Once Upon The ceremony turned out splendidly. There was that single instant of hesitation on Princess Nayda’s part, before she said “I do,” of course—but she recovered herself, and the Count, what a catch! He was magnificent that day: even the boots on his feet seemed self-satisfied. Nayda didn’t hear the wedding toasts. She was …

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Microbes traveled to Earth from Mars. This we know. There are rocks on Earth that came from Mars. So many, in fact, the volume is measured in millions of tonnes. Inside and on those rocks, we found microbes. Microbes which could survive the radiation of the solar wind as they travelled between planetary neighbors, the …

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Emerald

The colony was well-protected, a beehive the bees never left. The woman had been born there. Like the others in her world, she had no name. One day, a page from an old novel floated up from the depths of her computer. On that page lived characters who did have names. At that moment, the …

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A moment ago there had been no choice at all, and even now Dyani could only choose which danger warranted greater fear: the armed brigand on the forest path before her, or the Dyani-sized mountain cat that had suddenly bounded between her and her would-be assailant. The brigand lost no time in making his choice, …

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Rhiannon snugged deeper into her coarse woolen overcoat. Snow stung her face, but she was tired of turning first one way and then another in a futile attempt to avoid it. Strands of her hair escaped from under her hood, lured by the stiff wind. Black curls plastered themselves in front of her eyes, making …

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John sat on the floor, wishing desperately he hadn’t stubbed his last cigarette out. If he was outside, he could smoke, but he wasn’t outside, and the idea of getting up and walking all the way to the front door just to go outside and smoke seemed ridiculously tedious. If he was going to go …

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The lake is quiet. It’s cold. It’s getting dark. In the fields and woodlands around the lake families are packing away picnic baskets and getting into cars, heading home now that night is setting in and it’s gotten cold. There are only a few families and young couples left out now, packing away their things …

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Forgotten things linger in the corner of your eye. Turn your head and memory runs from perception like a pearl rolling across alabaster. You watch the blue-green ocean sample the rocky beach: each taste generates transformation. The entrance to the cave behind you is a little too low and you must make a small, respectful …

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Lydia sat on the window seat and looked out toward the tree. It stood tall and wide as it always had. She reached across the blankets for her husband’s hand and held it while he slept. She thought about the tree and the first time it had yielded fruit. How long ago that was. So …

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