Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Update

QuasarDragon is not dead, just taking a long, early winter's nap. I'll return to something resembling regular posting sometime in January, though there may be a few irregular posts before then. Sorry for the delay in posting this - I hate being the barer of bad news.  [be sure to keep reading SF Signal, and the other free fiction sites linked here for free fiction and more]

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Free Fiction Wednesday

Some very good stuff today!










 Fiction
• At Baen: "Out of True" by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.
      "The dead things lay there across the small clearing, two or three of the tiny forms sundered into iron-blooded mess, another half-dozen more just lying there still, with shapes that looked broken and wrong even though he'd never seen any of them before, and the wicket monster mostly between him and the dead, holes in its hide leaking dull copper. He could see heat or gas evaporating out of the husk, and dark splinters of structural bone where his third shot had struck home, right at eye edge of the thing."

• At The Colored Lens: "A Canvased Soul" by Mandy Alyss Brown
      "Sariah Williamson was born purple and blue but not because she wasn’t breathing. She leaked colors, warm colors when she was happy and cool when she was sad. The nurses cleaned her up cautiously and handed her to her mother, and Sariah’s skin sweat shades of orange as she nursed at her mother’s breast."

• At Enchanted Conversations: "The Goblin King and the Pig" by Oliver Eade. Fairy Tale. 
     "Jimmy Halliday was an ordinary schoolboy who came from an ordinary home in an ordinary town somewhere in the centre of England. At least he thought he was until one Monday morning when, cycling to school, he was forced to squeeze the break and skid to a halt, almost colliding with an old woman lying in the road. Strangely, he only saw her at the very last moment. Even more strangely, she seemed unharmed when he crouched down beside her and spoke to her, for the traffic was heavy that day."

• At Lightspeed: "Trouble Leaves a Scent Trail" by Constance Cooper. Science Fiction.
      "Peacekeeper Gimel 300254 CitrusPeel was doing routine crowd control down at the shellfish market when a Tav Messenger scuttled up to her. “Urgent, urgent!” the Messenger blasted, enveloping Peel in the scent. “Your boss wants you back at the station right away. Hope you’re not in trouble!”"

• At Lightspeed: "The Master Conjurer" by Charlie Jane Anders. Fantasy.
       "Peter did a magic spell, and it worked fine. With no unintended consequences, and no weird side effects. Two days later, he was on the front page of the local newspaper: “The Miracle Conjurer.” Some blogs picked it up, and soon enough he was getting visits from CNN and MSNBC, and his local NPR station kept wanting to put him on. News crews were standing and talking in front of his house."

• At Nightmare Magazine: "The Crowgirl" by Megan Arkenberg. Horror.
     "From the camp on the hill they could see everything, the river and the barn with its silos of molding grain, the hunting crows, and far to the west, in the square white farmhouse with its padlocked cellar door, the congregation of the Dead."

• At Strange Horizons: "Three on a Match" by Steve Berman
     ""I know a trick," the Antony whispered.  Ewan leaned in closer. "A magic trick?" "There's no other worth knowing." He handed the cigarette over. "Do you want to see it?""

• At Tor.com: "Come Back to the Sea" by Jason Vanhee. Fantasy.
      "“Come Back to the Sea” is the story of Yukio, who hears the sea singing and sees disturbing visions of the water swallowing everything she knows. Is it all in her head? Or is the sea really coming for her?"

• At Weird Fiction Review: "The Divinity Student: Part Ten" by Michael Cisco.
     "The Divinity Student knows this day will be his last. The divining machines verify it. It. The twelve jars that stare at him from all corners of the room tell him, the daylight that ebbs and flows in slow tides of color tells him, and the lightless patches in corners and along the edges of his room — they in particular tell him."

Now Posted: Black Treacle #5. Horror. Dark Fantasy.
• “Chance” by Conor Powers-Smith
     "The noise—the babble and movement of a few dozen people, the laughter and shrieks and running footsteps of children, the crying of at least one baby at any given moment, it seemed—receded, too, when the smell was present, as if Paul’s senses were straining exclusively toward the sharp fragrance of invisible smoke."

• “Lurks a Cruel Bee” by Sam Witt
     "He almost made it. The warm glow of the porch light was reflected in Kevin’s eyes, he imagined rushing up the steps and through the big black door, heading upstairs to gorge himself on trick-or-treat loot. Then someone screamed and Kevin turned his head to look back."

• “Echoes in the Bones” by Mike Rimar
     "Gauls, wearing wooden masks and little else gyrated to a cacophony of fifes and drums by the light of two blazing pyres. Most engaged in blatant seduction and howled like animals into the late autumn night, their shadows stretching across the ground in demonic parody."

• “The Collectors” by Evelyn Deshane
     "As Maggie Sullivan walks to work, kids dressed up as pirates and superheroes pass her by. No one notices her blue and purple scrubs; no one says Happy Halloween or offers her candy. It’s just as well, she figures. As soon as she enters the large waiting room, a sign declares NO MASKS."

Flash Fiction
Audio Fiction
• At Beam Me Up: Episode #381. Science Fiction.
      "Trathh Battleground Earth" by Dave Scholes. and "the conclusion to Dean Giles’ "D.A.V.E."

• At Cast of Wonders: "Camp Myth: Phoenix Watching - Chapter 4" by Chris Lewis Carter.
     "Felix says “Fae aren’t known for their creativity, but Sebastian is able to build Golems that are incredible works of art. For some reason, though, he keeps calling them ‘Marionettes.’ When I asked if he could teach me his secret, he told me to look up some school named ‘Vermilion Academy.’ I’ll have to check it out!”"

• At Lightspeed: "The Master Conjurer" by Charlie Jane Anders, read by Stefan Rudnicki. Fantasy.
       "Peter did a magic spell, and it worked fine. With no unintended consequences, and no weird side effects. Two days later, he was on the front page of the local newspaper: “The Miracle Conjurer.” Some blogs picked it up, and soon enough he was getting visits from CNN and MSNBC, and his local NPR station kept wanting to put him on. News crews were standing and talking in front of his house."

• At Nightmare Magazine: "The Crowgirl" by Megan Arkenberg, read by Gabrielle de Cuir. Horror.
     "From the camp on the hill they could see everything, the river and the barn with its silos of molding grain, the hunting crows, and far to the west, in the square white farmhouse with its padlocked cellar door, the congregation of the Dead."

• At PodCastle: "The Sunshine Baron" by Peadar Ó Guilín, read by Rob Haines. Fantasy.
     "The sun shone on the Northern capital as it did every day. Borquil had seen to that. Had grown rich on it: the famous Sunshine Baron! By night, a gentle rain would patter over the fields and fill a few cisterns before sliding gently seawards on the Farg River, sweet-natured these days, ‘though its name meant “angry” in the old tongue."

• At StarShipSofa: "Possible Monsters" by Will McIntosh
      "Mailboxes whooshed by in the warm night air. Cooper was tempted to stick his hand out the window, to feel the pressure of the wind on his palm, to feel something, but he didn’t trust himself with only one hand on the wheel. Not after four beers. What he didn’t need right now was to plow into a parked car."

• At Strange Horizons: "Three on a Match" by Steve Berman, read by Anaea Lay. 
     ""I know a trick," the Antony whispered.  Ewan leaned in closer. "A magic trick?" "There's no other worth knowing." He handed the cigarette over. "Do you want to see it?""

Monday, October 14, 2013

Back

Back after a very rough week and weekend.  Here are links to some of the great freebies out there.











Fiction
• At Daily Science Fiction: "Superhero Art" by Cat Rambo. Superhero.
      "You're wondering: superheroes? Yes. Art was one. Genetically created by evil super-scientist Mondomania. And married to a second superhero, the living embodiment of Gaia. We all called her Maggie."

• At Escape Pod: "Southpaw" by Bruce McAllister. Science Fiction.
      "Fidel stands on the pitcher’s mound, dazed. For an instant he doesn’t know where he is. It is a pitcher’s mound. It is a baseball diamond, and there is a woman—the woman he loves—out there in the stands with her beautiful blonde hair and her very American name waving to him, because she loves him, too. It is July. He is sure of this. It is ’51 or ’52."

 • At Mad Scientist Journal: "Monsters Behind the Scenes" by Kate Elizabeth. Science Fiction.
      "We humans are bombarded on a daily basis from telemarketers, door-to-door sales men, infomercials, advertisements … the list goes on. Tempting us to spend more money, change our electricity providers, get rich quick, and lose weight fast. But behind these companies and charities there is a hidden, supernatural, agenda."

• At Short-Story.me: "Tiffany Blue Sunday" by Matthew Barbour. Horror.
      "There were three maybe four of them. When I saw them sneaking in, I grabbed my rifle from atop the mantle and hurried from my house to a position behind a boulder at the front of the mine. It wouldn’t take them long, maybe a minute or so for them to sort through my tailings or chip off a fragment of the turquoise that still clung to the walls. Then they would come out and slink off to their pueblo with prize in hand."

• At The WiFiles: "Catches Burning" by Robin Dunn.
      "Joe’s flesh crisped, and his soul did something or other, perhaps leaving this universe, perhaps opting to stick around as an angry ghost, perhaps both.  As the people threw more faggots on the fire, a fiddler struck up a tune and some of the couples took up dancing, slowly, holding each other tightly, rotating like human spits."

Flash Fiction
• At Daily Science Fiction: "The Frog Prince" by Jonathan Vos Post. Fantasy.
At Every Day Fiction:
At 365 Tomorrows:
• At Toasted Cake: "Zebedee the Giant Man" by Tina Connolly. Audio. Speculative Fiction.

Audio Fiction
• At Author's Site: "Hunter Hunterson & Sons “Home” Part 1" by Scott Sigler.
      "Your favorite monster-hunting family returns for a new tale of rootin’-tootin’ supernatural mischief. As Hunter and his family settle into their new digs in San Francisco, they find out that their new mansion holds far more surprises than they would like."

• At Drabblecast: "The Revelation of Morgan Stern" by Christie Yant. Horror.
     "It is July 31, your birthday, and I can’t reach you. I’ve been trying all day, but the cell networks are down, the internet is down. I even tried a pay phone–there are two left in town that I know of, and I collected all of my change and walked to the 76 in the village. It was on fire." And "Dear John" by  Rachael K. Jones.

• At Escape Pod: "Southpaw" by Bruce McAllister, read by bdoomed. Science Fiction.
      "Fidel stands on the pitcher’s mound, dazed. For an instant he doesn’t know where he is. It is a pitcher’s mound. It is a baseball diamond, and there is a woman—the woman he loves—out there in the stands with her beautiful blonde hair and her very American name waving to him, because she loves him, too. It is July. He is sure of this. It is ’51 or ’52."

• At PodCastle: "The Wanderer King" by Alisa Alering, read by Amy Robinson. Fantasy.
      "We steer clear of the mines–that’s Fixer territory. The Wanderers are dangerous, too, ever since they came fighting back around Day 30. But there’s always been less of them–less in all, and less because they scatter through the woods on their business instead of fixing to the towns and mines."

• At Pseudopod: "The Chair October" by Leah Thomas, read by Justin Riestra.
      "The spiraling piece of inner ear was almost the exact same shade of beige as the tablecloth his Great Aunt had given them at their wedding; Gwen couldn’t have expected him to spot it when he set down the jar of marmalade. She should have left the cochlea in her earhole where it belonged, but she had taken to removing it while she slept and only jamming it back into the side of her skull again moments before stumbling out the door on her way to the unemployment office."

• At Tales to Terrify: "The Pumpkin Man" by John Everson, read by Stephen Kilpatrick. Horror.
      "After her father’s gruesome murder, Jenn needed a place to get away from it all with some friends, to take her mind off her grief. The empty seaside cottage she inherited seemed perfect."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Free Fiction from Dragons to Celsia 9

Good Free Fiction, 'nuff said.







Fiction
• At The Colored Lens: "Remember New Roanoke" by Sean Patrick Hazlett, Science Fiction.
      "Two roiling suns scorched the desert landscape as the gaunt man stumbled toward the bivouac site. Commodore Tina Morales wiped the sweat off her brow and took another glimpse through her binos. More bone than man, the colonist seemed almost feral. His shredded and grimy olive drab coveralls hung from his skeletal frame like a parachute."

• At Daily Science Fiction: "Space Mama" by Karen Heuler. Science Fiction.
     "I joined an exploratory company about ten years ago, and have been traveling ever since. Lately, I met a being on Celsia 9 who exists midway between a corporeal and non-corporeal state. That is, he/she/it (undetermined) feels more like liquid than solid and is somewhat permeable."

• At Nightmare Magazine: "All You Can Do is Breathe" by Kaaron Warren. Horror.
      "Stuart lay trapped underground for five days before the tall man appeared and stared into his eyes. He thought he sensed movement. Flicked on his caplamp. “Barry? Did you make it through the wall?” but there was no one."

• At Strange Horizons: "The Witches of Athens" by Lara Elena Donnelly.
     "There are two diners in Athens, Ohio.  The Court Street Diner serves tuna melts and satin malts in silver mixing cups. The Court Street Diner says it is stuck in the 1960s, but it is too hip to be a throwback. The waitstaff are young and enticing, dressed in gingham and high-waisted jeans."

• At Tor.com: "Slayers: The Making of a Mentor" by C. J. Hill. Fantasy.
      "Before dragon eggs landed on American soil. Before a Slayer camp existed. And before Tori discovered her powers . . . there was an island. Lush forests, jutting peaks, and sloping hills covered St. Helena—the single most remote island in the Atlantic. And it is here where Dr. B grew up, working each summer on the Overdrake plantation alongside his brother. All was well until the day something was discovered on the plantation and things went horribly wrong." 

Flash Fiction
Audio Fiction
• At Cast of Wonders: "Camp Myth: Phoenix Watching - Chapter 3" by Chris Lewis Carter. YA Fantasy.
      "Last week Felix checked in for his journey to summer camp. We saw more of the creatures Felix shares his world with, and we learned about all the types of supernatural contraband the camp keeps an eye out for. I wonder what golem scrolls do…"

• At 19 Nocturne Boulevard: "The Jovian Jest" by Lilith Lorraine, read by Julie Hoverson.
  "There came to our pigmy planet a radiant wanderer with a message—and a jest—from the vasty universe." - "A familiar story - a meteorite crashes down, scientists show up, stuff happens, right?  With a twist that might make you think shamalyan - and then say meh." and a super short guest story narrated by Rhys Torres-Miller.

• At Protecting Project Pulp: "The Inn of Treachery" by Guido Rengetti. Adventure.
      "first published in Thrilling Adventures, July 1932.  Narrator: Mandy McCall.  A stirring story of Paduan days of old and the thirst for vengeance."

• At StarShipSofa: "Puss in DC" by Pamela Sargent. Urban Fairy Tale.
      A modern Puss in Boots story. "brings the talking cat to the nation’s capital, where he juggles his CIA association with serving the son of his late master, while trying to make a better life for them both." - Michael M. Jones.

• At Strange Horizons: "The Witches of Athens" by Lara Elena Donnelly, read by Anaea Lay.
     "There are two diners in Athens, Ohio.  The Court Street Diner serves tuna melts and satin malts in silver mixing cups. The Court Street Diner says it is stuck in the 1960s, but it is too hip to be a throwback. The waitstaff are young and enticing, dressed in gingham and high-waisted jeans."

Other Genres

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday

A few good ones this morning - will try to be back with more later.







Fiction
• At Lightspeed: "Enyo-Enyo" by Kameron Hurley. Science Fiction.
       "Enyo meditated at mealtimes within the internod, huffing liquor vapors from a dead comrade’s shattered skull. This deep within the satellite, ostensibly safe beneath the puckered skein of the peridium, she went over the lists of the dead. She recited her own name first."

• At Lightspeed: "The Five Deaths of Marvin Dimitri" by Dylan Otto Krider. Fantasy. 
      "I first met Marvin several years ago, but you don’t have to know Marvin to know his story. That’s the sort of thing that’s just understood, that comes from living in Beaumont, Texas, where Marvin lived most all of his lives."

• Flash Fiction at 365 Tomorrows: "Mary" by Duncan Shields.Science Fiction.

Audio Fiction
• At Every Photo Tells: "A Splash on the Big Bridge" by Hugh J O’Donnell. Fantasy.
     "To avoid a political incident and keep peace, the Freelance Hunters have to break into a castle. Not any castle."


• At Lightspeed: "The Five Deaths of Marvin Dimitri" by Dylan Otto Krider, read by Stefan Rudnicki. Fantasy. 
      "I first met Marvin several years ago, but you don’t have to know Marvin to know his story. That’s the sort of thing that’s just understood, that comes from living in Beaumont, Texas, where Marvin lived most all of his lives."

  • Other Genres
  • Flash Fiction at Every Day Fiction: "Weird Girl" by Rasmenia Massoud.
  • Flash Fiction at Smashed Cat Magazine: "Obsession" by Nikita Gill. 
  • Poem at Leaves of Ink: "Hands Holding Scissors" by Taylor Gibbs. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday Free Fiction Part 1.

Beginning the day's free fiction links with a new audio version of Leigh Brackett's Mars adventure. "Black Amazon of Mars," Cat Rambo audio at Escape Pod, and much more.











Fiction
• At Cast of Wonders: "Daphne’s Daughter" by Jennifer Tiemann.  YA
     "When the man came into her sphere of perception, she had almost not realized he was there, concentrating as she was on the new nest of cardinal chicks that rested high on her south side. So occupied was she on shifting her branches just so to protect the nestlings, it wasn’t until the male cardinal reacted with alarm that she turned her awareness down from her branches to her roots."

• At L5R: "Star-Crossed Lovers" by Shawn Carman. Fantasy.
      "Yasuki Tono poured himself a cup of hot tea. It was Jade Sunrise blend, the one he had come to enjoy the most during his time in the Colonies. He missed his favorites from the Empire, but it seemed a small price to pay for the opportunities he had been afforded since his arrival here. From across the room he heard a familiar chuckle, and he did not look in that direction."

• At Mad Scientist Journal: "On Dosing the Water Supply with a High Powered Mind Control Mutagen" by Brandon Miller. Science Fiction.
     "I want to take this opportunity to clear up the misconceptions about the events of April 20, 2013, at the Carson City water reservoir. My former assistant, Gregory, has been telling his side of the story to every National News Agency, as well as to several nasty authoritarian groups. They are now hunting me down as though I were a rabid dog. As if they could actually catch me. I can’t wait to see the look on Gregory’s face when he finally comes to his senses, and comes crawling back to me."

Flash Fiction
Audio Fiction
• At Cast of Wonders: "Daphne’s Daughter" by Jennifer Tiemann, read by Veronica Giguere.
      "When the man came into her sphere of perception, she had almost not realized he was there, concentrating as she was on the new nest of cardinal chicks that rested high on her south side. So occupied was she on shifting her branches just so to protect the nestlings, it wasn’t until the male cardinal reacted with alarm that she turned her awareness down from her branches to her roots."

• At Escape Pod: "On the Big Fisted Circuit" by Cat Rambo, read by Shaelyn Grey. Science Fiction.
      "This was the biggest suit she’d ever crawled into. It meant money: money dripping through the wires around her, money in the gleaming metal struts, money being made by every step it took, money her family needed, every step a week’s rent and food if they were careful with it."

• At The Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs: "Episode 2 - The Son Of Tarzan" Adventure.
     "Chapter II  It is ten years following the events recounted in The Beasts of Tarzan. Alexis Paulvich has been rescued from the banks of the Ugambi River. Enroute to England, the ship stops at a jungle island, where a great ape seems to bond with Paulvich, now using the name Sabrov. The ape, named Ajax, and Sabrov return to London."

• At LibriVox: "Black Amazon of Mars" by Leigh Brackett, read by Phil Chenevert. Science Fantasy.
     "This gore drenched story finds Eric Stark, the barely civilized warrior raised on Mercury struggling to bring a dying Martian friend back to his home city in the North of Mars before he passes away. Unfortunately his friend does die on the way and lays a most unwanted last request on Stark before the end; to bring a precious stolen talisman back to the city. The journey there introduces the intimidating Black Amazon of Mars."

Other Genres

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sleepy Saturday Free Fiction

A few goodies to start the morning.






Flash Fiction
• At 365 Tomorrows: "Curation" by Cosmo Smith. Science Fiction.

Audio Fiction
• At Pseudopod: "The Eulogy Of Darien Meek" by Niccolo Skill. Horror.
       "Twin dark wood doors opened up to a high-ceiling-ed main room. The windows were stained half the colors of the rainbow. The room was awash in vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. A splash of green dotted the refreshment table and the faintest lines of blue hung over the altar. A faint musky smell, not quite strong enough to be offensive, wafted out the door."

• At Radio Drama Revival: "Wormwood ‘Revelations’" Dark Fantasy.
     "where Xander Crowe is being tortured by an evil demonic spirit but finds a way to free himself, and start looking into the other weird mysteries in the town of Wormwood.  What exactly IS going down at the library?"

• At Selected Shorts:  "Too Late" Speculative Fiction.
     "Guest host Wyatt Cenac presents a program of stories about drastic solutions and last chances. Master fantasist Steven Millhauser imagines the world covered by a gigantic plastic sphere in “The Dome,” read by Alec Baldwin. Jim Shepard takes us to the greatest recorded natural disaster in history in “Cretan Love Song,” read by Joe Morton, and Mr. Potato Head is not your friend in Nicholson Baker’s “Subsoil,” read by Thomas Gibson."

• At WMG Publishing: "The Scottish Play" written and read by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
    No Description Found

Other Genres
  • Fiction at Author's Site: "Discovery" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Mystery.
  • Fiction at Online Pulps: "Death on Deposit" by Frank Johnson. 1942, "Duty" by Donald Francis McGrew. 1913, "Murder in Red" by C. S. Montanye. 1948. Pulp. Noir.
  • Flash Fiction at Every Day Fiction: "The Aquarium" by Darci Schummer.
  • Flash Fiction at Linguistic Erosion: "Type A - The Situation" by Anthony Mullinix. 
  • Poem at Leaves of Ink: "You Move Me" by Linda M. Crate.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Classic Cover #17 - Soup's On


Mmm Mmm Good!


Full issue, scanned by JVJ-Geo?, is available for free at Digital Comics Museum.