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When Swords Had Names

Some men are born soldiers. The blood, the killing, the violence. All the idle hours between. Some men can spend their nights stationed on a stony battlement at the edge of the known lands, guarding against an imaginary horde, against creatures not seen since their grandfathers’ boyhoods. The dragon that rose from the waters on […]

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Tommy Flowers and the Glass Bells of Bletchley

When little Tommy Flowers was presented with a baby sister, he was disappointed to find that she was not a Meccano set. Her head lacked the simple geometry of strips and cogs and angle girders, and her fingers were innocent of gears. What was worse was the fact that she cried so—wailed, really, and nothing […]

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Not the Grand Duke’s Dancer

I’m teaching earthworms how to dance ballet when the Grand Duke comes to steal me from Petrograd. Earthworms are slow learners, but we speak the same slippery languages. I’m instructing them on how to pas de deux when stone scrapes on stone and the lid lifts off my new home. The Grand Duke’s long eyelashes […]

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A Fairy Tale Life

His coding renders the bedroom simple, familiar. An open window looks out over a lush wood that stretches as far as Daniel can see. He goes to the farthest of the three beds positioned against the wall. This first bed is firm to his dreambody, firm as a floor. The second is so soft he […]

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