Our Modern Hope

Our Modern Hope by Phillip McCollum Embarrassingly, it didn’t take much for Mitchell Lacombe to overcome his inclination to vertigo two years ago and sign up for the Spaceketeers. His mother nagged him to put away the video games, get off the couch, and do something worth a damn. The world needed somebody to step up, she had said, so …

My Little Girl

My Little Girl by Phillip McCollum My little girl has all the potential. All of it. I see it so clearly, the way the razor-straight strands of her auburn hair hang on the wind as she runs with resolve, chasing her younger brother, Lucas, beneath the slides. The shine in her green eyes as she narrows in on a potential …

Slab Lords

Slab Lords by Phillip McCollum Her skin was as black as freshly poured asphalt and her tall, thin legs resembled those of a roadrunner. Then there were her lips. They had a natural pucker that would make a goldfish cry. A pair of oversized sunglasses covered her eyes with thick aqua-blue frames and lenses resembling the peepers of a giant …

Drafted

Drafted by Phillip McCollum “I better go first. I better go number one.” Moshe Vanderkellen was twenty years old, the league-leading MVP for Ares War College, and a top-notch fine-line-walker of confidence and arrogance, all too often tripping into the latter. He was still young, though, and even he couldn’t hide signs of nervousness. Angled forward in his seat, he …

Hobo Lilly

Hobo Lilly by Phillip McCollum I swear, as the blade’s tip grazed my cornea, I saw Lilly. Not in reality–she wasn’t on this cramped freighter–but in my mind. My daughter was still five, swishing that long blonde ponytail in the air as she bolted out from behind her father’s leg and toward my open arms. He was spitting venom through …

Book Review – The Directorate by Berthold Gambrel

When Berthold Gambrel announced the publication of his second novel, The Directorate, I grinned from ear to ear. It was difficult to recall the last time I had dug into a good military space opera. There was a youthful summer when it was all I read, but it’s since been one of many genres that I cycle through. Let me tell …

I Mustache You a Question

I Mustache You a Question by Phillip McCollum It was cold. Colder than it really should have been. Before the recent boot-up entries, the last timestamp on the environmental log files was seven minutes, thirty-two seconds, and six hundred and ninety-two milliseconds old. The associated temperature reading indicated a sweltering temperature of ninety-two degrees with seventy percent humidity. The squat, …

El Frío

El Frío by Phillip McCollum With the icy ground penetrating the inadequate layer of canvas wrapped around his knees, Captain Joaquín de Toledo y Parra cried out to the miraculous blood dribbling down the white embankment a mere fifty yards before him. “Mother of God, take me away! Forgive my trespasses!” The words struggled to form across his fat tongue …

Swag

Swag by Phillip McCollum As the convention’s low-level hum of conversation and clatter carried through the black polyester curtains, Gerry flipped the strange device around in her hands. It wasn’t heavy and appeared to be made of cheap tin. Glossy orange paint flaked in spots and cracks formed a pattern of uneven tiles, reminding her of a gaudy bathroom floor …

Andreiana

  Andreiana by Phillip McCollum November 7th, 1985 Grigory kept the window rolled down because he was fighting the Sandman. A cold Siberian gale whipped through thin strands of brown hair which stretched from the top of his forehead to just below his bald crown, like long clumps of seaweed reaching out over an empty seabed. A contraband copy of …