So Be It

by Rananda Rich

Allocation Day had arrived. Like everyone else, Amen put on his threadbare robes. He ate his meagre food, and, like everyone else, he had some free time to finalise his preparations. Amen went over the rules again: You have one reset button You have three lives Direct contact is not possible Simple rules, but he knew from his lessons how important they were if one of the class was going to make a breakthrough. When everyone was ready, they filed into the pod arena where the grid matrix map of the universe hung suspended before them. Once all twenty-seven of them had taken their standing positions, the doors were sealed shut behind them. A tiny orange identification cube glowed off-centre. This little cube was their first sight of their new worlds. The suspended matrix of the universe map zoomed in on the small orange cube, expanding it to a massive ... [continue]

Jeopardy ad Absurdum

by Marc Joan

The contamination of an innocent by an excised, malignant consciousness. The phrase popped into Weiss’ head as he drove to the Court. It had been expressed by Manning, his lawyer—his own lawyer—the day before. “You have to understand,” Manning had said, “there’s a subtext to this trial. It’s very unusual. Obviously. But the question is not so much who killed the old girl, as who is to blame for it. So although your patient is the nominal defendant, and although there is—at this stage—no legal case for you to answer, that could change very rapidly. If the boy is not convicted, for example.” Weiss snorted. Manning was obviously an idiot. That would be why he went into law instead of medicine. “I fail to see,” Weiss said, in the icy tones he usually saved for blundering junior doctors, “how even the most doltish jury could fail to convict the boy, ... [continue]

Desiccation

by Kate Kelly

The day came when Amos walked out across the flats, and the brine pools were gone. He stopped and stared around him, through the thin slit in the fabric he had wrapped round his head to protect him from the sun.  It was setting now, swollen and red, sinking towards a distant range of hills that marked where the oceans had once ended and the land begun. Even so the reflection and glare from the white crystals of halite beneath his feet was blinding, and he adjusted the thin strip of tinted Perspex that he used to protect his eyes. It was scratched and old. But it was better than nothing. He turned and looked back towards the people, now merely a cluster of black specks in the distance. The mush of crystals crunched beneath his feet as he moved. There was still some moisture here, but that would soon ... [continue]

Editorial

  • A month has passed since Jason Rennie stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of Sci Phi Journal, and it seems the publication still survives. That was the modest target I set when taking over, so I could claim success and end this editorial here. However, I have some other good news to share. During July SPJ received well over double the number of visitors compared to June. Put simply, the audience has responded extraordinarily well to: the great new stories and articles published in July; and the removal of the paywall, allowing everyone to revisit the SPJ archive. I hope this news excites the writers whose stories and articles have been recently ... [continue]

Fact & Opinion

  • Other worlds are common in fantasy and science-fiction, but they actually have quite a solid basis in physics as well. Here, I’ll talk about “other worlds” as other universes, not just other planets within our own universe, but places that are not directly connected to us in space and time. Think The Golden Compass, Alice in Wonderland, Narnia, and hundreds of sci-fi books that I don’t know about. 

People have ... [continue]
  • Time is one element that exists in every story we read, watch, or hear. It is so ubiquitous that we fail to notice its existence, unless the narrative forces us to focus on it. But what about assumptions we make about the nature of Time itself? Assumptions like: Time is linear. We even have a compound word in common usage to reflect this assumption: timeline. The past is irretrievable, the ... [continue]
  • The Question of Contact

    by David Kyle Johnson

    July 11, 2017 heralds the 20th anniversary of the release of Contact, the sci-fi classic based on Carl Sagan’s novel of the same name. Carl Sagan was, to some, a controversial figure. Indeed, the first time I heard his name as a teenager, the Christian punk rock band One Bad Pig was calling him a pagan for believing in evolution. (They suggested he would fry like bacon.) But even though he was a prolific science communicator (he hosted the first Cosmos), and was renowned for … [continue]

  • Hey, theology fans. It’s time once again for your friendly neighborhood SF-theologian to help you understand complicated Christian theological concepts with the aid of science fiction metaphors. Today we’re going to take on Original Sin … [continue]

  • As a product of the Enlightenment, most science fiction is undergirded by a distinctly post-renaissance philosophy, which leaves a wealth of ancient and medieval philosophy untapped. Not since C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy has the world received a distinctly science fiction tale rooted in a medieval worldview. However … [continue]