Posts Tagged ‘wilson fowlie’

EP449: An Understanding

Show Notes

This story was a finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest.


An Understanding

by Holly Heisey

The sun on Joppa was a deeper red than I remembered, and the blocky shapes of this dusty town I did not remember at all. I passed the sign for Hann River Landing and walked down the main street. There were few people about, mostly women and young children, the mothers dressed in plain cotton and linen and the children ratty, if not mostly clean. The women watched me with a glare reserved for strangers that they must not have used for some time. There were no aircars, no groundcars, no visible signs of industry. Trees around the houses boxed them in at odd angles, some branches bending to stop abruptly in the air. The Time Walls were tight here.

I checked the bridge tethering me to Aijas Normal time on my ship in orbit, and checked my rate of sync with local time. It was a strain, to be held in two times at once. I would not stay here long.

I scanned into the minds around me, looking for that one particular voice I’d caught two hundred and twelve lightyears out on a wave of Kaireyeh. A young woman. I felt her here, the barest scent of her, and turned down 2nd Street and then onto Acada Lane. The houses on Acada Lane were spaced twenty and thirty feet apart, no more than thirty or forty feet wide, with trimmed lawns of brown grass. Children played in a yard down the street. It was all so quiet that if I turned off the voices for a moment I could hear the rhythm of the Time Walls around me. Beats barely forming measure. I quickened my pace.

Her house was one-story with peeling blue paint and white plastic trim. I climbed up the three steps to the creaking porch and since there was no button for a caller rapped my knuckles on the door.

I waited. I searched for her mind again–yes she was here. I rapped again. I rubbed a small circle of dust off the door window and peered inside. I did what I had not wanted to do but was necessary now and touched her mind. She gave an inner start and I withdrew quickly, leaving behind only the thought that she must open the door; I was a friend.

The door rattled and jerked inward. A slim, red-haired woman looked back at me with almond eyes. Her skin was a dusky tan, typical for Joppan natives. She looked up at my ice-white face, a face that would never be typical in any situation, and I remembered my eyes to blink. I saw and felt her shudder. (Continue Reading…)

EP332: Overclocking


Overclocking

By James L. Sutter

They’re waiting for him when he comes out of the tank.  Whether plainclothes or just another pair of clockers, he can’t quite tell, but the way they avoid looking in his direction tips him off in a heartbeat.  When Ari Marvel walks by, you _look_.

They start drifting idly in his direction, and that clinches things.  Reaching down into the lining of his pocket, Ari palms the whole batch and trails his hand over the edge of the bridge railing.  The brittle grey modsticks crumble with ease, and by the time the two have dropped their cover and made the sting he’s moved smoothly into position, hands against the brick and legs spread wide.  The pigs don’t even thank him for being so efficient.  The patdown’s rougher than necessary, but after a minute they throw their hoods back up and move off down the street.

Ari runs his hands through his faded blue-green spikes, then takes the stairs down to the tube.  A beginner might have lingered at the railing and thought about all the time and money now floating down the culvert, but Ari doesn’t look back.  Necessary expenditures.  Expected losses.

It’s just business, baby. (Continue Reading…)

EP306: Radio Nowhere


Radio  Nowhere

By Douglas Smith

On the anniversary of the worst night of his life, Liam stood outside the darkened control room of the campus radio station. Over the speakers, the Tragically Hip’s “Boots and Hearts” was just winding down. Behind the glass in the studio, Ziggy’s small triangular face glowed like some night angel, lit from below by her laptop screen. She looked up, her eyes finding Liam’s in the darkness. Smiling, she wrinkled her nose at him. His own smile slid away, falling into the dark place inside him, the place that was always darker on this night.

Ziggy turned back to the mike as the song ended. “I’m closing with a request from an old friend, to an old friend. This one’s for Jackie, from Liam. A hurtin’ song, cuz he’s still hurtin’. Fifteen years ago tonight…” She looked at him through the glass.

Fifteen years. He closed his eyes. Fifteen years, and it still hurt this much.