Thursday, April 7, 2011

Free Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Audio Fiction, and More

Another decent day of free entertainment.

@Beneath Ceaseless Skies: Issue #66 featuring:
"Dancing the Warrior, Pt. I" by Marie Brennan.
"By sheer force of will, Sen forced herself upright. She hadn't won; that much was clear. If that had been the Grandmaster's test, then she'd failed, and this had all been a waste of everybody's time. She couldn't look at Kerestel, at Criel, at anything other than the Grandmaster's feet."

"The Fairy Gaol" by Heather Fawcett.
"I do not want his scrutiny now, with the cool blade of the dagger pressing against my thigh. On the nearest dance path, a woman laughs as a fat prince covers her ears and throat with wet kisses. I feign interest as he spins her across the path, through the starlight that pours into the atrium. Unbidden, I picture our last dance together, on a night so similar and so different."

And don't miss the latest BCS audio story "Mr Morrow Becomes Acquainted with the Delicate Art of Squid Keeping" by Geoffrey Maloney.
"They couldn't be serious, Morrow thought, could not possibly be...but then the Major allowed the squid to slip from his fingers and into his mouth."

Issue #38 (2nd Quarter 2011) of Abyss & Apex: Magazine of Speculative Fiction is out with:
Fermi’s Plague by C. W. Johnson.
"'But Ana,' he told her, 'how do you know the American CIA won’t slip something into your supplies? A bit of shrimp–you wouldn’t even taste it–and my throat would close up forever.' And he throttled himself theatrically."

Demonfire Ash by Helen E. Davis.
"Eyes still closed, Geoff Bowman shifted his head. Pain like an iron spike speared him from temple to temple. Sunlight burned through his still-closed lids; sounds hammered his ears. It was one hell of a hangover, but why would he have been drinking? Strong wine was not allowed to Journeyman Wizards, and he, despite his years, was the newest of Journeyman."

Something Wild by Manfred Gabriel.
"I am a creature of habit. I run the same course every evening. Down the hill into town, away from our modern subdivision and past the clapboard homes built a century before, when the railway rolled through filled with corn and wheat and soybeans, and barges laden with timber cleared from northern woods eased downriver. When the town was an entity onto itself, instead of the bedroom community it has become."

Bots D’Amor by Cat Rambo.
"The bots were going to run Linus out of room soon, if they didn’t scavenge away some piece vital to the ship’s functioning and leave him choking on vacuum first. He didn’t think anyone else had these problems with their ship bots. Galina would say it was his own fault for encouraging them."

Concrete by Nathaniel Lee.
"Trent sighed. Another late night of unpaid overtime, filling out forms in triplicate to update managers who didn’t care about a project that was doomed to failure. He would have minded more if he wasn’t already nervous about going home."

Hail to the Victors by Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon.
"The five of them sat in the sun, their photo-activated chlorophyll enhanced skins providing their lunch. They were beat and the sun was warm; they didn’t talk. Humans didn’t like being green‑-this was a necessary technology which could be turned on and off as needed in the face of the collapse of society and supply chains."

Trans by Paul Rogalus.
"Parker walks up the dimly lit sidewalk and stops at a nightclub called Altered States, looking out of place in his leather jacket. He hesitates at the door and adjusts the packbox on his back, puts on his mirror shades, then enters. At the bar he orders a Potion 9 and a set of green beans."

Serial Fiction: "A Lesson in Taxonomy" by Dave Gross (Chapter Two: The Observation Post).
"I lowered my spyglass and compared what I had seen through the mist with Amadi's sketch of the dinosaurs. His illustrations were astonishing for both their simplicity and their accuracy. At first glance, the dinosaurs we observed from our treetop post appeared identical to the brachiosaurus."

Classic SF:
"Category Phoenix" by Boyd Ellanby, from Galaxy Science Fiction (May 1952).
"Man, it would appear, can adapt to any form of society ... but not one in which the knowledge of extending life becomes a passport to death!"
@Munseys and Project Gutenberg.

Audio Fiction

@StarShipSofa: Episode#183 featuring the short story "Atom Drive" by Charles Fontenay and main fiction "Linkworlds" by Will McIntosh with narrators Jim Philips and Dan Rabarts. And much more.

@The Drabblecast: Episode #200 "The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov, read/performed by a full cast. Very well done! Very good, though predictable, story.

"It all had a beginning in the original cosmic explosion, whatever that was, and it'll all have an end when all the stars run down. The sun will last twenty billion years and maybe the dwarfs will last a hundred billion for all the good they are. But just give us a trillion years and everything will be dark. Entropy has to increase to maximum, that's all..."

@Decoder Ring Theatre: The Red Panda Adventures #69 "Stop the Presses" (superhero/humor) - Campy fun.
"In the tradition of the great mystery men of radio, pulp fiction and the golden age of comics comes The Red Panda, famed protector of 1930s Toronto! Hiding his true identity as on of the city's wealthiest men behind a bright red domino mask, The Red Panda dispenses two-fisted pulp justice with strength, courage and eerie hypnotic powers. Joined in his quest by that Famed Fighting Female The Flying Squirrel, this terrific Twosome holds high the lamp of justice in a dark time!"

@LibriVox: The Mad Planet by Murray Leinster, read by Roger Melin.
"It is 30,000 years following dramatically changed climate conditions on earth [...] Much of the human and animal population would not survive the climate change, and indeed those few humans who did survive knew nothing of all which their predecessors had learned and built."

Flash Fiction

@Daily Science Fiction: "The Modern Prometheus" by Ed Wyrd.
@Every Day Fiction: "The Hurt Club" by James Van Pelt.
@Flashes in the Dark: "A Proper Burial" by Jim Bronyaur.
@365 tomorrows: "Red Tank" by John Xero.

@The Digital Comics Museum: The Lost World Archive Parts One and Two. Collecting the serialized Lost World stories from Planet Comics in CBR format.

@Four-Color Shadows: "The Man From Another World" from Journey into Unknown Worlds #19 (1953). Pure skiffy fun.

@Diversions of the Groovy Kind: "Destiny: Oblivion" by Kraft, Kirchner, and Nebres, from Haunt of Horror #5. Classic 1970's B&W horror .

@The Comic Book Catacombs: Auro, Lord of Jupiter vs. "The Tyrant of Jupiter" from Planet Comics #27 (1943). Hmm, a Tarzan-like character fighting a flying dinosaur on Jupiter, how did the Voyager and Galileo probes get it so wrong?

@The Warriors Comic Book Den: "The Thing from the Sea!" (Wally Wood art) from Eerie #2 (Aug. 1951) - The whole comic is available as a CBR download there.

@The Horrors of It All: "Bowser" by Richard Corben, a classic 1970's horror comic. "a creepy crawly classic"

@The Internet Archive: Adventure Island (1947).
"Based on Robert Louis Stevenson's "Ebb Tide," this adventure pits a group of shipwrecked sailors against the mad ruler of a jungle island." A low-key adventure film in free Avi and Mpeg downloads.

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