Perihelion Science Fiction

Sam Bellotto Jr.

Eric M. Jones
Associate Editor



Originally published in Perihelion Science Fiction. Free science fiction stories, science articles, comic strips, reviews, and more, on the Internet. Every month, Perihelion presents solid stories with strong plots, intriguing characters, with a sense of wonder reminiscent of the classic science fiction pulp magazines from the ’60s and ’70s. Artwork is by award winning illustrators. Articles are by experts in their fields. Established in 1967, originally as a print magazine, by Sam Bellotto Jr. and Eric M. Jones, the magazine was revisioned in 2012 as an online publication, and has been published regularly every month since. For the best in entertainment and information, bookmark Perihelion on your favorites list.



Shorter Stories

Dirty Work

By C.E. Gee


They came at us from out of the Sun. We’d always thought that aliens would arrive from outside our Solar System, coming inward. Instead, they came from the inside out.

After an alien ship established orbit around Earth, it began radio frequency transmissions in multiple languages such as Sanskrit, classic Hebrew, Mayan, Egyptian; modern English, Chinese, French, Spanish, many others. Apparently, the aliens had been monitoring us for some time.

The aliens told us that suns are connected via hyperspace channels to black holes at the center of their respective galaxies. The aliens use these channels for interstellar transportation and communication.

The aliens also told us that not only was our Sun a terminus for a hyperspace channel, there is another hyperspace channel that passes very near the outside of our solar system, through what we call the Oort cloud.

The aliens informed us that billions of our years ago, their ancestors often used the hyperspace channel that was located near the Oort cloud.

At that time, our solar system had no life forms.

So said ancestors, who the aliens freely admitted were relatively unenlightened, used this area as a dumping ground for lavatory waste from their spaceships. The waste turned into globs of water ice, ammonia, methane.

Collisions, and their own weak gravitational influences, caused globs of this ice to merge or accrete into larger blocks, often corrupted by specks of space-dust and/or meteors.

Eventually, because of what we call gravitational force exerted by our Sun, what the aliens refer to as universal expansion, many of these blocks headed for our Sun became comets.

Some of the comets collided with Earth.

Hardy microbes and other micro-organisms, frozen and dormant in the lavatory waste, came out of dormancy, evolved. And here we are.

The aliens informed us that their mission was to clean up the environmental messes their ancestors had made.

They’re giving us one day to settle our affairs.

I’ve printed this message to hardcopy. I’m going to secure it as best I can. If someone finds this ...

Well, I really don’t know what else to say. My wife and I, we’re going over to the beach for our last day together. The coast is beautiful this time of year.

Goodbye; it’s been real.



The professor was bemused by the sight of his visitor, who was obviously a worker. Its carapace was unpolished, its pincers were too small to be that of a soldier, too large to be that of an intellectual.

But being a staunch liberal, the professor was sympathetic to workers.

Proclaimed the visitor, “My daughter 831, who was spawned a breeder but, like many of our youth, has forsaken her caste, is now a student at your university.”

The professor respectfully waved one antenna, replied, “You must be very proud. Forgive my conceit; we have a splendid institution here. She will receive a first class education.”

“I’m sure. Anyway, my daughter told me you’re the only one here who can figure out what I’ve got. It’s the weirdest writing I ever did see.”

The visitor held out short piece of pipe he’d been holding. The professor could see that the pipe and end-caps were not standard.

The visitor unscrewed one of the end caps, shook out a single sheet of paper, passed it over to the professor.

The professor glanced briefly at the writing on the paper.

The professor said, “I recognize this script. It’s alien; it’s rare. There’re only three of us on Tuk-Tuk who are capable of translating it.”

“What’s it say?” asked the visitor.

“Well, I’m afraid the translating will take a bit. Why don’t you come back about this time tomorrow.”

The visitor replied, “Sure doc. I was going to be around these parts for awhile, anyhow, visiting with my daughter and what not.”

“Where did you obtain this?” asked the professor, holding out the paper.

The visitor replied, “I’m on a crew that follows one of the environmental clean-up details around. After the environmental clean-up detail creates an asteroid belt, my job is to look for primitive artwork within the asteroid belt—you know, artwork for museums and art galleries and such. One of the robots I was overseeing found the pipe. My boss said because it wasn’t a piece of art, I could keep it.”

“Dirty work,” commented the professor. “But, I suppose someone has to do it.”

“Pays real good,” declared the visitor.

“I’m sure it does. See you tomorrow.” END

C.E. Gee is retired and maintains a blog entitled “Gardyloo.” His science fiction stories have appeared in “Bewildering Stories” and “Plasma Frequency.”



Repulsive Progression

By C.E. Gee

AROUND A SWEET SMILE, Gail announced, “Mr. Anderson, the reason I’m here today is that you are the highest ranking NASA employee at the Prescott Research Station with whom I could arrange a face-to-face meeting. And I must now urge you to stop today’s test flight.”

Gerald Anderson settled back into his chair, returning Gail’s smile. Gerald appraised his guest’s slender but well-proportioned form. “Well, Ms. Samuels,” Gerald purred, “You’ve certainly stirred my curiosity. What do you mean, we have to stop the test flight?”

“Please—call me Gail. It’s my theory the planet Mars is in actuality the inner core of what was once Mars. The iron oxides that compose much of the surface of Mars are what was once its outer liquid core. Since no known natural event could eject sizable amounts of the mantle or crust or liquid outer core of a planet out into space, what transformed Mars was artificially induced.”

Gerald made no reply. His smile disappeared. One eyebrow inched upward.

Gail rushed to elaborate. “As you know, the XMR-1’s lift system uses powerful magnetic fields generated by its super-cooled coils to repulse against the magnetic field of Earth.

“The rhythmic pulsing of the XMR-1’s lift coils during today’s scheduled test flight will cause sympathetic, harmonized oscillations within the molten iron of Earth’s outer core. Those oscillations will cause the outer core to fling the mantle or crust of Earth off into space as that liquid outer core surges upward. The surface of what remains will then cool off. Much of the liquid core that was ejected into space and was beneath the crust and mantle will fall back and solidify.

“Earth’s water, vaporized by this event, will eventually condense, raining down upon the new surface, creating iron oxides and also carving out surface features not unlike some of those on Mars.”

Open-mouthed, Gerald stared at Gail, his eyes mirroring his disbelief. And although Gerald made no immediate comment, Gail must have sensed a change in Gerald’s demeanor, for Gail now spoke much slower, with a decided emphasis: “Millions of years ago, perhaps even billions of years ago, Martians destroyed their planet by utilizing the same propulsion system we’re preparing to deploy today. You’ve got to believe that!”

Gail pleaded, “Look—you’re my last chance. The clock’s ticking. I’ve glossed over the details. I’m sure if I explain some of the finer points ... Please?”

Gerald glanced at his watch. “Okay. Okay, I’ll give you a few more minutes.”

Gail continued, “The asteroid belt—ever wonder where that originated? It’s portions of the original crust and mantel of Mars.

“And the theory that microbial life on Earth came here, delivered by meteorites from Mars? My theory explains all that and more.”

Gerald’s reply began with a smirk. He then said, “Interesting. Maybe we can discuss your theory in more detail. Perhaps over dinner this evening? I know this delightful Mexican restaurant downtown. The owner and I are old ...”

Gail’s back noticeably stiffened. She interrupted Gerald, snarling, “You just don’t get it, do you? If we don’t stop this test flight, there won’t be an evening.”

A ferocious scowl marring her otherwise pleasant features, voice trembling, Gail continued, “You’re not going to stop the test flight, are you?”

Gerald smirked a wry smirk as held out his hands, palms up, shrugging a gesture of helplessness.

“Honey, I’m just this region’s Press Relations Officer. I also double as this site’s Public Relations Officer. I don’t have the authority to stop the flight, even if I wanted to. And I don’t want to.

“In all my years at NASA, I’ve never heard a more ridiculous story. And believe me, working with the both the press and the public, you hear a lot of ridiculous stories.”


Kraugg looked down from her pedestal, sneering at the array of supplicants filling her grotto.

The present duty cycle had been unusually busy. Now that the problem of predicting the intensity of the magnetic field induced by the nearby mythological mother of planets had been solved, the test flight could occur. It seemed all of Europa’s swarms were interested.

Kraugg felt she was due for some relaxation. After the test flight, it was her turn in the secretarial pool; she knew exactly in which corner she was going to spawn. Her eyestalks quivered as she thought of the cute little male with the reddish tinge to his mantle.

One of supplicants took advantage of Kraugg’s daydreaming. Edging closer, tentacles splayed in the formal manner of a high-caste male, he summoned enough courage to make his plea. “Your Immenseness, may I solicit permission to speak?”

Diverted from her thoughts, Kraugg stared intently at the supplicant, noting he wore the austere, unadorned chains of an academician. “Speak now, and make it quick,” Kraugg snapped. “You can see how busy I am.”

The male dared to creep closer, pausing only when Kraugg, as a warning, unsheathed her imposing beak.

The supplicant then spoke. “I’ve formulated a theory. Have you ever wondered about the iron oxides found by the probes we’ve sent in to the third and fourth planets? And why it is that those two planets are very nearly the exact same size? And why is it we have two completely separate asteroid belts in this star system?” END

C.E. Gee is retired and maintains a blog entitled “Gardyloo.” His science fiction stories have appeared in “Bewildering Stories” and “Plasma Frequency.”






liviu matei