Katharine looks at the bicycle in Orville’s hands and remembers it crumpled and bent on the ground. She remembers dark stains on the buttery leather. She remembers the pale wooden handlebars smeared with mud from the road and with Orville’s blood, Orville who is dead and who is also beside her here on the porch, chuckling at Wilbur’s skepticism. She remembers this conversation, and that it has happened before.
Analog, 2018 • Escape Pod, 2019
Sitting on cold deck plates which in turn sit on Mars, Desiree wonders why they bother to monitor the entry, descent and landing for these resupply missions at all, as only the outcome matters. Either the capsule will survive, and so will they. Or some part of the EDL will fail, and the cargo will be lost, and their splinter of a settlement will disappear into the dust.
The Calm has been orbiting Earth for nearly thirty years. Ada is old enough to remember what things used to be like, how she felt when we were still a solitary spark of life, but she thinks of those days very little. The Calm smooths any wrinkles of resistance, plodding and relentless, an indifferent weight which irons human lives into something easy and straightforward.
But sometimes it’s three or four things. Sometimes a punk-ass kid wants to haggle with you over an unopened ten-pack of Type Two BASF Chrome Maximas and you’re on the phone with your goddamn choir director and your walkman runs down while both your earbuds are out. And you don’t notice right away. And then the Noise comes swooping down on you like a summer storm, and you’ve got problems a whole truckload of responsibility batteries aren’t gonna fish you out of.
The note had been scrawled in a language few would recognize and fewer still spoke, and the handwriting was as familiar as her own. Her hands shook, very slightly, as she refolded the letter and laid it at the center of her desk. She hadn’t expected this so soon. She’d thought she had a few years left, at least.
A not-especially-well-planned camping trip on Mars, misguided historical reenactment, and the many uses of chemical heat packs.
Some particular trick of the moon, the weather, and the Earth’s closeness to the sun had pulled the tide all the way to 5th Avenue, a good half-block further uphill than usual.
Yacht racing, gender politics, and mistaken identities inconveniently revealed out on the open ocean.
A science fiction novella of quick thinking, compromises, awkward romance and the dream of Mars.