Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Free Fiction Rhapsody

Is this science fiction?
Is this just fantasy?
Got some free fiction,
No escape to reality.


• At AE: "Automatic Sky" by Stephen S. Power. Science Fiction.
"Marina’s world is a pale speck on Hub’s forward monitor. Having just unfolded at the edge of her system, he won’t arrive at Sonhar for two days, and the wait is killing him. When you travel halfway across the void to propose, you want to fold the void so thin you can hold your girl’s hand through it. Hub’s engine isn’t good enough for that, though."

• At The Colored Lens: "The Transceiver" by J.A. Becker.
"A cold shudder runs through me as I look through the one-way mirror at the psycho in the orange jumpsuit who’s handcuffed to the table. What I’ll see in his head, what I’ll feel and experience first hand will be like living nightmares. I don’t know if I can handle them. I’ve seen some terrible things, but nothing like what he’s done."

• At Lightspeed: "A Box, a Pocket, a Spaceman" by E. Catherine Tobler. Science Fiction.
"The spaceman shows up on a hot summer afternoon, not in the dead of night when you’re crouched in the garden peering through a telescope that shows you the endless glories and wonders of the night sky. There’s no spaceship making a bright arc against a star-spangled sky. Just a man in a spacesuit, standing at the edge of your hammock." Text and Audio.

• At Lightspeed: "The Grass Princess" by Gwyneth Jones. Fantasy.
"It was April, and down in the orchard the first flashing blades of the new year’s growth were pushing aside the old, worn, winter stuff. The sky was blue and very clear, but the wind was cold. So the nursemaids put the little princess down under an apple tree, wrapped in her shawls, and ran away to play tag under the twisted apple branches, to keep themselves warm."

• At Nightmare Magazine: "Upon the Body" by Ben Peek. Horror.
"The sin-eater arrived in Zonia Province two days before the death of the great gun fighter, Arryo Salazar. He was a small man, the sin-eater, thin and wiry, a rusting coil. At sixty-four, he had left the tautness of youth behind, and his skin, wrinkled, but importantly still unmarked, sagged and folded when he spoke." Text and Audio.

• At Strange Horizons: "Cold as the Moon" by Sunny Moraine. Speculative Fiction.
"Before the sun went down Daddy became a bear and ran away over the ice floes."

• At "Hero of the Five Points" by Alan Gratz. YA.
"There were a hundred stories told in the streets of Five Points about the giant gangster Mose. That he was eight feet tall and six feet wide; that his stovepipe hat was actually an upside-down smokestack torn from a Cheyenne locomotive; that his fists were the size of Cherokee hams, his feet so large it took the leather of two whole cows for him to be shod. When Mose was thirsty, it was said, it took a wagonload of beer to sate him, and in the summer months he carried a fifty-gallon keg of ale on his belt instead of a canteen."   

Flash Fiction
• At Daily Science Fiction: "Time is Money" by John D. Sperry. Magic Realism.
• At Daily Science Fiction: "Departure Gate 34B" by Kary English. Fantasy. Religion.
• At Daily Science Fiction: "The Turn" by Tara Isabella Burton. Parapsychology.
• At Quantum Muse: "Camp" by Happy Woodsman. 
• At 365 Tomorrows: "Rocketbike" by Jackson Fitzjames. Science Fiction.
• At 365 Tomorrows: "Black Rider" by Jae Miles. Science Fiction.
• At 365 Tomorrows: "Activation Required" by Donald O’Barra. Science Fiction.
• At Toasted Cake: "Last Band Standing" by Siobhan O'Flynn. Audio.

Audio Fiction
• At Beam Me Up: "Beam Me Up # 419" Science Fiction.
Episode 28 of "In Plain Sight" written and narrated by Jason Kahn and “Even a Non-Corporeal Can Get Lonely" by David Scholes.

• At Cast of Wonders: "Into The Forever Place" by Luke Thomas. YA.
"I fasten the last braid about Jad’s shoulder and step back. My belly flutters as I look him over, which isn’t normal. Jad’s my best friend.I’m never more comfortable with anyone than with him. Today,though, he is to be venerated, and he looks the part. I knew the dyes used for this sash were precious, but only now do I understand what that means." Audio and Text.

• At Clarkesworld: "The Saint of the Sidewalks" by Kat Howard, read by Kate Baker.
"Joan wrote her prayer with a half-used tube of Chanel Vamp that she had found discarded at the 34th St. subway stop. It glided across the cardboard—the flip side of a Stoli box, torn and bent—and left her words in a glossy slick the color of dried blood: “I need a miracle.”"

• At Drabblecast: "To Whatever" by Shaenon Garrity. Comedy. Horror.
"To whatever lives in the walls—Please stop taking my half & half. Let’s get this out of the way: I know you’re there. Don’t think I’m unaware of the scrabbling sounds, the walls creaking from your bulk, the way my razor in the morning is never exactly where I left it last night. Richard always said it was the building settling—as if a building, however old, could take apples out of the fruit crisper—but he was as wrong about that as he was about a lot of things beyond the scope of this note. And since he moved out I feel you’ve gotten bold."

• At StarShipSofa: "Predvestniki" by Greg Kurzawa, read by Nick Camm. 
"Ben pressed his forehead and palms against the cold glass of the picture window. Twenty-three floors below, ice floes clogged the Moskva, bumping for position in the sluggish current. On the opposite bank, walkers bundled against the weather followed a towpath along the curve of river. The path skirted the park and disappeared under the covered span of the Pushkinsky pedestrian bridge."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Morning Free Fiction

Catch up post. Too many for pictures.

• At Baen: "An Imperium Pursuit" by Jody Lynn Nye. Science Fiction.
"My friends and relatives arrayed themselves in three flanks behind me, one each to right, left and above me. The twenty of us swooped straight down a hundred stories toward the busy cityscape of Nikplig. I narrowly missed colliding with a goods vehicle about to dock on a platform a kilometer or so above the ground. With the expert skill at piloting and hair-trigger reflexes that I am too modest to admit I possess, I pulled aside just in time."

• At Daily Science Fiction: "The Story Will Win a Hugo" by James Van Pelt. Science Fiction.
"An astrophysicist does science. A writer writes. If she wants to watch me hunched over a computer for hours at a time in literature's name, who am I to deny her?"

• At Lightspeed: "Morning Child" by Gardner Dozois. Science Fiction:
"The old house had been hit by something sometime during the war and mashed nearly flat. The front was caved in as though crushed by a giant fist: wood pulped and splintered, beams protruding at odd angles like broken fingers, the second floor collapsed onto the remnants of the first. The rubble of a chimney covered everything with a red mortar blanket."

• At Lightspeed: "The Djinn Who Sought To Kill The Sun" by Tahmeed Shafiq. Fantasy.
"They travelled all day, and at night came to rest by one of the large rocks that jut from the desert. The last caveat to voyagers before the plains of windswept sand. Here is what the boy heard: 'Long ago, almost fifty years by official counting, there was a boy named Alladin.'" Text and Audio.

• At Mad Scientist Journal:  "The Eversible Antarctic Sky – Part One" by James Hanson. Science Fiction.
"The purpose of our expedition as stated in our charter is twofold: to determine the ultimate fate of Baxendell’s expedition of 1869, and to recover as much of their personal effects and scientific equipment as possible, with special emphasis on Oxford’s astrographic lens and the Royal Society’s Synthetical Engine No. 2. Truthfully I have another, personal purpose in this endeavour, which is to vindicate Sir Arthur Baxendell, who has always garnered my deepest admiration, both in his capacity as a physicist and, despite my habitual distaste for the profession, as a mathematician."

• At Nightmare Magazine: "The Kiss" by Tia V. Travis. Horror.
"The angel’s heart was torn from its chest. The stained-glass box that once held it was smashed; ruby tears scattered around the fountain. The ruins of the valentine lay amidst splinters of red glass and oak leaves mottled with rot"

• At Project Gutenberg: "A Voyage to the Moon" by Cyrano de Bergerac. Science Fiction. 1657.
""You see one," answered I, "stunned with so many Wonders that I know not what to admire most; for coming from a World, which without doubt you take for a Moon here, I thought I had arrived in another, which our Worldlings call a Moon also; and behold I am in Paradice at the Feet of a God, who will not be Adored." "Except the quality of a God," replied he, "whose Creature I only am, the rest you say is true: This Land is the Moon, which you see from your Globe"

• At Strange Horizons: "The Air We Breathe Is Stormy, Stormy" by Rich Larson. Speculative Fiction.
"In Baltic waters, gnashed by dark waves, there stood an old oil platform on rusted legs. It was populated as rigs always are, by coarse men young and strong whose faces soon overgrew with bristle and bloat. Cedric was one of these." Text and Audio.

• At "Sleeper" by Jo Walton. Science Fiction.
"None of those facts are unproblematic. It wasn’t exactly a newspaper, nor was the process by which he received the information really reading. The question of his consciousness is a matter of controversy, and the process by which he regained it certainly illegal."

• At "La Signora" by Bruce McAllister. Dark Fantasy.
"a dark fantasy about a teenage American living in an ancient Italian fishing village with his parents. He’s invited by his friends to go night-fishing on one special night, and although he knows his parents would disapprove, he goes anyway."

Flash Fiction
• At Beware the Hairy Mango: "Ivory Man" by Matthew Sanborn Smith.
• At The Colored Lens: "Magic Hands" by Iulian Ionescu. Fantasy.
• At Daily Science Fiction: "Switch" by Jonathan L. Miller. Science Fiction.
• At Daily Science Fiction: "Sugar and Spice" by Melissa Mead. Fantasy.
• At Daily Science Fiction: "Do Not Count the Withered Ones" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Magic Realism.
• At Daily Science Fiction: "Cover Letter" by Dani Atkinson. Fantasy.
• At Every Day Fiction: "Trial by Comedy" by Lance J. Mushung. Science Fiction.
• At Every Day Fiction: "Talking Animals" by Spencer German Ellsworth. Science Fiction.
• At Every Day Fiction: "Pastorale No. 3: The Longboat Burial" by Gerald Warfield. Fantasy.
• At Farther Stars Than These: "The Facility" by David K Scholes. Science Fiction.
• At Nature: "The Death of Immortality" by Kyle L. Wilson & Andrew B. Barbour. Science Fiction.
• At Quantum Muse: "Cheap Wine" by Harris Tobias
• At 365 Tomorrows: "Tandem Passenger" by Peter R Jennings. Science Fiction.
• At 365 Tomorrows: "Prime Numbers" by Elijah Goering. Science Fiction.
• At 365 Tomorrows: "The Mind’s Lie" by Amber K Bryant. Science Fiction.
• At 365 Tomorrows: "The Last Witness of Memories" by Elisa Nuckle. Science Fiction.
• At 365 Tomorrows: "Hate the Player" by Jae Miles. Science Fiction.
• At 365 Tomorrows: "I Would Know" by RM Dooley.
• At Toasted Cake: "Blood Willows" by Caroline M. Yoachim. Audio,
• At Yesteryear Fiction: "Swanson Piper" by Paul Tristram. Fantasy.

Audio Fiction
• At Drabblecast: "The Colour Out of Space" by  H.P. Lovecraft. Horror.
"West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut. There are dark narrow glens where the trees slope fantastically, and where thin brooklets trickle without ever having caught the glint of sunlight. On the gentle slopes there are farms, ancient and rocky, with squat, moss-coated cottages brooding eternally over old New England secrets in the lee of great ledges; but these are all vacant now, the wide chimneys crumbling and the shingled sides bulging perilously beneath low gambrel roofs." Audio and Text.

• At Escape Pod: "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" by Rachel Swirsky, read by Christina Lebonville. Science Fiction.
"If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge."

• At Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs: Tarzan the Untamed chapters 22 and 23. Adventure.
"We last saw Bertha Kircher as she was being brought to the maniac King – only to be grabbed and stolen away by Metak, the crazed son of the king. Carrying the girl, Metak flees through the palace until he comes to the apparent end of his flight – in front of a large and deep pool of water blocking his way."

• At PodCastle: "Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy" by by Saladin Ahmed, read by Steve Anderson. Fantasy.
"We were sipping tea in a room with green carpets, and I was laughing at a jest that…that someone was making. Who? The face, the voice, the name have been stolen from me. All I know is that my brothers and I suddenly found ourselves in this twisted place, each aware of the others’ fates, but unable to find one another. Unable to find any escape."

• At Pseudopod: "The Wriggling Death" by Harold Gross, read by Veronica Giguere. Horror.
"After finding the dell, we walked homeward in a more subdued fashion. After only a few steps, the contemplative silence was broken by the rustling of leaves behind us. We stopped in our tracks. We’d outrun Deaths all our lives and, in high Season, had even gone off into the desert to protect ourselves. More than enough females were willing to accept them into themselves and breed for as long as their accelerated aging would allow. There were always those that wanted to bear young. But that wasn’t Chalen or myself, thank you. We had our voices and our music and our fans. That was enough."

• At Radio Drama Revival: "Land of Enchantment 2 of 4"
"Mojo takes a job playing piano at the Armadillo Bistro and Cabaret in Coyote, New Mexico, where he’s drawn into an adventure with a cast of wild west characters, including a 100 year old curandera (medicine woman), and an Apache spirit guide who is one helluva prankster."

• At SFFaudio: "Dracula’s Guest" by Bram Stoker, read by Robert White. Horror.
When we started for our drive the sun was shining brightly on Munich, and the air was full of the joyousness of early summer. Just as we were about to depart, Herr Delbruck (the maitre d'hotel of the Quatre Saisons, where I was staying) came down bareheaded to the carriage and, after wishing me a pleasant drive, said to the coachman, still holding his hand on the handle of the carriage door, "Remember you are back by nightfall. The sky looks bright but there is a shiver in the north wind that says there may be a sudden storm. But I am sure you will not be late." Here he smiled and added,"for you know what night it is."  

• At StarShipSofa: "Feral Moon” by Alex Jablokov, read by Jonathan Danz. Science Fiction.
"The corpses fell from the interior of the moon like drops of water from an icicle. The body repatriation team that hung in the open space just outside the blast crater maneuvered back and forth and caught them in a grid of storage modules, one by one. Behind them, the stars moved slowly past.

• At Tales to Terrify: "Case of the Tibetan Rug" by William Meikle. Horror.
No description

• At Classic Tales Podcast: "The Wire Jacket - a Fu-Manchu Adventure" by Sax Rohmer, read by BJ Harrison.
• At Crime City Central: "Hard Rock" by Gerard Brennan, narrator Kenny Park.
At Protecting Project Pulp: “The Coin of Dionysius” by Ernest Bramah, read by Jay Langejans. Noir.
• At The Western Online: "Enjoy the Honey" by John Laneri. Western

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sorry, no posts for a few days due to a death in the family.

"The roads I travel I must leave,
For I've turned the final bend.
Weep not empty tears, but grieve
As the road comes to an end

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Circle of Free Fiction

From the day we arrive on the planet / And blinking, step into the sun / There's more to read than can ever be read / More to download than can ever be done

• At Online Pulps!: "The Cat-Snake" by Frances M. Deegan. Horror.
"The cat in Isabel loved to be petted - but the snake in her was poised to strike ..." first published in Fantastic Adventures, April 1948. Direct pdf download here.

• At Project Gutenberg: "The Fantasy Fan - November 1933" by Charles D. Hornig.
Includes "The Other Gods" by H. P. Lovecraft and "A Dream of the Abyss" by Clark Ashton Smith.

• At Project Gutenberg: "The Fantasy Fan December 1933" by Charles D. Hornig.
Includes "Birkett's Twelfth Corpse" by August W. Derleth and other flash fiction.

Flash Fiction
• At 365 Tomorrows: "The Argument" by Suzanne Borchers. Science Fiction.
• At Clarkesworld: "Bonfires in Anacostia" by Joseph Tomaras, read by Kate Baker.
"On the left-hand side of the coffee table were stacked three Michael Chabon novels, one each by T.C. Boyle and Tim O’Brien, and a volume of Nathanael West’s collected works. On the right were five guides to maximizing fertility, and two novels by Tessa Dare. In between were two stemless wine glasses."

• At Forgotten Classics: "People of the Mist - Chapters 32-33" by H. Rider Haggard. Adventure.
"In which Otter must fight and Leonard is tricked."

• At Pseudopod: "Prince Of Flowers" by Elizabeth Hand, read by Christiana Ellis. Horror.
"As she opened the box, dried flowers, seeds, and wood shavings cascaded into her lap. She inhaled, closing her eyes, and imagined blue water and firelight, sweet-smelling seeds exploding in the embers. She sneezed and opened her eyes to a cloud of dust wafting from the crate like smoke. Very carefully she worked her fingers into the fragrant excelsior, kneading the petals gently until she grasped something brittle and solid. She drew this out in a flurry of dead flowers."

• At DriveThruRPG: "Basic Dungeon Tiles : Expansion Set 3" Pay What You Want.
Dungeon tiles are a useful fantasy gaming tool and this "pay what you want" set includes 24 pages of them.

Friday, August 8, 2014

By the Pricking of My Thumbs, Good Free Fiction This Way Comes.

If there is not enough, gentles--do not reprehend if you pardon, tomorrow we will mend. And, as I am an honest Dave if we have unearned luck. Now to scape the serpents tongue. We will make amends ere long else the blogger a liar call. So--goodnight unto you all. Give me your hands if we be friends. And Dave shall restore amends.

• At Daily Science Fiction: "1:40 AM" by Eliza Victoria. Science Fiction.
"Before the man with a gun entered the convenience store, Grace was sitting alone at a sticky, soda-splattered table, her broken arm throbbing like a heart, the roof of her mouth burning from the coffee she had drunk too quickly. It was nearly two in the morning, and there were only three other people in the store."

• At Project Gutenberg: "The Infra-Medians" by Sewell Peaslee Wright. Science Fiction.
"Into a land of shadows and lostsouls goes Pete Grahame in searchof his hapless friends." First published in Astounding Stories, December 1931.

Flash Fiction
• At 365 Tomorrows: "180 Accident-Free Days" by Gray Blix. Science Fiction.
• At Weirdyear: "When Elvis Met Khan" by William Stobb. 
 Audio Fiction
• At Radio Drama Revival: "Traveling with ZBS to the Land of Enchantment - Part 1 of 4." Fantasy.
"Mojo takes a job playing piano at the Armadillo Bistro and Cabaret in Coyote, New Mexico, where he’s drawn into an adventure with a cast of wild west characters, including a 100 year old curandera (medicine woman), and an Apache spirit guide who is one helluva prankster."

• At Tales to Terrify: Episode #134. Horror.
M. N. Tarrint’s "The Fire Pit" and Paul Jessup’s "Glass Coffin Girls." No descriptions.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Free Fiction to Come

"If we're no more than animals, we must snatch each little scrap of happiness and live and suffer and pass, mattering no more than all the other animals do or have done. Is it this? Or that? All the free fiction in the  universe? Or nothingness? Which shall it be, Passworthy? Which shall it be?"

• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "Five Fruits I Ate in Sandar Land" by Michael Haynes. Fantasy.
"The bitter apple is fatal. Only in large quantities, though, and its offensive taste makes it nearly impossible to eat enough of them to kill a man. As the sun dips below the horizon, I eat one my first night in Sandar Land, barefoot and sweat soaked. The juices sting my chapped lips and give no comfort to my throat. It’s the first food I have eaten in three days. While I chew, I try to imagine it as something less noxious, but with each bite I nearly retch and lose it all."

• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "Make No Promises" by Rachel Halpern. Fantasy.
"My sister Lydie and I often walk in the hills when our morning lessons are over. We take our lessons separately—I am the younger by three years, so the history lessons that give me such trouble my sister has already mastered. Fencing is even worse, where besides my lack of training, I have also my shorter reach and my weak left eye to contend with."

• At Daily Science Fiction: "Ghosts of Mars" by Edoardo Albert. Science Fiction.
"Lars Caron had only taken over as mission commander because Pete Boardman had died. We were the most scanned, checked, and examined group of human beings in history--after all, on the first mission to Mars, you don't want someone falling ill or freaking out on the way--and Pete had checked out clearer than any of us. Then, seven days before departure, he went and died. The autopsy said his heart gave out, but I knew, from speaking to the doctors, that they could not find anything wrong with him. Dead, he presented as perfect a physical specimen as he had when alive."

• At Paizo: "Queen Sacrifice - Chapter Four: A Burning Love" by Steven Savile. Fantasy. Pathfinder.
"She didn't have an answer to that. She hadn't thought that far ahead. "Our chance will come," she said, making another promise she didn't know she could keep. "Can you find your way back to the stairwell?" She couldn't, not without going back through the fissure the tunnel rat had led her down, and she had no idea where that fissure was because she'd been unconscious when the urdefhans dragged her here." All four parts here.

Flash Fiction
• At Every Day Fiction: "Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the Bandits on Consortium Moon Prime" by Milo James Fowler. Science Fiction.
• At Nature: "Your Application for Eternal Life Has Been Partially Approved" by James Wesley Rogers.
• At 365 Tomorrows: "Moon Rocks" by Gray Blix. Science Fiction.

Audio Fiction
• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "The Topaz Marquise" by Fran Wilde. Fantasy.
"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."

• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "Haxan" by Kenneth Mark Hoover. Fantasy.
"No, I’m talking about real people. Flesh and blood like you and me. They’re taken from places they call home and sent into this stormy sea to help calm the waters. It never ends because it’s the storm itself, the unending conflict, that makes the world we know a reality. Along with all the other worlds that could be."

• At PodCastle: "The Ascent of Unreason" by Marie Brennan, read by Wilson Fowlie. Fantasy.
"Watching Last cough up his wine at the words wasn’t the only reason for Tolyat’s declaration, but he had to admit it was part of the appeal.  The man was a guide, and had seen so much, experienced so much, gone so many places, that it was hard to crack his shell of burnt-out weariness.  One pretty much had to say something so outrageous it should never be uttered by a sane man."

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

There is Nothing Like Looking, If You Want to Find Free Fiction

In a hole in the ground there lived a bookworm. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of snakes and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to read or sit down on: it was a bookworm-hole, and that means free fiction. 

• At HiLobrow: "King Goshawk - Part 32" by Eimar O'Duffy. Science Fiction.
"Having shaken off his guide, Cuanduine passed out of the city and came presently to a grove not far off, wherein an army of workmen had just finished erecting a hugh pyre of logs over tar-barrels. A hundred and fifty feet square it was at the base, and forty feet high, and it was overtopped by an earthen ramp over a mile in length. Just as Cuanduine arrived torches were put to the tar, and flames two hundred feet high shot up into the sky."

• At Nightmare Magazine: "Dear Owner of This 1972 Ford Crew Cab Pickup" by Desirina Boskovich. Horror.
"It’s me again. Remember me? In the beginning I left a note stuck to your windshield. You are parked outside my bedroom window, it said. Please stop revving your truck at 3 a.m., or find somewhere else to park." Text and Audio.

• At "In the Sight of Akresa" by Ray Wood. Fantasy.
"Claire’s lover has no tongue. A slave liberated from a heathen temple, Aya cannot tell the story of her stolen voice, or of her and Claire’s unfolding love. She cannot speak her pain, her joy, or her sorrow. And if she sees that which eludes the blind goddess of justice, she cannot bear witness. 'In the Sight of Akresa' is a tragic fantasy romance from debut author Ray Wood."

Flash Fiction

Audio Fiction
• At Beam Me Up: "Beam Me Up # 417 News, Music + pt1 Doubling Down On Dublee – Michael Juby" 
part one of Michael Jube’s "Doubling Down on Dublee."

• At LibriVox: "The Fall of the Niebelungs" translated by Margaret Armour. Epic. Fantasy. Mythology.

"My husband is stark and bold. When that he slew the dragon on the mountain, he bathed him in its blood; wherefore no weapon can pierce him. Nevertheless, when he rideth in battle, and spears fly from the hands of heroes, I tremble lest I lose him. Alack! for Siegfried's sake how oft have I been heavy of my cheer! And now, dear cousin, I will trust thee with the secret, and tell thee, that thou mayst prove thy faith, where my husband may be wounded. For that I know thee honourable, I do this. When the hot blood flowed from the wound of the dragon, and Siegfried bathed therein, there fell atween his shoulders the broad leaf of a lime tree. There one might stab him, and thence is my care and dole."

• At WotC: "D&D Basic Rules." Fantasy.
"The Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons is a PDF (over 100 pages, in fact) that covers the core of the game. It runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options; in addition, the rules contain 120 spells, 5 backgrounds, and character sheets." A good way to look at the upcoming fifth addition, but not really a complete game.  With no monsters, you would have to fudge quite a bit to actually play. It's been out awhile but free is free.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

For the Internet is Infinite and I Have Read its Free Fiction

Even more great free fiction, including a few proudly pilfered from Regan Wolfrom's free fiction links at SF Signal.

• At The Colored Lens: "Truth Banks" by Damien Krsteski. Speculative Fiction.
"I picture the satellites containing the data of the Truth Banks, the supercomputers buried deep underground with backups and revision history, the top-secret security systems. If there’s one heist impossible to pull it’s this one, and yet the fifteen millisecond gap is right before me like a splinter in the holograms."

• At Comets and Criminals: "La Rosa Still in Bloom" by Beth Cato. Science Fiction. [Via SF Signal]
"Rosa spied Mason marching downhill, the formerly pregnant swell of his beer belly dwindled to a saggy bump. Morning light glinted along the barrel of the shotgun in his hands. She tapped her fingers against the windowsill and calculated the days since electricity failed: twenty-three. The chill of autumn crept into her very bones as the house creaked and sang to itself. As far as she knew, beyond their hill the human race had ceased to be." Text and Audio.

• At Lakeside Circus: "A Life of No Consequence" by Anton Sim. Science Fiction. [Via SF Signal]
"Seventy-nine years later, in the fourth year of the plague, scientists tamed time. They didn’t conquer it; that was entirely beyond human comprehension. But they found a way to fold the days and months atop one another and allow windows, openings. Through one such window they viewed the future, all 22 trillion variations of it, and discovered the single timeline in which humanity survived. And they were able to isolate and determine the DNA of the person who rescued mankind."

• At Strange Horizons: "Resurrection Points" by Usman T. Malik. Speculative Fiction.
"And thus we practiced my first danse macabre. Sought out the nerve bundles, made them pop and sizzle, watched the cadaver spider its way across the table. With each discharge, the pain lessened, but soon my fingers began to go numb and Baba made me halt. Carefully he draped DeadBoy." Text and Audio.

• Now Posted: Apex Magazine Issue 63 — August 2014.
• “Ten Days’ Grace” by Foz Meadows
"Julia Kettan first knew her husband was dead when she looked out the window and saw a car emblazoned with the crest of the Bureau of Family Affairs pull up in the driveway. Her legs went weak, though whether from relief or fear she couldn’t tell. Robert hadn’t come home the previous evening. She’d phoned it in that morning to both the police and the Bureau, not wanting to risk a second major infraction under the Spousal Laws in case anything really had happened, despite being convinced that Robert had just drunk too much after work and decided to sleep at a friend’s."
• “Sister of Mercy” by Amanda Forrest
"Morning, and the frost was thick on ferns already yellow with the changing season. The sun broke from the horizon, thin light stirring the dying insects to crawl for one more day. I pushed the scratchy woolen blankets off my body and stood, shivering, from the bed I made in the meadow."
• “The Sandbirds of Mirelle” by John Moran
"In the autumn of 2309 I crossed from one lonely star to another and took a tour to the sandbird tracks of Mirelle. The only other passengers were a married couple, and our guide was a priest in training. I was eighteen, and it was my first assassination."
• “Jupiter and Gentian” by Erik Amundsen
"Gen walked on the endless, oscillating sea of liquid metal hydrogen and tried, tried to keep her consciousness together. The knight who followed her into the atmosphere, swam through the outer sea of hydrogen with her, he was here too. His armor defied the pressure, his banner defied the heat, and his hands, deep within the boiling, rolling mass of Jupiter. He stood beside a tree that constantly remade itself as it burned and crumpled."

Flash Fiction
• At Chrome Baby: "Astreya’s Fish" by Siobhan Gallagher. Science Fiction. [Via SF Signal]
• At Lakeside Circus:"Fixed" by Levi Jacobs. Science Fiction.
• At Strange Horizons: "Note to the Caretaker" by Lisa Bellamy. Speculative Poem.

• At DriveThruRPG: Pathways #41 (PFRPG) by Rite Publishing.
"Deep Dragon Template" Steve shows us what dragons canpotentionally lie deep in the Earth.Make a more powerful foe with the Deep Dragon Template. by Steve Russell.
"Principles of Mega-dungeon Design" Creighton shows us what megadungeonsare and how they can Creighton Broadhurst
"Introduction to World Building" Explore how to make your own world! by Elton Robb.