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Brane Child

By: David L Morrese

The Brane Skip device may provide a way for humanity to overcome the light-speed barrier and finally head for the stars. It seems like magic to Lisa Chang, the young engineer in command of the first crewed test flight, and Lisa doesn't believe in magic. But she does believe in the mission. Humanity must explore space in order to survive and prosper, and she feels honored to be among the first to go where no one has gone before. She does not know what will happen when the...

The antagonistic magician stepped back and drew another item from a belt pouch. This one looked like either a small cocoon or a large wad of pocket fluff. He gestured more theatrically this time. "Swirling mist on quiet bog "Patient sits a bump on log "Craving flies within the sog "Now thou art a croaking frog!" She could not restrain herself this time and laughed in his dumbfounded face. Rennart backed away, still watching her, his eyes narrowed in a cold, calcula...

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The Warden Threat

By: David L Morrese

And now for something completely different—a humorous science fiction parody of epic fantasy adventure stories—an anti-fantasy book that pokes some good-natured fun at the serious tone and dependence on magic common to many epic fantasy adventure genre novels. There are no dragons here, but there are some androids. This is the story of Prince Donald of Westgrove. He is the idealistic third son of the king, and he comes to believe that he may be the only one able to pr...

Donald held his breath. The great black monolith stood its ground refusing to so much as acknowledge his presence, much less answer his summons. “Maybe you have to do it naked,” Muce whispered, breaking the silence. “What?” The young notso held the prince’s translation of the patched vellum scroll in his hand. “It says here, Naked to the Warden’s love. Maybe that means you have to do it without any clothes on.” “Let me see that!” The prince snatched the paper from hi...

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An Android Dog's Tale

By: David L Morrese

His job is to observe humans and make sure they aren’t doing anything that will upset either their simple lifestyles or the profitability of the Corporation. But MO-126 is not a robot. He is a Mobile Observer android, albeit one in the form of a dog of no remarkable pedigree or distinction. Still, he has free will. He can make choices. After millennia of observing humans, he questions whether the Corporation’s plans for them have priority over those they might choose for...

MO-126 briefly wondered if he could shock the village leader back to reality by biting him but concluded he could not. The headman lived in a different reality. It might not be quite as far away as his sister’s, but in the headman’s world, demons could live in an old woman and steal sheep. In the android’s, people could be irrational and sheep could wander off on their own without any supernatural assistance. The two realities touched in some places, but they were lightyears apart in others.

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