Meaningful

Stories

The Death and Life of Turing

The silhouette of a face against numbers and circuitry.

I can’t tell you if I’m Riley Anderson, but I do have Riley’s memories. I remember squabbling with Amy over the blue dolphin eraser when we could barely walk. I remember sorting, labeling, and binding my fresh notebook paper before every school year. I remember sacrificing the same eraser, now broken, and the same paper, now used, to my graduation bonfire. And I remember learning that my lymphatic cells had stopped working so they could eat, drink, and be merry. Read more »

Stories

Human Factor

A mothership in front of Earth

Major Sanja Khan fought the feeling that she’d been reduced to a weak, insignificant piece of herself. Disconnected from her craft during critical repairs, her own flesh and bones seemed alien. Her vision narrowed to her front side, making her back prickle as though something were creeping up behind her. Her thoughts were limited by the speed of electrochemical reactions, hazy and sluggish. Read more »

Stories

Real Numbers

A military drone fires two missiles.

War arrived quietly every 2.5 years. After each peace settlement expired, the USR grew bolder, justifying the next conflict with more outrageous claims than before. International authorities became apathetic; allies no longer offered assistance. For years, Chancellor Abby Walsh wasted resources applying for aid. Now she simply scheduled a drone evaluation and stood before her monitors, ready for another fruitless attempt to remedy USR “grievances” through negotiation. Read more »

Stories

The Dreaming Tree

The eyes of a person with a tree overlaid on their forehead.

Lithunsa was dying. The tree’s fabled voice, which once carried as many tones as the temple’s choir, had dimmed to soft cries. Through the long years, Lithunsa’s song had given Pao refuge from hurtful taunts, buoyed him when he felt worthless, and rejoiced with him on sunlit days. The tree was the only one who understood him, or cared to. Now he stood helpless as the leaves crumpled and fell. Read more »

Stories

Contingency

A spaceship flies near a habitable planet.

I am a consciousness in the void. I feel nothing, sense nothing. I have been awake before, a long time before. I become aware of metal and plastic around me – a ship that is my body. Power flows into my processors one by one. I feel engines, reactors. My memory comes back over the course of seconds. Read more »