A ton of good free stuff today. Free fiction from several sources, audio fiction, gaming supplements, and comics. Oh yeah, Lt. Bob found a free movie, sigh. Would say more but once again the Solar Guard has called me in to work early, something about rescuing Space Marines on a bug hunt, I believe.
At Lightspeed Magazine, "Saying the Names" by Maggie Clark.
"On the shuttle out to our connecting flight, the Bo assigned to my mission fixes the bulge of his eyes unwaveringly upon me. I was told to expect this, the species so alien to death it finds our every parting curious; its sense of privacy so absent, not one of its forty-three languages contains the word."
Online HERE. (And don't miss the great non-fiction here)
At The World SF Blog, "Encore"” by John Kenny.
"The hot sun beat upon the head of Fermino Salousse as he hobbled on his crutches up Avenida da Marginal from his shack on the outskirts of Maputo proper. There was little mercy in that sun, the palm trees stretching along the avenue that hugged the wide bay offering tiny, isolated islands of shade"
Electric Spec has out its first issue of 2011, featuring "a variety of dark and light stories in the fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres." Included is fiction by Dawn Lloyd, A. L. Sirois, Frederick Obermeyer, Sara Kate Ellis, Jaelithe Ingold, and Lesley L. Smith as well as an interview with author Mario Acevedo.
All online HERE.
At Daily Science Fiction, "'Hello,' Said the Gun" by Jay Lake.
"'Hello,' said the Gun. The Girl stopped, frozen in the act of bending to gather a handful of acorns. They were a bit old, a late windfall, but a good nut was not to be wasted. Clad in a wrap of gingham and faded blue flower print sewn together from truly ancient dresses she'd found last summer in a mud-filled basement, she knew she stood out amid the dried, dying oaks and their desiccated understory."
At Ray Gun Revival, "Landless" by Sean T.M. Stiennon.
"The narrow streets of the Twilight capitol were filled with the orange twilight of burning buildings, and the air was thick with smoke and the nauseating aroma of melting moldsteel as Kogaru moved through the crowd. He had disguised himself as a Twiwalker—seven feet high, hooked beak protruding from the folds of a black mantle. He had shaped his robe as ragged, burnt, and blood-stained."
At Podcastle, episode 146, Giant Episode: "The Surgeon’s Tale" by Cat Rambo and Jeff VanderMeer, read by Graeme Dunlop.
"Down by the docks, you can smell the tide going out–surging from rotted fish, filth, and the briny sargassum that turns the pilings a mixture of purple and green. I don’t mind the smell; it reminds me of my youth."
Streaming and in MP3 downloads HERE.
At the Internet Archive, Mindwebs "Not really audio drama in the strict sense of the definition, this 1970's series out of WHA Radio in Wisconsin featured weekly readings of science fiction stories by some of the genre's best writers. Nevertheless, since many of the readings were enhanced by music, periodic sound cues, and the occasional character voice" The OTR Plot Spot.
In individual MP3 downloads or one 852 MB zip HERE.
At LibriVox, a dramatic, full cast, reading of L. Frank Baum's Ozma of Oz, the third title in the Oz series. For the young and young at heart.
"Dorothy is shipwrecked and lands on the shores of a fairy country that adjoins Oz, the land of Ev. There she meets Tiktok, a wind-up mechanical man; a talking chicken, Billina; and Ozma, the girl ruler of Oz who is leading a quest to rescue the royal family of Ev from their captivity by the Nome King."
In MP3 and ogg downloads HERE.
Lt. Bob presents. Comedy/Horror classic Bucket of Blood (1959) by movie genius guy Roger Corman. No understand why you humans like Spielberg, Kurosawa, and others so much. Corman true masterpiece maker. Though did like title Throne of Blood but was based on Shakessword guy play - sleepy time.
At the Internet Archive, A Bucket of Blood (1959) "Walter Paisley, nerdy busboy at a Bohemian café, is jealous of the talent (and popularity) of its various artistic regulars."
Steaming and in various video downloads HERE.
At DriveThru RPG, "At the Heart of Evil" from Headless Hydra Games, a free 16 page Pathfinder compatible adventure.
"For years, the Order of the Sanguine Star ruled Kelennor, until one day, the paladins stopped patrolling the borders. It was whispered that a great evil had entered the old keep, and when Sir Gareth Strongfist, a blackguard, entered the town of Kelen, he was accompanied by skeleton warriors."
In PDF download HERE. (Free membership required).
At Dragonsfoot, the "Abbernoth campaign setting" For C&C 4th edition, easily adaptable to most D&D based games. "The driving concept in the creation of The Abbernoth Campaign Setting has been ... the idea that magick isn’t overt or common and that heroes and villains are believable characters who are exceptional not necessarily for their preternatural strength or abilities, but rather for their actions and their deeds."
In PDF download HERE.
At DriveThruRPG, "The Players Guide to Lesserton" for early edition D&D and retro-clones. "This 16-page supplement gives you everything you need to get started in the dirty town of Lesserton, the "Adventurer's Paradise!" From the new Orkin PC race, to stores and inns and bars, to unique gambling games, to rules for contacts and enemies"
In PDF download HERE. (Free membership required).
At RPG Creatures, another beautifully illustrated monster, the elijinn, easily adapted to virtually any fantasy game. "The incredible power these creatures hold over density, and use basically at will, leave them few natural enemies."
And Daddy Grognard continues the adventure for every monster series with Baluchitherium.
At Ditko Comics, "Enchanted Planet" from Space Adventures #31 (1959).
Classic Steve Ditko illustrated sci-fi.
At The Horrors of It All, "Slaves of the Undead Brain" from The Beyond #27. Cool title and it has robots!
And at Four-Color Shadows, "The Flame Goddess" from 1949. A story vaguely reminiscent of H. R. Haggard's She.