them was in shape to hunt their own dinner, and yet this bunch of fat cats led the expeditionary force that had conquered over a hundred worlds.
Published on Apr 15, 2014
by Vaughan Stanger
"So, Reeves! I imagine you're surprised to see me." "I must confess that your resurrection has come as something of a shock, sir. I had thought you quite dead and buried!"
Published on Oct 23, 2014
by Steve Rasnic Tem
The two officers at the front door looked doubtful. Maybe it was the late hour. Maybe it was the less-than-pleasant neighborhood. Maybe it was the short shorts Clarence had fashioned out of aluminum foil to shield his naughty bits from alien rays. He didn't mind their skepticism--he'd been laughed at before. Which he might have tolerated better, frankly, if it hadn't been his therapist snickering through their last session.
Published on Oct 15, 2013
by David Twiddy
Dr. Vulpine took the lectern behind a screen of radio microphones as press cameras flashed and newsreel cameras whirred. "After careful investigation, I must announce that the recent popularity of mandrakes rests on no scientific evidence. All claims to "terroir" and focusing of local mystic energies are false. In contradiction to the labeling, every type and grade of mandrakes, from "good" to "excellent" and even the recently introduced "elite" and "premium elite," is in fact grown on large industrial farms on the outer prairies. I have seen these farms with my own eyes. The entire mandrake industry is fraudulent."
Published on Aug 3, 2015
by Sean Vivier
“Lord, save me from sequels.” “I’m sorry, what?” “Nothing. Thank you for coming in. We wanted to discuss your story, 2021.” “Happy to.” “Thing is... this story doesn’t really come together for us.” “What does that even mean?”
Published on Jan 25, 2022
by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
*This public service video announcement was funded by MOAC and has been approved as "within limits for public posting" by the Union Public Transport System.* 1) Take the Commuter Honeycomb an hour early every morning. That gives you more time to meet people and you can always double-back on another segment. Enjoy the coffee bar on your way to work (but not too many espressos, they make you twitch). Have a crazy time at the Casablanca disco in the eastbound segment on the way home. The main thing is, have fun! It's a great way to get noticed.
Published on Feb 8, 2016
by jez patterson
It wasn't necessary to read the scientific studies showing that humans possessed a high level of intelligence and a complex and expressive language--it was these precise qualities that made them such excellent pets. Of course, "pets" didn't really do justice to their function. Their ability to empathize whilst also being creatively unpredictable made them excellent companions in stimulating the elderly and animating the lonely.
Published on Dec 23, 2014