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Author: Robert Ford

1991: Christmas Times

December 24, 2456: Tol watched the distant star explode. It was beautiful. He gazed listlessly out the starship’s observation deck. Tol was exhausted from a double shift — even the synthetic parts of his body hurt. The star, now a super-nova, was a deadly vista but only because the ship’s radiation screens had failed. Normally there was little danger during the repair period, as the ship’s hull provided modest protection. An exploding star released more than modest amounts of radiation. Tol was alone on the observation deck. He had come down for a tranquil view before sleeping. Everyone else...

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1990: Christmas Story

One Hour AD Two spaceships were locked in combat. The smugglers did not intend to surrender despite being at a disadvantage. When the police vessel moved in to enclose the smugglers’ ship in a force field, the criminals activated their own shields, setting them to overload. The result was a fusion of energy fields. The police could not lower their shields as the smugglers’ would attack. To leave the shields up would lead to the destruction of both ships. The police sent signals to the smugglers ordering them to reverse the overload. They refused. The police accused them of...

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1989: Salzburg

Dennis was obsessed. He went to the travel agent and, when they asked him what they could do, he blurted out: “I’ve got to get to Salzburg.” “When?” “Now.” He couldn’t believe his own words. The idea of Christmas away had been brewing for a while, but the insistence on Salzburg was coming from a part of his mind over which he obviously had no control. For an outrageous sum of money he purchased a first class ticket to Zurich, from where he would take a train to Salzburg. On his return to the office, Dennis pondered a difficulty....

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1988: TIme for Christmas

We were in bed, a very nice place to be. It was December twenty-second and glancing out the window showed the snow swirling about our warm house. I carefully worked my fingers down her back, lightly massaging her spine. “Mmm,” she said. “I think so too,” I replied. Megan rolled on her side and gave me a kiss and touched my ear in that way she had. “Did I ever tell you why Christmas is so special to me?” “Don’t think so.” “Well,” she said, pulling me close, “I realized the other day that it’s twenty years ago tomorrow...

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1987: Christmas Story

Central Park near 5th Avenue and 58th was relatively quiet that December evening. The beam of light from the stars briefly illuminated a piece of grass beside a tree. After the flash there stood, on all fours, an alien. The metallic plates on his back rustled and the creature took in a deep breath. He had been expecting an argon-based atmosphere and was suitably surprised by a lung full of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and lead. “Urk,” said the alien. A crazy person walking alone in Central Park ignored him. The alien realised he was on the wrong planet....

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