Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Day Late and Free Fiction Short

Busy weekend so just a few this time but there should be a bigger selection tomorrow. Like the classical music fan said while picking his Halloween costume "Ill be Bach!"

Flash Fiction
• At Every Day Fiction: "A Man Who Talked to Fish" by Teddy Kimathi. Surreal.
• At 365 Tomorrow: "Picking Isometric Cotton" by E.S. Wynn. Science Fiction.

Audio Fiction
• At Pseudopod: "Pseudopod 396: The Buchenwald Man" by Benjamin Sonnenberg. Horror.
"It was a girl, about seventeen. It was a little difficult to tell, however, because her face had caved in quite badly. A few broken shards of teeth were lodged in her forehead, and both eye sockets were empty. Dust caked up inside the holes. The girl had been a blonde, and her hair was still tied into a fishtail. As they pulled it out, the body twisted and flopped loosely, allowing some of the dust and gravel to spill out of the eye sockets.Stan did not shudder at this, and was surprised to see the same reaction in the others. Had he really thought he was alone in this chill? No, he was different from the others. They all had been inside the camp; this was nothing. They had seen ten-year-olds, even babies,piled in heaps like charcoal. This was nothing.”"

• At Radio Drama Revival: "Getting the Prophets Back - Part 2 of 2"
"When Karl gives up his appointed quest to chase after the Muffin Girl from the local coffee shop, three prophets, Zoe, Morgan, and Destin team up with a six-foot silverfish named Bob (Jerry Hudson) and find themselves on a real quest in which a prophet-turned-hero is allied with a villain-turned-mentor to defeat a prophet-turned-villain to save their society from its own absurd facades."

• At QuasarDragon Games, a new OSR monster, The Calydonian Boar.
"Swift as the word, she sped the boar away, / With charge on those devoted fields to prey. / No larger bulls th' Aegyptian pastures feed, / And none so large Sicilian meadows breed." Ovid - Metamorphoses.

Friday, July 25, 2014

He Tasks Me. He Tasks Me, and I Shall Have his Free Fiction.

 Some goodies to start the weekend. There will likely be more tomorrow or Sunday. "How do we know you'll keep your word?" - Kirk, "Oh, I've given you no word to keep, Admiral. In my estimation, you simply have no alternative."- Khan Dave Singh.

• At Daily Science Fiction: "Jump, and I'll Catch You" by Michelle Ann King. Science Fiction.
"There meant the place where our new friends lived. When people talked about them, you could hear something extra in the words. Like they were names: Our New Friends. Anton was trying to look forward to it, because it was good to make new friends, but he sometimes got nervous when there were a lot of new things, different things, to take in. But his mother said they all had to get used to things being different now, so he was trying. He was trying hard."

Flash Fiction
  • At Every Day Fiction: "Clarice" by Martin Chandler. Horror.
  • At 365 Tomorrows: "The Pit" by C.Chatfield. Science Fiction.
  • At Weirdyear: "An Unexpected Reunion" by Madeleine Swann.

Audio Fiction
• At Tales to Terrify: "No 133 A. J. Huffman and Gary A. Braunbeck" Horror.
"I have been, for most of my life, a collector of notes on subjects of great diversity—such as deviations from concentricity in the lunar crater Copernicus, to the great creature Melanicus and the super-bat upon whose wings it broods over the affairs of Man, as well as stationary meteor-radiants, the reported growth of hair on the bald head of a mummy, the appearance of purple Englishmen, instances of amphibians and blood raining down from the heavens, apparitions, phantoms, the damned, the excluded, wild talents, new lands, and 'Did the girl swallow the octopus?'"

•  D6 Magazine #6
 A free magazine filled with "adventures, articles, and interviews in open D6 gaming"  Its been posted for awhile but I had missed it.  Issues 1-5 are also available at the same location.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of Free Fiction

Instead of just monkeying around (lose 1d6 sanity if you get the obvious pun), try out these great freebies.

• Now Posted: Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #152 — Jul. 24, 2014. Fantasy.
• "The Topaz Marquise" by Fran Wilde.
"Her words made no sense, but neither did the lost hours. I shivered in the warmth of the day. Beyond the window, in the square, I saw a familiar figure in a tattered cloak. Even from a floor up, the smell that greeted me was unpleasant: unwashed hair, perhaps rotting leather. Suddenly, I wanted to escape from my studio and the chill that hung over it."
• "What Needs to Burn" by Sylvia Anna Hiven.
"When I woke, I found the bullet between my wound and the makeshift bandage. The flesh was already closing where my body had spit it out. I pulled off the bandage and cursed a colorful tirade at Shadow, although I knew it wasn't his fault. People with the magic can't help it sometimes. Things just happen around them, though they might not want it to."

Flash Fiction
• At Daily Science Fiction: "Wishmas" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Fantasy.
• At Every Day Fiction: "Leaving Rhonda for Mars" by Wilma Bernard. Science Fiction.
• At Farther Stars Than These: "UFO" by Alfonso Colasuonno. Science Fiction.
• At Nature: "A Long Way From Home" by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley. Science Fiction.
• At 365 Tomorrows: "Emotional" by Steve Smith.Science Fiction.

Audio Fiction
• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "One Ear Back" by Tina Connolly
"Introduced by the author, explaining how the story was inspired by an Icelandic folk tale, and what it might be like to be in that folk-tale character’s unusual situation, as well as one particularly expressive cat.

The shadows between the trees were dark and I stood between two birches, sniffing out the right way. My tail was high. This was no headless mouse. This would impress Ingy."

• At Clarkesworld: "The Halfway House at the Heart of Darkness" by William Browning Spencer, read by Kate Baker.
"Keel wore a ragged shirt with the holo Veed There, Simmed That shimmering on it. She wore it in and out of the virtual. If she was in an interactive virtual, the other players sometimes complained. Amid the dragons and elves and swords of fire, a bramble-haired girl, obviously spiking her virtual with drugs and refusing to tune her shirt to something suitably medieval, could be distracting"

• At  DriveThruRPG: Dark Horrors Hidden Places by Dave Valderhaug. "Pay what you want"
"DHHP is a dark gothic horror system with simple rules for quick play.Included is the adventure "The purge of Portland road." . . . "The world is shattered. Where once stood streets and entire cities now lies rubble. The sadistic among the population have taken to the underground in order to torture and torment the poor and weak. Strange creatures spill forth onto the streets of towns and cities, as the governments struggle to keep these monstrosities a secret."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

There's a Starman Waiting in the Sky / He'd Like to Read Free Fiction / But He Thinks It'd Blow Our Minds

E-tons of great stuff today!

• At HiLobrow: "King Goshawk Part 30" by Eimar O'Duffy. Science Fiction. Satire.1926.
"First the mythical Irish hero Cúchulainn, then his son Cuanduine, travel to Earth in order to combat the king capitalists. Thirty-five years before the hero of Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, these well-meaning aliens discover that cultural forms and norms are the most effective barrier to social or economic revolution."

• At Nightmare Magazine: "The Misfit Child Grows Fat on Despair" by Tom Piccirilli. Horror.
"Fate arrives disguised as choice. As if you could actually say, Screw this, I’m out of here, or just get down on your knees like everybody else. But John’s got to shrug and go, 'Hmmm.'"

• Now Posted: Scigentasy #6. Fantasy. Science Fiction.
• "The Hoof Situation" by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam.
 " My hooves came. Yesterday my feet cracked, and this morning they are beautiful hooves, with gold fur atop them. I stretch and wiggle them under the quilt my grandma sewed me. It’s time now for me to sew my granddaughter’s quilt. Behooved, it’ll be the only thing I’m capable of, confined to bed and the rocking chair, confined to wherever my daughter and granddaughter carry me."
•  "This Shall Serve as a Demarcation" by Bogi Takács.
"I sit up on the futon and pull up one sleeve to examine my arm – lighter-toned in branching lines like the bare, defoliated frames of trees in winter. I used to be cut along those pathways, gleaming metal and shapeforming plastic set into flesh, embedded to remain inside – a part of me forevermore."
Flash Fiction

Audio Fiction
• At Author's Site: "Nocturnal: Episode #39" by Scott Sigler.  Paranormal Thriller.
"Rex Deprovdechuk claims to be the king of Marie’s Children, but to cement his rule, he must become one with the Queen. Aggie James finally escaped the White Dungeon, but he didn’t get far. Now he comes face to face with new threats: Bryan Clauser and Pookie Chang. Amy Zou has returned home to her family — what will she do to keep her twin daughters alive?" All earlier chapters here.

• At Drabblecast: "Mister Bob" by Dan Campbell.  Comedy. Strange.
"Miss Sanderson reached out and tapped the translation device on the table, then picked it up and fiddled with its settings. She was the ugliest female of her species I’d ever seen– obscenely symmetrical features, pale hair and complexion, long limbs–and yet forever twirling a finger in her hair like she was trying to proposition me."

• At Forgotten Classics: "Episode 260: The People of the Mist, chapters 30-31" by H. R. Haggard. Adventure. 
"In which Soa surprises Leonard, the lovers surprise each other, and Otter is not surprised at all."


• At PodCastle: "PodCastle 321: Paya Nak" by Benjanun Sriduangkaew, read by Nina Shaharuddin. Fantasy.
"There is a thing in the cradle I rock, a lump of flesh, stained in my fluids. This is what killed me. A parasite that took all my food, stole all my breaths, until one day I woke up to find my heart stopped."

• At SFFaudio: "Podcast #274 – Facts Concerning The Late Arthur Jermyn And His Family" by H.P. Lovecraft, read by Gildart Jackson. Horror.
 "Life is a hideous thing, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous. Science, already oppressive with its shocking revelations, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species--if separate species we be--for its reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world."


• At StarShipSofa: "StarShipSofa No 347 The Region of Jennifer” by Tony Ballantyne, read by Trendane Sparks.
"The region of Jennifer extended to about thirty kilometres. Out there, amongst thedecaying factory belt, daffodils pushed their heads through the tired earth of the canal banks.The Steam Barons may have lost their power, but the world still bore their scars.  Even so, Jennifer was at work to make things beautiful."

• At Dragonsfoot: "The Forbidden Land" by RC Pinnell.
"This is a world in which characters cans pring into being, spend a lifetime exploring, and eventually retire;unless they die prematurely.Even then,magic can sometimes overcome an early demise.It is intended for both seasoned and novice players.There is no restriction on the level of characters to be used with this product. Each suggested mini-scenario within has parameters regarding character levels, and you should set your own as well when designing your own encounters to place within the world. Beginning and low-level groups can certainly undertake to explore the wilderness within this product, but they should be advised that doing so will likely have a lethal outcome."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

You Got a Fast Car / I Got a Plan to Get Us Free Fiction

 Great free fiction finds! 

• At AE: "The Winnipeg Kid" by Ken Gerber and Brian Hirt. Science Fiction.
"Johnny Golden’s blond ringlets are slick with sweat and blood. His blue eyes — beautiful, almost feminine — swell with tears. The sclera of the left is beet red from a burst vessel."

• At Author's Site: "Fast Cars" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Science Fiction.
"I  pulled out the map Johnny had sent and leaned it against the steering wheel. I turned down the grid-like streets, knowing vaguely where he lived. And then I found it, on what used to be a tree-lined road a few miles north of East Junior High School. Johnny lived in the Victorian lumber baron’s home that had been converted into apartments back when I was a kid."

• At The Colored Lens: "Drained" by Dusty Cooper. Speculative Fiction.
"He turned in the doorway, scanned the yard, all mud holes and tire trenches, and beyond that acres of woods. That’s why he’d bought the place as a young man. Cheap land, and he just needed enough room to rest when he got off work. The square-footage provided plenty of space until he met Carolyn."

• At Daily Science Fiction: "Life Lesson" by Gary A. Mitchell.  Science Fiction.
"'Hunter-gatherers?' said Maria Dillard, her fingers raking long blonde hair out of her eyes. She quickly returned her hand to the tablet she had set up on the table in front of her, stabbing at the flexible keyboard laid out beneath the screen."

• At Lightspeed: "Harry and Marlowe Versus the Haunted Locomotive of the Rockies" by Carrie Vaughn. Science Fiction.
"As they crossed the Great Plains of America, Harry was certain she’d never seen anything so astonishing in all her life. The Kestrel hadn’t had such a long stretch airborne since she crossed the Atlantic. Even on the third day of it, Harry leaned out a window to watch the land passing beneath them, and what seemed to be all of heaven passing above.


• At Lightspeed: "De La Tierra" by Emma Bull
"The piano player drums away with her left hand, dropping all five fingers onto the keys as if they weigh too much to hold up. The rhythms bounce off the rhythms of what her right hand does, what she sings. It’s like there’s three different people in that little skinny body, one running each hand, the third one singing. But they all know what they’re doing."Audio and Text.

• At Strange Horizons: "Witch, Beast, Saint" by C. S. E. Cooney. Fantasy. R rated.
"I could’ve changed him back. The transformation spell would take research, focus, a not inconsiderable outpouring of stored magic, but in the end, it was entirely doable. Thing was, I rather liked my monster as a monster."

Flash Fiction

Audio Fiction
• At Beam Me Up: "BMU #415: David Scholes and Kelly Christiansen" Science Fiction.
 "Crystalwizard's book Wizard's Bane - chapter 2 - part 1 [. . . and] David Scholes’ second story in the Human Hunter series – 'Human Hunter:The Kickass House'."
• At Protecting Project Pulp: "Out of This World” by Henry Hasse, read by Daniel Reynolds. Science Fiction. First published in Planet Stories, Summer, 1942.
"There was no escape but death from that fetid prison planet and its crazed, sadistic overseer."

Monday, July 21, 2014

Flash and Audio Fiction and Gaming Magazines

It's Monday, but there is hope. Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Mars, there was an age of free fiction undreamed of, when shining kingdoms and glittering starships lay free for those with imagination.

Flash Fiction:
• At Mad Scientist Journal: "The Greater Migration" by Christopher David DiCicco. Science Fiction.
• At Daily Science Fiction: "A Year and a Day" by Sean R Robinson. Fantasy. 
• At Every Day Fiction: "Rattlebone" by Bosley Gravel, read by Alexander Jones. Audio horror.
• At Leaves of Ink: "Undocumented Zombies" poem.

Audio Fiction:
• At Escape Pod: "EP455: Keep Your Shape" by Robert Sheckley, read by Nathaniel Lee. Science Fiction. First published in Galaxy, Nov 1953.
 "Pid the Pilot slowed the ship almost to a standstill, and peered anxiously at the green planet below.Even without instruments, there was no mistaking it. Third from its sun, it was the only planet in this system capable of sustaining life. Peacefully it swam beneath its gauze of clouds.It looked very innocent. And yet, twenty previous Grom expeditions had set out to prepare this planet for invasion—and vanished utterly, without a word." Audio and Text.


• At Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs: "Episode 18 - Tarzan the Untamed" Adventure.
"We last saw Bertha Kircher and Lt. Smith-Oldwick at the cave at the cliff base, as the pride of lions accompanied by odd looking humans has launched an attack upon their campsite."

Threshold Magazine. Issues 1-4
Four large free issues of Threshold "The Mystara Magazine."  They are all very nice looking issues filled with ideas for a Mystara (the world of the D&D Gazetteers) campaign.  However, as most old school players can tell you, anything can easily be adapted to anything else.  Give 'em a look - they're free and directly downloadable from the site.

• At DriveThruRPG: Brave the Labyrinth - Issue #4 [Pay what you want]
A very well made old school role-playing magazine the contains several useful articles for old school games, in particular Labyrinth Lord
  • -Two (2) new Dwarven races (Clockwork and Stone)
  • -Chaos magic to beef up your humanoid shamans
  • -The Demonologist class for Labyrinth Lord
  • -Two island maps (Player's and Labyrinth Lord's)
  • -New ideas for terrifying fantasy zombies
  • -Health insurance for adventurers
  • -One (1) adventure for 1st-3rd level characters (The Ruined Tower of Hilsosk the Mad)
  • -One (1) article on weapon mastery
  • -Six (6) new faerie magic items

• Audio at Crime City Central: "Courtesy Call" by Justin Gustainis, read by Summer Brooks.
• Audio at LibriVox: "The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel (Dramatic Reading)" Adventure.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Life is Like a List of Free Fiction; You Never Know What You're Gonna Get.

Hope you all had a good weekend. Back Monday - Dave T.

• At "A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star" by Kathleen Ann Goonan. 

An "original rocket story. “A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon a Star”, by Kathleen Ann Goonan, is about the daughter of a rocket scientist in the post 1950s who wants to go to the moon, despite being discouraged because “girls don’t do that.” A novelette that’s science fiction by association."

• At WiFiles: "Ice Fishing" by Iulian Ionescu. Speculative Fiction.

"Jake tapped the ice with his foot. Usually he’d hear the lake answer, vibrate back like a violin string, but today the ice was harder than cement. The few inches of snow that landed over night swirled in the wind piling up like sand dunes."

Audio Fiction
• At Cast of Wonders: "Into The Forever Place" by Luke Thomas, read by Heather Welliver.YA Fantasy.
"We both examine his reflection in the slab of mirrored glass leaning against the wall. The mirror’s old tain yellows everything—the wood and mortar walls, my pale skin and Jad’s dark—it’s all yellowed except the braids of the sash. They wind around Jad’s lanky torso in blues and greens more vivid than life" Audio and Text.

• At Clarkesworld: "Soul's Bargain" by Juliette Wade, read by Kate Baker.
"Now that she considered it, she hadn’t entirely left behind Eyn’s inspiration. Surely the goddess would be disappointed in her now, though—bound by her people’s adulation and her own blindness into tiny orbits that held nothing but the known."

• At Radio Drama Revival:  "Embarking on A Prophets Guide" Part 1 of 2

"When Karl gives up his appointed quest to chase after the Muffin Girl from the local coffee shop, three prophets, Zoe, Morgan, and Destin team up with a six-foot silverfish named Bob and find themselves on a real quest in which a prophet-turned-hero is allied with a villain-turned-mentor to defeat a prophet-turned-villain to save their society from its own absurd facades."

• At Tales to Terrify: No 132 Matt Cowen and Paul Jessup Horror.
Paul Jessup’s "Post Flesh" and Matt Cowen’s "The Immaculate Particle"

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hoody Hoo, It's Friday

Q. What is best in life?
A. To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to read and listen to all their free fiction.

• At Daily Science Fiction: "The Rift Cell" by Chris Batchelor.  Fantasy.
"It roared at him. Waves of heat and noise blasted up the blackened walls from a surging lava flow in the bottom of the chasm. He scowled at the thing, etched in the Earth in defiance of nature, in a perfectly straight line, exactly a hundred feet wide and a hundred feet deep. It pushed everything apart. The house on Cavanaugh's right had been split to reveal street after street of interrupted roads, sidewalks, and lawns, all the way to a gap in the distant hills."

• At Paizo: "Queen Sacrifice- Chapter One: Lord of Summer" by Steven Savile. Fantasy. Pathfinder.

"It was easy to see why the range was known as the World's Roof. Even here, far from their loftiest heights, the snowcapped peaks were spectacular to behold, intimidating as they clawed up at the sky. Some of the mountains, like the Mhar Massif off to the east, pierced the clouds and kept on climbing until their summits were far out of sight. There was something primal, elemental, about the mountains' presence in the world. They seemed to taunt the fleeting nature of humanity and promise that no matter what, the land would abide."

 Audio Fiction
 At  Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs: "Tarzan the Untamed" Adventure, Parts 1-17.
"Chapter XVII – The Walled CityTarzan, Bertha Kircher and Lt. Smith-Oldwick are seeking water in the parched landscape where the aeroplane has crashed.  They are surrounded and attacked by a great pride of huge lions accompanied by odd humans. Tarzan is knocked unconscious. When he awakens, Bertha Kircher and Lt. Smith-Oldwick have disappeared."

• At PodCastle: "Baba Makosh" by M.K. Hobson, read by Eric Luke. Fantasy.
"This had been going on for quite some time. While they quarreled, the sky had faded from ice-blue to bruise-purple, and the moon had risen cold as a ball of clenched snow. Dark pooled in low hollows beneath the ink-stroke birches and shadows moved within the frosty mist. Stag-like shapes that moved like men."

• At Pseudopod:  "Pseudopod 395: Fishhead" by Irvin S. Cobb, read by Maui Threv. Horror.
"And in the midst of the retching of the land and the vomiting of the waters it depressed to varying depths a section of the earth crust sixty miles long, taking it down — trees, hills, hollows, and all, and a crack broke through to the Mississippi River so that for three days the river ran up stream, filling the hole."