Fiction Issue Runner Up
Because the sunlight is stronger than ever as it passes through the thinning atmosphere, we are moving to the city. The plastic dome provides the protection Nature cannot. There is no room for pets. I am letting Marek and Beldine free in a dried–up riverbed.
– Thirteen-year-old Briana Monte, 5248 A.D.
Ithaca, New York — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is formally listing the Mialto leopard, a small, forest–dwelling, omnivorous leopard, as endangered. This action permanently protects the leopard under the Endan- gered Species Act of 4380.
– U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service press release, 4465 A.D.
Researchers Find the Cure for Zombies: Reign of Flesh
– A novel by Lena Landi, 2083 A.D.
Mars, Day 5
When the spaceship Emeritus took us from Earth, I imagined I would see the blue and green beauty pictured in the history holos from ancient sat- ellites. I thought modern images of Earth were forbidden because they had more important things to do with satellites than let the populace see our beautiful planet. I suppose it is important to keep the populace in the dark, so to speak, but it was rather a shock to me. The seas, a vibrant blue in the holos, are now a muddy gray. The continents once covered in lush greenery are a light dusty brown from the equator to the tropics; from there, they gradually fade into green spotted with the white and gray domes of our cities. Although I knew from Academy that the icecaps melted long ago, it was still an oddity to see Antarctica, brown and barren, and the gray sludge that caps the North Pole.
The rest of the flight was uneventful, and I’ve had time only to unpack and become barely acquainted with the city. New Canada is quite as I imagined it, only now I am here. My home is on the 608th floor, spacious in comparison to the hovel I was residing in on Earth. My neighbors have an accent, how marvelous! The last time I met someone who spoke a variant of New English was as a child, before we moved to the city. I have a wife arranged for me. The holos of her are quite stunning, though she does have the elongated face of those born on Mars. I am to meet her tomorrow.
– From the private journal of Lanyon Corma, 5268 A.D.
The soft tiles glisten white under my feet, reflecting the bronze and silver of the bars. The last monkey on Earth lives in that cage, and his name is Billy. He doesn’t screech; he doesn’t shriek. He moans, a long eerie sound echoing against the flatness of his artificial home.
– Excerpt from “A Visit to the Zoo” by Leonard Metro- philius, 3428 A.D.
Step 8: Pull zipper entirely closed.
Step 9: Pull on helmet.
Step 10: Attach oxygen tank hoses to helmet.
Step 11: Press button to seal helmet.
– From “18 Steps to Safety in a Lava Flood,” published 2987 A.D.
Flatmuffs: These full body protective suits have a retro design of Twenty–Eighth Century fiber–optic petals. Although the fiber–optic petals serve no purpose, they relieve the boredom of a six–month night in an Antarctican city.
– From a transcript of Holo- Bay listings, 3140 A.D.
1. adj. Of or having to do with antigravity.
2. adj. Consisting of or produced with antigrav- ity fibers.
3. noun physics The principle of the control resistance to gravity having been imparted to objects.
– Cambridge Dictionary of the Modern Era English Language, 3814 edition.