A rejected short story written for the second volume of Machine of Death, an anthology based on the idea that there is a machine that can predict, without fail, what someone will die of.

All thank the Machines, prophets of the Path.

The death machines saw it coming. They didn’t tell us about the Path directly, of course, but when dozens, then hundreds, then millions started to come up as ASTEROID IMPACT, people began to take notice. We knew our time on Earth was up.

So humanity took to the stars, selecting only those who were dying of non-apocalyptic causes to enter into the generational slowships. Lots were drawn, and humans were mixed based on their conditions, so that every ship could be guaranteed to have as few critical mishaps as possible. Suddenly, it made sense why so many were dying in FUSION EXPLOSION and RAPID DECOMPRESSION. But those were the lucky ones; the ones who were left to fend for themselves during IMPACT WINTER, MASS EXTINCTION, or TIDAL WAVE had simply to resign themselves to their fate.

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A rejected short story written for the second volume of Machine of Death, an anthology based on the idea that there is a machine that can predict, without fail, what someone will die of.

10:48: Check the paper

All those bastards out there, they don’t know what they’re doing. Look at this, man runs across street, causes accident which kills three pedestrians. Said he didn’t care, his death card said “spiders” and so why the hell should he care about crossing the street safely? I hope he chokes on his own bile. Selfish.

Comics are stupid, as always. Ziggy is going to die alone and unloved. Serves him right. What kind of asshole doesn’t wear pants, I want to know. Beetle and Sarge are a couple of lovers. Good for them. The number 93 showed up a dozen times. What does it mean?

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Herein lies a novel I did for NaNoWriMo back in Ye Olden Days.

It’s, um, about as good as one might expect for a novel written in a month, by a stressed computer science grad student who was still fighting off Big Gender Feels.

Content warning: This contains some pretty weird attempts at erotica, quite a lot of body horror, and some terminology that hasn’t aged particularly well. Also, angst. So much angst.

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