I'm very proud to present another five compelling stories for your entertainment. The issue begins with "They Breed Like Flies" by Jeff Walden, a fun, detailed look at the social behaviors of an alien society. The story focuses on a creature at the edge of adulthood as he navigates his own cultural institutions and encounters a human first contact party (8000 words). The second story in our line-up is darker than we normally publish; Rich Larson's "We Are Destroyers" is a story about an AI-controlled commune that is attacked by religious fanatics (2700 words). Our third story is also an AI story: "All That Is Solid" by Chris Barnham. The story is about an emergent empathetic AI that is dismantled out of concern over potential repercussions (4330 words). Next we have "The Little Gods" by Jamie Wahls, a story about what it's like for parents to watch their enhanced child become vastly more intelligent and capable than them. It's a nice short story with a nice ending (1700 words). Our last story, "Down and Out" by Ken Wharton, is a fascinating piece of world-building. The narrative revolves around members of an alien water-dwelling species as they make incredible discoveries about their world (6600 words). "Down and Out" is excerpted with permission from Science Fiction by Scientists: An Anthology of Short Stories published by Springer Science + Business Media.
I'm ecstatic to present another four amazing stories for your entertainment. The issue begins with "the Undertow Jackpot" by Karl El-Koura. You really don't want spoilers for this one, so I'll just say that it's a story about parenthood and human nature. The second story in our line-up is a short one, Rich Larson's "TrashureIsland." It's about a positive application of augmented reality. Our third story is one of the best time travel stories I've ever read: "the Law of Diminishing Returns" by Dominic Teague. The story is full of dark humor and smart plot devices. Rounding out issue 3 is the longest story we've published to date, "Intent to Occupy" by Ronald D. Ferguson. "Intent to Occupy" has the feel of golden age science fiction, bringing a wonderful human element to the asteroid belt.
I'm excited to present an incredible line-up of stories in our second issue of Compelling Science Fiction! Our first story, Michael Ryder's "Crinkles," takes place on a space station and witnesses the birth of an emotional AI. We continue this off-world trend with "Seeds of War" by Tommi Virtanen. "Seeds of War" is a short first-contact story from the perspective of the contacted, and that's all I'll say to avoid spoilers. Our third story, "Personal Trainer" by Meg Elison, provides our second unique take on mind transference (see this story from issue 1 for a different kind of mind transference). Next comes the longest story we've ever published, "Oelinium," by Steve Rodgers. "Oelinium" clocks in at around 8000 words, and does the difficult job of introducing a sprawling universe in short-story form. Rounding out this issue is "Twiceborn," by C.L. Kagmi. "Twiceborn" is told from the perspective of an ancient race trying to survive xenocide. I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I did!
This first issue contains five excellent (dare I say, compelling) stories. We start with Lawrence Buentello's "Gaia's Children," an intense tale about planetary colonization. Our second story, Aaron Wright's "Reflection," gives a glimpse into the life of a sentient hospital. We follow that up with "Mean and Clean" by Marie DesJardin, a lighthearted look at a unique alien life-form. "Opportunities for Lost Children" by James Beamon comes next, giving an interesting take on mind transference. Rounding out our lineup is "the Art of Failure" by Robert Dawson, an exhilarating first contact situation with a clever resolution.