Featured Story
Recent Stories
Stories by Topic
Make the universe a better place! Join Daily Science Fiction for only $15 / year, support us via Patreon, or donate any amount.
Take me to a...
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
For more options, try our:
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Kindle Edition
DSF stories are available in monthly digests for Kindle!
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
If you've already submitted a story, you may check its:
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.


Dawn Sperber's stories have appeared in Bourbon Penn, NANO Fiction, PANK Magazine, Luna Station Quarterly, Hunger Mountain, and elsewhere. Her story, "Ravenous Mermaids," was listed as a notable story of 2019 by The Best Horror of the Year. She's a writer and editor in New Mexico, and you can find more of her work at dawnsperber.com.
Raise your antenna. Pause motion.
Journeymen have an announcement: Their mission to the blue-green planet was successful.
Indeed, the planet is populated. Six main entities dominate the surface area, on both land and liquid. They are hungry beings who quickly adapt and reproduce and become more of themselves. Most exist within the stomachs and cellular systems of hosts, who vary in shape and type, yet each host eats when the entity inside them demands it and goes where it tells them to go.
Two entities are bacteria forms and three are viruses. They elicit total global control and have since they first entered their hosts' digestive systems. The sixth entity is a form of light.
An interesting addendum: The planet's physical entities partially control some hosts by means of power delusions, particularly the host-type that walks upright. These upright-walking hosts focus their actions on their meaningless distractions, believing themselves to be superior on the planet. Meanwhile, the powerful entities in their stomachs compel their hosts to congregate or isolate as they demand, to mate, and to eat the sugar, proteins, and fats that make them stronger.
Each host-body on the planet is part of the fractal expression of the viruses and bacteria within their digestive corridors. Still, many hosts fight each other for the recognition of being a distinct and better expression of the overarching fractal expression. Which is a little funny. [Sidenote: har har.]
The sixth entity is our own ancestor. The conscious light that sizzles our antenna also inhabits that planet. This confirms that we are distant kin. Within each host-being on the blue-green planet, the conscious light glows inside their cells in undulating vibrancy, increasing radiance in proportion to the host's alignment with their own inherent design. Likewise, the conscious light darkens in the hosts' cells with their fear of disconnection with the fractal whole. This is fully misunderstood by the host-beings, who remain devoted to their created distractions of control.
Journeymen traded cells and frequency patterns with the blue-green planet's entities, which should effectively inoculate our planet's tribe from the next season of cosmic plague.
Mission: Complete.
Resume motion.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, March 18th, 2021

I think about our microbiomes a lot, and how the bacteria and viruses in our stomachs can affect our emotions and inclinations and encourage us to make particular choices. How much of our personalities and actions are determined by our guts?

When I answered a writing prompt to describe Earth from an alien point of view, it seemed obvious that, on this planet, bacteria and viruses outrank human culture by far. I got a kick out of bumping humans out of their egocentrism and drawing attention to the cellular, intimate view of life. And I do really think we glow when we're in alignment with our own inherent design. A certain kind of glow, you know what I mean.

- Dawn Sperber
We hope you're enjoying Inoculation by Dawn Sperber.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction does not have a paywall, but we do have expenses—more than 95% of which are direct payments to authors for their stories. With your $15 membership, less than 6 cents per story, we can continue to provide genre fiction every weekday by email and on the website to thousands of readers for many years to come. You may also choose to support us via patreon. Tell me more!

Support Daily Science Fiction

Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

4.3 Rocket Dragons Average


Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):
Copyright Info
Tell a Friend
Send Feedback
About Us