The illustration is for "Recording Angel" by Ian McDonald.
Now Posted: The Chiaroscuro Volume 47, Week 13 (June 27—30, 2011)
"The Consumer" by Seth Lindberg.
"The other night armed men woke me up to sell me toothpaste. I thought it was a dream at first, until I felt the cold metal against my warm sleeping body. “Who are you?” I asked.""Conventions of the Genre" by Jesse Bullington.
"“Silver seems to stop them just fine,” I remind him, funnelling the carefully measured metal pellets into the mouth of a yawning 12-gauge shell.""The Eight of Swords" by S. Boyd Taylor.
"You walk alone in your father’s labyrinth. Through the craze of brambles and glossy-leafed hedges. At the centre a circle of swords stands where the arbour should be. Eight scimitars stabbed deep into a pile of bright roses.""Growing Out of It" by Mehitobel Wilson.
"“Thirty,” Meg said again. “It’s artificial. Fake, faux, and fulla shit. No such thing—not on your birthday, anyway. When you turn thirty, you’re actually finishing your thirtieth year outside the womb.""The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe" by Elizabeth Bear.
"The shark is a shark. A Great White, Carcharodon carcharias, the sublime killer. It is a blind evolutionary shot-in-the-dark, a primitive entity unchanged except in detail for―by the time of our narrative―billions of years.""Patterns in White Static" by David Niall Wilson.
"Once the rooms were dark and the soft, endless music flowed from room to room across the banks of surround-sound speakers I had installed, it was as if I was the only man in a very silent, very empty universe, seated at its centre in blissful peace.""Salvation on the Tongues of Djinn" by A. M. Muffaz.
"There was a boy once I thought was beautiful. I thought he was beautiful and somebody saw. That was all it was. You become polluted just by talking to boys alone, and no amount of praying and fasting will rub that stain away, even though Father says I should pray and fast as I have always done.""Sour Metal" by Amber Van Dyk.
"Pennies. I carry them in my pockets, in my purse, in the space between my stocking and my heel. My pennies are dirty like all good money, and in the dark I roll them in my palms, cover their copper in the oil of my fingerprints and savour the taste of metal on my tongue.""You Must Remember This" by Gary A. Braunbeck.
"“The big deal,” he said, “is that I remember the way my folks argued about the colour. Dad wanted green, but Mom insisted on light blue, and like every other time they had an argument, Mom won out.”"
@Author's Site: "The Poop Thief" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (2008). Fantasy.
"Portia Meadows runs one of the few pet stores in the entire world that sells familiars to the magical. Familiars—delicate, moody creatures that they are—keep magic clean and pure. To lose a familiar means losing magic. And on a bright afternoon, Portia’s assistance discovers that something essential has disappeared, threatening not just the magical within the store, but in the entire world."
@Lightspeed: "Recording Angel" by Ian McDonald. Science Fiction.
"“I don’t do gossip,” she had told T. P. Costello, SkyNet’s Nairobi station chief when he told her of the international celebrities who were coming to the death-party of the famous Treehouse Hotel."@Daily Science Fiction: "His Brother was an Only Child" by Ronald D Ferguson.
"I do not know how long I struggled with groggy consciousness, but finally I reached a point where I managed to stay alert through the day. That night, I slept extremely well, and awoke refreshed the following morning."@Storytime: "How Nnedi Got Her Curved Spine" by Nnedi Okorafor. Fable.
"In a forest of South Eastern Nigeria lived a tribe of large baboons called The Idiok. They were regal creatures with thick brown fur, black ears, careful hands and golden eyes. They were wise and peaceful, and at night, when the moon was high and full, they could easily find each other because their eyes would glow like setting suns. They were a beautiful people."
@Electric Velocipede: "Enmity" by K. Tempest Bradford. [Via SF Signal]
"She is running, has been running for some time. Running from Ariastus? No, running from the serpent she knows is at her heel, ready to strike, waiting for an excuse. So she runs. She runs through the tall grass, through the canopied forest, through the fields of flowers. Running to the music, to Orpheus, away from the serpent, though even now she knows they are the same."