Posts Tagged ‘space’

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Cast of Wonders 439: From Asteroids to Dust


From Asteroids to Dust

by Priya Chand

Geianti Carropus—Gen, for short—piloted her shuttle through the asteroid belt with deft claws. Gen was a deinonychus, a strong-legged predator whose ancestors subjugated prey across Earth. And now here she was, tail lifting as she whizzed past space rocks.

Leftover dust puffed across her viewport, but Gen knew her training facility’s asteroid field like all 300 steps of her family’s longest dance routine. She kept her sickle-claws from scratching the shuttle floor. Some things evolution couldn’t turn off, like the hunt—or the dance. Her shuttle had been recently re-sheathed in protective synthrubber—better not damage it. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 433: The Last Love Letter


The Last Love Letter

by Gretchen Tessmer

They want me to give your letters to the International Museum for safekeeping. They say the letters need to be preserved and the sooner the better. (Continue Reading…)

Cast of Wonders 380: Little Wonders 23 – Comfort is Universal


Taking the Nine to the Last Shop

by Craig Robert Saunders

I.

The last shop before the fog is my favourite shop of all. It has candy, which is best. It sells shrimp which never, ever goes off, krill, newspapers, mops and buckets, and air packets you can open that tickle your tentacles just like the popping candy, which Grandma lets me have even though she hates the sound of the air packs and the poppers. She likes the hardboiled sweets. They have what seems like endless rows of jars of those behind the counter. You can buy things for the house there, and things for dull days when the seas are hard and rough and you can’t go out, or when the fog’s so heavy it squashes you up so you can’t see above your parapet, and all you can do is draw yourself inside and listen to your mother muttering and feel the sway of Grandma moving underneath you both. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 301: Ana’s Asteroid


Ana’s Asteroid

by M.K. Hutchins

I raced Cornelius home after school, through the corridors of the Platinum Phoenix. He took the right hand side, I took the left. The dents in stainless steel walls made our reflections wobble.

“I’ll beat you this time!” Cornelius called from behind. He was eleven — two years younger than me.

I laughed. “I doubt — ”

But my feet slipped out from under me. I skidded across the floor. Like all the other kids on this asteroid mining colony, my clothes were sewn from surplus mylar blankets — slick stuff. I crashed into a sealed-off door. There were plenty of unused corridors like that, leftover from better days when the Platinum Phoenix actually had passengers.
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 281: Little Wonders 16: Siblings in Space

Show Notes

The Little Wonders theme “Neversus” is by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.


Houston, Houston, Do You Read James Tiptree?

by Rachael K. Jones

After two hours of work, Daria got the space station’s recycler back online without Hugh there to help her. If he had just waited ten minutes while she tried resetting power. If he had let her double-check his gear before his spacewalk, like he was supposed to by all protocols.

If. If. If.

Now her only brother drifted away from Station Mars One, a fragile floating bubble on the void. He brought to mind the time Daria packed her goldfish in the front seat for the drive to college. Glass bowl swathed in bubble wrap swathed in a blanket, set in a flimsy taped-up cardboard box. The thinnest sliver of shelter against a sudden end.

She pressed both palms into her eyeballs until stars blossomed, and with great effort, focused on her last obligation: to keep him company until he died.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 248: Binaries

Show Notes

Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.


Binaries

by S.B. Divya

Year 1: I come into the world wet and squalling and ordinary, born of heterosexual bio-parents.

***

Year 2: A flat photo shows me on my first birthday with a shock of red hair, wide green eyes, and an expression of distaste at the sticky white frosting on my fingers. My mother stands on one side looking not at all Jewish; my Goan, lapsed-Catholic father stands on the other.

***

Year 4: Shaya is born. I am a match to my mother’s complexion, but my baby sister takes after our father. No one thinks we’re siblings unless they see the fierce, protective scowl on my face when I’m allowed to hold her.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 238: The Absolute Temperature of Outer Space (Artemis Rising 3)

Show Notes

Illustration by Mat Weller. Artemis Rising logo designed by Scott Pond.


Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.


The Absolute Temperature of Outer Space

by Xander M. Odell

Dwanda watches her dad bound across the lunar landscape and shivers inside her jacket.  The Moon lifts him higher than anyone on Earth could jump and sets him gently down again, a kangaroo in a space suit.  Sunlight flashes bright white across his helmet.  She chooses not to notice the ragged tear down the right side of his bulky suit, or the way she can see through him to the gray, airless expanse beyond.

The shuttleport crowd paces around the clear observation dome to make room for their excitement and boredom.  They talk softly amongst themselves or watch the swarm of service bots making a final safety check on the shuttle Io.  A few browse the souvenir stands for last minute gifts or keepsakes from their lunar vacation.

Her mom settles beside Dwanda on the couch.  “Brought you some cocoa.”
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 224: Welcome to Willoughby’s


Welcome to Willoughby’s

by Michael Reid

You ever been to Upsilon Orionis? As far as asteroid belts go, that one’s pretty weird. Someone dragged every last asteroid in that system right up close to the star then built a temple to a different sun god on each one. How about Beta Pictoris? That solar system isn’t even properly formed yet and there’s already a golf course in its asteroid belt. It has fairways and sand traps and everything, with each and every hole on a different rock. So you could say I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff in asteroid belts. But the taxidermist was definitely the weirdest of them all.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 210: Little Wonders 8 – Embracing Change


The There-It-Is Store

By Adam Gaylord

The bell over the door jingled and Claire hastily tucked her book under the counter. It was one of her favorites and she’d just gotten to the best part. She didn’t want a customer to come in and claim it.

An older man, probably twice Claire’s age, entered the store. Actually, he really more danced his way in. The man turned this way and that, his eyes trained on the ground, all the while patting his pants, alternating front pockets and then back. Claire suppressed a giggle at the sight of his search dance – as it was fittingly known in the trade. The man gave up the floor and scanned the shelves by the door, muttering to himself while patting his breast pockets. “I swear I just had ’em. I was walking out the door…” He passed over boxes of buttons, jars full of jewelry, several large sacks stuffed with socks, and a pail packed with pocket watches before stopping in front of a particularly large crate nearly overflowing with keys. He gave a low whistle, eyeing the huge box with trepidation.

“Good morning Mr. Crowhurst,” Clair interrupted his search.

“Hm? Oh, yes. Hello.” Mr. Crowhurst wandered up to the counter, still patting. “I really hope you can help me. Do you happen to know where…” He trailed off, his eyes drifting to the shelves behind her. Claire felt the tingle of the there-it-is magic and the man’s patting finally stopped, his face lighting up. “There they are!”

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 171: Pluto


PLUTO

by C. E. Hyun

On Pluto, there were pterodactyls that flew in V-flock formations. Sarah had never seen pterodactyls that flew in V-flock formations.

This was not demoted-to-dwarf-planet Pluto. This was a lush and fantastic Pluto, which Sarah and her companions discovered while returning from their discouraging voyage to the system of Poseidon. (Perks and promotions had been promised on their finding the fabled god’s trident. Alas, all they’d found were dusty moon rocks, and there were plenty of those next door to home.)

On Pluto, fresh fruit dangled from the trees. They camped by the beach, where the sand was pink and pale. It was a welcome respite, and no one was eager to hurry back home. Here, the weather was lovely. Curious creatures populated the land. Silver otters and sapphire hummingbirds. Tiny compsognathus that scampered in the beach grass.

It was Tony, their systems engineer, who discovered them. “I’m good with animals. Look, I’ve got this guy eating out of the palm of my hand!” he said.

“Maybe it’s him that’s good with you,” Sarah said. The compsognathus crushed Tony’s walnut like a marshmallow.
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 166: Hard Passage

Show Notes

Juliet Mushens’ book Get Started in Writing Young Adult Fiction is available now in the UK, and forthcoming in the US. You can find her on Twitter.


Hard Passage

by Holly Schofield

Daylan hurried along the edge of the crowd. He would violate the Heartcreed if he was late again.

As he approached the main wormhole gate, a new wave of arrivals washed over him. There should have been a few minutes grace. I’ve got the schedules wrong again, he thought, flicking his grimy pad into begging mode with an aching thumb.

“Help a poor orphan boy save for a ticket home,” Daylan called out to the kindliest-looking ones as he forged upstream, against the hectic flow of passengers, hunching to make himself shorter. He waved his pad, the large zero indicating his lack of credits. Most arrivees let their eyes pass over his ragged clothes and unblemished forehead, the lack of a visible brain implant labeling him idios.

Endless multitudes streamed by, a cacophony of colour and shapes: tall, elegant Naiphs; stocky Rassakits; right-sized Terrans. Humankind and the two known extraterrestrial species surged in a constant flux; arriving and departing ships determining the tidal ebb and flow of the spaceport.
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 118: Perihelion

Show Notes

Today we present Vajra Chandrasekera’s story, Perihelion.

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Perihelion

by Vajra Chandrasekera

Hold on tight, we’re coming around again.

This thing crumbles a little every time we hit perihelion. Almost lost my footing again. You okay? Good. We’ve got a moment to catch our breath, except we don’t breathe any more. Words stick in language like vestigial tails in the womb. Not that we have either of those any more, either.

We still have eggs, though. And if you’re ready to leave yours behind, now would be a good time. We’re about as far from the sun as we’re going to get.

No? It’s okay, it’s okay. Take your time. You’re all right, I got you. Don’t worry, all right? If you can’t bring yourself to make the jump, I’ll carry you. I just think you’ll like to look back later and remember your first time flying.

We’re all afraid the first time.
(Continue Reading…)