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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.

It Matters

Neal Cline writes a lot. He can't help it.

As I waded in the surf of the flooded human city, I saw below me hundreds of thousands of humans struggling against the waves. Many were already dead but humans are notoriously hard to kill. They fought and struggled to their last breath. I respected them for that. I certainly didn't hate them. We just needed their planet, is all. Our own home, Asteroidea, had been destroyed by a supernova.
On impulse, I started picking the writhing little humans up one at a time and putting them on the tops of the buildings, above the waterline. Lxin came rolling over from the ship to watch. He was on light duty while regrowing an appendage. After a while, he asked, "Why are you doing that? There's millions of those things. It won't make any difference."
I picked up an immature human in one of my five muscular arms. I placed him on the roof of a tall building close by. The soaked child lay still, eyes wide, gasping up at me. If I had owned a heart, it would have warmed. I indicated the youngster.
"It made a difference to that one."
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, April 30th, 2020

Author Comments

I love taking a hackneyed idea and giving it a twist. This story probably came from a combination of the Starro DC comics villain and the fact that the class name for starfish is Asteroidea. Mix that together with an old motivational poster and the story practically writes itself!

- Neal Allen Cline
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