Taurus rears his horned head, the Seven Sisters huddle together, one of them invisible, and Queen Cassiopeia still sits on her throne in the sky, spending half the night upside down as punishment for once being too boastful. I know they do, still, even down here, where I haven’t seen them in God knows how …

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Something was buzzing at irregular intervals. Lian counted the electric metallic pulses. One-two-three, one-two, one-two. One-two-three-four. Not-quite darkness shrouded the communications cabin. Complete darkness would have been more comforting. Lian Leandros stood, long arms hanging awkwardly at her sides. Flickering console displays cast the stains on her uniform into sharp relief. How long had it …

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Ash lazily drifted to the ground, building up in piles a few feet from the smolder to watch the show. The village burned, and no one was alive to stop it. The smell of sulfur and burnt oil joined the stink of smoke, turning the air to vile fumes. In what had been a bustling …

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The Gyre

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean the Gyre turns in a great lazy whorl. The current carries with it the trinkets of civilization: bottle tops, cigarette lighters, barnacled gym shoes, and Ziploc bags clear as jellyfish. Lost fishing buoys trail tangled nets, which in turn haul their unintended catch of dead fish, shredded Mylar …

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The Ruin

The forest breathed green around the two travellers. They had passed from tightly clustered greenwood to an area where sunlight reached the ground, unchoked by dense foliage. The path they trod was free of undergrowth, no longer the mere guess of a trail it had been deeper in the woods. Andanu raised his eyes from …

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Greenteeth

Sinfi’s mother bought the farm from a flat-eyed man with pale pink skin and a permanent sneer. It was late September and the weather was already getting cold, and the man said that this winter was going to be a bad one, and that they should go south while they still had the chance. Sinfi’s …

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Sweet

Five years ago a couple of chemistry and psych majors from a small Texas university got together over a Bunsen burner, hoping to create some trippy new designer drug that would make the weekend doldrums a bit more bearable. Pot’s passé, LSD’s dangerous—I don’t know what their reasoning was and I don’t really care, either, …

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Indulgence

It’s the first genuine smile Marla has had since the world ended. Well, ended is putting it a bit dramatically. But changed, definitely changed. No more cheeseburgers, no more greasy fries, no more clove cigarettes or rye martinis. She misses the martinis the most: the glistening ice chips dripping languidly down the inverted triangle of …

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Minotaur

Noani’s period had gone on for four weeks, bleeding through supplies, and the metal bin where they were kept was nearly empty. The expedition had no medical personnel. There was a small village eight hours’ drive, but she refused to think of leaving, both afraid of what the men would think and afraid they would …

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Marty wouldn’t be keeping his treasure. He’d known it last night, hours before meeting Lars for breakfast at the Shore Diner. The only thing changed was how much time he had to get to the marina at Gardner’s Basin and his ancient boat. He stretched a finger toward the huge jar belted into the old …

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