Happy Monday, space citizens. A great shipment of free fiction in many formats (text, audio, illustrated, gaming, etc.) has made it past the evil Gnaerkiean space pirates. We weathered a bad storm here at headquarters darn planets and their weather.
At Fantasy Magazine, "The Celebrated Carousel of the Margravine of Blois" by Megan Arkenberg.
"My sincerest apologies for my inexcusable delay in responding to your inquiry after the celebrated carousel of the Margravine of Blois. The truth is—and I write this with utmost regret—that the reports responsible for so much distress in your admirable person are accurate in every respect."
Dark Valentine "is a quarterly journal devoted entirely to dark fiction, which we define as any story in any genre that is disturbing, provocative, haunting, scary, dangerous, or any combination of those things." The latest issue #3 has fiction by Patricia Abbott • Diane Arrelle • David Boyer • Thomas Canfield • Eric Dimbleby • Paul Edwards • Edward A. Grainger • Greg M. Hall • Dave Hunsaker • Simon Marshall-Jones • P. R. O’Leary • Dale Phillips • Christine Pope • Brian Trent. If you can judge a magazine by its cover, this one will be awesome.
Issues One through Three are available in free PDF downloads HERE [via SF Signal]
At AE - The Canadian Science Fiction Review, "Aliens, eh?" by by Laura Lee McArdle. [OMG that is the ultimate Canadian SF story title!]
"Today I’ve had two cases of bullying, a fist fight between pregnant cheerleaders and, to top it all off, a phone call from a shrink back east. My mother has gone AWOL. Again. Today I need coffee that’ll stand up a spoon."
At Mindflights, "The Patron" by Michael Simon.
"My customers noticed as well, eyeballing her sleek form as she angled between bodies on her way to the bar. Unlike most nights when I could have fired a gun across the floor and not hit anyone, tonight was standing room only. Unfortunately, that had everything to do with the recent terrorist attack as opposed to my sterling personality."
At Book View Cafe, Chapter eight of Offspring: A Novel of The Silent Empire by Steven Harper.
"It is through first contact with an alien species that humanity learns of the Dream. It is a plane of mental existence where people are able to communicate by their thoughts alone--over distances of thousands of light-years."
Online HERE or start from the beginning here.
At Kat and Mouse: Guns for Hire, "Taking Care of Business" - Part One, by Abner Senires.
"Malachi gripped the arms of his desk chair and glared at the phone on the desktop. 'You assured me," he said, teeth gritted, "your men were reliable.'"
At Scott Sigler's website episode three of the audio-book of "The Starter"
"Feel your heart pump at the roar of 180,000-plus screaming for blood at Ionath Stadium! Watch as second-year quarterback Quentin Barnes leads the orange and the black onto the field of battle in the second book of the Galactic Football League series."
In MP3 download HERE.
Beam Me Up hits a milestone with its 250th podcast. This episode feature new story from David Steffen called "The Utility of Love," a "clever retelling of the Wizard of Oz mythos." and the conclusion to Nancy Fulda’s "Knowing Neither Kith Nor Kin."
Streaming and in MP3 download HERE.
At The Internet Archive, The Sealed Book "a radio series of mystery and terror tales, produced and directed by Jock MacGregor for the Mutual network. Between March 18 and September 9, 1945, the melodramatic anthology series was broadcast on Sundays from 10:30pm to 11:00pm." OTTR certified complete.
Available in two zipped MP3 CDs HERE.
At PodCastle, Miniature 59: "Rainmaker" by Benjamin Thomas, read by Wilson Fowlie.
"I see a peacock,” I said. It didn’t look like a peacock, a bird, or even a fan. Clouds never really looked like anything, unless you squint just right."
Streaming and in MP3 download HERE.
The Feb/March 2011 "launch issue of Battlespace is now available for download or to view online." It "provides news and views on all forms of gaming. Digital strategy, board games, card games and table top miniatures are all featured each issue in an interactive, digital format."
Available online and in pdf download HERE. [via Freewargamerules]
At Ancient Vaults & Eldritch Secrets, new spells for early D&D editions and retro-clones.
These include, Earth Trap, Convert Seeds, and Knowing Your Boundaries.
At RPG Creatures some exceptionally well illustrated creatures, easily adaptable to almost any fantasy RPG (many would work well with horror or sf RPGs). A must see site.
Recent creatures include the Aegarim, Ni-Oths, the Mehrog, and the Chaerim Witch. [via Trollish Delver]
At RetroRoleplaying The Blog, "Microlite 74 supplement 2: Wary's Grimoire" It "adds half-elves and the following classes to Microlite74: Paladin, Ranger, Monk, Illusionist, Druid, Thief and Bard" as well as spells and more.
In PDF download HERE. Also available with Microlite 74 and supplement #1 in epub and mobi formats here.
At The RPG Athenaeum, "The Rusty Dwarf Inn"
"The Rusty Dwarf Inn is a typical inn and tavern run by the halfling brewer, Bandor Berryhill. This 12-page pdf file includes a description of the inn’s history, a complete key, non-player character profiles and high-resolution maps." For D&D but easily adapted to most fantasy games.
Online HERE. [via RPG Bloggers]
At Lady, That's My Skull, Chapter 24 of "Mystra of the moon" from Planet Comics.
Online HERE. [via Free SF Reader]. Earlier chapters are here.
At The Comic Book Catacombs, "The Secret of the Crater-Men" (1951) illustrated by Al Carreno.
At Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine, "The Face," drawn by Steve Ditko, from Tales Of Suspense #26 (1961) and B&W scans of the original art.
In B&W and color versions HERE.
At Digital Comic Museum, Jungle Comics #160 featuring the Tarzan-like adventures of Ka'anga jungle lord and Tiger Girl.
In CBR format HERE (free membership required).
At The Bloody Pulp!, "The Devil's Fiddle" & "Horror Harbor" classic B&W horror comics from Witches' Tales.
Both are online HERE.
And at Four-Color Shadows, "Werewolf of the Alps" (1954), a mid-fifties horror tale from Jon D'Agostino
At Fantastic Flashbacks, a scanned article from 1977 about Forbidden Planet, the best film of the 1950s (imho).