Two new stories are up today. One is my Women Destroy Sci-Fi flash piece, A Debt Repaid.
When I signed up for Twin Life, I didn’t waste time imagining who I’d be attached to when the time came. All I knew is that I would die one day, and if I didn’t want it to be permanent, Twin Life was my only option.
Bodies are rare these days, Jessica. But heads—we’re everywhere.
The second story is my Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest second-place-winning story, Balance:
“Hellooooo,” said Jamal in his small, sing-song voice. “Convoy computer, helloooo.” The eight-year-old bounced a soccer ball on his knee in front of the access panel. He was supposed to be in class.
“Hello, Jamal,” said the ship’s AI.
“Do I get a new baby brother today?”
“My records indicate that your parents will jointly travel to Hippocrates during their lunch hour to retrieve the next available, fully-gestated clone.”
The boy tossed his ball at the panel and deftly caught it on the rebound. “But is it a brother?” Computers could be so dumb. He’d make them smarter when he grew up.
“The next available clone is that of Nakamura Akane. Her original earned a doctorate in engineering and ship design from the university of–”
“A sister?” Jamal kicked the ball down the hallway. “You’re giving me a sister?” He knocked his forehead against the wall and scrunched his eyes shut in frustration. “Why, computer? What did I ever do to you?”
“I am not in control of the growth patterns. And I had no influence over when your parents submitted their request.”
“Ah, great,” Jamal grumbled. Through the hall came Dr. Seal, his teacher, carrying the scuffed soccer ball. “You had to tattle on me, too?”
“I do not tattle,” said I.C.C. “Dr. Seal inquired as to your location. You are here. I related such.”
“Not cool, man. Not cool.”
“Mr. Kaeden,” Dr. Seal reiterated, standing over the boy. “You are supposed to be in class.”
“You are too,” he mumbled.
“Jamal will have to cohabitate with a sibling soon,” the computer explained. “The fact that he was not consulted on its gender seems to have caused him distress.”
“I’m getting a sister,” Jamal said with a pout.
“Sisters are people too,” said Dr. Seal as he took Jamal by the hand and led him away from the access panel.
Once again, happy reading!