The 97-Year-Old Science-Fiction Writer’s Untimely Time-Machine Computer

by J. J. Steinfeld


The 97-year-old science-fiction writer began to type the final paragraph of his latest novel. In mid-sentence, a distinguished-looking gentleman appeared on the computer-monitor, replacing text.

“What the hell?” the writer growled.

“Greetings,” the monitor-gentleman replied.

“Who are you?”


“I don’t know any damn Herbert.”

“I travelled all this way to help.”

“Get lost!”

“I know about these things.”

“What things?”

“Time travel and writing…”

With his last breaths, the writer fought to get the intruder off his computer-monitor. H.G. Wells shook his head mournfully, saying he should have arrived earlier, but had been having trouble mastering electronic time-travel.

First published in Drabble Harvest #7


J. J. Steinfeld

Canadian fiction writer/poet/playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published 19 books, including Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2015), An Unauthorized Biography of Being (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2016), Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be (Poetry, Guernica Editions, 2017), and A Visit to the Kafka Café (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2018). His stories and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals internationally, and over 50 of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in North America.


Protected Class

by Adam S. Furman


To the citizens and subjects of the Interplanetary Commonwealth:

Because of the abundance of knowledge about the human mind and great strides made in the understandings thereof, the Ministry of Offense has decided to update its Offense Code.  It does hereby recognize individuals identified as IQ-fluid as a protected class.  Any discrimination or harassment of an individual that displays any so-called insufficient knowledge, including but not limited to grammar, spelling, or comprehension, will be met with the same punishment as petty theft under £500.

This decree is effective at the moment your transmission is received.


Minster of a Fence


Adam S. Furman

Adam S. Furman lives in rural Illinois with his family which includes a lot of kids (like…a lot). He generally writes science fiction.

Readers can connect with him on twitter @AdamSFurman.


Nodes and Modes

by Beth W. Patterson


There was no sound in space, but she felt the music of the spheres with her whole body.

The starship had been programmed with pre-recorded songs to break the tedium. But she pined for live music, even more than she missed green grass beneath her feet, a crisp breeze, or sunlight.

And now looking at this newly discovered solar system, she observed planets in orbit forming intervals and chords as they passed one another. She saw harmony in relativity and motion.

How to begin the song? It will be in the key of whatever world she chooses to land on.


Beth W. Patterson

Beth W. Patterson was a full-time musician for over two decades before diving into the world of writing, a process she describes as “fleeing the circus to join the zoo”. She is the author of the books Mongrels and Misfits, and The Wild Harmonic, and a contributing writer to twenty anthologies.

Patterson has performed in eighteen countries, expanding her perspective as she goes. Her playing appears on over a hundred and sixty albums, soundtracks, videos, commercials, and voice-overs (including seven solo albums of her own).  

She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana with her husband Josh Paxton, jazz pianist extraordinaire.


A Breath So Sweet

by Stephen Coghlan


Oh, The Horror!

I must escape!

I must flee!

But sanctuary is so impossibly far.

I gag!

I gasp!

I weep!

It is brimstone, It is cadavers, It is lethal gasses and deadly pollutants.

Hands claw at my throat, tear at my mask to no avail.

Can I not travel faster?

The airlock grows so slowly through the mist.

It burns, I blink away the pain, but my eyes refuse to focus.

There, numb fingers open the hatch, I crawl inside.

Watch the light.

Wait for it to turn green.

Rip off my helmet.




Advice: Never fart in your spacesuit.


Stephen Coghlan

Stephen Coghlan is an ever-expanding, multi-genre author who writes out of Canada’s National Capital.

His works include the Genmos series and the Dreampunk novella, URBAN GOTHIC.

If you like Stephen’s work, you can find him on Twitter as @WordsBySC or check out his website at



by Alex Gounaris

I floated in space, heading for an endless journey through the darkness until I reached my end, my demise.

My suit kept me warm, but I felt so cold. I panted; the only sound, forever.

Everything was dark except for the KB-11 star in the distance, at the edge of the universe. My last sunset.

The debris of my spaceship passed by slowly. Fragments of my old life.

I tried to grab something and hold onto it, but everything was just out of reach. Like my future.

I closed my eyes tightly and prayed for a miracle.

It didn’t come.


Alex Gounaris

Since the early days of his life, Alex would always come up with funny and epic stories to pass the time, as all children do. But this habit followed him later on, up to the point he discovered roleplaying games which were the tool to unleash his imagination and story writing. In no time, he was drafting up countless stories, spending hundreds of hours playing, writing, creating. That was the moment he decided taking his first steps in novel writing. Dozens of short stories and three ghostwritten novels later, Alex is focused on writing his own novel, hoping to bring the joy of the roleplaying games to the hearts of his readers.

If you like Alex’s work, please follow him on WattPad