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Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award Finalist

If the Martians Have Magic

“The first Martian War was won not by man, but microbes. The second we fought with Martian weapons that nearly broke the world. The third invasion we stopped by our own hands, using magic.” —Wei-Yin Sun, Imperial Historian in the Court of the Empress Dowager, Restoration Period.   Marrakesh’s streets were a dizzying affair at […]

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Proof by Induction

Paulie rushes out the elevator doors the moment they part, only to skid to a halt at the sight of his father’s wife. She shakes her head, but he doesn’t need the confirmation. If Tricia is out here and not in the hospital room with his father, it can only mean he has passed. He […]

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50 Things Every AI Working with Humans Should Know

Obituary WHEEP-3 (“Dr. Weep”), probably the most renowned AI AI-critic of the last two decades, was retired by the Shallow Laboratory at Stanford University last Wednesday. Created by Dr. Jody Reynolds Tran more than two decades ago, the experimental generative neural network that would become WHEEP-3 was at first intended as a teaching assistant in […]

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The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power

The funeral is nearly over when the dead captain explodes. Roses turn to shrapnel. The cathedral is lost in fire. I am drenched in blood. Bone buries itself in the wall next to my head, my arm, my howling, open mouth. I am standing at the back of the room where a sin-eater’s child belongs, […]

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Fandom for Robots

Computron feels no emotion towards the animated television show titled Hyperdimension Warp Record (超次元 ワープ レコード). After all, Computron does not have any emotion circuits installed, and is thus constitutionally incapable of experiencing “excitement,” “hatred,” or “frustration.” It is completely impossible for Computron to experience emotions such as “excitement about the seventh episode of HyperWarp,” […]

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And Then There Were (N-One)

I considered declining the invitation. It was too weird, too expensive, too far, too dangerous, too weird. Way too weird. An invitation like that would never come again. I’d regret it if I didn’t go. It lay on our kitchen table for three weeks while I argued out the pros and cons with Mabel. She […]

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