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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.


Liam Hogan is a London-based writer and host of the award-winning monthly literary event, Liars' League. Winner of Quantum Shorts 2015 and Sci-Fest LA's Roswell Award 2016, his dark fantasy collection, Happy Ending Not Guaranteed, is due for publication in April 2017, from Arachne Press. Find out more at happyendingnotguaranteed.blogspot.co.uk, or tweet at @LiamJHogan

They saw our message and so they came. Across the City, perfectly synchronized with the end of the Queen's Speech, doorbells chimed, knockers... knocked, and letterboxes flapped.
Afterwards, it was clear that not every home had received the Christmas Day visitors. Only those with turkeys too big for the assembled families, tables with space for another guest, or two, or three.
They brought their own oddly shaped chairs.
Once the screams had stopped, once the fainters had been revived, the visitors unfurled prehensile limbs and held out their invitations.
It took a moment to sink in. And whether it was curiosity; the Queen's entreaty to help our less fortunate neighbors--a heartfelt plea for togetherness; or if it was merely relief that they were not anything like as fearsome as they had at first appeared, extra places were swiftly laid and the people of London welcomed their guests from far away.
None of the visitors spoke. They either couldn't, or were not inclined to. But, by a nod or a tilt of their thin triangular heads (at mostly appropriate moments), it was clear that they listened and understood.
Some, on departure, left gifts. Mere tokens; quirky little things that were quickly snapped up on eBay for small fortunes by scientists and wealthy collectors.
But all of them turned back as they reached the bristly doormats, bowed deeply and once again displayed their not-quite-paper invitations, tapping long antenna-like digits against the bold text:
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Author Comments

This story was inspired in the wake of the refugee crisis. Some Londoners (and elsewhere) opened up their homes and some kicked against the backlash on social media. I'd like to hope if the crisis was intergalactic, we'd still do our best, especially at Christmas time.

- Liam Hogan
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