Fiction

The Utmost Bound

… and this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. —Tennyson The check-in chime in his headset: on time, annoyingly on time, as usual, waking him as they came around the curve of Venus. “Aphrodite-1, this is Honolulu, do you read?” Faint washes […]

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The Hydraulic Emperor

The Hydraulic Emperor is nine minutes and twenty-seven seconds long. It was filmed on an eighteen-quadcopter neocamera rig back when neocameras were the only way to make immersive film: an early effort by Aglaé Skemety, whose Bellfalling Ascension is still the critical darling of the immersion-culture literati. The Hydraulic Emperor falls sometime between her earliest […]

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Conservation Laws

I met Gyanendra Sahai for the first time in the bowels of the Lunar Geological Institute, in front of a display case containing an old-fashioned, heavy-built moonsuit. There was a large crack along one side of the suit and a rust-coloured discolouration along the opening. I was thinking about the pre-colonization days of moon exploration […]

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Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse

My apocalypse doesn’t ride on horseback or raise the dead or add suns to the sky. It arrives by tank and drone, the strict report of automatic weapons, the spying eyes of neighbors. It seeks my spouse’s life. Mine, too. I don’t expect to survive. Chula has better odds. She is a four-time triathlete, perfect […]

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Learning to See Dragons

The spring she was thirteen, Annie taught herself to see dragons. She sat by the window in the hospital and looked out at the soft, strange Smoky Mountains, and the spreading gossamer haze that rose off them, and the white rucked clouds above. “I thought the old dragon was too mean to die,” her father […]

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