By the Light of Day

by Hope Anne Elias

The host returned to consciousness in a flutter of dark eyelashes and dilation of pupils. Were it not for the familiar sound of his own wheezing, Gabriel would have mistaken the too-bright room for his post-death destination, wherever that lay. The realization that he was still alive gave Gabriel no comfort; it simply surprised him. Despite his doubts, however, he knew the watch–the one that remained forever on his left wrist–was always accurate. It was as if the watch was bound by the same laws as he himself: neither were allowed to shirk their duties or, in a sense, disobey. They both worked for something greater–the watch for its human ... [continue]

Worlds Enough

by Adrian Le Grand

I know exactly what Socrates meant and he fucking meant it literally. It’s just that most people aren’t smart enough, or not smart in the right way, or not weird enough, basically not enough like Socrates, to realize what he was saying. But I am. OK, so the bit I mean – the thing about his daemon talking to him? It wasn’t a metaphor. He wasn’t only talking about intuition, or good ideas or any of that shit. I mean, he might not have meant an actual daemon, but he did mean it spoke to him, and that he heard it. I have the same thing, from time to time. ... [continue]

The Unbelievers

by G. Scott Huggins

Commander Zuniga’s mouth hung open. “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” “We do not believe in humans. It is an old superstition, easily disproven.” The android’s deep blue face was placid as any sea, though his body was, under his simple clothing, immensely fat. “But we’re standing right here, talking to you,” Zuniga said. “Three of us.” The android sighed. “You would hardly be the first androids to attempt to call themselves ‘humans’ to attempt to fool the gullible. Do you have any idea how often in history it’s been tried?” “Well, no,” said Engineer’s Mate Schwei. “Because we can’t download your memories. Or send commands, either. And I have ... [continue]

In Memoriam

by Marc Joan

Unfriending and clicking on ‘block sender’ doesn’t work on journalists; Yolanda should have known that. I soon found out she’d run from Edinburgh and joined the Carford Unit for Advanced Cognitive Sciences, in England. And then the CUACS media day gave me a legitimate reason to go and see her. Lucky me, I’d thought. Always lucky. Maybe my luck will hold, now. Maybe our only memory of Yolanda, now, is one that says just this: ‘Kill me’. The train into Carford was late, that day, and I only just made it to CUACS in time. I followed the ‘MEDIA DAY’ signs, and found myself in an overheated lecture theatre full ... [continue]

Lazlo and Laroux

by Karen Ovér

“No more coal for the boiler—it’s all gone! No more oil for the burner—it’s all gone! Dragons charged up in the sun—come get one! You’ll get hiss hiss hisssss STEAM HEAT!” I’d waited so many years to turn on a television again. When there were hundreds of channels blaring day and night, I never watched. Now we have only one channel. You’d think people would get bored with it, but they watch just to see my commercial. To see the dragons dance. Who knew? But I gotta tell you, when they spread their wings and claws, it gives you a whole new appreciation of jazz hands. The first time I saw Laroux and the Leaping Lizards perform Cell Block Tango, I … [continue]

The Heinlein Hypocrisy Part I: What Words Mean

by G. Scott Huggins

“God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent — it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.” (Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love, New York: Ace Books, 1987, p. 247.) As a science-fiction reader, I find that Heinlein is absolutely one of my favorite atheists. I find his theology as fascinating and ... [continue]
  • Many years ago, a friend of mine who knows about these sorts of things handed me a book and said “Here, you have to read this.” It was a copy of Iain M. Banks’s Use of Weapons. I glanced over the jacket copy. “What’s the Culture?” I asked. “Well,” she ... [continue]
  • Before the quantum revolution, the scientific depiction of the natural world was a deterministic one, i.e., once all the initial parameters of a physical system were known, the evolution of a system could be predicted with exact precision. It was this ability to make exact predictions derived from empirical knowledge ... [continue]
  • If I were to say to you that the extinction of feudalism led to the pandemic of the Bubonic Plague, you would tell me that I was wrong and that I had gotten my facts backward: the outbreak of the Plague led to the eventual extinction of feudalism and the ... [continue]
  • Originally serialized in Astounding Magazine during the 1940s, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series is one of his most widely known works. Yet, many of the people I’ve come across have never heard of Foundation. Instead, they are familiar with his robot stories. Perhaps the … [continue]