We Can Remember It For You Retail

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Redstone Science Fiction #26, July 2012

“He’d tried to keep the blaring ads in his ears secret from her, but something about her look made him think she knew anyhow. Besides, those cats were so vivid it was hard to believe anyone in the coffee shop hadn’t seen them.”

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.

Would you like to hear an advertisement?” a voice said in Dylan’s ear as he and Charlene picked a table. He subvocalized, yes, and a catchy jingle for a laundromat down the street assaulted him. When the jingle finally ended, the voice in his head said, “Six cents have been deposited in your account.Continue reading “We Can Remember It For You Retail”

“Viewers Like You”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Lorelei Signal, July 2012


“He liked the show, but he wished keeping his hand on the reader was less necessary. Sometimes, in his own room, Boston didn’t bother with the reader at all.”

“Put your hand back on the reader,” Boston’s mother chided. The boy squirmed but flattened his hand against the panel in the chair’s arm until his presence registered. He liked the show, but he wished keeping his hand on the reader was less necessary. Sometimes, in his own room, Boston didn’t bother with the reader at all. He felt guilty. He knew his mother would be mad if she knew. Continue reading ““Viewers Like You””

The Thin, Moving Line of Technology

blue-line-horizonThere’s a thin line between science-fiction and simply fiction, and that line moves every time we develop new technologies.  Technologies that seemed futuristic fifty years ago — or sometimes ten years ago — are commonplace today.  The inclusion of a super-powerful, pocket computer with GPS and video communication no longer means a story is science-fiction; it just means the character has a phone. Continue reading “The Thin, Moving Line of Technology”

A Second Enchanted Evening

by Mary E. Lowd

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


“She’d seen him with unbiased eyes, and she hadn’t liked what she’d seen. Or was unfamiliarity a bias too?”

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”

The Most Complicated Avatar

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, July 2012


“When Ken and I told her we were getting divorced… That’s when she added the tortoise shell. A big green shield covering her avatar’s little back.”

It feels strange to me, deep in my stomach, that I can’t find my ten-year-old girl in real life — but that, maybe, I can find her here.

My hand shakes on the computer mouse as I log in to Second World, using one of the default avatars — a woman with straight blonde hair like a plastic shell and the expressionless face of a crash-test-dummy. I try messaging my daughter through the in-game chat window right away, but my message bounces back. I check for her name, “fluttercat,” on the online user list, but it’s not where it should be between “flutter14” and “flutterkid.” My throat constricts with a swallowed sob, but I refuse to believe this tenuous connection to my missing daughter won’t pan out. Maybe she’s set her status to hidden. Continue reading “The Most Complicated Avatar”

Happy New Year!

forget-me-not-nice
Happy New Year from Deep Sky Anchor!

The start of a new year is often a time for reflecting on the past, thinking over everything that happened in the previous year.

The first story in our next anthology — The Opposite of Memory — asks whether it’s really necessary to reflect on the past.  Why not simply forge ahead?  Leave the past behind.  Maybe even forget it entirely…  Forget Me Not was Mary E. Lowd’s first published story, and we’re proud to be able to present it for you here. Continue reading “Happy New Year!”

The Screen Savior

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Bards & Sages Quarterly, Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2010

“I speak,” scrolled over the trembling body in simple red. “I speak that I am,” and after a pause, “I am the Screen Savior.”

Twenty-four bit, RGB color swirled, paisley-like on the sleeping monitor. The psychedelic mass of colors did not sleep like the electronic cradle holding them. The colors bulged. They ballooned out from the center of the monitor. The screensaver pattern pulled away from the physical surface forming a new surface, visible but ethereal. Continue reading “The Screen Savior”

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”

Little Sandy Starstrong and Her Faithful Robot Dogs

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Beyond Centauri, Issue #35, January 2012


“Only a fool would attack a little girl guarded by a model 6500 Roboweiler.”

“I told you not to feed the dogs scrap metal!” Sandy’s dad said.

TJ coughed a telltale cloud of non-ferrous impurities, and L2D2 was still dulling his shiny alloy teeth on a ragged piece of scrap in the corner. Continue reading “Little Sandy Starstrong and Her Faithful Robot Dogs”