New micro-flash + science: SPACE INVADERS

Over at Story Seed Vault, publisher Alex Massey challenges authors to craft speculative micro-fiction based on real science. She calls this story “Story Seed #59.”

I also call this one “Space Invaders.”

Story Seed Vault

They slipped their young into our cribs. If we refused to raise their babies, they destroyed ours. Generation upon generation, they preyed.

In a story that raises echoes of the fae, Anna Kander writes inspired by the brown-headed cowbirds, a type of bird called a brood parasite. Cowbirds fool robins into raising their young. If robin parents push cowbird eggs out of their nests, cowbird parents retaliate by breaking all of the robins’ eggs. Scientists believe cowbirds undergo an “anti-imprinting” process; the birds are born knowing a special call to find other cowbirds. // Alex Massey

//Anna Kander is a social worker in the Midwestern US. Her work is slated to appear in Breadcrumbs, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and beyond. Find her at annakander.com.//

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New micro-flash + science: THE SHARPEST KNIFE

Over at Story Seed Vault, publisher Alex Massey challenges authors to craft speculative micro-fiction based on real science. She calls this story “Story Seed #59.”

I also call this one “The Sharpest Knife.”

Story Seed Vault

When the military harnessed neuroscience, diplomats stopped killing with kindness. Now it hurts you to see me hurt—and I can make you die.

In the hunt for the cognitive mechanism behind empathy, the discovery of mirror neurons has lead cognitive neuroscientists like Marco Iacoboni to conclude that this is the neuron responsible for emotional motor control. However, this theory is not without controversy – scientists argue that it is not clear whether mirror neurons really form a distinct class of cells. Anna Kander takes this disputed theory and assumes if true, then relating to other people rewires our brains. For Kander, empathy is the sharpest knife. // Alex Massey

//Anna Kander is a social worker in the Midwestern US. Her work is slated to appear in Breadcrumbs, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and beyond. Find her at annakander.com.//

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New micro-flash + science: A FUTURE SO BRIGHT

Over at Story Seed Vault, publisher Alex Massey challenges authors to craft speculative micro-fiction based on real science. She calls this story “Story Seed #56.”

I also call it “A Future So Bright.”

Story Seed Vault

Now, everyone wore shades that filtered out blue; the world looked rosy. One day, she tore off her shades, saw the world as it was—and wept.

Anna Kander weaves together three scientific concepts in this piece to create a piece of horror that may become all too real. As the earth’s ozone layer thins, it lets in more UVB light, just past blue and violet on the color spectrum. Blue and UV light can harm human eyesight. The obvious solution? Visible blue light can be filtered with sunglasses that are reddish-yellow. Will we search for more cosmetic answers to climate change instead of trying to reverse it? // Alex Massey

//Anna Kander is a social worker in the Midwestern US. Her work is slated to appear in Breadcrumbs, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and beyond. Find her at annakander.com.//

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