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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.

Last Contact

Dan Micklethwaite writes stories in a shed in the north of England. His most recent short fiction has featured in NewMyths, Thrilling Words, and Flame Tree's Epic Fantasy anthology. His debut novel, The Less than Perfect Legend of Donna Creosote, was published by Bluemoose Books, and shortlisted for The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_M_writer for further info.
Finally, you accept it: they can't hear you scream.
They should have been able to, with your intercom active; should have picked up your warning about the Versporian fleet, fifteen huge dreadnaughts, well before they ever got this close to orbit. But the hostiles have been constantly jamming your frequency, regardless of the alternative methods you've tried.
Your ship is a simple merchant cruiser, prohibited from carrying any military tech; you had no hope of broadsiding them, or staging an ambush. Let alone of outrunning them, with your limited boost.
Not that they would have deemed you worthy of chasing, or even attacking in any way. You are weak. Nothing. Worthless.
All you can do is sit here and watch.
The defense satellites register the intrusion at last, but are no match for the speed of the Versporian strike. What remains of them scatters about like confetti; a tickertape welcome for the conquering hordes.
Only, it doesn't seem as though occupation is on their agenda.
Down below, on the surface, there are wave after wave of cataclysmic explosions.
Even though they look massive, you can't hear them, in space.
And though the intercom is still jammed, and there is no one to listen, you still keep on screaming. Indeed, as you witness your planet collapsing, it seems highly unlikely that you'll ever stop.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, January 23rd, 2020
We hope you're enjoying Last Contact by Dan Micklethwaite.

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