Nine stories of rockets and robots, monsters and Martians, fistfights and beauties, wonders and awe...
An Uncommon Day at the Lake
A selfish diversion to the Martian desert attracts outlaw trouble – and ends with a revelation in the hills!
“You,” snarled Lovely, “tried to kill my man.” She buried a bullet in the upholstery. Pug-face yelped. “But,” she said tightly, “I do have a question.” She aimed at his leg. “Where is that chest?”
Everyone has a bopper but she never seems to bop!
Of course she can only get into places with doors, but most places still have doors, you know. I’m sure you don’t use them any more than I do but next time you bop somewhere, look around. There’s more doors than you’d think.
Tainted by Grace
A has-been assassin is forced to babysit a deadly demongirl!
He raised his head to watch the client's window, seven stories up. The client's lamp was on. Above the eaves, Gideon saw the moon. Within a few seconds Grace had clawed up the side of the building, not as a young woman but as herself...
The Courtship of Jay and Elusivebeth
A young man sets his heart on the intimate companion of the artificial Man in the Moon!
But anyhow, cause of what the Man in the Moon did to cyberspace, eating it up and all, Old Jacks just really hate him and so they hate jammies and since Ellucy is a jammie any Old Jack, even Case, would have to call her Monster. But Ellie my heart is no monster: she's lovely, you know, and the Jacks got no right. Ellie may be nonhuman but she's soft: she's got a girl's body — her body, mine too, now, my wife: Nothing monsterish about my Elusivebeth.
He's certain his neighbor is dead –
and he's got the invention to prove it!
The glow of the device’s readout limned his face in the darkness. He narrowed the device’s temporal range to twenty four hours. Then he walked forward with slow sweeps left and right.
O Po Teef
An essayist ponders an abnormal disproof of
the Reimann Hypothesis!
We all know it, no matter how removed we are from academia. The media, given to ridiculous hoaxes and hysterical gaslighting, and being thoroughly innumerate, amathematical, and generally mid-witted, was well-disposed to spreading the outrageous tale of the Magical Math Proof.
The Escalating Wish
A sea-dwelling traveler from the stars must
grant a wish to a fisherman!
“Oh, Mr. Flounder,” wailed the Hunter, “I told her! Be contented, I says. I begs her, I did,” as plaintively he cried to his pet, “I did, didn’t I, Old Bear,” who panted in confirmation. “But does she ever listen?”
Poof Poof Ya Does Me a Favor
A girl who communes with the planet Pluto hires a boy who
can spray-paint with his mind!
Pluto’s slow, large voice has always been at the back of my mind. I can spend hours doing this or that, waiting for him to finish speaking. He’s as natural to me as my heartbeat. Only when I was four or so did I realize how abnormal it actually was, when I recognized how much it bewildered and worried my parents and I learned not to mention my friend the planet Pluto.
The Impossible Footprint
A daredevil from Jopitar plans an impossible act and
seeks the aid of a girl who cannot burn!
“Jem Toh,” said Toj Qul, “you know that the Interplanetary Law bids we stay to our own worlds, and only by conciliar permission may men travel upon the aethir. I know that neither you nor Dylal O’Lal would ever travel by some outlaw path. Tell me his purpose and we will lawfully work with the Council to welcome Dylal O’Lal.”