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Stories, Podcasts, Interviews, and Articles, 2023:

New Story

January 31, 2023, in Science Fiction

“BCALLI, SINGER OF THE STRING”

George Guthridge

 

I directed the 800,000 planetesimals in my sector of the inner edge of the Öpik-Oort Cloud encasing the Solar system. 

We were deployed to keep the germs’ madness quarantined until they blew up their world.

Always on our toes and never sleeping, millennia passed quietly, as it does on watch,

just an occasional comet shooting off toward the inner system.

Then came a song.

On the String.

Stories, Podcasts, Interviews, and Articles, 2022:

 

A New Story

in  Fantasy

December 24, 2022, Christmas Eve, in Fantasy

“The Shadows Left Behind”

by Ian Pohl

Devlin stood on the balcony of the cloud castle and tugged his jacket close.

There was no one but him up there. Just sun, wind, clouds, thunderstorms rumbling the walls…

and shadows.

New Story

For December 12, 2022,

in  Science Fiction

THE SECOND CONCERT
by Brian Blanchenot

 

The storm had taken everything from him, but it was the only living thing he would ever meet again.

So he drums his life to this living thing because that’s all he had ever learned to do.

He plays it his life right up until the moment he plays a concert for a life form measured in leagues, and then he plays it again.

This moment is all he has left of Perry the drummer, of Perry the gravedigger too.

 

 

New Story

November 28, 2022, in Science Fiction

“Where Things May Lead”

by Barbara Krasnoff

 

It’s just some code.

For a game.

That’s all.

But you never know where things may lead.

 

 

A New Story

In Eldritch

November 20, 2022, in Eldritch

“Emissary”
by Joshua Grasso

From out of the gray morning mist, a spare, weather-beaten figure moved slowly through the mud-caked, teeming streets to the Spassky Gate.

“I am sent to speak with the great tsar,” he said to the guards. “I have fought these fifteen years against our enemies in grueling campaigns, on the western front, on the eastern steppes, in the southern marshes, in the northern wastes.

And if he will not see me, you must strike me down and scatter my bones to the winds. For I have no home to return to, and will fight no more battles in his name.”

New Fantasy poem — Happy Hallowe’en!
 

from

Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores

October 31, 2022

 

 “A Witch’s Junk Drawer”

by Rebecca Buchanan

 

The witch departs
to fetch the tea
and the tea things.

The drawer waits.

Don’t open it.

 

 

New Hallowe’en story

 

October 28, 2022,  in  Fantasy

“The Oaken Chocolate Box”

by Gayle Beveridge

 

Morwenna said the beautiful old carved oaken box was where she stored chocolates made for her clients.

But the detectives said her chocolates, spelled or drugged, convinced clients to part with large sums of cash…

New Hallowe’en poem

 

October 25, 2022,  in  Fantasy

“Slipping”

by Joan Stewart

 

This is what do you do

when it’s not safe

for people like you

 

A New Story

In Stories for Young People of all Ages

October 20, 2022, in Stories for Young People of All Ages

“The Cloud Knitters”
by Han Whiteoak

 

            In summer, Mum and I collect cottongrass from the moors. Mum plucks their fluffy white heads, storing them in her knitting bag along with a handful of magic.

As Autumn approaches, she opens the bag.

We start slowly, creating a cloud here and there, cooling the world one grey sunshade at a time. It’s a delicate process.

This year I watch the cloud-yarn drift and shift about the bag, damp as peat bog and twice as clingy.

I pick up Mum’s needles and hold them out to her, but she shakes her head.

“It’s time for you to start knitting the clouds.”

New Story

September 27, 2022,  in Fantasy

 

Trans-Dimensional Monsters and Suburban Gods

by STEVE ODEN

∼∼ Where do the old gods go and what do they do, once the new gods of tech take over? ∼∼

Vanquishing monsters in the multiverse and the neighborhood, with the satisfying knowledge one was fitting right in to suburbia.

Just as migrant gods and their offspring so often do.

New Story

July 31, 2022, in Science Fiction

 

“Reality Show”
by Brian K. Lowe

 

They dismantled Australia today. Just took it apart and packed it in trunks and carried it off to a warehouse somewhere. Theoretically, everybody had already left, but there’s always somebody who doesn’t leave, no matter what the disaster… fire, flood, dissolution of the planet… What happened to those people when the entire set we called the Southern Continent was struck and hauled away?

I don’t really want to know.

Oh, and I’m having lunch with my agent today.

 

A Reprise

In Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales

July 23, in Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales

Home is the Sailor”

by Brenda W. Clough

Odysseus lay still, struggling for every breath, and recited to himself all the perils he had escaped: Scylla and hungry Charybdis, the Cyclops, angry Ajax, Hector with his bright bronze sword, kingly Priam and bright doomed Achilles. I, Odysseus, I survived all these. I came alive out of Troy. I returned home safe after ten years’ journeying. And I will live to laugh at this fool injury. Heroes cannot die in sickbed, with weeping all around. We die in the bitter clash of armor and swords on the plains of windy Troy, leaving a corpse to be fought over by gods and men. Or we yell brass-lunged defiance and go down in a wallow of cold water as the bronze-headed rams cleave the ship into planks and floating rags…

 

A New Story

In Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales

 

May 30, 2022, in Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales

 

“Tyrian Purple”

by T.R. Frazier

 

I’d seen the sea wear many colors: the heavy gray of the lead vats I stirred each night; the sullen yellow of the unripe dye they held; the shifting green as the dye warmed and matured; the gentle blue as the long-awaited prized color began to emerge.

But the day the Cilician pirates bore me away, the sea wore Tyrian purple.

 

The illustrations are based on photographs used with the kind permission of  Mohammed Ghassen Nouira.
Please check out his facebook page where he has chronicled his years of work renewing the ancient methods of creating authentic Tyrian Purple dye.

 

 

New Story

April 28, 2022,  in Fantasy

 

Up Sticks

by Liam Hogan

 

It took three and a half weeks for 24, Fell Street, to go looking for its owner,

finding, as it went, traces of him,

memories like woodsmoke at the beginning of Autumn.

Beyond a park the trail was strong, and soon 24 stood before 37, Toft Close.

But 37 Toft Close was dark and empty…

New Story

April 23, 2022,  in  Fantasy

for St. George’s Day

 

Artwork © Scott Gustafson. All rights reserved. For more information please visit www.scottgustafson.com

 

The Trial of St. George

by Andrew Jensen

After one has retired from dragon slaying, one would expect that that’s the end of it.
Time now for sainthood, congratulatory dinners, and ribbon cutting.  Then settle down and enjoy retirement.

Not quite.

New Review

 

March 29, 2022, in Reviews and Interviews

Review of

Bridging Worlds:
Global Conversations on Creating Pan-African Speculative Literature In A Pandemic
edited by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

This anthology contains 18 essays from speculative fiction writers, editors, and publishers on the African continent and from the African diaspora.

In these essays each writer speaks honestly and articulately about themselves and their personal and professional lives.  Though sometimes lyric, sometimes densely packed with meaning, sometimes moving quietly or wildly over the heavy weight of underlying history and emotion, the writing is mostly straightforward and immediately accessible.

The variety of experiences and approaches so clearly and straightforwardly detailed created bridges of understanding. So please, go on walkabout through Bridging Worlds; it is a worthwhile journey.

 

It is available as a free download in multiple formats from the publisher, Jembefola Press https://jembefola.com

 

A New Story

In  Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales

 

March 20, 2022, in  Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales

 

“Major Difficulties”

H.B. Stonebridge

 

Some folks would tell you Major Graham got what he deserved for calling up the Devil. But Devil is an ignorant man’s word for something he don’t understand. Major just got tangled up with something he didn’t know nothing about, and it bit him.

We like to think we know what we’re doing, but mostly we don’t, and don’t know we don’t.   And the wisest way to deal with the Devil is not to do it. I can do it, of course, otherwise not doing it wouldn’t count.

I just know better.

Most of the time.

 

 

 

A New Story

In Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales

 

March 10, 2022, in Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales

 

“Looking Glass With Golden Flecks”

A.J. Cunder

 

In the stillness before dawn, when the world sleeps save for fairies and magic, the queen stares into her mirror.  Eldritch characters glow along its edge as they did long ago, when as a young woman she took a wrong turn down her old village road and came upon an herbalist’s cottage…

…and a mirror caught her eye. She’d see her futures there, Every path altered by each decision she made.

But the cost?

 

New Story

 

February 25, 2022,  in  Fantasy

Maggoty Meg Flies Up the Mountain

by Jonathan Lenore Kastin

The beautiful children were the cruelest. 

As Meg went about her chores they would follow, chanting rude rhymes and throwing stones until she was bruised from shins to shoulders.

She was not going to let them terrorize her any longer.

It was time to see the witch.

New Story

for Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2022, in Fantasy

“Love Potion”
by Anne E.G. Nydam

   Xyblik’s Cosmic Emporium had stood for as long as anyone could remember at the corner of Elm Street and Hillside. The proprietor was an Old One, all writhing tentacles and slime, who bubbled cheerfully at his customers and loved nothing better than a good gossip. Abby Dimmock took this into consideration when pondering the best time to purchase a love potion. He would chat if she came when the Emporium was empty, and she was in no mood to chat about the sorry state of her love life.

 

Illustrations by Anne E.G. Nydam

 

 

 

A New Story

In Fantasy

January 25, 2022, in Fantasy

“Crow Born”
by David Far

Caught. Pinioned. A human squinted at me.  I flew up, desperate to escape, against the thatched roof, against the barred windows, up the fireplace chimney into a metal grill.  I fell into the ashes. 

The human grabbed me. “Do you understand me?” 

Meanings blinked in and out, swirled through my mind, came into focus.  Human sounds rolled up my throat, too round, unnatural, half choking me.  “Yeeess!”

“I gave you the spark,” he said. “I bound us together.” 

He stuffed me into an iron cage. “Only death can untie our knot.”

 

∼     Main Terminal  

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