Thursday, May 30, 2013

Free is Very Good

Just another list of great free professional, and professional quality, science fiction, fantasy, superhero, and horror.  It's a good time to be a speculative fiction fan. [It's a bad time for me to be a hockey fan, since the team I wanted to win the cup just lost to the team I've predicted to win it.]

[Art for "The Elephant in the Room" linked below]

• At Pathfinder: "Stargazer - Chapter Four: A Matter of Commerce" by Chris A. Jackson. Fantasy.
        "A nondescript wagon creaked down a dark street of the Inner City, the back piled high with canvas-covered wares and the caravaneers perched on the seat and rails. A single horseman rode beside the wagon, looking ill at ease in the saddle. The wagon stopped just before entering a wide, curved avenue, across which loomed an impressive stone mansion. To the casual eye, it looked just like one of the dozens or hundreds of wagons that passed through Katapesh each day."

• At "The Elephant in the Room" by Paul Cornell. Superhero.
       "a young woman who can temporarily take on the superpowers of people she’s near...and of the crisis this leads her into as she struggles to deal with an overcontrolling mother, a very strange boyfriend, and the beginning of a career."

• Now Posted: Beneath Ceaseless Skies #122. Fantasy. 
"The Penitent" by  M. Bennardo
     "No. 17596 let the book fall out of his hands. It would tell him what? It would tell him that the world went on—that somewhere, out there, men and women were carrying on their affairs while he sat alone in his cell, sentenced to ruminate in silence and isolation."
"Dreams of Peace" by Dana Beehr.
       "Suddenly a horrible sense of disjunction came over her—looking around the sunny dining room, she seemed to see with a strange doubled sight the wreckage beneath: a thick layer of dust, shattered tables lying on their sides, broken windows, gaping holes in the walls, the beautiful rosewood sideboard wrecked, with its doors hanging off and its mirror cracked—"
Flash Fiction
  • At Beware the Hairy Mango: "All You Need is Lava" by Matthew Sanborn Smith.
  • At Daily Science Fiction: "Nitpick" by K. S. O'Neill. 
  • At 365 Tomorrows: "Embargo" by W Hunter. Science Fiction.
Audio Fiction
• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "Our Dead Selves Lie Like Footsteps in Our Wake" by Jeff Isacksen. Fantasy.
     " I close my eyes and listen to the gentle beating of her heart, the rhythm of her life. I can almost feel the warmth of her blood. Intensely intimate—more even than the earlier tangle of limbs and lips—the fabric of her physicality is laid bare in her heartbeat. Like I’m part of her, I press so close that I am among the tiny, fleshy machines that move her parts and breathe her air and do all the other miraculous, incredible, completely mundane things that came together to be Adalia."

• At Escape Pod: "Subversion" by Elisabeth R. Adams. Science Fiction.
     "I scanned his chip. Eduardo Martin, 34, programmer. No spouse or kids, but adoption records from the county shelter for two cats. Sealed tax records, a social security number, mortgage history. Subversion Inc. member for five years, currently version 4.1. Definitely the primary."

• At 19 Nocturne Boulevard: - 19 Nocturne LIVE! "The Dreams in the Witch House" by H. P. Lovecraft.
       "Whether the dreams brought on the fever or the fever brought on the dreams Walter Gilman did not know. Behind everything crouched the brooding, festering horror of the ancient town, and of the mouldy, unhallowed garret gable where he wrote and studied and wrestled with figures and formulae when he was not tossing on the meagre iron bed. "

• At 19 Nocturne Boulevard: "The Flying Cuspidors" by V.R. Francis from Fantastic Universe, August 1958.
      "Hotlips Grogan may not be as handsome and good-looking like me or as brainy and intellectual, but in this fiscal year of 2056 he is the gonest trumpet-tooter this side of Alpha Centauri. You would know what I mean right off if you ever hear him give out with "Stars Fell on Venus," or "Martian Love Song," or "Shine On, Harvest Luna." Believe me, it is out of this world. He is not only hot, he is radioactive. On a clear day he is playing notes you cannot hear without you are wearing special equipment."

• At PodCastle: "The Dragonslayer of Merebarton" by K.J. Parker. Fantasy.
      "On reflection, if I hadn’t seen those wretched White Drakes in Outremer, there’s a reasonable chance I’d have refused to believe in a dragon trashing Merebarton, and then, who knows, it might’ve flown away and bothered someone else."

Other Genres
Flash Fiction at Every Day Fiction: "That Look in His Eyes" by Rohini Gupta.

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