Robot Dino artwork by Kelsey Liggett
“Five Functions Of Your Bionosaur” by Rachael K. Jones
Your parents first activate your bionosaur when they bring you home from the hospital. The bionosaur was a baby shower gift from your mom’s favorite aunt. They were nervous about its size, the stainless steel maw, the retractable razorclaws inside its stubby little arms, but the aunt had insisted. She’d programmed it herself, covered its titanium-alloy skeleton in top-grade synthskin featherscales, and pre-loaded it with educational apps.
“Be A Thunder, Release A Roar” by Osahon Ize-Iyamu
It’s January 2028 and young Uwaila watches the TV, fixated at what’s right in front of her. The dinosaurs appear with a mighty boom, with feet that hit the earth like a rumble. They make everything look so small, all humans look so little, make everybody afraid. They hold a certain kind of power Uwaila needs, a roar and gentleness that makes them perfect to watch.
“The Caretaker Noticed” by Katie Spina
I believe they suspect. I have no one to blame but myself.
You see, I have a secret. One the caretaker was never meant to know. Because if they know, then they may try to kill me. Or worse.
Playtime became a lot less fun at the Armstead County Technology Fair yesterday. Authorities are warning citizens to remain outside the wi-fi range of the local Best Buy after hundreds of robot dinosaurs turned on customers in what the store manager called, “An unforeseeable and totally surprising merchandise malfunction.”
“Small Things Pieced Together” by Ginger Weil
Turns out assembling flatpack dinosaurs is the real test of a relationship.
I’d been dating Polyxeni for five months and we’d moved in together about two weeks ago. We were on our third trip to Ikea. At least I had my mom’s old pickup truck so we didn’t need delivery.
“Hunting On Ethera” by M Raoulee
The first rat came to Ethera on a cargo ship. It escaped planetside quarantine and fled into the blue pollen dust of the Northern continent spring.
A decade later, spring was no longer blue.
“METALSAURUS” by Morgan Swim
“Nessa, didn’t you like anything at the park today?” Mom leaned against the wall of their motel room and pulled off her sandals. The tops of her feet, along with the rest of her, was burnt from the Florida sun.
“The dinosaur ride was okay, I guess,” Janessa said.
“The Six Raptor-Wives of the Utah Rangelands” by Hayley Stone
Aragon went missing first.
It made a kind of cosmic sense. The first of Henry VIII’s wives and also the first to die—not that Evelyn believed her gynoid raptor was dead. Malfunctioning or caught between some quakies seemed more likely. As emergency management specialist for Utah’s Strategic Predator Initiative, however, Evelyn’s job was not to make guesses, but to identify problems, develop solutions, and occasionally win in-house naming contests to the regret of her superiors.
“Research Lab Electricity Usage Timesheet Reporting” by Ada Hoffmann
The robots had learned to open doors.
Priya jumped as the door between the shared lab and her office crashed open. Into the paper-strewn space stomped a pair of raptor-sized machines, gleaming chrome and glittering eyes. Their sickle-shaped toe-claws—really just blunt grabbers, but intimidating to look at—scrabbled at the carpet as they adjusted their positions. Then both robots hopped onto her desk, scattering papers everywhere.
“Even to the Teeth” by Karen Osborne
The way to save yourself, o captain, is simple.
You must leave everything—your star-splayed chair on the bridge, your full belly, the soft, silk robes in the first-class chamber where you sleep—and come down to where we are dying.
“Twenty-Fifth Named Storm” by Alina Sichevaya
Any day now, Kara will quit her job. I see it in the way her shoulders slump as she watches the weather boil on the news.
I reach over and take the remote, switching the holo away from the reporter talking about the coming storm and running through channels.
“Taiyesha’s Fist” by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
“Taiyesha?” asks the lady, like she doesn’t know.
I just look at her. My name and age are in that file on her desk, and I’m not interested in having the googolplex conversation about how interesting my name is, or about how big and tall I am for thirteen years old.
“Robo-Liopleurodon!” by Darcie Little Badger
My intern screamed. That’s rarely a good sign. Near the starboard rail, Abigail clutched a dripping, freshly towed plankton net. The collection vial dangling from the muslin funnel glinted in the sun, as if filled with silver particles.
“Sphexa, Start Dinosaur” by Nibedita Sen
Asha—Ash to friends—wedges the maintenance door open wide enough to slip into the
darkened interior of the abandoned ride. Inside smells like rust and stale water and plastic fused with metal.
“Sphexa,” he says. “Light.”
“Rexatron 3000, Private Eye” by Mina Li
Arden heard a car door slam and her heart thumped in her chest, but when she looked over her shoulder, the street was empty. This late at night, she was supposed to be tucked in bed and fast asleep. Instead, she stood in front of the big Rexotron 3000 statue on the park playground, his steel teeth gleaming under the street lamps in an ear-to-ear grin.
“When I Was Made” by Kathryn Kania
When I was made they gave the ability to teach. This was difficult, from what I have
heard. Not only did they have to code into me adaptation to different stimulus but the ability to teach what I had learned to smaller, clumsier, slower versions of me that didn’t think quite as well. They, after all, would not have a computer for a brain.
“The Dinosaur Graveyard” by Aidan Moher
The bot’s heart was beyond repair. Frustrated, I tore it free of the chassis, wire filaments snapping like old guitar strings. The heart usually pulsed with crimson light, but was now dark. Dead. I dropped it into a bowl on my workbench with a metallic ting, almost drowned out by the drum of rain on the corrugated roof.
“The Tail of Genji” by Aidan Doyle
It’s not easy to rent an apartment in Tokyo if you’re a giant robot lizard.
“We don’t have anything that meets your needs,” the rental agents would say.
Genji had similar luck when it came to getting a job.
“A Dinosaur Without Feathers Is No Dinosaur at All” by Izzy Wasserstein
The Mei long was nearly complete before Grace worked up the nerve to ask Samantha about the feathers. Grace had started on the dinosaur after she’d been diagnosed with the Canine Flu, and it had taken most of the loneliest year of her life, but now the gears and wires were in place, the casing all but finished.
“Caihong Juji” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires
I met Shi on Lala Online Meet&Chat. She outwitted me with her fast talk. Her profile showed her long, black hair cascading over her shoulders and a wide smile, so different from my short, spiky hair and thin lips. Unlike many of the other cosmopolitan bachelorettes on Lala, she didn’t cake her face over with layers of makeup. In a lot of her photos, she wore jeans and permutations of dinosaur shirts.