Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Treats

 More great free fiction.

[Art from "Dinner in Audoghast" linked in fiction below]

• At Author's Site: "Moments" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Science Fiction.
     "“We have to be prepared,” Hoa Nguyen said as she strapped on her laser pistol. She also carried a stun stick. She had attached an emergency aid patch to the inside of her left wrist. Her black hair was pulled back, and she wore a medium-level environmental suit. With a soft voice command, the suit would seal around her ankles and wrists, raise a hood that would cover her entire face, and protect her against a hostile environment. She hoped she wouldn’t have to use it. “Everything could change in an instant.”

• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "The Barber and the Count" by Michael Haynes. Fantasy.
    "With the first snip, the count spoke again. 'Filip's hand shook the last time I was in his shop. A man can't have his hair cut by someone he does not trust. Your hand will be true. Will it not, barber?'"

• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "The Mermaid Caper" by Rich Larson. Fantasy.
     "The Baron stared long at the tank, and Crane and Gilchrist saw for the first time an unfocused quality to his eyes, a faint gray fog. 'I want her to be real,' he muttered, folding his scarred hands together. 'She does look real.'"

• At The Black Gate: "The Cremator’s Tale" by Steven H Silver, Fantasy.
     "Hoggar, staggering home from Rathskill’s tavern, was blown sideways by the blast and instantly sobered up. He looked at Pargama’s Tower and saw the last remnants of the explosion fade to nothingness. A shower of brilliant stars rained down on the stone tower, leaving small green spots in his vision. He sat down on a rainbarrel and waited for his eyesight to clear."

• At The Colored Lens: "Those Who Do Not Reap" by Kris Millering.
      "From horizon to horizon, water. Trade winds go from west to east, and carry weather and fish with them. Wind and weather bring us news of the world, in the form of all manner of things that float. A string of islands are our own, we and the cousins. Fifteen islands, from tiny Ike to the largest, Yuhime. Ours is the northernmost, Liipil, an island that catches the winds, the volcano beneath dead as our ancestors. As you go south, the land becomes more active, and the cousins become more numerous."

• At Daily Science Fiction: "Legerdemain" by Gabriel Murray.
       "When he looks at you it's obvious he has no idea what manner of fellow you are, and that is how you know that you've got him. No one likes knowledge, after all, least of all curious individuals like Spencer."

• At Lightspeed: "Dinner in Audoghast" by Bruce Sterling, Fantasy.
      "Delightful Audoghast! Renowned through the civilized world, from Cordova to Baghdad, the city spread in splendor beneath a twilit Saharan sky. The setting sun threw pink and amber across adobe domes, masonry mansions, tall, mud-brick mosques, and open plazas thick with bristling date-palms. The melodious calls of market vendors mixed with the remote and amiable chuckling of Saharan hyenas."

• At Lightspeed: "Deep Blood Kettle" by Hugh Howey. Science Fiction.
     "They say the sky will fill with dust in a bad way if we don’t do something soon. My teacher Mrs. Sandy says that if the meteor hits, it’ll put up enough dirt to block the sun, and everything will turn cold for a long, long while. When I came home and told Pa about this, he got angry. He called Mrs. Sandy a bad word, said she was teaching us nonsense. I told him the dinosaurs died because of dust in the sky. Pa said there weren’t no such thing as dinosaurs."

• At Tor.com: "Do Not Touch" by Prudence Shen.
     "Lane doesn’t understand why people have such a hard time following directions. All these paintings are clearly marked “DO NOT TOUCH” for a reason."

Flash Fiction

Audio Fiction
• At Author's Site: "The MVP Episode #28" by Scott Sigler, Science Fiction. Football. 
      "Quentin learns of a love triangle between John Tweedy, Rebecca Montagne, and a mystery person. The Krakens struggle to keep their playoff hopes alive as we head into the final three games of the season. It's not over yet, folks, can Ionath put together a late-season run and take a shot at the title?"

• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "The Barber and the Count" by Michael Haynes. Fantasy.
     Describes above

• At Clarkesworld: "Guest of Honor" by Robert Reed. Science Fiction.
     "One of the robots offered to carry Pico for the last hundred meters, on its back or cradled in its padded arms; but she shook her head emphatically, telling it, “Thank you, no. I can make it myself.” The ground was grassy and soft, lit by glowglobes and the grass-colored moon."

• At Lightspeed: "Deep Blood Kettle" by Hugh Howey. Science Fiction.
    Described above.

• At SFFaudio: "The Door In The Wall" by H.G. Wells.
    "Afterwards, as I sat up in bed and sipped my morning tea, I found myself trying to account for the flavour of reality that perplexed me in his impossible reminiscences, by supposing they did in some way suggest, present, convey--I hardly know which word to use--experiences it was otherwise impossible to tell."

• At Tales of Old: "The Book Box" by Roberta Branca. Ghosts.
      "Darts of arctic air puncture my skin through layers of underclothes, dress, coat, and wool blanket. Ari huddles against my bosom, his small arms wrapped tightly around my waist. Like my fellow passengers, I try to limit my movements so as not to rock the boat further. The waves around us all seem to defeat our purpose."

Other Genres

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