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Issue 126Nonfiction

The Nature of a Natural Future

But where is nature, the very literal bedrock of our future, in all of these imaginings? In our global culture of capitalism and consumerism, nature has been reduced to a commodity and the futures explored by our most revered storytellers maintain this status quo of leaving the land out of the future. How can we disentangle capitalism, nature, and our narcissistic vision of the future? How is the concept of progress corrupted by imperialist capitalism? And what does a future look like with nature at the fore instead of our own “standard of living”?

Issue 126Short Fiction

An Incident at Hellpoint Prime

Images pried their way into fuzzy thoughts. Red flesh coated with a rime of frost. Screaming, toothless faces. Vahla shook the thoughts free and continued forward in his newborn deer stride. It wasn’t a skin-thieving alien horror. It was just rats. He repeated this litany to himself over and over as he picked up speed, finally breaking into a mad run as he rounded the corner into the hallway leading to his bunk. The last thing the lawman expected was for a person to be standing dead in his path.

Issue 126Short Fiction

Spirits of the Broken Lands

Shoppers at the Thersian Grand Market jostled to haggle over tanned eelskin baubles labeled as Shawdese good luck charms, unaware that actual Shawdese neither made nor used such objects. The only regular Shawdese presence in the Thersian Grand Market was the crematorium ash that made up most of the hard-packed earth under those very shoppers’ feet. That, and the occasional traveler from the Southern Wastes.

Issue 126Short Fiction

Marked by Bears

Our ancestors used to think bears were just cute. My grandmother remembered her mother having a small toy shaped like a bear. “But not really like a bear, but a child’s idea of a bear,” she said. It was easier to live with a hazy concept of a bear than face the horror of what their built-up concrete cities had done to the territory that bears need. They rarely saw bears; the people of my great-grandmother’s time had sent them to live in the fringes. They need a lot, the bears: space, food, fealty. They withered at the fringes.