Imaginary Materials

Photo by: Fatima Fakier Deria

Evan finally attended the Speculative Fiction Writers conference. Luckily veteran scifi writer, Gordon Peck, agreed to show him around.

“The whole thing is held on a holodeck where anything is possible,” explained Gordon as they crossed a canal.

Evan noticed the bridge had no supports to hold it up. “Why isn’t this bridge falling?”

“It’s made with hovertonium.”

A crashing shuttle craft nearly hit them, but Gordon deflected it with a wave of his hand.

“My personal shield.” Gordon explained. “Made with handwaveium.”

At lunch, Evan said, “This sandwich just cured my writer’s cramp!”

“Of course,” said Gordon. “It’s made with bolognium.”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers:

Author’s Notes:

In speculative fiction, fictional materials often come into play. Lately, I just learned about Bolognium. I had a good laugh over it and couldn’t resist a little double entendre with it.

Bolognium (fictional element): “Noted science fiction writer David Gerrold attributes the use of the term in science fiction writing to Larry Niven, the author of Ringworld, who used it to describe imaginary materials or processes capable of explaining properties unachievable through known or scientifically-postulated means…”,_materials,_isotopes_and_subatomic_particles

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The Explanation

It had been 400 years since most of humanity left Earth. The air was breathable once more and the tourist trade on humanity’s former home rose. Joann took her daughter Darcy around to visit the old ruins.

They stood before a crumbling mosque in Turkey while Joann tried to explain Earth’s ancient culture.

“It was a church,” said Joann. “People went there to fill up on happiness when they felt worried or sad.”

“You can get happiness from a church?” wondered the 8-year old.

“No. It’s like I’ve always told you, happiness is a choice. People didn’t know that, so they thought churches would give it to them.”

“Oh, right. So that building in Manhattan was a church too, right?”

“Well, not really.”

“But you said people went there to fill up on happiness but it didn’t really work.”

“I did, Honey, ” sighed Joann. “People just called that building a Bank.”
Written for What Pegman Saw:

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The Loss

Photo by: Susan Spaulding

Paige and Dan were leaving the graveyard when they saw the robotic dogs beside a headstone.

“Aw, look at them,” sighed Paige. “They’re crushed.”

“How they be?” said Dan. “They’re robots.”

“Not just robots. They’re Collie 3.0 models. They’ve got ACEs.”

“What’s an ACE?”

“Artificial Consciousness Emulator. They’re sentient. They actually experience emotions. Probably feeling the loss of their master and grieving.”

When the pair walked on, Dobie said, “I thought they’d never leave.” He started digging at the grave.

Fritz contacted Dobie through short-range radio and said, “Dobie, you’ve got to settle down. You’re experiencing a terrible loss.”

“I am. It’s awful,” said Dobie, digging furiously.

“Well, Jon has died. It’s what’s happens with humans. You’ve got to come to terms with that. We’ll always live longer.”

“Oh, I’m totally fine with it. I will miss his throwing arm, though.”

“Then why are you digging him up? You can’t get him back.”

“I know that!” grated Dobie. “Those idiots at the funeral home buried him with my favorite ball!”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction:

Author’s Notes:

I apologize for not posting in a while. Life takes all my time, sometimes.  😉 The concept of an ACE will be appearing in a longer work soon.

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Sergeant Roarke

Photo by: Susan Spaulding

The tour guide led the group through the heavy stone walls of the bunker. Children ate ice cream. Parents wore touristy clothing they wouldn’t be caught dead in at home.

“Aliens were coming,” said the tour guide. “One after the other, human colonies fell. So Sergeant Roarke directed the colony to construct this bunker. It protected against all manner of radiological and biological attacks. It was armed with heavy lasers, normally only found aboard battleships. Nuclear artillery guns dotted the outer walls and massive construction robots were converted to military use.”

“And that’s why they won!” said little Vivian, chocolate sprinkles on her cheek.

“Not quite,” said the guide. “Most of the bunker’s weapons were destroyed during the alien attack. Sergeant Roarke charged outside and personally destroyed the remaining alien battle tanks and killed 100 alien troopers when they surrounded him. His effort broke the back of the alien assault.”

“What a great sacrifice he made,” said Harry, Vivian’s father.

“Oh, he survived, but died shortly after the battle.”

“Succumbed to his wounds. So sad.”

“Oh he was fit as a fiddle!”

“So how did he die?”

The guide shrugged. “Slipped in the shower and broke his neck.”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction:

Author’s Notes:

This was inspired by the real life Sergeant York, American hero from World War One. From Wiki:
“After his platoon suffered heavy casualties and 3 other noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Cpl. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading seven men, he charged with great daring a machine gun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machine gun nest was taken, together with 4 officers and 128 men and several guns.”

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Really Different

Dr. Guzman saw her in obvious distress at the side of the road. He stopped the car and rushed to her aid.

“What are you doing here?” he said. “Aliens just landed and all of San Ignacio de Velasco is evacuating!”

The woman pulled open her blouse, revealing her swollen belly.

“Oh, pregnant? I can help.”

He pulled her blouse open further, and that’s when he saw the tiny humanoid body in her side. Everything was out but the head.

“Ah…you’re the alien!”

“Sorry. It’s an emergency.”

He pointed to the humanoid. “This is how you give birth?”

She chuckled. “We give birth like you humans. It’s Our sex act that’s really different. Unfortunately, my husband is little help with my problem.”

“An abandoning father? The brute! So what’s this?” He pointed to the tiny humanoid jutting from her side.

“I told you our procreation is different. That’s my husband.”
Written for What Pegman Saw:

Author’s Notes:

I have no idea how this will be received. It’s strange I know. As wacky and bizarre as this is, it’s not my idea. There is a precedent for this right here on Earth.

when Anglerfish reproduce, the male, which is 40 times smaller, fuses with the female. Just the back end of his body sticks out her side. I told you. I didn’t make this stuff up. Nature is better at it.

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Magic Boots

Photo by: Courtney Wright

Norton’s clothes were dusty and worn out. He was tired. He took his boots off and dipped his feet in the creek to cool off.

Old Sheriff Tillerson didn’t abide no hobos.

“Those boots look wore out,” he said.

“Yeah, but they’re magic boots.”

“Magic? Doin’ whut?”

“Protecting me from harm.”

“Shee-it! You took them boots from another hobo, didn’tcha?”


“Didn’t help him none, did they?”

Tillerson reached for the boots.


The boots kicked Tillerson clear into the creek.

“What in hayull?” shrieked Tillerson.

“I did get ’em from another man,” said Norton. “But I asked him nicely.”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers:

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The Disappointing Return

Photo by: Yinglan Z.

Everyone knows about The Devil’s Triangle, but few heard of The Harrowing Hexagon. Army pilot, Greg Handy, accidentally flew his trainer aircraft into it and entered a strange shimmering cloud in 1941.

Transported to an alternate world, he landed on a remote Pacific island, loaded with beautiful island girls. A disease had killed off most of the men. Add to it, only one in five births produced a boy. To restock their men, these lovely women needed to get pregnant, and often.

Greg rose to the occasion, and did his very best to help out, contientious soul that he was. One day the same cloud returned and sent him back to his home, although in 2018.

He hadn’t aged much in the islands and was biologically in his thirties.

He soon learned about virulently polarized politics, terrorism, and mass school shootings. A reporter learned of his amazing story and asked him, “You must have many questions about this new and amazing modern world. What would you ask?”

He stared with bloodshot eyes. “How do I get back?”
Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers:

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