Allen, Mike: “The Button Bin”

The Button Bin

by Mike Allen

You know he’s the one who made your beloved niece disappear.

He’s come out of his shop now, fussing with gloves that look expensive, a match to his long glossy overcoat. Glare from the streetlight glints on his bare scalp. Above that light, impotent clouds wall away the moon, render the sky a blank carbon sheet.

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Anders, Charlie: “Suicide Drive”

Suicide Drive

by Charlie Anders

You’re late. If we miss history, it’ll be all your fault.

Nah, I don’t really care. I’m just flinging shit at you. You’re the one who wanted to record my reaction to the big day. It’s down here, past the big sliding door. OK. Now we’re sealed in, although it’s not in full lockdown mode, or else we wouldn’t be able to receive any signals or anything.

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Bernobich, Beth: “A Feast of Cousins”

A Feast of Cousins

by Beth Bernobich

Consanguinity was Cousin Tessa’s new favorite word. The one she whispered to me last week, when we made sticky, bone-crunching love in her bedroom. Tess collected words like pennies, snatching them up from wherever, setting them sideways and spinning them around, before she lost interest and tossed them aside for a newer, shinier word. She did the same with lovers.

Okay, that’s not fair. But as Aunt Louisa would say, it’s true.

Back to consanguinity. Of course Tess knew what it meant. Family. The thicker-than-water blood. She had a point, I guess, because our family does stick close. Thanksgiving. Easter. Baby showers. (Even the Our Lady of Polenta Feast, as my brother Eugene says.) Two things I know. That we’re always celebrating something, and Great—Aunt Gabriella is always cooking an enormous family dinner.

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Bohnhoff, Maya: “Seraphim”


by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

San Francisco Chronicle, December 4, 1896


The latest fake to deceive the credulous

Built of galvanized iron and conveyed to a secluded spot, the airship
was found early this morning. The Seraph of the air spread its
wings like a giant condor and slid down hill in the vicinity of the Sunnyside
House on the Corbett Road and with a peculiar whirring sound, scraped
the paint off its underside.

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Connolly, Tina: “The Bitrunners”

The Bitrunners

by Tina Connolly

The thing about Mars is, they catch you when you yoink stuff.

Criming on Mars is about keeping your nose clean. It’s about please and thank you and slipping the credits and if you have to no-air someone, you do it slick and untraceable. You spike the software on their ship, you make it nice and accidental—nothing cop Station will have to squarely investigate or risk a visit from HQ of the Nine. And you specially stay spotless if you’re a thick-fingered brute Crimer dult who stands to inherit command of the biggest fronting casino of that joy-ridden planet.

Moonbase is another story.

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