Excerpt from Purride and Purrejudice

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, September 2020

“Do not you want to know what is in the boxes?” cried the dog impatiently.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a cat in sight of an empty box, must sit in it.

However little known the feelings or views of such a cat may be on their first encountering an empty box, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of all good cat owners, that all empty boxes are considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their cats.

“My dear Mx. Kitty,” said the dog to her one day, “have you heard that the Amazon truck has arrived at last?” Continue reading “Excerpt from Purride and Purrejudice”

Fetching Asteroids

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Allasso, Volume 1: Shame, November 2011

 

“The blackness of space slipped past him as he fulfilled the purpose that only he had understood.”

The stars were thick, but the moons were thicker.  Every year for the last decade, Earth’s sky had grown brighter with the reflected light of new lunar satellites.  Generally a half a dozen small new moons per batch.  Jordan had been working hard.  He was a Labrador Retriever by heritage, and, back in human pre-history, those had been working dogs.

Ever since he was a pup who hadn’t yet grown into his giant feet and floppy ears, Jordan had known what he wanted to do with his life.  He’d spent all of high school working hard at the car wash, saving his nickels and dimes, and staring up at the stars at night.  Continue reading “Fetching Asteroids”

A Jetpack of a Different Color

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Renewal: Queer Sci-Fi’s Fourth Annual Flash Fiction Contest, September 2017

“His fuzzy blue hide had turned eerily white — almost crystalline.”

Wendy shifted the jetpack on her shoulders and knocked on the door to Flooffle’s quarters.  “Come on!  I want to hit the ammonia waves on New Jupiter before the lava moon freezes over!”

Flooffle didn’t answer, so the human girl went in, expecting to find her fuzzy six-legged friend struggling to get a jetpack settled onto his thorax. Continue reading “A Jetpack of a Different Color”

In a Cat’s Eyes

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Dancing in the Moonlight: Rainfurrest 2013 Charity Anthology

“Inside Myra’s eyes, the glass panels of the windows behind her melted away, becoming portals to a magical realm.”

Jason’s brushy tail wagged like a flag as he trotted down the sidewalk in front of his house.  He strained his neck against the leash, just a little, to help his master out.  His master was always reluctant to go on walks, and the only explanation Jason could think of was that she must tire out easily.  Heaven knew, Jason had energy to spare, so it was only fair that he help pull her along. Continue reading “In a Cat’s Eyes”

Sky River

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Theme of Absence, July 2017

“Over the last six decades, less than a lifetime, the Lottians had schemed and plotted to claim their birthright in the ice that had taunted their ancestors’ dreams.”

The blue sun of Lottie IV glinted off the watery world’s ice rings.  Rocky chunks of diamond gleamed with sapphire light, stretched in a crescent across the world’s pale sky.  Its inhabitants — a long-spined, thick-furred, water-breathing, lutrinae species — had stared at that crescent of glittering ice from Lottie’s oceans for generations.  Out of reach.  Unconquerable. Continue reading “Sky River”

Hidden Feelings

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, November 2015

Blue and green lights twinkled on the medi-bot as it spoke: “Depression is a very serious issue on a spaceship.”

The spines on S’lisha’s neck twitched, but she kept them from extending into a thorny display of her anger.  The spaceship captain wanted the boxes of robot arms on his cargo deck rearranged yet again.  If he’d explained himself clearly in the first place, it would have saved so much time.  S’lisha seethed silently and imagined crushing the spaceship captain with his own cargo. Continue reading “Hidden Feelings”

Heart of the Gas Giant

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, February 2018


“Would Doripauli’s fleet follow her into the gas giant or wait for her to emerge? Did they know why Arellnor was here?”

The heart of the gas giant was the key.  Arellnor had traveled from one star system to another; at every stop, she’d traded her vehicle — first her trusty shuttle for a star-hopper, then that for a space mecha-suit and finally back to another shuttle.  She’d altered her appearance, buying gene-therapy or cosmetic-sculpting every chance she got.  She barely remembered what she’d been originally — some sort of space frog?  Today, she was a burly antelope-like alien; her fingers were rough and hard, and antlers rose from her head like spires.  None of it had been enough.  They were still chasing her. Continue reading “Heart of the Gas Giant”

Sandbeard the Pirate Otter

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published by Furvana, June 2019


“Then paw to pedal, pedal to metal, her trawler screeched silently away through the vacuum of space, crenulated seashell sailing along behind it.”

Sandbeard the pirate otter, fiercest of the fierce, fuzziest of the fuzzy, and the best bewhiskered of all sea otters, steered her stolen space-trawler into the curving gravity well of a small oceanic moon.  The lunar ocean was beautiful beneath her trawler — purple and choppy, swelling with swirling water, but toxic as a scorpionfish.  Nice to look at; useless for swimming.  But Sandbeard wasn’t here for a vacation; she was a pirate, and she was ready to pillage and plunder. Continue reading “Sandbeard the Pirate Otter”

Of Cakes and Robots

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Theme of Absence, November 2016


“The robot was surprisingly indecisive for a creature with a computer for a brain — first it wanted red frosting, then blue, and finally settled on green.”

Chirri watched the robot lumber back and forth outside her bakery window for several minutes, seeming undecided, before it came in.  Once inside, the metal creature with its dome-shaped head and boxy limbs perused the displays of sugary confections, fancy layered cakes, and simple cookies.  Chirri’s tufted triangular ears splayed in confusion at the sight.  There were lots of robots on Crossroads Station, but none of them had ever frequented her bakery before.  Robots don’t have much need for cake. Continue reading “Of Cakes and Robots”

The Ugly Sapling

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Empyreome, January 2019


“If it couldn’t be a fruit tree like them, it didn’t want to be a fruit tree at all.”

Once upon a springtime in a magical garden, three saplings were planted in a row, along the bank of a sapphire lake.  They were barely more than sticks, standing awkwardly in the sandy ground with their branch-arms raised toward the sky.  All three looked alike, and they shivered together in their nakedness.

Continue reading “The Ugly Sapling”