The Moon Like An Unhatched Egg

“She steered the pod capsule toward the bulging globe of the abandoned, malfunctioning atmo-dome. It looked like a bead of water on the moon’s silver face.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Symbol of a Nation, June 2017


The moon stretched out in front of Jenn like an unhatched egg.  Full of possibility.  Full of portent.  In a few moments, the four pod capsules, including hers, would be ejected from the USS Fledgling, and the final competition would begin.  The winner would secure the continuation of their genetic line and be the first live astronaut to Mars.  All of them were uplifted birds, designed especially for this purpose, but only one would win. Continue reading “The Moon Like An Unhatched Egg”

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”

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”

We Can Remember It For You Retail

When the jingle finally ended, the voice in his head said, “Six cents have been deposited in your account.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Redstone Science Fiction #26, July 2012


Dylan reached into his pocket and pulled out his last tenner. He didn’t especially feel like drinking coffee, but he thought it’d look strange if he didn’t get something. Charlene ordered a double mocha frappacino and lemon cupcake with cream cheese icing. Dylan got the house coffee. Continue reading “We Can Remember It For You Retail”

A Second Enchanted Evening

His answer made her wish she hadn’t asked. “You know the memory drug I take?”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in M-BRANE SF #30, February 2012


You won’t regret this,” repeated in Bomani’s head over and over again as he made the distance from parked car to back alley door. The bulk of the bass speaker bounced with his pace, and he shifted its weight as he neared the coffee bar’s back entrance. Cradling the speaker between his chest and left arm, Bomani used his right arm to grab the door. He pulled hard, and the heavy gray-metal door swung far enough that he got his back to it before it slammed shut again. The door hit hard, square on his back, but this was his last trip, so Bomani didn’t mind. Continue reading “A Second Enchanted Evening”

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”

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”

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”

The Nebula Was Empty

“Is anyone out there?” the radio wave asked.

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Spaceports and Spidersilk, June 2011


The nebula was empty. Cold. Proto-star matter, so many dust motes, drifted, dully refracting the light of nearby constellations. The dust motes didn’t even swirl. There was nothing to disturb them into motion, except for the nebula beast herself. In earlier times, during her youth, she frolicked — expanding space here; squeezing tight there; watching the space debris splash about. She chased the dust motes between her many dimensions, but now she was too sad to make her own fun. Continue reading “The Nebula Was Empty”