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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.

Arrows of Conquest

Marcus Vance is a full-time father; part-time writer, line editor, and weapons consultant for TV. You can connect with him on Twitter @MarcusCVance where he discusses the writing craft, swords, and bad jokes at length.

Look at their faces, shaved so smooth. The soldiers look like children as they sleep peacefully in their cryoberths.
Earth is so far away. What is it like to dream for decades--centuries?--frozen?
They took such great care: a shackled AI to sing them to sleep if they wake early, robots to keep their guns and armor and knives and atomic bombs clean and ready for genocide, and all the proper paperwork and bureaucracy for colonization signed.
These little toy soldiers, these arrows of conquest, they planned for it all.
Except for us meeting them halfway, while they dream.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, October 1st, 2020

Author Comments

This started out as a haiku, and I wanted to push it out to flash fiction length. My main goal was to tell a more complete story while keeping the lingering impact that haiku often have.

- Marcus Vance
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