Short Fiction

Short Fiction from issues of Apex Magazine

Economies of Force

by on Sep 2, 2014 in Short Fiction | 3 comments

The Loom came to Rade’s world when he was still a boy, a silent invasion made known to him in the strange quiet at the breakfast table, and, once, the murder of Mr. Sauerbier the town ombudsman, who might, it was rumored, have been one of them. “What are they?” he whispered to Apona Solyom, who sat with him in the back of the class and sometimes made him dizzy with her fierce eyes. “How do I know you’re not one of them?” “It’s complicated,” Apona murmured. She could be very supercilious (a vocabulary word today). “Mom says they have a disease. An idea that makes more of itself. They try to take over the planet with conspiracies or guns, and then they steal ships and...

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Last Dance Over the Red, Red World

by on Sep 2, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

Are you dauntless, Konstantin? Are you happy and sagacious in your high tower, surrounded by your servants and your sycophants? Do you feel safe, with the Death so far below? Don’t. I’m coming for you. I’ve slipped through your gates, and I’m climbing to you with the apocalypse clenched between my teeth like a knife. Twenty thousand miles isn’t far enough, Konstantin. Not after you took Minerva. My daughter. You should have guessed. You should have known what I’m capable of. I should have guessed. I should have known what you’re capable of. From the moment we met, that first deal, that first fuck. We both should have known. This story, our story. It can only end in...

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Jupiter and Gentian

by on Aug 4, 2014 in Short Fiction | 0 comments

Gen walked on the endless, oscillating sea of liquid metal hydrogen and tried, tried to keep her consciousness together. The knight who followed her into the atmosphere, swam through the outer sea of hydrogen with her, he was here too. His armor defied the pressure, his banner defied the heat, and his hands, deep within the boiling, rolling mass of Jupiter. He stood beside a tree that constantly remade itself as it burned and crumpled. “What is higher?” he asked. Like the tree, Gen was continually remaking herself, atom by atom, impulse by impulse, against the continuous roar of the planet. Over and over, she practiced her married signature in a burning diary. She swam....

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The Sandbirds of Mirelle

by on Aug 4, 2014 in Short Fiction | 1 comment

This is my truth: In the autumn of 2309 I crossed from one lonely star to another and took a tour to the sandbird tracks of Mirelle. The only other passengers were a married couple, and our guide was a priest in training. I was eighteen, and it was my first assassination. We met in silence, but as the crawler rumbled off the landing field, the man looked up and said, “So, how easy will it be to find the sandbirds?” He had a broad face and hands with flat, manicured fingernails. A thermal regulator pulsed on his shoulder. “God will guide us, Mr. Lightway,” the priest said. “You really believe that?” The priest laughed. “In this case He won’t have to. The birds hatch in...

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Sister of Mercy

by on Aug 4, 2014 in Short Fiction | 2 comments

Morning, and the frost was thick on ferns already yellow with the changing season. The sun broke from the horizon, thin light stirring the dying insects to crawl for one more day. I pushed the scratchy woolen blankets off my body and stood, shivering, from the bed I made in the meadow. From the small heap of our possessions, I pulled out a gas mask, slipped it over tangled hair. My breath rasped in and out through the filters. Next, a small tin plate and a spoon in my hands. It was time to give Rose her dose. In the center of the clearing, where the clay soil showed red through tufts of dried grass, stood the chamber I’d built for her. The place where my sister would be...

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Ten Days’ Grace

by on Aug 4, 2014 in Short Fiction | 12 comments

Julia Kettan first knew her husband was dead when she looked out the window and saw a car emblazoned with the crest of the Bureau of Family Affairs pull up in the driveway. Her legs went weak, though whether from relief or fear she couldn’t tell. Robert hadn’t come home the previous evening. She’d phoned it in that morning to both the police and the Bureau, not wanting to risk a second major infraction under the Spousal Laws in case anything really had happened, despite being convinced that Robert had just drunk too much after work and decided to sleep at a friend’s. He’d done that before, and each time she’d forced herself to let the Bureau know, just in case. And now...

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