Archive for Flash
Get Me to the Job on Time
Read by Elie Hirschman
“Maybe it’s what you’d do with the knowledge that determines whether or not you’ll discover the secret of time travel.”
“What?” I asked the old man.
“I know for a fact that time travel is possible. I knew the man who discovered it. And you’ll never guess what he used his discovery for.”
Well, I didn’t believe that old man any more than you believe me, but we’d been waiting in that airport for four hours, so I humored him.
“All right, I’ll bite,” I said. “What did he use time travel for?”
“Wally didn’t need to see the pyramids getting built, or sail with Columbus, or even watch JFK’s assassination. What Wally wanted to do, more than anything, was get to work on time.”
An introduction like that demands a story, so I sat down and let him tell me.
Rated PG and now available in a wide variety of colours!
Semi-Autonomous or ‘For Whom The Warranty Tolls
By Jim Kling
Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. Leave a message and I will have him return your call.
Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. He will be hosting his birthday party on Saturday night. If you plan to attend, press ‘one’ and then speak your name. I will add you to the guest list. Otherwise, leave a message and I will make sure he receives it.
Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. My records indicate that you have previously RSVP’d for the Saturday night party. Please indicate your alcohol preference. For beer, press ‘one.’ For wine, press ‘two.’ For mixed drinks, press ‘three.’ If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, press ‘four.’ This information will be used for ordering purposes only, transmitted through my wireless connection to Jim’s refrigerator, which in turn is linked to an online grocery. For more information about AutonomInc’s SmartAppliance line, please view our web site at www.autonominc.com. “AutonomInc: We give a whole new meaning to housework!” If you have a message for Jim, please leave it now.
Read by Jake Squid
It’s going to be the Three of Clubs.
I know this, as certainly as I know my own name. I’m less sure about some things than my fans would think. But sometimes, the swirling laws governing what _may_ happen coalesce into what _will_ happen with astonishing clarity. The sun will rise tomorrow, the Pirates will beat the Mets tonight, and as soon as I announce my “guess,” the Three of Clubs will appear on the monitor in front of me.
“Jack of Spades,” I proclaim, full of conviction.
The monitor flickers, and is suddenly filled by a pixilated version of the Three of Clubs.
Rated PG for…welll, you already know why, don’t you?
The Sincerest Form
By W.G. Hopkins
Bars of light crossed my desk, carved from the sun by the open window. The
scent of hot asphalt rose from the path that led to the capitol buildings.
Beside me, Dr. Singh motioned for the guards to bring in Dr. Norman Terriault. He looked pale. I motioned for him to sit.
The guards stood on either side. The officer saluted.
I closed the window. A faint buzzing hovered in the air.
“Why me?” Terriault asked.
“You must be familiar with the work of the Imitant Office,” Singh consulted his tablet, “Dr. Terriault.”
“I’m just like both of you.” Terriault leaned forward, the guards pulled him back.
“Apparently,” I said.
Be sure to check out Mr. Lerner’s new book, FOOLS’ EXPERIMENTS.
By Edward M Lerner
The lecture hall was pleasantly warm. Behind Prof. Thaddeus Fitch, busily writing on the chalkboard, pencils scratched earnestly in spiral notebooks, fluorescent lights hummed, feet shuffled. A Beach Boys tune wafted in through open windows from the quad.
“And so,” he continued, “travel backwards in time would violate causality, and hence appears to be impossible.” He turned to face the class. “The problem is most commonly illustrated with the ‘Grandfather Paradox.’
A Preference for Silence
By Lucy A. Snyder
Veronica was a spaceworthy lass with a definite preference for silence and a sensitivity to detail. She’d never lost her tea in zero gee and had always been the first to note when the coffee maker needed cleaning or when the fluorescent lights would flick-flicker in signal of the bulbs’ impending death.
Rated PG. Contains hopes that will never be fulfilled.
By Mike Resnick
Arlo didn’t look much like a man. (Not all robots do, you know.) The problem was that he didn’t act all that much like a robot.
It Was Death By a Bullet, But I Was Killed By a Woman
By Michael Bekemeyer
I have a special skill. I am a part of a small group of people on this planet that can do special things with their minds. You have your mind readers, your empaths — and you have people like me who can control things through telekinesis. I have always been able to move things, just by thinking about it. It always came in helpful when playing golf.
Rated PG-13. Models internet behavior you wouldn’t want your children to emulate.
My Angel Gabriel
By J. R. Blackwell
“Becky.” Typed Rachel “I had to ban him. I’m sorry. He was a bot, a spider, a program. He wasn’t human.” Becky’s green words glowed on her screen almost immediately.
“He talked to me! Every day! What do you mean he wasn’t human?”
Rachel exhaled; this was going to be tough. “Didn’t you notice he kept trying to get you to buy games?”
“I like buying games! Who cares? I really liked Gabriel. You two were the only people on this forum I could talk to.”