Originally published in Tri-Galactic Trek, November 2021
Grawf awoke from her long sleep, yawned widely, and lumbered out of her cot and over to the window. Her ursine reflection hovered ghost-like over the black field of space, a bulky, brown-furred bear in plaid pajamas, dotted by pinpricks of starlight. She wondered where the starship Initiative had flown to, what wonderous places had been explored without her, during her hibernation. Continue reading “Skin of Reflection”
Engleine hesitated with the upgrade chip mere millimeters from the docking port in her beloved Hansel’s head. His mechanical ear flicked, and he said, “You stopped. Why?”
“Are you sure you’re ready for this upgrade?” Engleine asked. Her own conical ears — a biological mirror of his mechanical ones — had flattened behind her long head. She shuffled her hind hooves on the floor, and her keratinous hoof-fingers tightened on the upgrade chip that would push Hansel — her dance partner and best friend — from the seeming-sentience that had fooled her into believing he was fully his own person into an actual sentient robot. Continue reading “Clever Hansel 2020”
S’lisha traced her scaly claw over the transparent metal surface of the incubator. It was the most complex cargo crate that she’d ever seen — heating and cooling coils all around the sides, a humidifier built into the base, and brackets inside to hold all of the eggs carefully in place. It had come with detailed instructions for all the settings — cool at first, but warmer and moister over time. Continue reading “Many Tiny Feet”
Originally published in Oxfurred Comma Flash Fiction Contest, July 2022
Amber fluid dripped from the hive, but it wasn’t honey. It was thick and gooey and satiated. The amorphous being, gold and honey-like, had infiltrated the hive, feasted on the honey and then on the worker bees who’d made the honey; then the drones who the worker bees had waited on; and finally, on the delectable morsels of unfinished dough that were the eggs and pupae.
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, January 2018
A metal behemoth cruised through the nebula, cool and casual, like it didn’t care about any of the frolicking younglings and their sing-song radio waves or the older starwhals jockeying for territory, rearranging the ambient dust into moats and walls.
Originally published in Shark Week: An Ocean Anthology, June 2021
Salty air tickled Commander Wilker’s long nose and whistled past his pointed ears. The light ocean breeze ruffled the long fur of his Collie mane. He placed a paw gently on the hull of his shuttle craft, parked on the small, sandy island in the middle of a yawning purple-blue sea. He was waiting for his co-pilot to join him, a local to this watery world.
Though he wouldn’t mind if they were running late. The Collie dog had seldom been anywhere as peaceful as the surface of Kallendria 7. There was an entire, technologically advanced society on this world, but it was all beneath the waves. Up here, he could have been standing on a completely untouched, unpopulated world. Nothing as far as the eye could see except for rolling purple waves, deep blue sky, and the occasional silver sand island. Continue reading “The Unshelled”
One arm sagged. Seven arms writhed and worked, puckering their sucker discs and pulling the joint-being they composed across the slippery rocks. The gaspingly dry, slippery rocks. But the sagging arm — as little as it helped with pulling, and as much as it acted like a dead weight needing to be pulled — had dreamed about crossing the rocks. It had dreamed of wonders on the other side. And seven other arms had listened to those dreams. Been compelled by those dreams, drawn to explore the rocks at the top edge of the ocean. Continue reading “The Dreaming Arm”
Originally published in The Voice of Dog, June 2021
Lieutenant Vonn crashed through the undergrowth of the wild alien rainforest. The uplifted yellow Labrador felt like the branches were grabbing at her, tearing at her Tri-Galactic Navy uniform. She hated this planet. Usually, she liked planets. Ground missions were her favorite — getting off the stuffy, artificial halls of the starship Initiative, and setting paw to dirt. She lived for that stuff — fresh air, walking about in the sunshine! But right now, all she could think about was Commander Wilker and Consul Tor, stuck in a hole in the ground — a deep, dark ditch; a trap lined with primitive pointed sticks that kept her from climbing safely down after them. Continue reading “The Arsenal of Obsolescence”
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, July 2019
Gary was a humanoid android, programmed to experience the complete range of human emotions. Right now, he was sad. His broad shoulders slouched, and his head hung, framing his handsome face with his beautiful raven hair. He had been designed to be beautiful.
Chirri wasn’t sure what to do with this sad android who’d shown up in her bakery, so she served him a piece of cake on the house. The felinid-alien slid a gold-embossed ceramic plate in front of Gary, and the android stared disconsolately at the piece of fudgy caramel cake on it for several seconds — a very long time for an android — before saying, “I don’t eat.” Continue reading “The Words in Frosting”