Current IssueIssue 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”?

Current IssueIssue 126Short Fiction

A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy

We were gonna be stars. That’s what you got to understand. Big fucking stars. Like Jack and Rose or Mr. and Mrs. Carter, like our faces on every screen, dominating every media feed. Everyone already loved us, wanted to be us, wanted to fuck us. And people like that, people like us? Young, rich, famous? We don’t just get sick and die. They’ve got med docs and implants and LongLife™ tech that keeps people alive for 150 years now if you can afford it, and we could afford it. So how could they let her die? How could I lose my perfect girl? How could they do that to me?

Current IssueIssue 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.

Current IssueIssue 126Short Fiction

When Evening Arrives

Before they arrived, the visitors announced it by radio: signals traversing galaxies, warping time and particle. Syllables spelled out in numbers and strange hieroglyphs confirming presence and arrival.
Stella knew that there had been stories of people who lived in the stars, the world above the sky, and the people from Earth who’d visited them: holes that opened in the cosmos and had people waking up beyond the stratosphere, staring from above the clouds and down into their old home. There were newer stories, too, of strange lights blinking gold and green, streaking across the heavens, hovering as they hummed a chromatic machine chorus over the sleeping ink-black world below.

Current IssueIssue 126Short Fiction

Spirits of the Broken Lands

Gwisen suppressed a shudder, remembering his family’s tales of what really happened. The immolation camps. Crematorium ash clouds blotting out the sun with the corpses of his people. Thersian slave markets, stinking of piss and shit and decaying corpses. Cages filled with Shawdese he couldn’t rescue.
He could never speak of those things here, not among the Thersians. Cityfolk wouldn’t throw moons or slivers into the donation jar unless they were being flattered. So Gwisen kept the truth to himself and gave them what they wanted.

Current IssueIssue 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.