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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.

Fight of the Century

Peter Schaefer has thirty-seven friends. Each of them has suffered some great trauma. Twelve have had their souls removed by the Moon Tailors, while six lost their shadows to an umbratomic blast gone wrong. Manny still suffers occasional unwilling and uncomfortable transformations, side effects from when the mighty Tharkimon changed him into a llama. In the event that this warning does not scare off potential readers, they should explore his fiction at catachresis.shoelesspetegames.com until they've read their fill. Should readers desire more, Peter encourages them to seek out his work on various role-playing games, but be warned that such forbidden knowledge can kill you. Before seeking such things, one must don a powerful enchanted taj.

Felton Bruder paced in his boxing shorts and sweats. His manager looked up from his phone. "Easy, champ. Relax. This is just like any other fight you've been in, alien or not."
"You know it ain't." Felton kept pacing. "Every other fight, I've seen the fighter in action. This 'Bayaran,' I don't even know what he looks like."
"Yeah, but it ain't like you're gonna lose your title. It's a diplomatic thing, not a championship. The money's good. Just don't kill the guy and you'll be fine."
Half an hour later, Felton was in the ring looking up at a scarecrow-thin blue alien in Everlast. The Bayaran had two feet on Felton, and almost as much reach. He couldn't get past the cold stone of fear in his gut. Then the alien stretched.
"He has four arms," Felton hissed around his mouthguard. "Did you know he has four arms?"
"Four or forty, makes no difference. Get in there, champ." The bell rang, and Felton was in the ring. He bobbed and faked, threw a couple exploratory jabs, and then he was covering beneath a hail of blows from four gloved fists. The crowd roared, and Felton thought he'd surely go down--until he saw the opening. Felton took it and laid the blue creature out, all eight feet.
Shocked, unbelieving, elated, Felton let the ref raise his hand as the winner, and the crowd thundered for him.
In the front row, the Bayaran ambassador said to the Bayaran coach, "Aryunothikochio, aryuukialodo," which of course means, "Maybe now they won't be afraid of us."
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Author Comments

This one came out of my desire to write something far outside what I knew. Also, I might've just watched Creed.

- Peter A Schaefer
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