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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.


Luke Saldanha has been writing science fiction and horror since he learned how to hold a pen. He does not own a computer and uses an android phone and wireless keyboard to produce his work. Luke considers Robert W Chambers, Paul Bowles, and Jack London to be major influences.

We watched the sliver of light, the twinkling dot of hope. The glow was miniscule, yet stood for all mankind's optimism: a clean slate for our people, against the deep black; the channel through which the human race had cleansed its filthy soul.
Out on the moors, where everyone had gathered, our view was unobscured by the city's treacherous smog. The ideal watch post. Soon we would be new again.
It seemed like decades since the ship had been approved for use, but in fact, it was only fifteen years. Fifteen years since the engineers gave the nod and released the craft, lovingly dubbing it "Atonus."
Every sinner was packed onto that rocket and blasted into space, routed for the sun and its merciless heat. The very star that had ensured each breath of life, would scorch them as they took their last.
How was it deemed who was a sinner? How were the categories drawn up, and by whom? It's fine. They know what they're doing, I told myself, as I watched men packed kicking and screaming into the vessel, televised on the News.
A girl who stood near me in the crowd touched my shoulder. "Soon it'll be over," she observed curiously.
"I know. All that filth was sure clogging up the works."
She didn't smile. "I was just a kid when they launched it. So many years have passed. What about all the bad guys who've come into being since the launch?"
I forced myself to ignore the feeling of dread in my stomach; I'd had to do this more and more of late. I laughed. "It'll be all right. If a contingency plan's necessary, they'll have thought of it."
"Who?" She looked at me with sad eyes and moved off into the crowd when I didn't answer. "Man, that's who," I thought in anger. "Our rulers. Our species is king."
I stared at the satellite that carried away the dregs, never again to walk upon the Earth. Now we had a world in which we'd only help each other, only be good to each other, only mean well, with high hopes for our neighbors. My spirits rose when everybody cheered and I began to laugh. We all got a kick when the light blinked out.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, December 12th, 2019

Author Comments

I wanted to have a dig at blind faith in our leaders. So many people nod their heads to the lies the television feeds them, never questioning the facts for themselves; that was the concept behind this tale.

- Luke Saldanha
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