• This is probably the last post for Sci Phi Journal. It has been a pleasure to run SPJ, and I have been amazed by the goodwill it generates, which was easiest to measure when observing the growing number of visitors to the website. However, goodwill does not pay the bills, for either the writers or the rest of the team who worked hard to deliver SPJ on a regular basis. So it is with regret that I must advise SPJ will cease because of its continuing losses. Thank you for visiting the site. I wish I could offer you ... [continue]

A Song for the Barren

by G. Scott Huggins

“Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband” Isaiah 54:1 The Daughter’s screaming still echoed through their house, even muffled by the outer walls. He could hear it even over the whine of the badly-tuned electric engine. It did not fade until the van from the Ministry of Adoption had disappeared around a corner. It seems we are too frightening to be parents, even with the orphanages full and so many dead. The thought was bitter. Wyren-jionhae turned from the door ... [continue]


by Jeremiah James Froese

He had been drifting on the outskirts of oblivion for a long time. Left with only his own thoughts and his relentless search for a planet he could call home. Infinite desolateness, and after all these years in space, experience had brought an entire new meaning to the word. An adventurer by nature and an outcast by status, he had been rejected by his own kind and now searched for anything different than the piercing void. His mission was to return to the origin-world, the planet from which his people came. His home was an industrialized moon, but some told stories of life beginning on another planet. An oasis of ... [continue]

Shell Game

by Kieran Sterling-Holmes

“I’m already locked inside a trillion cells. What difference does one more make?” He shouted this from his cage, the words slipping past receding guards to find more receptive ears in similar cages lining the corridor. It didn’t take long for his zen-like question to become a subtle but standing echo throughout the facility. Some treated it like a mantra, its repetition a source for stoic inspiration. Most thought it was a pretty good joke. Eventually, the echo found someone who understood and could answer the prayers of prisoner AShannon46812. # When you need human guinea pigs, the imprisoned and poor will do just fine, thank you. Still, Dr Andrews ... [continue]

Vanish on the Instant

by Terence Hannum

I. No one will know that I’m leaving, just that I’m gone. I carry the final box from my office to my packed up car. I open the tarnished gold trunk, the small lamp inside the trunk had long burnt out and the bulb is a pain to find. I push aside the empty quarts of oil and place the last box of books and research files over the bare spare tire. Something rustles in the woods and I turn to see what it is. Nothing is there, probably a rabbit or a deer. I take one last glance at the university, empty at night but illuminated against the dark. ... [continue]

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]

Revisiting Robert Heinlein: Methuselah’s Children

by Alex Drozd

One of Heinlein’s early novels, Methuselah’s Children, is the first to introduce his “Future History,” a series of interrelated books and stories beginning a few hundred years in the future. It’s in this novel that his recurring character, Lazarus Long, is first introduced. Yet another one of Heinlein’s old man literary egos with a proclivity towards lecturing young folk, Lazarus Long drives many of the ... [continue]
  • Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.Robert Heinlein I’ve always found it funny that Heinlein wrote this twelve years after his most famous work, Stranger In A Strange Land, in which Heinlein attempted ... [continue]
  • Orson Scott Card’s Ender Saga may be one of the most varied book series written to date. The first in the series, Ender’s Game, is a young-adult novel, while its sequel, Speaker of the Dead, explores a mixture of more adult-driven hard sci-fi and philosophical fiction. These two books are ... [continue]
  • “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 ... [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]