Read about some of the contributors to issue sixteen and see excerpts from each article or story.
leaned back into his locker. He'd been the last to shower and almost everyone
else left an hour ago.
smiled. Bottom of the ninth, game seven of the series, and he hit a one-two
pitch for a two-run homer. What a way to
end the season, he thought. The smile would not stop. After fifteen years,
he still loved the game.
Mick, great hit," Babe said.
leaned forward, noticing Babe’s silk suit. "Going to a funeral,
off me, Mick," Babe said. "I really meant it. Great hit. Man, it's
been a hell of a season."
remembered this was Babe's first year in the league. He nodded. "Yeah,
Babe. They all are."
go," Babe said. He slapped Mickey on the thigh as he walked past. Babe
stopped at the locker room door. "Joe and I are meeting Yogi and Thurman
for dinner at Elaine's. Why don't you come and celebrate?"
see if I can make it," Mickey said as he hauled himself off the bench. He
dropped the towel and started dressing.
Mick," Babe said. He flashed that
Babe," Mickey said to the empty doorway. He finished stuffing things into
his bag. A muffled ringing set him searching for his phone. He found it wrapped
in a jock.
saw the dinger," said a familiar voice, dripping with an
sighed. "I'm not going."
know, you still think you can play, but we only get fifteen years. You know that
Mick." The voice paused. "We don't age, but the skills still
deteriorate. Only a little at first, but the deteriorization is there."
stood silent. Ralph, the first base coach, waved. "Hold on," Mickey
said into the phone. "Yeah, Ralph."
wants to see you."
filled his chest. Mickey nodded and returned his attention to the phone. "I
gotta go. Casey wants me."
are things I need to teach you, Mick," the voice said. "All you’ve
ever known is baseball, now you need to know more. My predecessor taught me and
I have to teach you. You go see Casey. You know what's coming. Call me."
The phone clicked off.
sat behind a wooden desk. Older than sin, Casey knew more baseball than any of
his famous players knew. Even his assistants, Joe and Billy, deferred to Casey
and they never deferred to anyone.
sit down," Casey said. He took a long drag on a cigar. Smoke streamed from
the old man's mouth, but disappeared before it reached Mickey.
and Billy leaned against the wall behind Casey. Neither man looked at Mickey,
embarrassed by this meeting. He knew Casey wasn't going to congratulate him on
the game-winning homer. Oh, god,
Mickey thought. Baseball's all I know.
use beating around the bush, Mick," Casey said with his classic abruptness.
"Your contract is up."
can still play," Mickey said. "I hit three-oh-one this year, with
forty-five homers and one hundred ribbies. And that's not even mentioning the
fact that I won the series for you guys."
get fifteen years, Mick," Casey said. "After that the scientists tell
us the skills begin declining. Something about the life of DNA, but I don't
understand all that stuff. All I know is that the organization wants a younger
“Smugglin’ amber?” Captain Denver, of the starship Reprehensible, spoke in tones filled with injured innocence. “Now why would you be suspectin’ I’d do a thing like that?”
The Customs official, who had
appeared on board as fast as the teleport beam would bring him, eyed
The wealth of the planet Baravia
lies in amber. It is a resin, but unlike Terran amber it appears in a variety of
colours. Black, bronze, copper, greenish-gold, and – rarest and most coveted
– white. The Baravian population spends vast amounts of time and effort
searching for, shaping and selling amber, imposing export taxes on amber, and
preventing the smuggling of amber. Knowing
They found their way to a table where a harassed-looking FIDE official crouched before his computer. “Name?” he snapped.
“Alekhine,” Holroyd replied.
The FIDE official looked startled. “That’s a coincidence for a chess player, Mr Alekhine.”
“Oh, I’m not Alekhine,” Holroyd told him. He proffered the shell. “This is Alekhine.”
The FIDE man’s eyebrows climbed into where his hair had once been.
THE LUNAR LOOP
THE LUNAR LOOP
Hawkins had been pacing himself, but sped up now it was only four kilometers to
Kirch. He already expected to beat Denis Depuytren's time, but wanted to finish
first this stage for the additional points. Depuytren's half-minute head start
wouldn't matter if he pushed hard enough.
needed the extra points, because the handicap had paid off for Denis yesterday:
he'd beaten Chris's time through the Spitzbergens by nine seconds. What made it
galling was that Chris had done the climb up the pass enough times to know it
meter by meter. But Depuytren was no slouch, and had probably explored it just
The glare of Chris's chestfloods showed the regolith directly in front, but beyond that his opponent was a wan mote in the Earthlight, dimmer than the strobe flasher on the tower next to the crater wall. No telling how far ahead. Better ask the crew.
"How far behind Depuytren am I? Can't really see him. Worth a rush?"
"Looks like sixty, seventy meters separation. But here's Jesse."
"So what's up?"
"Your left lower thigh actuator's hot, boss."
"How near to redline?"
Jesse took a moment to answer. "Not too close as far as I can tell."
"All I need to know"
came back on. "
were way back anyway." Chris said and signed off.
rushed on, remembering an old saying from the days of sail. A
stern chase is a long chase. The thought didn’t daunt him, but reminded
him to look in the rearview mirror beside his faceplate.
headlights were way back, twin pinpricks in the darkness. Nothing to worry about
there. It’s between Denis and me, he told himself, increasing his pace even
has the Tour de France, the
race started when two friends hired to test new Lower Extremity Exoskeletons
decided to enjoy their job, at least until the one from GMC-Luna broke down nine
klicks out. No disaster, because striders were designed to carry cargo where no
vehicle could go. The Honda man leaned over to let the other climb up on his
back and lock arms below his faceplate, and the two made it back to Archimedes
with no sweat.
lunar night six guys got together for a fifty-kilometer race, but a year or two
later the run was organized. Then it metastized, the Lunar Loop turned long and
grueling, with rule after rule, with laser timers, factory teams and striders
specially designed for racing.
was the only amateur left, because he could afford his own team, running in the
Hawkin’s Special he’d helped design. The others had carapaces plastered with
logos of sponsoring companies; his hard torso was bare except for the logo of
his favorite charity.
of the few things he enjoyed about his status as a millionaire was being able to
half-kill yourself any way you wanted.
was time, now that he could see Depuytren's back. He called up the strip map of
this stage's end in his helmet display, making sure there were no surprises
ahead before he kicked up the oxygen feed and started his controlled sprint,
careful not to bound too high between steps.
with Depuytren, he thought of Achilles and the Tortoise, wondering if Zeno had
been racing when he conceived the paradox. Not impossible: the Greeks were jocks
and competitive, and called contests agons
– a thought that inspired Chris enough to increase his own agony and pass
Depuytren bare meters before the finish.
collapsed the instant he was through the laser beam, with Denis falling over
him. They helped each other up before their teams gathered round, then waved to
Mohamar as he broke the beam.
So it surprised everyone when
"When can I start?" said
The blond looked up at him. Her hair was piled high on her head and she was chewing gum.
"Ya got the wrong place," she said. "This is Killjo. The library's on the next block."
"I am here to play Killjo,"
"Oh yeah?" she said.
"That is correct," said
"You gotta sign an indemnity," she said, giving him a form. "Ya wife left ya? Ya wanna kill yaself?"
"Not really. Well, yes, my wife did leave me, a long time ago. I think she was bored. I want some excitement now. I want to play Killjo."
"Ya come to the right place," said the blond. "Ya gonna shit yaself."
"I've read about Killjo,"
"Ya ain't done it," said the blond.
"Well, we're going to do
something about that, aren't we?" said
He showered and walked back to the foyer.
The blonde's mouth fell open.
"Ya ain't dead," she said.
"I'm feeling rather good,"
The blond looked at the screen in
front of her. Then she looked at
"Jesus Christ," she said. "Who are you?"
"Jonathon Harrison. You know, I filled out the form."
“You're a professional, aincha?” she said. “It's illegal. I’m gonna call the cops.”
"I'm a school teacher,"
Without taking her eyes of him, the girl lifted the receiver. "Mr. Stevens. Mr. Stevens? Will you come to the foyer, Mr. Stevens? We have a situation here."Mississippi Dragons © 2005 Scott William Carter
Lincoln was acting odd. Sandra noticed it during the third show of the day.
wall-to-wall network processors filled the control room with a steady hum. The
white glow from her three monitors provided the only light. There was barely
room to turn around, and it was unbearably warm. Chicken-scented steam rose from
the cup of noodles on the desk. She was about to reach for the noodles, having
once again been forced to work through lunch, when she glanced through the
window at what was happening down in the arena.
audience – a light crowd, not more than three hundred – was still cheering.
Genghis Khan, his leather robe shredded from
fact, Sandra realized with a chill, he was looking directly at her.
The timekeeper for the 2032 IDITEROC alternately sneered at Gunther Staatz and squinted at his official International Distance Intensive Transportation Efficiency Race Of Champions score clock. “Mr. Staatz, you may go on my mark.” The auditor from Smith Waterhouse stood by, stone faced, watching the countdown approach eight A.M. This was it. The final leg of the race. Gunther could almost taste the prize money: One hundred million US dollars for the winner. Zero for the loser. After two years of planning, Gunther wasn’t going to be the loser. He’d clawed his way through nine sometimes controversial elimination rounds during the last month, ousting five hundred and eleven opponents. His last, unmet, unseen (and soon to be losing) opponent had surpassed another five hundred eleven. The money was his for sure; Gunther would see to that.
"I'll zee you gentlemen after I burn ziss asshole to collect my deci billion," he said. They didn't have to like him, they just had to give him his money.
planted his feet cautiously crossing the icy parking lot from the hotel lobby,
the air freezing the mucous in his nostrils. In
A light dusting of snow covered the car; fortunately it seemed too cold to snow heavily. Gunther instinctively hit the de icer button on the remote as he walked, saving the precious time needed to manually brush off the windshields. Ah, technology; his ace in the hole.
The ice shields slid down, dumping small piles of fine snow, but they moved slower than they ought to have.
“Damn! Should have started it first to recharge the battery,” he cursed into the frigid air. No matter. What’s done is done. Relax.Don’t panic. Gunther calmed himself, and turned the key. The engine gave a pathetic urrr urrr urrr. Fumbling for the battery's remote control unit in the glove box, Gunther noted the meter was seriously in the red, covering the 'D' of 'Dead.' Nonetheless, the battery was designed for this: He pressed the 'super charge' button. Urrr urrrr rrrrrr rrrrrrr.
Now Gunther panicked.
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Last updated on September 9, 2007