Still in shock, Cassie Morant slumped in the cockpit of the empty hopper, staring at the two viewplates before her.
In one, the planet Griphus, a blue, green and brown marble wrapped in belts of cloud, grew smaller. Except for the shape of its land masses, it could have been Earth.
But it wasn’t. Griphus was an alien world, light-years from Sol System.
A world where nineteen of her shipmates were going to die.
And one of them was Davey.
On the other viewplate, the segmented, tubular hull of the orbiting Earth wormship, the Johannes Kepler, grew larger. Cassie tapped a command, and the ship’s vector appeared, confirming her fears.
The ship’s orbit was still decaying. She opened a comm-link. Continue reading
“Time is a partial order!” said Ralf, beside himself with excitement.
I only half listened; Ralf was beside himself often enough to be classified a twin. My attention was focused on the bulletin board, adorned with announcements of upcoming conferences, visiting dignitaries, new monographs, job notices and other thumbtack-worthy events that constituted the lifeblood of the Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität’s Mathematics Department. There were, per usual, no faculty postings from Australia. 1930 was turning out to be a dismal year.
“What is?” I asked Ralf, still not paying any real attention. His spheroid eyes brightened in anticipation. The enthusiast lives to infect.
“Time, Carl. Time is a partial order.” Ralf added a suspenseful pause.
Partial orders, I remembered, were one-way relationships between pairs of things; relationships like ‘father-of ‘, ‘taller-than’ and ‘greater-than’
“But here’s the neat thing, see.” Ralf almost Daffy-Duck’ed his words out in his haste to reel me in.
“It works in reverse as well. Take a set. Any set. Add a partial order. Voila, you have just made things temporal. No cycles, you see. You follow?”
I knew exactly how to irritate him. Continue reading
MantaRay is an indie publisher of comics & graphic novels, based out of Bangalore, India. They publish The Small Picture, a weekly comic in Mint newspaper.
Mixtape is their first anthology, their attempt at building a platform to showcase short comic stories by new, upcoming and established comic creators. It’s a collection of 4 diverse stories each one different in style and treatment from the other.
Mixtape is priced at INR 55/- in a DRM-free pdf / cbz format, and can be bought from https://www.instamojo.com/mantaraycomics/
Pratheek Thomas, Founder Manta Ray Comics Interviewed by ISF:
ISF: How has MixTape been received?
Pratheek: In terms of numbers, I think these are very early days (It’s just been a few
months weeks (edit) since we released Mixtape). We are doing more Mixtapes and more comics (like ‘Twelve’, our first series) in the months to come, and that should bring in more readers and more visibility. So, it’s very possible that new readers of future Mixtapes will read the older issues. And since it’s digital, there is no shelf life or expiry date for Mixtape. I’d be more interested to see what the numbers are a year from now.
~ 900 words
About the Author:
Sarah is a writer of science-fiction and fantasy roleplaying games. She is the author of the ENnie Award-winning RPG setting of Mindjammer, the techno-fantasy RPG setting The Chronicles of Future Earth; and the Legends of Anglerre roleplaying game.
She’s writing Zero Point, a series of globe-spanning World War 2 adventures for the Achtung! Cthulhu RPG setting, published by Modiphius; the ‘Great Game’ campaign for the Steampunk Leagues of Adventure RPG from Triple Ace Games; and The Worm Within, the first Chronicles of Future Earth novel, to be published by Chaosium, Inc. in 2013.
She lives in a field in rural France, surrounded by numerous farmyard animals.
Old Earth has seeded the stars in vast, slower-than-light ships, their crews frozen in stasis fields. They’ve formed colonies light years apart and have lost any commonality with the Core Worlds.
Faster-than-light (FTL) travel makes it possible for New Commonality of Humankind to re-discover these worlds colonized in the distant past. Starships spread out from Old Earth to contact the thousands of new worlds, but find that the colonies have lost all memory of Old Earth. The colonies, over the thousands of years, have evolved beyond recognition—some of their populations are no longer human.
~ 600 words
About the Author:
Graduated from King’s College London longer ago than seems possible, and went on to work in kid’s TV for over 10 years making promos for Disney and Cartoon Network. Perhaps as an antidote he writes gritty, epic science fiction; forever his first love.
Surviving his ongoing obsession with fast motorbikes and flirtation with the underrated virtual worlds of videogames, he somehow found time to put to paper his long-gestating scifi epic. Influenced by the great space opera of Peter F Hamilton and Yokinobu Hoshino, as well as a lifetime of digesting the classics of Greg Bear and Arthur C Clarke, he lives and breathes SciFi in all its forms.
He lives in London with his awesome cat.
“Have you ever wondered what it would be like if we were a molecule of water?” she asked me.
I shook my head, looking down at our reflections in the puddles as they quivered with each drop of rain that hit them. In my hand was a wet cigarette, soggy with its unfulfilled destiny, and in her hand was an unopened umbrella.
The rain was unrelenting. We walked on nonetheless.
She took my hand in hers, and gestured expansively with the umbrella. “We could see the whole world. We could fly with the clouds, swim in the rivers and streams and lakes and seas,” she said.
I smiled and nodded. I hadn’t seen much of the world. It would indeed be good to travel. I hoped I had left the rest of the cigarettes at home. Continue reading
~ 4000 words
The problem with having a crush on your mad scientist boss is, every day she doesn’t see how wonderful you really are seems like the end of the world.
“This is all wrong!” says Dr. Hildegarde Medici, hurling the tray across her cavernous secret laboratory. “You’re a complete imbecile, Glue!”
Her words sting, but at least she’s paying attention to me. I’ll take what I can get from the woman I love. “I’m sorry, Dr. M. Please let me try again.”
“Everything is ruined.” With one arm, Dr. Medici sweeps notebooks and glass beakers from the table in front of her. “Now I’ll never finish the doomsday weapon today!”
Another Day in Paradise
(Click to view the gallery)
Artist: Matthew Attard (View his artwork here) Continue reading