Take Them to the Happiness Zoo

“Junie knew that Gorvall was only trying to ingratiate himself to her. It was working.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Theme of Absence, April 2016


Exhausted, Junie watched her five-year-old daughter and two toddler sons play with Gorvall.  They stacked up colored blocks and knocked them down. Gorvall’s long gray fingers helped pry apart the building blocks that stuck together.  The colorful towers reflected in his large, teardrop-shaped black eyes.

Continue reading “Take Them to the Happiness Zoo”

FemCloud Inc.

“That… uh… wasn’t the machine talking,” Dr. Orton said. “That sound came from your uterus.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, February 2014


Chloe lay on the table in the doctor’s office, wearing a paper sheet over her legs and one of those weird gowns that opened in the back.  She didn’t want to be pregnant, but she didn’t want to need an abortion.  She couldn’t help thinking about David — it had to be David — and what amazing genes he must have.  He’d talked like a character out of a fast-paced TV show, everything clever, insightful, and… much too articulate.  Continue reading “FemCloud Inc.”

Hidden Intentions

“S’lisha wanted to claw the child’s little face off, but the captain wouldn’t like that. And she needed this job.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March/April 2017


“Can you breathe fire if you eat rocket fuel?” asked Alison, the captain’s five-year-old daughter.

S’lisha drew a deep, calming breath through her scaly nostrils.  She didn’t understand why humans brought their children on spaceships.  Her species kept their larval offspring in caves on their home world until they matured and their adult scales grew in.  Continue reading “Hidden Intentions”

Cyclops on Safari

Cyclops on Safari
“He peeked out the window again and sneered at the pathetic unicorn horns. Those simple spikes were nothing to the beautiful branching of a moose’s antlers.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published by Penn Cove Literary Arts Award, June 2013


The little boy pressed his nose up against the minivan window, twisting himself up under his seatbelt.  He strained his one eye, trying to peer all the way across the golden field littered with shiny white unicorns, gamboling and playing, their manes rippling in the wind.  Danny was sure that if his parents would just let him roll down the window so he could stick his head out, he’d be able to make out a moose in the forest edge beyond.  Instead, all he could see was stupid unicorns. Continue reading “Cyclops on Safari”

The Best Puppy Ever

The Best Puppy Ever
“None of my friends at the dog park believed me when I told them that my masters had been bringing me to the hospital to have a real doctor check on my puppies.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Issue No. 15, May 2014


The hospital lights flash in my eyes, and a man wearing blue scrubs injects me with a needle.  I can’t feel my body anymore, and all I can see is his blue-clothed back and the nervous faces of my owners, Geoff and Bree, looking down at me.  I can see them holding my paws, reaching to pat my ears, but all the sensations are distant. Continue reading “The Best Puppy Ever”

High School Dogs

High School Dogs
Art by Idess (www.idessart.com)

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, March 2016


The dance was over, like most high school dances, around eleven. The music stopped, and amid barks and yips of outrage, the lights came on. Without the blasting music and strobing lights, the crowd dissolved into a mass of individual dogs standing around awkwardly. Katasha’s ears flattened, and she drifted away from the bandstand, suddenly feeling weird as the only cat in the audience. The band playing tonight, Dog-Step, didn’t exactly have a lot of feline fans. Continue reading “High School Dogs”

My Fair Robot

robot-and-girl
“She made robots, and that’s all she did. Robots, robots, robots. Robots day and night.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Luna Station Quarterly, Issue 017, March 2014


“She’s gonna be beautiful,” he said. He was human. I’m human. We were all human. Most of the patronage at the All Alien Cafe is human. Despite it being “all alien.” Anyway…

He was really bragging it up. He was designing a robot, and he had some sort of Pygmalian-hubris-God-complex thing going on. It was annoying as all get-out. I had to pick my moment. Continue reading “My Fair Robot”

The Most Complicated Avatar

“When Ken and I told her we were getting divorced… That’s when she added the tortoise shell. A big green shield covering her avatar’s little back.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, July 2012


It feels strange to me, deep in my stomach, that I can’t find my ten-year-old girl in real life — but that, maybe, I can find her here. Continue reading “The Most Complicated Avatar”

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”

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”