Illustration for "The Secret Beach" by Tim Pratt.
@AE: "Last Words" by Chester Burton Brown.
"These aren’t fancy robots, mind you — not your Zorannic types with delusions of sentience or anything. These are regular machines: butlers and security guards and masseurs, nannies and infantry, forklifts and hookers. They are the image of life, and we’re there to witness their simulation of death."@Aurora Wolf: "The Hunt" by Julius Vagdal.
"I watch the bead of sweat as it rolls down the face of the lean merchant sitting across the table. It tracks its way over the edge of his jaw, and down his neck only to disappear under the collar of his stained tunic."@Aurora Wolf: "Captain Bogey of Canine Command: The Ball of Yarn Incident" By Rory Steves.
"Lieutenant Bogey wondered at that; there couldn’t possibly be any fleas aboard Station Frisbee. Bogey paid close attention as the admiral continued."@Aurora Wolf: "Kitchen Life for the Greater Good" by Opal Edgar.
"Young Lord Freeland was repugnant and even he knew it. Why he bothered us with toothpicks was beyond everyone."@Aurora Wolf: "If the Shoe Fits" by John C. Tremblay.
"Had she willingly departed from Oldport to ride with the Lord whose disposition was as sour as his stench, she would’ve swallowed her pride and sent for help."@Anotherealm: "The White Woman" by Robert D. Marion .
"Earon had little time to react before the solar flare exploded beyond the horizon of the heat shield. Doctors called the result “ghosting”. The glare of stellar material is bright enough to cause instant, permanent blindness. The optic nerves die so quickly that the victim feels no pain."@Daily Science Fiction: "Totemkill" by by Sean Vivier.
"Grant drove. Mel had the back seat and Hart took shotgun. Mel snorted. "Sign looks like a coat-of-arms."@Daily Science Fiction: "Regret Incorporated" by Andy and RJ Astruc.
"What's that?" Grant asked.
"That road sign. Stag Rampant, Sable on Or."
Grant had a smile in his voice, if rebuke in his words. "I'm pretty sure that means deer crossing."
"Again, nothing to worry about. He tried to stay cool but he could feel his palms sweating around the pen. It was no big deal though. Just a form. Marcus told himself to stop thinking about it, that thinking was only going to make him freak out more"@Daily Science Fiction: "The Last Seed" by Ken Liu.
"When Linda was in kindergarten, telescopes and probes produced the first fuzzy images of distant planets orbiting faraway stars."
@Fantasy Magazine: "The Secret Beach" by Tim Pratt.
"Though I’m the kind of person who uses the self-checkout line at grocery stores just to avoid the necessity of small conversation with a human cashier, I blurted out, 'Hey, where were you guys swimming?'"@GigaNotoSaurus: "Jackstraw Magic" by Eljay Daly.
"I don’t need a name, a past, a history, to draw a crowd. I’m nobody, and they watch to see me fail–but I don’t, and I laugh from the joy of it. I flash the bottles from hand to hand in the hot dawn, flash and catch, throw."
@LightSpeed: "Her Husband’s Hands" by Adam-Troy Castro.
"They opened the box and showed her Bob’s hands, resting side by side on a white pillow. The left one lay palm-down, the right one palm-up. The one that was palm-up twitched and waggled fingers at Rebecca when it saw her."@Philippine Genre Stories: "Escape" by Dean Francis Alfar.
"The last foe fell to the blows of the Whirling Lobster’s good claw, emitting a tart smell as it melted in the dappled forest floor."
@Ray Gun Revival: "Eternal Virus" by Steve Stanton.
"Her house had been locked all day. Of that, Niko could be certain. She had standard webcam surveillance, touch-sensitive alarms, failsafe measures. She lived in suburbia, a single girl safely ensconced in the anonymity of urban sprawl, her illegal nest impregnable to all but the most violent means of forced entry, her vigilance meticulous. There was absolutely no way anyone could have infiltrated the perimeter without her knowledge."@Short Story Me: "A Duel To The Undeath" by John C. Wilson.
"Gilroy limped backwards, uncertain of what had just happened. Cullen’s blade had found the exposed flesh just above the chausses of his right leg, but his enemy did not press his advantage."@Strange Horizons: "Destiny, With a Blackberry Sauce" by David J. Schwartz.
"Another thing that happened was that I caught this fish, this gorgeous fat salmon, and it said that it would grant me a boon if I let it go. I said I was pretty hungry so I'd pass."
@Author's Site: "The Journals of Doctor Mormeck (Mountain)–Entry #21" by Jeff VanderMeer.
"Any organism can die, even a mountain. For a person it might be a spore in the eye that burrows into the brain, or a paper cut that creates an opening for more serious infection. For a mountain it might be love unreturned"@Kat and Mouse: "Into The Woods - Part Two" by Abner Senires.
"Another photo, this one of a lantern-jawed man with dark eyes half-hidden by a grease-stained khaki ball cap and sporting a day's worth of stubble. The caption on the photo identified him as Sam Cutter, our hired pilot."@More Red Ink: "Exo-Skeleton Town - part two, part three, and part four" by Jeffrey Ford.
"I would have rather sat on the bowl backwards for a year than take that space flight. It seemed endless, but I spent my time reading books about ancient movies and dreaming what I would do with all my gold after I scored my load."@Ray Gun Revival: "Thieves’ Honor Episode 16: Game Change" by Keanan Brand.
"Finney clomped back and forth across the wheelhouse, one hand at the radio on her belt, the other hand resting on the butt of a pistol, half of a mismatched pair she’d bartered off an old merchant in the Horatio market."
@Fantasy Magazine: "The Secret Beach" by Tim Pratt, read by Christian Rummel.
@LightSpeed: "Her Husband’s Hands" by Adam-Troy Castro, read by Kathe Mazur.