Alien Intent

Published in Wild Chrome.

Tyll’x sat at the table with his hands cuffed. He gazed out the single window, looking beyond the starport platforms to the fields of blue talif, an indigenous wheat grass that covered the higher plateaus. The grass tops shimmered in the blue-white light and the stems bent and swayed in the back draft of the ships entering the starport. He seemed mesmerised by the way the talif swirled in chaotic patterns, thousands of propeller shaped seeds breaking away and floating up in spirals, drawn into the wake of the engines.

Autumn Leaves Falling

Published in Cosmos Online. Reprinted in Wild Chrome.


The nurses were gorgeous. I had seen so many at other clinics, but the nurses here were special – long legs, dark, storm-tossed hair, confident smiles.


Published in Flesh & Bone: Rise of the Necromancers anthology.


The trucks rolled in along the empty streets, kicking up a cloud of dust like smoke from a funeral pyre. There were three of them – long, articulated, 56 wheelers – covered in road grime and graffiti. They were called road trains in another time and now the sound of them rumbling into the city stirred our bellies.


Published in Antipodean SF #156.

As far as birthdays go, I am not looking forward to mine.


Published in Wild Chrome. Finalist 2012 Aurealis Awards Best Short SF category.

Mark visits the store every Thursday morning. I don’t like homeless kids lingering in the alley out the back, but I make the exception for Mark. There’s a smart lad beneath that dirty face and hair, though there’s something distant in his brown irises, something with a calloused edge that should never have found its way into the eyes of a 12 year old.


published in Winds of Change anthology.

The shore is a lonely place. Shingle crunches beneath my feet and the sound of the ocean grows distant, melancholy. I bid farewell to the Unity, my voice carrying through the allhost to the far corners of our realm. I hear their replies only faintly now, they wish me well on my quest, but I sense their trepidation, their fear at what I might find.


Published in Cosmos Magazine #38. Reprinted in Wild Chrome. Honourable Mention in The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol 29. He’d had enough of watching the days deteriorate. The time had come to investigate the thing that caused the breaking of the world.


Published in Simulacrum #13.

She ran and hugged him, hoping with all her heart that this was not some illusion extracted from her memories by the AI. “Rob, are you …” she gagged on her words, finally catching sight of his eyes. “Oh my god, what have they done to you? What have they done?”


Published in Cosmos Magazine #25. Reprinted in Wild Chrome. Reprinted in You’re Not Alone anthology. Finalist 2009 Aurealis Awards Best Short SF category.

The human parts of my father’s face and body were impossibly emaciated. He blocked the doorway, unshaven and disoriented, squinting at me through his watery Nikons.


Published in Daily Science Fiction. Reprinted in Rocket Dragons Ignite: Daily Science Fiction Year Two anthology.

Meet me on the boulevard when the sunset casts a scarlet haze over the windows and awnings. Perhaps we can walk for a while and listen to the gulls along the quay.


Published in Novus Creatura anthology. Reprinted in Wild Chrome.

Spain was in a sultry mood as he strode with his friends along the boulevard, the evening lights glittering umber and gold in the puddles left from the qualia storm.


Published in Antipodean SF #166.

Conrad Balantine betrayed humanity.


Published in Aurealis #48. Reprinted in Wild Chrome. Then his eyes latch onto mine, forcing their way down like twin beacons. Blue irises radiate lines of black and amber flecks, like the charred aftermath of a bushfire, compelling, irresistible. Something rises in me from a dark and lonely wellspring. What misery I felt now gives way to sheer terror.


Published in Cosmic Catastrophes anthology. Reprinted in Wild Chrome.

We rode on, hardly speaking for the better part of two weeks until we reached the wasteland that had been known as the Sunshine Coast. The final run into Brisbane was blessed by an ocean breeze, but no further sign of storms. The town had grown in two years, the central and surrounding craters sprouting more haphazard shanties like a dirty grey-brown moss. The bigger homes with their rusting corrugated sheets were stacked up on the rim – the high side of the street. I laughed out loud.


Published in Upgraded: The Cyborg Anthology. “She holds up a fish Glen just caught in the shoals. The creature is struggling for air, its mouth opening and closing stupidly. Glen watches in disbelief as she guts the thing with her morphing hooks that substitute for fingers. She eats the flesh.”


Published in Aurealis #46. Reprinted in Wild Chrome.Idona went for a swim as Alcyone pushed away the night. The water was calm and she was content to float for a while, contemplating her good fortune and her growing love for the man sleeping still. Stirred by a morning hunger, she caught a few fish and brought them back to the house. He was awake by the time she arrived and they cooked the fish and ate in a silence that had an intimacy all of its own.


Published in Cosmos Magazine #52.

Beyond the glow of the habitats, the subterranean ocean was impermeable dark, filled with distant sounds and murky images fading in and out at the far edges.


Published in Specutopia #1. Reprinted in Wild Chrome. She looks away, unable to meet his eyes. They had a terrible way of seeing through her, that cut-straight-to-it innocence, untainted by the petrified layers of adult reasoning. She doesn’t want to be unravelled right now, though she knows deep down it will happen.


Published in Hit Men anthology. Reprinted in Wild Chrome.

My tattoo snarled at the kid standing in the queue behind me. The kid laughed and pointed at my arm. I had warned Schrody before about fraternising, but it just wouldn’t be told. Damn you, I said through its affinity matrix. It ignored me and kept swirling up and down my arm like a mad wolf chasing its tail.


Published in Clarkesworld Magazine #84. Reprinted in Clarkesworld Year Seven anthology. Honourable Mention in The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 31.

“A pale dawn spread across the Pacific as my dead mother emerged from the waves.”


Published in Antipodean SF #165.

I’m on every social network and blogsite worth a damn, virtual feeds to every freaking corner of the ultranet.


Published in Wild Chrome.

The call came in from the morgue at 15 tocks after midnight. Alesh groaned as the avatar lit up the nest chamber – sunrise was still another three tocks away. Reaching up with an aching pseudopod, she wearily rubbed her eye clusters then swept her dry tongue around the edges of her beak. Her mouth felt like she had swallowed a whole plume of warkberries.


Published in Wild Chrome.

The air explodes to my left in a cloud of white-hot plasma. Shrapnel whizzes past, followed by the deadly spears of shining limbs weeping circuitry and fluids. The shockwave flings me out, away from the collective


Published in Aurealis #14.

A cyborg interrogation officer stepped into the alley just as the wagon reached sixty k. It took a second for Mas to register the fact and then he knew that something had gone drastically wrong.


Published in Clarkesworld Magazine #60. Reprinted in Wild Chrome. Reprinted in Clarkesworld Year Five anthology.

“There's a place in our future where we are all heading, driven by our instincts and the deep heritage of our genes. It is a place where we are more at peace, in harmony with the universal fabric from which we were born


Published in Wild Chrome.

“You have some unique connections between your IGF2R, CHRM2 and other intelligence sequences. I’m sure this will give you the smarts to make the right choices. Work hard enough and one day you might even get into the black.”

Order Here


Published in Deep Space Terror anthology. Reprinted in Wild Chrome.

I sat watching the relic from the viewing deck, exhausted after four gruelling shifts down in the eye. It hung under the harsh light of the vault, a five metre long wedge of pure midnight.


Published in Wild Chrome.

Legend had it that utopia was a place called Wraith World. Talk to the hard-nosed military flyboys at the frontier, or even the savant intelligences in their Dyson spheres, and you’d hear the same frustrating paradox: on a world beyond the reach of the rest of the universe you could find Shangri La, Peach Blossom Spring, Nirvana or any dream your heart desired.


Published in Wild Chrome.

There was a time when we didn’t care about the terraformers. Back in the early years of human colonisation we hated them, even blamed them for taking away the nanotech and the inertial drives that allowed them to hopscotch through time at 0.99c whilst we lurched about, glacially colonising one prepped world after another


Published in Wild Chrome. Finalist 2012 Aurealis Awards Short SF category.

She placed her wine glass down, propped her elbows on the table, slipped her shaking hands under her chin, and held me with her gaze. I’d stared down politicians and dictators alike, brought corporate executives and rogue activists into line, and convened peace talks around the world . . . but this . . . damn it, I just wasn’t prepared. No one was prepared.


Published in Wild Chrome.

The holo-tablet is broken and the images are bleached and faded. She’s five years old and playing on the swings near the pre-fab towers when everything was still new, her summer dress ballooning out almost provocatively – a sign, a portent of the young woman she would become.


Published in Wild Chrome.

Chenzira was in the nexus. I watched her as she monitored the com-channels. She was always there for me, but I didn’t deserve her. She had given everything to me and no matter how hard I tried I could not reciprocate as there was something at my core – buried from years of addiction to the nano-inhibitors – that always held me in check.



I want to ride the shockwave of a supernova.