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”

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”

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”

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”

The Promise of New Heffe

“Finally, they would have a world of their own. A new world. With a young, yellow sun.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Exploring New Places, July 2018


The evacuation of Heffe VIII occurred when Jeaunia was only a pup.  Her memories of waiting in the long lines on the hot spaceport tarmac were dim.  She did remember playing games with her cousins on the crowded flight to Crossroads Station afterward, and she thought she could remember the view of the swollen Heffen sun through the spaceship’s rear windows.  She couldn’t be sure, though.  The bloody smear of red giant sunlight in her memories could have been a fabrication.  She had been very young. Continue reading “The Promise of New Heffe”

Foreknowledge

“I feel my heart swell with love for her like a balloon swelling into the tip of a knife.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Apex, February 2015


I stare out over my pregnant belly, feeling awkward.  Feeling irritable.  “Why wouldn’t I want to know?”

“Some parents don’t want to know,” Dr. Anders says.  “And we respect that.”

“It’s right there on your clipboard, right?” I point to the clipboard, and he holds it infinitesimally closer to his chest.  As if he’s hiding the results from me. Continue reading “Foreknowledge”

Welcome to the Arboretum, Little Robot

“GY-30 froze, intoxicated and entranced by the sight of verdant emerald grass, buzzing insects and tiny avians, bountiful bushes heavy with brightly colored fruit, and trees with willowy trunks and draping leaves.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, June 2018


GY-30 extended his wheels from his mechanical feet and rocked back and forth, passing the time.  He was waiting for Chirri, the felinoid who employed him, to finish her business in the wholesale outlet.  She was a baker and would probably need him to carry a couple hundred pounds of Aldebaran sugar and Procyon flour back to her bakery in the merchant quarter.  GY-30 was a small robot — only knee-high to Chirri, without his extendo-legs deployed — but very strong. Continue reading “Welcome to the Arboretum, Little Robot”

Elephantine Daydream

“The green vine crackled electrically in the curl of Jeko’s trunk.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Fantasia Divinity Magazine, July 2017


Jeko stared out the window at the asteroids and curled her elephantine trunk.  She didn’t want to be in class with a bunch of dumb Heffen kids and newly sentient robots.  The Heffen kids acted like stereotypical canine aliens and kept to their packs, and the robots weren’t really kids like her…  They showed up one week super-naive and talking all stilted, like computers, and a few weeks later they were smarter than… well… computers, and they graduated out.

Continue reading “Elephantine Daydream”