Jason Erik Lundberg‘s fiction is forthcoming from Subterranean Magazine and Polyphony 7.

Trent Walters, poetry editor at A&A, has a chapbook, Learning the Ropes, from Morpo Press.

Alex Dally MacFarlane’s story “The Devonshire Arms” is available online at Clarkesworld.

Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

Archive for the ‘Ken Brady’ Category

Full Stop

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Revolutions just aren’t what they used to be. Technology improves, timelines shrink, we all forget this shit used to take years – even decades. Now it happens between status updates. Because of status updates.

Today started like any other. Get up, check the news streams, stock prices, send the standard series of trend analysis bots out to look for anomalies. Make some coffee and send adjustment bots out on triage missions.

A small worker uprising in Kuala Lumpur could affect tin supplies. Rez an entire colony of small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri into the middle of Tokyo and use the power of cute to distract. Tweak and reassess, tweak and reassess. It’s what I did. What we all did. Trust me, things are more connected than they seem.

First – about noon today – they came for the stand-up comedians, and I didn’t speak out. Radio and talk-show hosts, late-night TV hosts, even fringe webshow hosts. I’m all for a funny one-liner, but it’s not like entertainment would be a barren wasteland without these guys, right?

Never underestimate funny or the power of funny to keep the mind distracted.

A few hours later they came for the small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri, and I didn’t say anything. I watched the live streams from their death camps, thousands upon thousands of the little guys tossed into fires, burned alive. But, I mean, who gives a fuck? They’re just small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri, after all. Aren’t they?

Never underestimate the power of cute or the removal of cute from society.

And around dinner time they came for me, and found a husk of a man, sitting in his chair, eyes fixed on walls of data. I’d been gone a long, long time by then. There was no one left to speak for me.

But the revolution can’t end when they can’t find you. When you’re distributed. When you’re everywhere.

In the age of the internet, nothing ever really goes away.

Make Room

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The first wave came through fragile and could hardly stand on their own. A few dozen of them from each makerbot, barely half a meter tall, gray, unfinished. They opened their mouths slowly, closed them again, as if in anguish, but no sounds escaped the holes where their mouths should have been. When they raised swords above their heads, their arms could not bear the weight, and snapped off.

Once we figured out their ill intent we were able to stop them with a well-placed boot, a whack with a broom. We dropped a few in the fire just to be sure they were no more than simple resin.

But they learned quickly.

In moments, the next wave through were bigger, sturdier. Fast, less brittle, still resin but flossed through with fibers. They carried rifles that looked convincingly like AK-47s. They shot and killed several security guards before we were able to set fire to the lot.

And then the onslaught. Wave upon wave, each bigger, faster, meaner, and more solid, until they were unstoppable.

Turning off the breakers did no good, and the reservoirs of resin were empty regardless. Power and materials were coming through from the other side.

They were made of carbon, glowing liquid, scrap metal, garbage. Those who didn’t shoot or hack at us simply sat down, piling up in the corners, in the alleyways, in the ditches, in the gaps between cars.

And then there were no gaps. On our side at least.

Resources, we learned, were not everything. Sometimes you just run out of places to put things.

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