Thursday, October 6, 2011


Another huge haul of free fiction including a few awesome eZines. Beneath Ceaseless Skies has four new stories as well as audio fiction, four more stories are up at Four Star Quarterly, there's a new issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly up, and a new issue of The Chiaroscuro is now online. There other great fiction and audio fiction including StarShipSofa, PodCastle, Dunesteef, and other greats. And though I'm still not ready to return to regular gaming links, there are four! free gaming eZines linked today, at least a couple of which have fiction.

Illustration from chapter two of the serial "The Box" by Bill Ward.

@AEG: "The Life of the Warrior" by Brian Yoon. Fantasy.
"The last few moments slowed to a crawl. His grip on the tetsubo tightened as the weapon sped faster and faster toward its target. Its target was an ugly face of grey and brown, peppered with ivory bone protrusions that erupted out from random spots. The jade studs of his tetsubo sizzled into the skin on contact and the monster screamed in indignant pain. The weapon splintered and shattered into a thousand pieces even as it crushed its target."
@Daily Science Fiction: "Her Majesty's Guardian" by Donald S. Crankshaw.
"The Council's vote was unanimous," Duke Richard said. He looked ridiculous in a bright yellow doublet. The color would make anyone look foolish, as the other old men seated around the table proved, but its gaiety was especially jarring against Richard's habitual dark expression. "You know your duty, Guardian."

Now Posted: Beneath Ceaseless Skies #79
"The Tiger’s Turn" by Richard Parks. Fantasy.
On the face of the matter I had to agree. While the estate would technically belong to the Imperial Family, I had been assigned the position of steward—quite a handsome income. “Security is the greatest illusion of all, Kenji-san. As for my poverty, it was more of a problem when I was drinking. Don’t mistake me—I am not ungrateful. I am merely puzzled.”
"The Calendar of Saints" by Kat Howard. Fantasy.
“She wasn’t my opponent when I executed her.” I accept mortal commissions; I’ve killed before. Those deaths were honest. Magdalena’s was a waste, and my hands are filthy with it. With a casual nod, from a cleric who knew nothing about the sword-edge of truth, I have been made to feel like a heretic.
"A Spoonful of Salt" by Nicole M. Taylor. Fantasy.
Dr. Benjamin, he was running, running through the rain from one tent to another, trying to save his Story Eater and those pasty wax circles he’s spent so long collecting and, once, he looked up. Mala was sitting there on the top of the sea wall. She wasn’t wearing a rain slicker or even shoes and she was just looking at him like he was a rat, like he was a bug. Like he was something with too many eyes and too many legs and all she wanted to know was what ridiculous thing he was going to do next.
"The Judge's Right Hand" by J.S. Bangs. Fantasy.
A Seraph approaches me with two brands, red‑hot from the coals. The first is Adultery, and it blackens my right cheek. I bite my tongue to swallow the scream. The second is Death, and it sears my forehead. This time I do scream.

Now Posted: The Chiaroscuro - Volume 49 (October–December, 2011).
"In the House of Houses" by Claude Lalumière.
"In the Persian Gulf, there's an island so small and nondescript it appears on no map. Perhaps island is too generous a term for what appears to most eyes as no more than a lifeless bunch of rocks barely rising above sea level."
"La Divina Commedia" by Katherine Mankiller.
"Last time this happened, I was Orpheus."
"Snicker-Snack" by A. D. Bloom.
"He's a meter-tall, dancing fur-belly with mono-molecular edged claws, an embroidered nose, and telomerase chains longer than your arm. He's an unnatural – a custom-coded gene-job, a chromo-tweaked talker gestated in a pickling jar and born full-grown in a pet store. "
"Stars Fell On Alabama" by Jesse Bullington.
"P.J.’s called Peej, an me an he wuz blood brothas from the first time I took Pop’s buck knife out scoutin for Talabands in them hills tween our road an the base. "

@Four Star Quarterly: "Re-Opening Night" by Lou Antonelli.
"This signal wasn't shot through the wormhole. It's spiraling like water down a drain."

@Four Star Quarterly: "Windows" by Gloria Oliver.
"Pressure suit seals--check." Claudia rolled her head in a full circle within her helmet, trying to work out the kinks in her neck muscles. There was always a bit of anticipation and fear whenever she suited up. A cut or leak or malfunction not caught during prep could mean her life.
@Four Star Quarterly: "Closet Enlightenment" by Selina Rosen.
Let me get this straight," she’d replied, making a valiant attempt to keep from reaching for his long neck and strangling him. "You want to go and sit cross-legged with a bunch of other people and listen to some guy with a beard tell you what life’s all about?"
@Four Star Quarterly: "Operation Hell" by Cathy Spangler.
"My supervisor’s voice grated across my psyche like nails on a chalkboard, churning up nausea in my stomach. I resisted banging my head on my monitor. Oh, joy, another wonderful encounter with Hell Supervisor, as I’d dubbed Mr. Turlow."

Now Posted: Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #10

"Queen of the Desert" by Alex Marshall.
"Throughout the endless afternoon he walked the trackless waste. With his coat held above to shield him from the sun’s brutal rays, Derwent toiled — his shadow and his hopes stretching to the empty distance."
"The Workshop of the Lord of the Estuary and the Wages of Heroism" by James Frederick William Rowe.
"It came from the sea, a thing of cold, slime, and teeth. Declaring its presence through murder, it took the lives of three men fishing on the open water before it claimed as its home the estuary at the orifice of the Mor Oirthearach River in Cacke. Ever since it has held this body of water, permitting none to pass but those who pay it in blood."
"Death at the Pass" by Michael R. Fletcher.
"Brushing a thousand years of dirt and rot from his robes, Khraen marvelled at how well preserved he was. Skin, sunken, cracked and grey, adhered to the bones of his long limbs. He’d never been muscular, but now he was downright skeletal."

Serial Fiction
@Paizo: "The Box - Chapter Two: Where the Heart Is" by Bill Ward. Fantasy.
"Noticing the scrutiny, the guard shifted, hooking his thumb into his broad sash, resting his hand close to the curved knife he wore naked and gleaming at his side like the chip-edged cutlass of some Shackles pirate. You had to admire the Sczarni, Kostin thought; they really played the whole Varisian thug act to the hilt."

@Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "Butterfly" by Garth Upshaw. Fantasy.
"Aidan pulled away from my hand. I could feel his finger bones slip and shift out of place."
@Dunesteef: "The Troop" by Harris Tobias. Science Fiction.
"a tale about a sole human survivor on an alien planet, and his attempts to co-exist wit the native creatures there."
@Journey Into: "The Trial of Thomas Jefferson" by David Barr Kirtley. Science Fiction.
"Time travel allows the UN to go back, capture Hitler, and execute him. But why stop there?"
@PodCastle: "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe, read by Eric Luke. Dark.
DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country ; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.
@StarShipSofa: "Blood Dauber" by Ted Kosmatka and Michael Poore. Science Fiction.
"Bell trudged up the path, pushing the wheelbarrow before him, already sweating under his brown khaki uniform. He squinted in the bright sunlight, eyeing the exhibits as he ascended the hill: the goats and their pandering; the silly, horny monkeys; the slothful binturongs—all moving to the front of their enclosures as he approached. "
Now Posted: Fighting Fantazine #7.
Includes "a new 230 reference adventure Queen of Shades by Paul Struth, a "Fact of Fiction" article devoted to Seas of Blood, and the winning entry of the Advanced Fighting Fantasy competition: Stuart Lloyd's The Curse of Meraki (illustrated by Michael Wolmarans)" and more.

Free membership required on next three.
@DriveThruRPG: Hollenthon - Issue 1
Hollenthon is GROMM's premire magazine, containing new units, painting tutorials, new rules and much more.This first issue covers playing mass battles in the world of GROMM, a new faction of barbarians from the Koldaath Mountains, a painting tutorial and much more!
@DriveThruRPG: Savage Insider Issue 2
includes the following: 3 fleshed out adversaries, 9 new weapons, A Savage Insider exclusive add-on for Beasts & Barbarians, Part 2 of the Crypt of the Crystal Lich fiction series, The first in the Echoes of Rome fiction series, Part 2 of the Deadlands comics series The Kid, A sci-fi adventure, And much more!
@DriveThruRPG: Pathways #8.
"How can you say 'No' to a FREE collection of Pathfinder templates, encounters, feats and domains, and all of it bundled together with a new fiction piece by author David Bain? You'd have to be crazy to turn it down. "


Brett Alexander Savory said...

Actually, it is not the last issue of, as is made quite clear in Gord Zajac's editorial. It is merely Gord's last issue. Please read our editorials more carefully before posting that the magazine is dead. This is how rumours get started, and they're incredibly hard to quash if they get traction. Please post a correction to this misinformation immediately.

Thank you,

Brett Savory

Dave Tackett said...

This is one those rare cases where it's good to wrong. I'm very happy that ChiZine is continuing. The correction has been made.

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