Science Fiction

Pest Control

The first signs of infestation emerged around container bay 12, where we stored uranium from the Onara 4 mines. A door panel had stopped working, and the duty engineer found chewed cables in the walls. Droppings in the cargo squad’s kitchen, next to ravaged packs of chocolate biscuits and beef jerky, were discovered soon after.

When I received the call, I went there at once. Pest control is an urgent task for the cleaning squad, second only to decontamination. I used the time it took to reach the container decks to refresh my knowledge of Onaran wildlife.

Flash Crash

Note: This story originally appeared in Escape Pod as Episode 683.


MAISIE was seven years old on the day she woke up and died.

Blame it on the algorithms, if you wish. The survivors — and there were not many of them — certainly did.

Welcome to Relationship Town, Population 2

GERT status update:

G-tube former embryo final failure rate: 100%. Restarting with H-tube embryos. Please advise.

**Incoming encrypted transmission: Geocoupled Extrasolar Report Transmitter key required**

**Key confirmed**

Origin transmission:

Affirmative. No change in colony deployment protocol. Proceed with H-tube embryo thawing, gestation, and rearing.

GERT status update:

H-tube former embryo final failure rate: 100%. Restarting with I-tube embryos. Please advise.


Soni opened the door and stepped out into the corridor. She felt the ridges of the enamel floor caressing her bare feet. The two tenths standard gravity meant that the ridges were barely caressing her feet, not inflicting painful pressure against her soles like they would if she were on Earth, but it was cold. Colder than it should have been? The air felt cold too. She checked the dat on her arm. It showed the corridor temperature was nominal.


Harnessing the Sun

The Neren delegation, representatives of Leha’s own species, had been seated with their backs to the window that overlooked their ruined world, so they stared their hatred into Leha as they ate.  The desert behind them was an empty seafloor, scattered with leaning ships and the bones of the leviathans that had recently ruled the deep.  Some of the marooned craft were warships, but there were also trawlers and freighters and yachts and cruise ships, all of the latter newly outfitted with cannons and other weaponry, none of which had stopped the water from vanishing beneath their keels.

The Notebook

March 13, 2018

I'm not really a survivor type.

Seriously. In the Gilligan's Island we’re-stranded-now-what lineup, I'm Ginger. Coddle me, feed me, I'll be on my hammock. You don't have to "survive" in the city, right? Just have a takeout menu. Or five. I had a job, I had an apartment, that's what you thought about on graduation day when you were listening to whatever toothpaste magnate was your commencement speaker. That, and parties. I was good at parties.

Anyway. No more parties.

Garble, Love, and Music

Garble’s feelers drooped in the damp air. Her overview of the properties of water had prepared her for the shock of seeing it for the first time-- but not for feeling it in the air. It was all around her all the time, from the moment she stepped off of the ship. Too-small-to-see droplets clung to the ragged edges of her scales and trickled down the grooves, tickling like the unwelcome whiskers of a constantly-inspecting stranger. There was a lot that Garble didn’t like about Earth. But what she did redeemed the rest entirely.