“The Swan Pilot” by L.E Modesitt Jr.
I eased myself into the control couch of the ISS W.B. Yeats, making certain that all the connections were snug, and that there were no wrinkles in anything. Then I pressed the single stud that was manual, and the clamshell descended. You could call a trans-ship a corade or a cockle guided by will across the sea of endless space. You could, and it would be technically wrong. Technically wrong, but impressionalistically right, and certainly the way it feels when you’re alone in the blackness, balancing the harmonics and threading your way from the light matter and dark matter and faerie dust of overspace, guiding the ship and all it contains out from light and into darkness and then on to another minute isle of solid warmth once again. Or you could refuse to call it a ship at all, nor the ocean it sails a sea.
L.E. Modesitt, Jr., is the New York Times best-selling author of more than 65 fantasy and science fiction novels – including four fantasy series, especially the Saga of Recluce and The Imager Portfolio – a number of short stories, and numerous technical and economic articles. His novels have sold millions of copies in the U.S. and world-wide, and have been translated into German, Polish, Dutch, Czech, Russian, Bulgarian, French, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, and Swedish. His first story was published in Analog in 1973, and his most recent book – Heritage of Cyador – was just released. His next book, out next March, will be Madness in Solidar. Read more at www.LEModesittjr.com
“The Stone Man” by Nancy Kress
JARED Stoffel never even saw the car that hit him. He ollied off the concrete steps of the Randolph Street Rec Center down onto the street and was coming down on his skateboard when wham! his butt was smacked hard enough to rattle his teeth and Jared went down. A second before the pain registered, he threw up his arms to shield his face. The Bird-house went flying—he saw it in the air, wheels spinning, a moment before his body hit the street. All at once he was smothered under a ton of stones he couldn’t breathe he was going to die and someone was screaming but it was mostly the rocks—God the boulders flying to land on top of him, under him, everywhere . . . Everything went black.
Nancy Kress is the author of thirty-three books, including twenty-six novels, four collections of short stories, and three books on writing. Her work has won five Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Most recent work is YESTERDAY’S KIN, a short novel about a surprising about genetic inheritance (Tachyon, 2014). In addition to writing, Kress often teaches at various venues around the country and abroad; in 2008 she was the Picador visiting lecturer at the University of Leipzig. Kress lives in Seattle with her husband, writer Jack Skillingstead, and Cosette, the world’s most spoiled toy poodle. You can learn more at http://sff.net/people/nankress/
Gareth Stack and Anthony Babington
Gareth is a writer and performer who creates comedy series and documentaries for Irish radio. He has been published in Analogue Music Magazine, This Is Not Where I Belong, In Transit, Piranha! Magazine, Explore Magazine, Blue Ireland and Albedo One. You can find him on the web at http://garethstack.com, and on twitter @Garethstack
Anthony is a voice in the internet’s head. He looks almost, but not quite, exactly how you expect him to. He currently resides in Houston, Texas, but hastens to add that it was not his idea. He can be found on Google Plus.