“Macbeth Undone” in Spring Into SciFi 2022

My short story “Macbeth Undone” is now available in the Cloaked Press anthology Spring Into SciFi 2022.

The full table of contents is:

Cover for "Spring into SciFi 2022"
  • Greg Eccleston – “Searching For Jodie”
  • Mark Bilsborough – “Redemption”
  • Andrew P. McGregor – “Space Action Hero”
  • Nestor Delfino – “Sandwich City”
  • James Pyles – “Tiamat Descending”
  • Barend Nieuwstraten III – “Unauthorised Fauna”
  • Karl El-Koura – “Macbeth Undone”
  • Eve Morton – “Littler Mermaids”
  • Diane Arrelle – “Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow”
  • Alex Minns – “From One To Five: My Travels With A Troubleshooter”
  • Sara Crocoll Smith – “Diamond Eater”
  • Elizabeth Estabrooks – “Dale’s Pie”
  • J. L. Royce – “Adaptive Predictor”
  • MR Wells – “Terminarch”
  • Nicholas Poe – “A Lit Match In A Tinderbox”

And here’s a sneak peak at my story:

Macbeth Undone

by Karl El-Koura

On the lowest deck of the planet-sized spinning spaceship The Orb, in a small room, underneath a flickering light that made an intermittent buzzing noise, three of the ship’s probabilistic analyzers met and spoke together. On the upper decks, one part of the ship’s crew fought another part. The loyalist crew had an average of seventy-eight percent chance of subduing the mutiny, according to the three.

“When shall we meet again?” the first said. He liked being in the small room–everywhere else on the ship, one’s movements and speech were tracked by an endless array of cameras and microphones, the data-stream pumped directly into the brains of a bank of analyzers, whose identities and number were unknown to all but the captain, most likely. But here, in this small, forgotten room, they’d found freedom–to speak one’s mind, free from prying ears and eyes. But it was important not to spend too much time here, or visit the room too frequently, for fear that the omission would be discovered, leading to surveillance equipment being installed even in this distant, almost buried room where even the power systems seemed to struggle to reach.

“Let’s wait until the fighting’s done,” the second said. She thought: Seventy-eight percent chance of winning still leaves twenty-two percent chance of losing.

“We’ll meet at nineteen hundred hours,” the third said. “With Commander Fain.”

The others nodded.

“We should go,” the first said. “My terminal calls to me.”

“And to me,” the second said. An analyst plugged herself into her terminal so that there was a direct link between one’s cerebral cortex and the terminal’s processing unit. Being unplugged for too long left her feeling . . . incomplete.

They went out of the room one at a time, got into separate lifts and flew through the decks until they reached their respective levels.

 

Read “Macbeth Undone” by buying your copy of Spring Into SciFi 2022.

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