The Officer is an anthology of eleven science fiction short stories by writers from across the globe. Being an officer means balancing many conflicting demands. Making the wrong decision can have serious consequences. It takes a special kind of person to cope with the responsibility.
Duty by Alasdair Shaw
Dave is the officer in charge of Arancha Station’s security. His sense of “Duty” to the job clashes with that to his family. Underfunded and undermanned, his team struggles to keep the peace. When a bomb threat surfaces, Dave is forced to accept help from outside the security services, knowing it will come with a heavy price.
Patchworker 2.0 by M Pax
In “Patchworker 2.0”, humanity is forced to live in domed centres as foul as the earth we destroyed. Artificial Intelligence holds the remains of society together, and a special team of Patchworkers keep the AI functioning at peak performance. Patchworker Evalyn Shore leads the investigation of a homicidal Artificial Intelligence. The AI is taking over minds, leaving Patchworkers and AI managers as sacks of bio matter ready for the recycling bin. Can she create the patch to repair the AI? Or will it kill her first?
Totaled by Benjamin Douglas
Gavin Dolridge has the worst job in the Kuiper fleet. His ship perpetually sails in orbit beneath Saturn, collecting space-junk and keeping an eye on the border of the Old Earth Empire. In between bottles of scotch, he babysits a crew of has-beens and a distant, solitary captain. The glorious life of an XO. Officer Caspar graduated at the top of her class, but she’s as green as they come. Now she’s putting in her time doing a first tour on the junk ship, and it’s all she can do to keep herself motivated when the mission means nothing and the commanders don’t care. But when the ship’s computer starts acting funny and alarms begin to blare, action ramps up on the border, and Dolridge and Caspar find themselves in grave peril. Their ship is “Totaled”. Can Dolridge confront the demons of his past to survive? Will Caspar rise to the challenge and get out alive?
Lucky Star by A R Knight
Find your captain and bring him home. A simple order. That’s why Viola’s going to the trashy dive of a space station, the “Lucky Star”. The mission’s supposed to be a simple get in, get out with Captain Morris in tow, but that’s before a gambling debt and a feisty dealer get in the way. To get Morris back, Viola has to decide whether to play by their rules, or make her own.
There Comes a Time by J J Green
“There Comes a Time” when the fate of humanity rests on one person’s shoulders. Warrant Officer Caris Elliot, the first Future Soldier, has only one mission: to find out why humanity will be wiped off the face of the Earth. But time isn’t on her side. Time travel technology mandates that wherever she is and whatever she’s doing, she is snatched back to the present when her programmed hours are up. In the future, Caris has only her skills and wits to rely on.
Red Fortitude by Eddie R Hicks
Before Gladius squadron, before being assigned to the ESV Winston Churchill, Capt. Jessica ‘Aura’ Davis was an Earth-based fighter pilot. In “Red Fortitude” she reports for off-world survival training on Mars, a new compulsory requirement for all UNE personal who wish to continue to climb the ranks, and the target of an unexpected terrorist attack.
Body Rentals by Mark Gardner
Firefighters respond to a serious blaze. The building collapses and one of them is gravely injured. Can Doctor Mann’s revolutionary device bring his son back? “Body Rentals” tells the tragic events that sent Doctor Mann over the edge.
A Step on the Path by Tom Germann
In the far future, a tyrant’s Empire becomes a civilised and decadent Commonwealth. Yet as the changes have happened, corruption has set in. Now nobles rule worlds in all but name. The Senate is a rubber stamp for the core worlds and the system staggers along. That system is failing. In the depths of space, alien races are watching and see a weak race that won’t be able to hold onto their resources and star systems. Will the Commonwealth be strong enough to do what is necessary to win when the war comes? Can someone take “A Step on the Path” to salvation, or will countless billions of human lives be sacrificed on the altar of war by the aliens?
Rituals by Rick Partlow
Young Marine platoon leader Jason McKay is forced to take his new command into a trial by fire, landing on a colony world torn by violence to free the hostages taken by violent revolutionaries. Will their “Rituals” save them?
First Generation by Adrien Walker
In a post-apocalyptic society, where humanity’s final bastion walls itself from surrounding zombie hordes, a rebel faction seeks to use the enemy virus as a tool for evolution. Gabriel Benson, right hand to the mysterious rebel leader known only as Green Skull, agrees to undergo the first genetic transformation, uniting human and zombie DNA to forge a new race. Among a gathered inner circle, he takes the injection of their fringe scientist’s creation, becoming one of the “First Generation”.
The Grape Thieves by Corrie Garrett
When the eight interstellar ships of the Diadem link up to the Necklace, Irina seizes the opportunity to land a new job on a new ship. Her extra height gets her a probational spot on the Aegea’s peacekeeping force, and she’s determined to make the most of it. The Aegeans are furious that someone is stealing their ceremonial fruit. Irina and her partner stake out their strange labyrinth in search of “The Grape Thieves”. Worries about making it through her probation are replaced by making it through the night.