I believe the story appeared in Isaac Asimov's sience fiction magazine, but may have been in Fantasy and Science fiction.

Humans are in a war with an unseen, brutal alien race called "shards".

The story is told from the viewpoint of a suicide soldier sent to a planet colony where people refused to evacuate, as the shards butcher people alive and hook their central nervous systems up to their ships' computers/AI.

These suicide soldies have a "glucose pump" which was taken from a captured shard ship.

I would love to know title and author of this piece.


1 Answer 1


Bright Red Star by Bud Sparhawk (Asimov's Science Fiction, March 2005) seems a good match.

The Shardies don't settle on the planets they take from us. No, they just wipe them clean of humanity and then move on. We knew there had to be Shardie gleaners surveying the planet, trying to find some fresh meat, or, what was worse, breeding stock. With a little luck, we'd find that the Shardies had beaten us to them.


Survivors isn't exactly the word. What they found were sixteen bodies without arms, legs, and most organs. What remained were essentially heads hooked up to life support and fueled by oxygenated glucose pumps. There were a couple of hundred strands of glass fiber running from the ship's walls into each skull, into each brain, into each soul.

Note that other stories by the same author in the same universe (such as Glass Box and Cybermarine) also contain similar tropes.

  • Thank you very much for answering...it was making me crazy. Thanks again. Jul 10, 2018 at 20:49

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