I'm happy to present another five compelling stories by some fantastic authors! Our first story this time around—"Emerging from the Shadows" by Clinton Lawrence—is a fun adventure that follows two young women who grew up on an asteroid colony founded by a hijacked ship 60 years prior. The women find their world disrupted when the colony has its first encounter with a ship from earth. (8800 words). The second story in our line-up, Matt Fuchs' "National Mission System," is a fascinating look at an AI that was created for the express purpose of overhauling the constitution of the United States (4840 words). Our third story, "The Setting of the Sun" by Benjamin C.
Kinney, is a short, beautiful tale about a complex machine swarm designed to harvest energy from stars (1300 words). Next we have "Paint by Numbers," another poignant piece by Pip Coen. This one is about a young woman who works for a military program after she demonstrates tremendous genius at "composing" space fleet battle simulations (2010 words). Our final story is "The Dirt Dances" by Michael E. Johnson. The story is about a new kind of hard labor that an old man teaches his young protégé (2300 words).