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THE WEEKLY FIX: Fix the World

I’m relaunching The Weekly Fix, with a twist. For now, instead of a serial tale or a short story, I’m sharing excerpts from the stories in the forthcoming Fix the World anthology. This is a fantastic collection of twelve hopeful stories from sci-fi writers on how to fix some of the greatest problems we face as a world.

Preorder it here.

From the Sun and Scorched Earth

Bryan Cebulski

The glint of the mech’s armor drifted across Lukas’s room and hit the monitor on his desk sometime mid-morning.

He’d been sitting at his computer since before dawn. He stood and stretched, looked out the window to relax his eyes, relieve the screen burn.

The mech kneeled on its platform, the deep greenish-black armored body shining against a clear blue sky. Lukas wondered when the uncanny humanoid shape towering over the horizon had normalized.

On hot days like this, villagers would set up picnics beneath its shade. Upon request the boy who piloted the mech would spread its wings, rotate the body if need be.

It used to be called an angel of death. Marketed as one. Propagandized through an anime-influenced American franchise funded by the military. Now its ammunition, its missiles and bombs, were exhausted. The boy said he’d discarded the close-range weaponry long ago. He dismissed rumors that his machine was capable of manifesting a beamsword or laser cannons or using martial arts. These ideas were conjured up by creatively overstimulated minds, he assured them.

His eyes enlivened by the bright natural light, Lukas pulled the shade down, stood in the dark breathing in and out a few times as his eyes readjusted, and got back to work.

He pulled out another hard drive from the stack of storage devices—CDs, iPods, old mp3 players, flash drives—in a plastic box at his feet. He popped it into the drive dock, let the device do its work as it brought up old, potentially corrupted data.

The hard drive popped up as a folder on his old boxy rig. The monitor was functional but flickered, the color balance poor. It was still heartier than the flatscreen or projection-based monitors he had piled up around the shack, most of which needed a server connection to even boot up, a connection that no longer existed.

He double-clicked, sifting through corrupted folders, hoping for any data that might still be whole. He found one labeled “Music” and began to click through the files.

Against all expectation, he found it.

Preorder Fix the World here.

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