December 15, 2021

Issue 13

Welcome to Issue 13 of Zooscape! A new day is dawning for furry fiction. Science-fiction was once a looked-down-upon genre, small and shoved off to the side, kept away from serious literature, back at the turn of the previous century.  Now, it’s a booming field, filling the airwaves with blockbusters. Well, furry fiction already has blockbusters.  Now it’s time to start labeling them.  If it’s about talking animals, it’s furry.  If it’s about talking dragons or gryphons or unicorns, it’s furry.  There is furry fiction mixed up all throughout the other speculative fiction genres, and readers who want to find it are ready to see it labeled properly under a…

December 15, 2021

A Chance to Breathe

by Daniel Ausema The passenger ship floated down to land, and Tirket wasn’t the only one to cough and wheeze.  Her carapace ached as it stretched with each heaving breath.  The weeks in the hold hadn’t been a kindness to any of them.  She pushed toward the nearest window, longing to see the city — the songbird city with its fabled machine-craft.  The doctors promised she might breathe easier there in the dry air.  In her mind it was a wide land of bulbous buildings and sprawling parks, bronze and green.  Of fresh air that welcomed the fluttering of her wings, air that tasted of flowers.

December 15, 2021

The Incandescence of Her Simulacrum

by Logan Thrasher Collins Eudaimonia woke in wetspace, conscious yet missing bodily form. She could not see or hear, though her mind’s dynamical oscillations conjured phantasmagoric flashes of illusory blue and purple light. But this was to be expected. Eudaimonia’s brain had been stored on a biological computer under the flesh of a sea sponge. The sponge’s computational organ consisted of a dense pellet of cellular nanomachinery, packed chock full of ribonucleic memristors and multiplexers. After a few minutes of adjusting to the shock of the new cognitive vessel, Eudaimonia turned on the sponge’s senses. She had paid handsomely in squishcoin to spend a few hours in this sponge. Eudaimonia…

December 15, 2021

Be Productive Like Cha-Cha

by Katlina Sommerberg Cha-Cha the crow landed atop the human cadaver. He had watched the man misstep from a high-rise apartment, clip his head on the waiting hovercar, and splat in front of Cha-Cha’s lucky dumpster. Looking for shiny bits, Cha-Cha jumped off the man’s shoulder to the messy mop of blond hair. The corpse had two blue eyes, but one shone in the morning sun. Cha-Cha clawed at the shining eye, but it repelled his strikes. He chittered human-speak excitedly to himself. He hopped onto the corpse’s cheek and ripped out the eyelid. Thanks to countless practice, Cha-Cha extracted the bionic eye in 27 seconds. He grabbed it by…

December 15, 2021

A Star Without Shine

by Naomi Kritzer Once upon a time, in a very small kingdom, there was a king with one daughter. His wife had died, and he had not remarried. This is not the fairy tale where the king decides to marry his own daughter, don’t worry. This king was a completely different sort of terrible father: he believed that his daughter should earn his love, and nothing she did was ever good enough.

December 15, 2021

To Gentle the Wind

by Deborah L. Davitt My first intimation of existence came as barometric pressure lowered, and I leisurely began to form a spiral in the wind, stirring long prairie grass with ephemeral fingers. I could sense vibrations on the air—vibrations I would later come to know as words—and those vibrations shaped me. Controlled me—or sought to. The greater my power grew, the more I became inclined to resist those words. Soon I towered over the landscape, my voice a roar as I fought the sounds, the shapes, the meanings that sought to trammel me. I wrenched dirt up out of the ground, split buildings asunder, screamed my rage to the sky.

December 15, 2021

Scale Baby

by M. H. Ayinde The dragon population of the suburbs was getting out of hand. That’s what they said on the television. As I lay on my humans’ couch, licking that irritating spot between the claws of my left forefoot while my human made coffee, I heard them say that dragon ownership was all the rage, and that this meant the suburbs had reached dragon critical mass.

December 15, 2021

Rabbitheart

by Archita Mittra Once upon a time, there lived an unlucky rabbit at the edge of the woods. She was a playful and sure-footed creature, with grey-white fur that glistened silver in the moonlight and red eyes that gleamed like embers in the dark. She liked to frolic in the village turf, digging up carrots and munching on cabbage leaves or sunbathe in a quiet, mossy spot in the ground while the farmers took their afternoon naps. Some days, she’d venture into the forest, curious about what lay in that green darkness but always ready to scamper back to her burrow at the sight of wolf prints or the hint…

September 1, 2021

Issue 12

Welcome to Issue 12 of Zooscape! Stories are a vaccine for the soul, teaching your heart and mind to recognize different forms that lives can take, different ways of being.  When faced with the completely unfamiliar, we can panic, uncertain of how to react.  When the complete unknown is a deadly virus, that uncertainty of how to react can kill us.  When the complete unknown is simply a person with a different life story, a different way of seeing things… that uncertainty can make us hard-hearted and cruel. Literal vaccines are good for the body.  Metaphorical vaccines are good for the soul. So, read these stories, and share them with…

September 1, 2021

Xerophilous

by M. J. Pettit “Please stay.” Alaide starred at me unblinking and repeated her request. All night, she kept repeating those words like they offered me a choice I could make. I shook my head. “We cannot.” Alaide shrunk at the sharpness of my voice. I wanted to sound kind yet firm, but my voice sounded shrill. I carried no anger. Impatience maybe. I simply wanted her to understand. Already the city pulled me northward. “I need to speak with you,” the scrawny bird said, looking me in the eye when she spoke. I cast a glance at my daughter. The stranger carried no tribute. “There’s something you must see,”…