Lunar Cavity

Lunar Cavity
“Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes… massive geological instability.” The words were hard to say. He felt that each time he named one of these horrible side-effects that he might be conjuring one to crush loved ones, light years away, back on Wrombarra.

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Furry Future, January 2015


The air was too cold and the gravity too strong. But, Druthel liked the cave-like architecture. He was on the moon-world of Kong-Fuzi, a naked rock without even an atmosphere — only a few small atmo-domes, a scattering of boxy, airtight buildings, and a subterranean tunnel complex connecting them all. It circled the planet Da Vinci, capital of the Human Expansion, and it hosted the renowned and arrogantly named Wespirtech, the Western Spiral Arm Institute of Technology. Continue reading “Lunar Cavity”

Harvesting Wishes

“But, the Harvester altered the dandelion DNA long ago, and the flowers will only grow in a soil laced with her secret mix of protein supplements.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Lorelei Signal, January 2011


Most genies offer three. Where do they get them? The Harvester is an old woman, who wears a four-leafed clover in her locket and a garland of dandelions on her hair. The locket was a gift from a suitor, many years before, bought at the Crossroads Station bazaar. The dandelions have to be supplied fresh, daily. So, she keeps a greenhouse in the aft of her ship. The Harvester tells her genie customers that the wishes she harvests come from the overripe gold flowers gone to fluffy white seed. This, of course, is not true, but the genies love it. Continue reading “Harvesting Wishes”

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”

Meet Archive

“I think they like him,” Cobalt said, taking an unusual turn toward the ponderous, “because he’s a refugee too. He tells stories about his world… Though, he never knew it.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, November 2011


Archive was telling stories at the corner table when Cobalt Starstrong came in. Cobalt looked at the rapt audience, mostly Heffen refugees, and thought about joining them. Archive was a wonderful storyteller, but Cobalt had heard him before. So, he took a seat at the bar.

“Bring me something I haven’t tried before.” Continue reading “Meet Archive”

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”

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”

The Faithless, the Tentacled, and the Light

The Faithless, the Tentacled, and the Light-art-iso
“Our diplomat was returned unceremoniously to his ship and sent away… but they kept our scientist.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Cosmic Crime Stories, Issue 4, July 2012


The space-cruiser Hypercube glided into the Crossroads’ station docking clamps with all the showy elegance that a ship of its price should have. Nicole Merison, the pilot, owner, and sole occupant of the Hypercube, shut the ship’s engines down and put the rest of its operations on standby. With the ship safely locked down, Nicole grabbed a space-compression bag and headed off to enjoy Crossroads’ atmosphere and markets. She’d been in deep space a long time, and, though she enjoyed the solitude, she was looking forward to the station’s hustle and bustle. Continue reading “The Faithless, the Tentacled, and the Light”

Of Behemoths and Bureaucrats

“The starwhals fed, filtering the microbes like whales filter plankton through their baleen.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Golden Visions Magazine, No. 15, July 2011 (print issue)


News spread like wildfire of the first successful sun garden. The sun was Hegula, hearth of a destitute system. Normally, I don’t waste my time on mining colonies. There are plenty of systems with two, three, or more populated planets. Those systems can supply me with crowds for months. Mining systems are a different matter. I’ve been to systems where the miners close the mines, gather up their families, and take the day off to see a good show. That’s it. They have a great time, believe me. They enjoy my starwhals more than anyone in a cosmopolitan system. From my perspective, though, it’s hardly worth weeks in the dead space between stars. Continue reading “Of Behemoths and Bureaucrats”

My Words Like Silent Raindrops

“Might these telechips be the next step in human evolution? In twenty years, will we all be, essentially, telepathic?”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Lorelei Signal, January 2012


Nicole and Ivan were among the newest, promising young scientists at the Western Spiral Arm Planetary Institute of Technology. For the time being, they were working on a project together. He did the chemistry, and she did the physics. The partnership worked well. Almost too well. Continue reading “My Words Like Silent Raindrops”