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Fiction

Words We Say Instead

Iyara taps the military implant behind her ear, and low static greets her. It’s been dead for years—a two-way line with only one connection—but the static is comforting, as if she’s listening to the sound of space itself. Empty with longing. Below her, the dealership is an orange, domed pimple on the otherwise placid blue […]

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50 Things Every AI Working with Humans Should Know

Obituary WHEEP-3 (“Dr. Weep”), probably the most renowned AI AI-critic of the last two decades, was retired by the Shallow Laboratory at Stanford University last Wednesday. Created by Dr. Jody Reynolds Tran more than two decades ago, the experimental generative neural network that would become WHEEP-3 was at first intended as a teaching assistant in […]

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Proof of Existence

Content Note: Suicide, domestic violence, emotional abuse   Chandler-Sand v. Burdokovsky begins hearings Wednesday, July 16th of 2042. If the plaintiff’s name rings a bell, it’s because Arnold Chandler-Sand is the father of the child who disappeared twelve years ago. Licking sticky cotton candy from his hands, seven-year-old Jacob went into a single-occupancy bathroom at […]

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The City of the Tree

(Content note: hanging.) The tree dominated everything. The sky above, the sea below, the earth on which it stood, and the city that sheltered beneath its leaves. Its branches stretched out over the streets and houses of Cahuei, rope-twisted as if by wind, but a century of hurricanes would not have been enough to sculpt […]

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Juvenilia

In the winter of 19–, having newly arrived in England, and still recovering from the nervous indisposition which had afflicted me greatly ever since my circumstances during the war, I responded to an advertisement placed in the Yorkshire Post, for the position of caretaker in an old, near-abandoned Elizabethan mansion called Wildfell Hall. Who in […]

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Metal Like Blood in the Dark

Once upon a time there was a man who built two enormous machines, and he loved them very much. He called them Brother and Sister and programmed them with intelligences that woke and stretched and tested the limits of their metal bodies. When they did not like those limits, they altered them, nanite scurrying over […]

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Laws of Impermanence

(Content note: domestic violence/murder) It is said that Archimedes was asked by the King of Syracuse to authenticate a manuscript. King Hiero had received what purported to be Alexander of Macedon’s own copy of the Iliad, brought out from the Library at Alexandria itself. He sent envoys to Egypt to ask whether Alexander’s Iliad had […]

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Anchorage

The anchorage appeared on my radar screen as a blip, a blotch, one bit of detritus among many. The accompanying message was gentle but persistent, an invitation repeated on loop for anyone who might pick it up: visit if you like. The politest distress call in the universe. Visit if you like, and please bring […]

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