Commander Richard Peacock paced to-and-fro inside Lunar Base One's operations dome. Gone was the usual banter and work-related conversations.
Status screens and console maps were a sea of red and flashing alerts. The logs showed all satellite links had gone offline one after the other in the previous twenty-four hours.
He needed answers fast.
(Opening lines from 'Big Six'.)
This science fiction collection contains six short stories.
The title story, Big Six, refers to a sixth mass extinction many scientists say is now underway.
Each story stands alone but all share 'Big Six' as a fictional backdrop.
The introductions below set the scene but contain no spoilers.
Is there Still Life on Mars?
Only one man, a Martian, survived the colony's mysterious collapse.
Brought to Earth and exiled to a remote island, Theodore struggles with the effects of terran gravity and loneliness.
But when his obsession with the painter, Paul Cezanne, brings him to the attention of New Planetary Futures Inc., he must make an agonizing choice.
A short story about art, beauty and the meaning of life on a disappearing world.
A bizarre warning about planetary ecocide. The loss of all satellite links to Earth.
For Lunar Base One commander, Richard Peacock, his problems mount when the unscheduled arrival of a resupply shuttle coincides with a catastrophic incident at Lunar Base Two.
A story that poses the simple question: what if going off-world is no escape from hell on Earth?
Cars and Chinese Cuisine
Mickie, a former delivery van driver on vacation finds it impossible to relax behind the wheel of a self-driving hire car.
Teased by his Chinese girlfriend to go with the flow, Mickie must deal with culture shock in a 21st century smart city where the world moves too fast and he is not at the locus of control.
No more Nono
Rin repairs licensed sexbots by day and moonlights at night to pay off bad debts.
Hired by a reclusive trillionaire, he stumbles upon a secretive world of powerful people who act without scruples.
Rin faces a terrible choice—do what they want and get well paid or defy them and end up dead.
A standalone story set in the world of 'Big Six' and featuring a new hybrid-human species.
Before civilization crashed, Jamie had it all. Now she survives on the Earth's surface with a group of female misfits.
But the June Solstest approaches and the dimming Sun must have her sacrificial offering.
Barking at the Moon
Dr. Judy Watson's search for aliens takes her shuttle to a faulty radio telescope array on the far side of the Moon.
Mysterious footprints, a jammed airlock and a demented robotic assistant spell trouble with a capital T.
Trapped on the lunar surface, and with less than one hour to live, Judy must get back inside the shuttle.
A short story that asks: what if Asimov's laws of robotics no longer apply?
Mark McClure's 'Big Six: 6 Sci-Fi short stories' is an ideal two-hour science fiction short read for fans of Blake Crouch's Forward collection, Ted Chiang's Exhalation collection and Hugh Howey's Machine Learning stories.
Approximate page length: 90 pages
|File size:||306 KB|
About the Author
Mark McClure is a science fiction writer based in Tokyo, Japan.
- Writing 52 short stories in 52+n weeks about life, reality and worlds unknown.
- Three science fiction books involving time travel, parallel worlds and emerging technologies.
Visit my blog at markmccluretoday.com for updates.
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