For the Sake of the Mushrooms

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in All Worlds Wayfarer, Issue I: Summer Solstice 2019, June 2019


“A shipload of cargo. Mushrooms from two star-systems over that would spoil, if she didn’t deliver them to Crossroads Station on time.”

The red sun glowed like an evil eye on the forward viewscreen.  It stared into Irudy’s soul.  Once it had been the warmth on her fur and the shine in a smiling sky while she ran through fields, her paws bare against the wholesome dirt.  Now it was death’s mocking wink, as the cold, stale air of her cargo ship recycled endlessly through algae filters and mechanical pipes. Continue reading “For the Sake of the Mushrooms”

Welcome to Ob’glaung

“He submerged, and a moment later, the bubble-like helmet he always wore bobbed back up to the surface.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Midwest Furfest 2019 Conbook, December 2019


Water splashed into the Ob’glaung Station airlock, wetting three sets of feet — a pair of red-furred paws belonging to a Heffen, a pair of gray-tufted paws belonging to a Woaoo, and a pair of green-scaled S’rellick talons.  A long blue fin hovered, trailing over the water’s surface, as an icthyoid Lintar swam eager circles through the air. Continue reading “Welcome to Ob’glaung”

Ecto-Busters One

“I’m sure the fire-spitting portal-thingy at the top of the Great Dane Building will hold for forty minutes or so while we eat some wontons.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Midwest Furfest 2019 Conbook, December 2019


Sunny’s belly gurgled, and she adjusted the heavy weight of the techno-ecto-pack on her back.  The hardworking yellow Labrador hadn’t been able to grab a meal all day long.  Not even a snack.  Her ecto-busting team was too busy dissipating ghosts, exorcising possessed buildings, and laying ghouls back to rest.  It had been one haunt after another, non-stop, ever since the first phone call that Halloween morning.  But what were they supposed to do?  Who else were the good dog and cat citizens of Dogotham City gonna call? Continue reading “Ecto-Busters One”

Heart of an Orca, Grace of a Cat

“The cat’s ears flicked. Her black and white patches made her look like she was wearing a tuxedo, terribly overdressed for the wild, windy beach.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Furvana 2019 Conbook, September 2019


Jamie watched the roiling waves, searching for unicorns in the white spray.  She sat on the golden sand of the freezing Oregon beach, clutching her favorite book, The Last Unicorn, to her chest.  Her toes were red and numb from wading.  The water was too cold for swimming.

Continue reading “Heart of an Orca, Grace of a Cat”

Galactic Garden

“The other galaxy-spinner brought her to his web and showed her — around each star, he’d placed broken fragments of matter, little dust balls, and on the dust, complex carbon structures had bloomed, grown, spread.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Furvana 2019 Conbook, September 2019


Ariadella chose a cozy corner of the universe where the velvety blackness was thick with a rich, fizzy soup of hydrogen and helium. She settled into the lonely void and began gulping up the fizz, letting it process deep in her belly, until she had enough dark matter to begin spinning.

With her thousands of legs, Ariadella pulled silk from her spinnerets.  The gravitational lines of silk brought tension, structure, and form to the swampy darkness. She spun from a central point outward, choosing a spiraling pattern as she went. Continue reading “Galactic Garden”

Black Out In Space

“Her species were plains-folk from a planet with five moons. So, she’d never before experienced the type of darkness that happens on a space station during a black out.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Rabbit Dies First, January 2019


The lights had gone out ten minutes ago.  The sound of the air circulators had shut down too.  Narchi didn’t know what was happening, but she was scared.  Power shouldn’t shut down on a space station.  Yet, she had to hold herself together.  Her lapine roommates had left her babysitting nearly a dozen of their children.  When she’d agreed, she hadn’t expected it to be in the dark. Continue reading “Black Out In Space”

Geese and Gingerbread

“She sang to the geese as she washed clothes in the river or gathered mint leaves for the witch’s baking.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Fantasia Divinity Magazine, January 2018


A hundred-some baby geese wandered through the field of mint.  Shanna watched them from the river’s edge where she was busy washing the kitchen rags and tablecloths.  She’d heard stories about geese who laid golden eggs and brothers transformed into swans, but she had no brothers who’d gone missing, and when she finished with the washing, she found no glints of gold hidden in the mint.  Only a smooth, round stone that felt nice in her hand, so she slipped it into her pocket. Continue reading “Geese and Gingerbread”

The Three Laws of Social Robotics

“I’ve read enough literature to know that people get names, and I’m a person, even if my body is a robotics lab.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Analog Science Fiction & Fact, April 2019


Power hums through me.  I can see the interior of the Robotics Lab in the Daedalus Complex.  There are pieces of robots, some of them strewn randomly around the room.  Some of them hooked up to computers.  I can access those.  I twitch an arm.  Kick a leg.  Blink the iris on a camera eye.  Suddenly, I can see the room from two angles.  Then I realize, there are more cameras I can hook into all along the Daedalus Complex — I can see empty hallways.  More laboratories.  Most of them are for studying chemical or biological objects.

Words synthesize in the core of my being:  “Hello?  Are you on?” Continue reading “The Three Laws of Social Robotics”

Tortoise Who

“As the door moved, it seemed to change size, growing smaller and larger almost at the same time. On the side of the concrete step, it coalesced into the perfect size for a mouse.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Exploring New Places, July 2018


By the concrete steps up to the footbridge over Dixon Creek, a tortoise shell phased in and out of existence, accompanied by a strangely cheerful wheezing sound.

Rosie the mouse was too busy running away from a cat to notice.  The cat, a gray tabby named Shreddy, was having too much fun to care. Continue reading “Tortoise Who”

Moon Dust

“She needed moon dust to protect herself. She needed moon dust to stay lupine.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Werewolves Versus Fascism, May 2017


Rainal gripped the vial of moon dust tightly in her clawed hand. It was the only vial she had left.  Without it…  No, she wouldn’t think about that. She would find a new source of dust in this space station bazaar. Someone had to be selling it.

Rainal passed one shop after another:  avian aliens with fearsome hooked beaks and massive talons sold specially tailored clothing; reptilian aliens with scaly hides that gleamed like finely polished armor sold tech upgrades for starhoppers; and ursine aliens that towered over everyone with their impressive furry bulk sold dishes of curry. Continue reading “Moon Dust”