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”
Originally published in Anthropomorphic Dreams Podcast, November 2011
When Shreddy was a young cat, he and the Red-Haired Woman lived alone. Shreddy enjoyed his youth and, in later years, he often daydreamed of those days before the Red-Haired Woman declared: “I think I’ll take up a hobby.”
Shreddy wasn’t worried at the time. She’d taken up a hobby before, growing orchids, and he’d found her pastime perfectly delightful. Delectable, even. This time, the Red-Haired Woman decided to grow something that Shreddy couldn’t eat. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs”
Originally published in The Nautilus Engine, July 2008
Shreddy never had a particular taste for fish, but he’d been in a sour mood for days.
The Red-Haired Woman had won their latest skirmish over the orchids. She’d cordoned off the kitchen window with chicken wire. Shreddy rattled the wire, pulling with his claws at the edges. He shoved his face into the few centimeters between wire and wall, wrinkling his nose and squinting his eyes at the discomfort, but the wire didn’t have enough give. Shreddy couldn’t get his head through. Continue reading “The Necromouser”
Originally published in Golden Visions Magazine, October 2010
Gerty had been snuffle-snorting about the melon patches all morning. She was looking for little people to play with, but all the bugs and mice seemed to be hiding today. Dormancy was in the air.
She tried asking a bird to play with her, but it was so high in the branches of the karillow tree that she had to shout at it. And the master scolded her for barking. The bird flew away anyway. They always did.
The scraggly white kitten crouched, trembling, behind the crates of fish. The smell was thick, but the scraps were thin. She’d been skittering from one stall to the next at Fisherman’s Wharf all day, mewing for bits to eat. Few of the vendors favored her with more than a glance. One had chased her off with a broom. Continue reading “The Wharf Cat’s Mermaid”
Snow bent the boughs of the karillow trees, and ice silvered the soft buds at their tips. Spring had come too early this year, and all the eager young plants would pay a price for their enthusiasm. Flowers killed by frost.
St. Kalwain didn’t mind the snow. His black fur was thick and warm. He found it insufferably so whenever he kept the company of humans. Their houses were always warmed by raging hearth fires. Their walls held in the heat. And they insulated themselves with layers of cloaks and clothes. They expected him to layer himself with clothes too. He remembered a time when he chose to wear clothes out of modesty. Now, he preferred to sleep in the wild. In the snow. Alone and far from humans. Continue reading “St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta”
Five officers of the Tri-Galactic Navy and one exchange officer from the planet Cetazed teleported down to a clearing on Planet 328’s surface. The cats and dogs of the Tri-Galactic Navy were good people, and Consul Eliana Tor didn’t regret leaving her homeworld to become an exchange officer. Not exactly. But she missed the flavor of the sunlight on Cetazed, and not only did her empathic abilities make her a fish out of water around these cats and dogs with their non-empathic minds, but they let her read the cats’ and dogs’ emotions — especially their feelings about her — constantly. Continue reading “The Best and Worst of Worlds”
Originally published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, March/April 2017
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”
Originally published in Claw the Way to Victory, January 2016
“You’re distracted,” Lizzie said. The asymmetrical white splotch on her tabby face made her look sloppy and unprepared, even when she was dressed in her prim skating leotard with her ice skates tightly laced up her hind-paws. Continue reading “Marge the Barge”
Commander Bill Wilker’s angular muzzle split into a wide Collie grin, and he smoothed down his ruff of fur that spilled regally out of the collar of his Tri-Galactic Navy uniform. “That’s a goddamned beautiful lookin’ planet,” he said.
And it was a goddamned beautiful planet on the viewscreen. It was green and round and blue — everything that a planet should be, not like the desolate lava balls and crater-faced lumps in the last several star-systems. This planet practically screamed, “Shore leave!” and Bill Wilker was ready to take up that cry. Continue reading “Questor’s Gambit”