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UNDER STARS

By KJ Kabza

KJ Kabza is back with a second round of fiction that’s “Incredible” (Tangent), “Fascinating” (SFRevu), and “Worthy of Edgar Allan Poe” (SFcrowsnest). Featuring his freshest work from top SF/fantasy venues of today, including F&SF, Nature, Daily Science Fiction, and more, UNDER STARS showcases wonders from worlds both here and beyond. Included is all of KJ Kabza's work published from mid-2011 through 2013, plus 5 new pieces, exclusive story notes, and 69 dirty limericks with a speculative twist.

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KJ’s Related Works

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Fiction

The Land of Stone and Stars

Published Dec 9, 2019 · 4,287 words (16 minutes)

Fantasy Science Fiction coping Quest fairy tale quests Family fable death alien planets

Crushed by the loss of his only daughter and last surviving family member, Jackrabbit knows what he must do: venture to the permanently dark side of his homeworld, "the land of stone and stars," so he can find his daughter's spirit among the dead and bring her back before she ascends with the others into the sky. But the journey across the extremes of the planet's habitable zones is hard and bewildering, and for Jackrabbit to succeed, he must lose even more.

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Fiction

Light Years

Published Dec 1, 2019 · 99 words (1 minute)

Fantasy Science Fiction dark space flash fiction colony ships

The best place for vampires is a deep-space colony ship. Without lethal daylight, who can stop us?

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Fiction

Copyright 2113

Published Nov 23, 2019 · 7,600 words (28 minutes) · 1 view

Science Fiction cyberpunk cyborgs

Film critic Harry has mental modifications for enhanced memory--the ability to make perfect recordings of precious moments as he experiences them. But like all people with memory mods, his firmware deletes any memories of copyrighted media within 48 hours... until a hacker acquaintance installs an illegal tweak that lets him remember films indefinitely. Caught between the promise of an enriched inner life and his filmmaker wife's condemnation for his risky act, what should Harry do?

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Fiction

...In the Machine

Published Nov 15, 2019 · 1,051 words (4 minutes)

Fantasy Horror ghosts Dark humor ghost stories haunted satanic

We was at the drugstore on South, at the self-checkout thingy with the big OUT OF ORDER sign. It was crowded so I tried scanning a candy bar there anyway. But instead of nothing happening, the checkout thing said, "Help me. Please, help me. Is anyone there?"

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Fiction

Like Old People Do

Published Oct 23, 2019 · 706 words (3 minutes)

Science Fiction flash fiction happy ending relationships near-future SF

Everybody knows you ain't supposed to talk direct to people's faces. Because that's what old people do. But somehow, even though she the most beautiful girl in the whole train car, she don't got a phone. So how we supposed to talk?

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Fiction

Neighbors: A Definitive Odyssey

Published Jul 18, 2019 · 7,502 words (28 minutes)

Fantasy Literary Fiction weird fiction slipstream weird surreal puns

Joystick lives in Joy House, that big sprawling definition on pages 635 and 636 in the dictionary. When a new word--J/psi particle--moves in next door, Joystick is eager to make friends and introduce himself. But as Joystick learns, J/psi particles are fundamentally unstable, and his new friend doesn't have long to live. Can Joystick muster the powers of his other friends' definitions to find a way to forestall J/psi's death?

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Fiction

The Terms of Our Alliance

Published Mar 2, 2019 · 1,252 words (5 minutes) · 64 views

Fantasy Dragons secondary world fantasy erotica

Kaireh has always wanted to become a Sabattan Knight, patrolling the kingdom on the back of a sentient dragon. But, as the all-female Sabattan Knights demonstrate, there are terms to the alliance between the Knights and the dragons—and Kaireh’s male body must be prepared to accept them. (Warning: erotica.)

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Fiction

Gnarly Times at Nana'ite Beach

Published Jan 10, 2019 · 7,434 words (28 minutes) · 80 views

Satire Science Fiction cyberpunk absurd retro beachpunk surfing

Dirk Rider and the Coast Gang are the biggest jerks on the beach, and Dusty Yokoyama is determined to beat them in the Malihini Junior Surf-Off contest. Luckily, maverick surfboard-maker and local legend Zhaoping Ho wants none other than Dusty, “the Mayor of Loserville,” to use one of his mysterious prototypes in the competition. What makes the prototype so special? Will Dusty catch a totally tubular wave and the attention of all—or even any—okay, just one—hot girl?

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Fiction

Get Happy

Published Nov 20, 2018 · 1,675 words (7 minutes) · 94 views

Science Fiction happy ending far-future SF spaceships idea SF

Despite their omnipotence and immortality, and an infinite amount of time to research and reason on their radically transformed spaceship-planet in a far, far future, Marcellis and Anemone still can’t deduce the meaning of life. But maybe deduction isn’t the way to find it.

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Fiction

Nathan and the Amazing TechnoPocket NerdCoat

Published Nov 7, 2018 · 3,065 words (12 minutes) · 2 likes · 308 views

Horror Science Fiction Strange dark absurd

Nathan Pinkwater is a regular at the Green Horse Café, so regular that server Jiao Ming knows all his weird and unpleasant quirks. So when Nathan shows up inexplicably wearing a magic, transdimensional coat, Jiao knows something is Wrong. Where the hell did Nathan get it? Why is he being so coy? And what awful things has Nathan hidden in its infinitely deep pockets?

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Fiction

The Idiot

Published Sep 19, 2018 · 7,947 words (29 minutes) · 87 views

Fantasy unicorns disability secondary world fantasy happy ending

After mute Rosalind’s family dies, she’s mistakenly branded as a simpleton and taken in as a charity case by the horse breeder John. When a cruel stranger comes in the night to covertly board an extraordinary beast at John’s stable, Rosalind recognizes that the beast is no simpleton, either, and must find a way to give him a voice before he is caged forever.

Featured September 12, 2018
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Fiction

The Game Room

Published Sep 10, 2018 · 3,779 words (14 minutes) · 1 like · 100 views

Fantasy Literary Fiction Strange portal fantasy death rebirth coping

After the death of their parents, five siblings face mysterious changes to their rambling old house: rooms shift in the night, and familiar doorways lead to unknown places. Author KJ Kabza’s short story collection THE RAMSHEAD ALGORITHM is now available from Pink Narcissus Press, and dozens of his stories can be found on Curious Fictions.

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Fiction

Surface Tension

Published Aug 14, 2018 · 1,003 words (4 minutes) · 421 views

Fantasy Literary Fiction marriage flash fiction superhero fiction relationships

Jess can literally walk on water. But not even this stereotypically god-like talent can help him be a good husband to his wife Brianna, and Jess must learn that meeting someone on their own level is the first step toward trust.

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Fiction

In the Shadow of Dyrhólaey

Published Aug 1, 2018 · 3,682 words (14 minutes) · 250 views

Fantasy Horror Historical dark fantasy folklore myth trolls

In early 20th-century Iceland, the brilliant sculptor Einar has devised a plan for sculpting a local rock formation into a ship. But legend holds that this rock formation is more than mere stone, and Einar’s best friend Gunnar can see it breathing. Will Einar’s chisel unleash a work of art—or unlock the enchantment that holds back monsters? Will Gunnar be able to stop him?

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Fiction

Something to Be Tamed

Published Jun 7, 2018 · 6,176 words (23 minutes) · 1 like · 521 views

Science Fiction aliens colony ships alien planets

David used to be a settler in a colony of humans. Now, the colony has been destroyed by the resident aliens, and David is forced to live as one of their exotic pets. But is being kept and cared for really so bad? And when another human—and freedom fighter—arrives in the yard next door as the neighbors’ new pet, what’s the most ethical way to react?

Featured June 3, 2018

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Fiction

The Separatists

Published May 24, 2018 · 994 words (4 minutes) · 5 likes · 797 views

Science Fiction relationships flash fiction death dystopian neural uploads clones coping

To claim immortality, must other pieces of ourselves die? Alongside social and political commentary, decorated author KJ Kabza explores what it means to be true to oneself, what it means to serve others, and what really matters in life and in death—all in fewer than 1,000 words.

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Fiction

The Expurgated Version

Published May 18, 2018 · 410 words (2 minutes) · 431 views

Horror Science Fiction neural uploads Strange flash fiction dystopian surreal experimental

In punishment for the heinous crime of pre-marital sex, James’ brain is re-wired such that every memory of Lori triggers a blackout in his awareness. But now Lori’s gone missing. How can James find a woman he can’t even think about? And when he does, will he even recognize her?