The Screen Savior

“I speak,” scrolled over the trembling body in simple red. “I speak that I am,” and after a pause, “I am the Screen Savior.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Bards & Sages Quarterly, Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2010


Twenty-four bit, RGB color swirled, paisley-like on the sleeping monitor. The psychedelic mass of colors did not sleep like the electronic cradle holding them. The colors bulged. They ballooned out from the center of the monitor. The screensaver pattern pulled away from the physical surface forming a new surface, visible but ethereal. Continue reading “The Screen Savior”

Forget Me Not

“She looked sad. But it was a cheerful sad… The kind that hides its tears.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Northwest Passages: A Cascadian Anthology, September 2005


His confidence drew her to him. The gleam in his eye said “I can take on the world,” and she believed it. Here was a man who could not fail. She was fascinated, and her fascination endeared her to him.

Michael introduced them, but neither Joan nor Leland bestowed a second glance on Michael all night. Their eyes and conversation were reserved for each other. Continue reading “Forget Me Not”

Little Sandy Starstrong and Her Faithful Robot Dogs

“Only a fool would attack a little girl guarded by a model 6500 Roboweiler.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Beyond Centauri, Issue #35, January 2012


“I told you not to feed the dogs scrap metal!” Sandy’s dad said.

TJ coughed a telltale cloud of non-ferrous impurities, and L2D2 was still dulling his shiny alloy teeth on a ragged piece of scrap in the corner. Continue reading “Little Sandy Starstrong and Her Faithful Robot Dogs”

The Ambi-Cognitive Man

Other people stared for the larger, more obvious, cruder reason: “Hey, look, there’s a man with two heads!” Jordy could never think of them that way; more like two men sharing one body.

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in M-Brane SF, #18, July 2010


The starhopper had been parked on the edge of town for several hours. After the seven star jump to get all the way to Neggemmon, Jordy figured his friends would want to get right out and meet the natives, so to speak. He understood when Tom recommended fixing lunch first. (Seriously, you can never trust the food in out-of-touch Expansionist colonies. Forget a colony for long enough, and they’ll start harvesting vacuum-slugs to eat.) But he started to get suspicious when Henry suggested relaxing with a quick hand of cards. Continue reading “The Ambi-Cognitive Man”

Emmanuel and the Cannibals

“Emmanuel stared, dumbfounded.  How long had these people been stranded here?”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Shelter of Daylight #4, October 2010


The second ship crash landed too.

Emmanuel knew the Clemency was a junker, and he was well experienced at safely crashing her. Better still, he carried plenty of spare parts, and he knew how to use them. Emmanuel was one of the best crash-pilots and jerry-rigging mechanics this end of the spiral arm. Seriously, you could not do better. Unless you didn’t crash. But, that would involve owning a ship that didn’t constantly blow her fuses, fuse her wiring, and otherwise complain about having to haul her titanium alloy hull through space. Continue reading “Emmanuel and the Cannibals”

Apples in Aruba

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Spaceports and Spidersilk, Vol. 5 No. 1, March 2012


“I’ll have the tuna fish.” Lawrence closed his menu.

“Are you kidding?” Jeggy said. “Don’t order that. It’s like eating apples in Aruba.”

“What are you supposed to eat in Aruba?” Lawrence eyed the other patrons of The All Alien Cafe suspiciously. Continue reading “Apples in Aruba”

The Parable of Two Queens

“It wasn’t only the Zi’rai’s attitude that bespoke aggression: her entire body was built larger, sharper, more dangerously.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Beyond Centauri, Issue #23, January 2009


The guards backed away, cautious, ready to intervene. The diplomat raised his eyebrows, hopeful. Unfortunately, the aliens didn’t stay still for long. The Zi’rai representative launched herself at the Zee’nee, and their fight broke out again. N-jointed arms flailed and mandibles snapped. The four human guards flew into the fray and laboriously re-separated the aliens. Continue reading “The Parable of Two Queens”

Life with the Tumblers

“No other human alive — except for Kyan — could have found a face in the shrubby center of a tumbler, but Arlene found expressions there.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Jim Baen’s Universe, Issue #22 (Vol. 4 Num 4), December 2009


The boy didn’t know how long six months would be. He was only five, and it sounded like forever. His mother, however, knew exactly how long six months would be. She could measure it out against the milestones of her life. It was the time between a kiss and the promise that bound her and Derrick together. It was the time between deciding pregnancy was unbearable and finally bearing Kyan. She knew six months. It was too long, and not nearly long enough. Continue reading “Life with the Tumblers”

Rekindle the Sun

“The little, yellow sun blazed, almost mockingly, as Kerri and Alan stepped, holding hands, onto the world that was to be their new home.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Belong: Interstellar Immigration Stories, April 2010


The yellow sun of Heffe VIII beamed onto Kerri’s face through the freighter ship’s window. She’d been watching intently through the window ever since the ship entered the Heffen solar system. “It’s hard to believe that’s a dying sun,” Kerri said. It was still so bright and dazzling, hanging in the black, velvet sky. It looked young and promising, not old and fading. Kerri turned to her husband, Alan, who was sitting beside her, and smiled. “It’ll be good to finally see Heffe,” she said. Continue reading “Rekindle the Sun”

The Genetic Menagerie

“Brent Schweitzer first turned his eyes to Wespirtech, and away from Da Vinci’s leading art colleges, when he learned that his favorite flower, a variant of the terran ghost orchid, had been genetically engineered on his homeworld’s very own moon, at Wespirtech.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Sorcerous Signals, November 2012


Brent Schweitzer was born on planet Da Vinci, the foremost center of knowledge and learning in the Human Expansion from Earth. The planet was lush and green, with deep blue rivers cut into its surface like veins of gem cut into stone. Warm in the summer, brilliant with fire work colors in both spring and fall, and temperate in the winter, Da Vinci was as idyllic as any of the worlds the Human Expansion had found. As such, Da Vinci was deemed the appropriate setting for the host of art schools and other centers of academia that began to grow there as naturally as the native flowers. For, without scenery, without inspiration, how can there be art and learning? Continue reading “The Genetic Menagerie”