A New Once Upon a Time

Greg Beatty
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The Barber of Manaus

Gustavo Bondoni
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The Streets Turned Blue and Green

Dennis Mombauer
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Exiled Together: Faces of Contemporary New York

Marcus M. Tyler
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In  by May 8, 2020
The couch in the experimental botany lab is too short even for me. I sit up with a groan, the tinfoil emergency blanket crumpling in my lap, scattering the light from the overhead fluorescents. I stretch my arms above my head in a vain attempt to get my back in working order. Time was, I […]

The Desert in Me

In  by April 24, 2020
I was going to be a desert. They’d designed this recliner for conductivity, not comfort. I lay down, feeling cold alloy through my shift because it was either “rehabilitation” or relocation. “Where did they assign you for Environment Week?” the guard asked. “I don’t remember.” It was twenty years ago. You turn eighteen, and they […]

Seeing Clearly

In  by April 10, 2020
The water in the tank that circled the Mermaid Dining Room had gotten brackish and thick. Edwidge crawled onto a plasticine rock inside the tank. Her turbine sputtered and whined as it broke into the air. Papery algae slid under her silicone-coated fingers. She had to get to the performance cave. From the performance cave, […]

The Pinecone Lady

In  by March 27, 2020
We were suffering through the hottest, thirstiest, cruelest season yet when the Pinecone Lady came through town. I’ve heard a lot of theories about her since then, about who she was or what she was, but those theories are all missing the point. I only care what she did—because what she did meant everything. In […]

Good Hunting

In  by March 13, 2020
Karin Eklund sauntered casually toward the staff entrance to the Gyrodigital building. The sun had been down for nearly an hour, but Gyrodigital was one of those companies that expected long hours from their employees. No one would think twice about someone arriving at this time. If anyone had stopped to ask her for ID, […]

The Knells of Agassiz

In  by February 28, 2020
The breeze is too gentle and too warm against Emma’s cheeks as she steps out of the quad tiltrotor onto the gravel shoreline. The journey from more than seven hundred kilometres to the south has taken four hours. She sets the self-driving copter into standby mode with a swipe of her arm controls. “Emma, what’s […]

An Apology from the Natives of Earth

In  by February 14, 2020
We’re sorry. We didn’t mean to make such a mess of things. It all started around a hundred thousand years ago. We’d only just evolved into our modern form and begun to spread from our cradle in East Africa. Down in Australia we wiped out diprotodon optatum—a two-ton wombat, more or less—as fast as we […]

The Heavenly Dreams of Mechanical Trees

In  by January 31, 2020
Trees were never intended to be sentient beings, or God would have created them that way, back in the Garden. Ailanthus ponders this sometimes as the sun’s rays prickle her leaves’ tiny solar panels and the tubules of her stems absorb the afternoon’s deluge. If the Tree of Knowledge had a voice, would it have […]

Queen of the May

In  by January 17, 2020
She wears a fox’s face—sly, and only dripping a little blood down the sides of its muzzle—as she emerges into the allotments from between gorse bushes where the path used to run. In a potting shed, brewing tea, a gardener sets out another cup thinking his friend’s arrived. If she’d asked he’d have told her […]

The Last Stand

In  by December 27, 2019
A thirty-foot wave of flame roars toward us over the grassy plain. We stand our ground. We were soldiers once. Behind us loom the titans of California Redwood Emergency Preserve. Sequoia sempervirens. The world’s tallest trees. Their foliage trembles in the wind like frightened fingers. Our assignment is to keep them alive. In years past, […]
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