Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Everything But the eKitchen Sink - All for Free

There's too much good stuff to single anything out today, but there a litlle bit of everything. All free. More tomorrow, but hopefully less.

[Art from Apex Magazine, linked below]

• At Anotherealm: "Pushing" by Chris Barnham.
     "This night was different. Jed started in on me and I took it for a while but then he said something about never having any girlfriends. Said I needed to get home early to my mother, so she could read my bedtime story. Well, it was nothing to do with him that I still lived with Mum. Why shouldn't I? I wasn't so old. He made a rude comment about her, and my face felt hot and tight."

• At Author's Site: "After The Fall" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
     "But after a solitary walk along his isolated property’s borders results in a potentially deadly fall, he fights like hell to survive, knowing no one will come to rescue him. So, when he starts seeing things—seeing a creature he knows can’t exist—he grasps at his one chance for survival: believing in the impossible."

• At The Colored Lens: "No More Horizons – Part 1" by Adam C. Richardson. Science Fiction.
      "The soldiers called it Lake Exile. It sparkled below me like a field of glittering emeralds in the sunlight. The green mountain that loomed over us was Warden Peak, and although this planet was known on star charts as Manasseh, the soldiers called it New Alcatraz."

• At Daily Science Fiction: "The Wheel of Fortune" by Alexander Lumans. 
     "Skull: When your last breath issues out, it will be with thanks. Thanks that you are not bedridden with combat injuries or nerve damage. Thanks that you are not interrogated at dagger-point over the whereabouts of your world's supply of silicon and chromium."

• At Kasma: "The Way Home" by Gary Cuba. [via SF Signal]
     "The dog sat in the access port to the maintenance module, ears perked and tongue agog. It was a smallish, mixed breed with a pointy nose, alert eyes, and short, coarse hair painted in a pattern of brown, black and white. A tooled leather flight harness encircled its torso."

• At Lightspeed: "The Ballad of Marisol Brook" by Sarah Grey. Science Fiction.
     "Her name, this time, is Marisol Lysium Brook. The media, long bored with the minutiae of her death, occupies itself by speculating which stars will grace the guest list at her reconstruction gala"

• At Lightspeed: "Princess Lucinda and the Hound of the Moon" by Theodora Goss.
     "When the Queen learned that she could not have a child, she cried for three days. She cried in the clinic in Switzerland, on the shoulder of the doctor, an expert on women’s complaints, leaving tear stains on his white coat. She cried on the train through Austria, while the Alps slipped past the window of her compartment, their white peaks covered with snow."

• Details at SF Signal: "The Crystal Empire" by L. Neil Smith. Science Fiction.
     "Earth is ruled by three mighty empires: The Saracen-Jewish Empire led by the Caliph of Rome, the Mughal-Arab Empire, ferocious in its determination to destroy its neighbor, and the great Sino-Aztec’s Crystal Empire, led by a living God."

• At Strange Horizons: "Jinki and the Paradox" by Sathya Stone.  
     "Years of erosion, that means the wind and water broke bits off the mountain along that way," he pointed east. "And brought them down here, to be dust." / "What mountains?" / "They're gone now," said Mr. Quest. "Eroded. You can see them if you look through Time."

• At Tor.com: "The Too-Clever Fox" by Leigh Bardugo. Fantasy.   
       "In Ravka, just because you avoid one trap, it doesn't mean you’ll escape the next. This story is a companion folk tale to Leigh Bardugo’s upcoming novel, Siege and Storm, the second book in the Grisha Trilogy."

• At Weird Fiction Review: "A Night of the High Season" by Bruno Schulz.
     "Everybody knows that whimsical time, in the course of mundane and ordinary years, occasionally will bring forth from its womb other years, odd years, degenerate years, somewhere in which, like a little sixth finger upon a hand, a spurious thirteenth month sprouts up; spurious, we say, since it will seldom grow to full size. Like late begotten children, it lags behind in its development: a hunchback month, a half-wilted offshoot, and more conjectured than real."

• Now Posted: Apex Magazine #49.
• "Karina Who Kissed Spacetime" by Indrapramit Das. Science Fiction.
     "I always remember snow speckling the orange cone of streetlight that held my first kiss. It wasn’t snowing that night. This was before time fractured, left me slipping through its cracks like a bead of water. Perhaps it had been snowing in some other timeline during that first kiss. But not that one. It had barely been a first kiss, even. But it had been cold — cold enough to turn gutter water to slippery glass by our feet."
• "Titanic!" by Lavie Tidhar
     "When I come on board the ship I pay little heed to her splendour; nor to the gaily–strewn lines of coloured electric lights, nor to the polished brass of the crew’s jacket uniforms, nor to the crowds at the dock in Southampton, waving handkerchiefs and pushing and shoving for a better look; nor to my fellow passengers. I keep my eyes open only for signs of pursuit; specifically, for signs of the Law."
• "Call Girl" by Tang Fei (translated by Ken Liu)
     "Morning climbs in through the window as shadow recedes from Tang Xiaoyi’s body like a green tide imbued with the fragrance of trees. Where the tidewater used to be, now there is just Xiaoyi’s slender body, naked under the thin sunlight."
• "Reluctance" by Cherie Priest
      "Walter McMullin puttered through the afternoon sky east of Oneida in his tiny dirigible. According to his calculations, he was somewhere toward the north end of Texas, nearing the Mexican territory west of the Republic; and any minute now he’d be soaring over the Goodnight–Loving trail."
• Now Posted: Electric Spec Volume 8, Issue 2.
• "The Disconnected" by Aaron Ritchey
     "I don't do suborbital flights, but for this job I have to. I'm too obsessed with Abby to stay away. Abby, she's the Analog Prosthetic Ego tech who went funny."
• "A Beastly Game" by Sarah Pinsker
     "Being undead felt rather like being hung over, all things considered. Ben came to that conclusion as he staggered from the alley. He tried to piece together what had happened. He had been chugging beer with his rugby mates and the team they had played earlier that evening, enjoying a good commiseration buzz."
• "The City of Tears" by Maigen Turner
     "Silence drifted among the pillars of the marketplace, the sandstone arches where no voice rose. Silk-muffled women hung tongueless bells on their doors and hushed children in whispers. At the east gate, guards inspected packtrains bearing myrrh and cinnamon, ruby and lapis, cedarwood and dye crushed from the snails of distant seas."
• "Tartarus" by Charlotte Nash
     "I never believed her. She was a Stelline psych, and they work on commission. It was her job to make me useful again, even though I was in the GIMP, prison of prisons. Even though I remember things that make me not a man."
• "Bulls and Magic" by Jarod K. Anderson
      "At first, the bull couldn't be bothered with me. My whole damn life I'd listened to my parents tell me to stay out of the western pasture. Uncle Frank even had a pale, puckered-looking scar just above his hip that he'd throw in as supporting evidence for the cantankerousness of bulls"
• Now Posted: 4 Star Stories - Spring 2013.
• "The Huntress" by Tala Bar.
"The Huntress listened to the forest. It was a mixed wood of various oaks, pines and fruit trees that spread over some low hills well below the snow line. It had a variety of animals and birds and she could hear them all, large and small, going about their business"
• "Horace and Juju Tip the Scales" by Jeremy Miller.
     "She heard them before she saw them. A twangy sort of melody rang out in the air with a high pitched voice and a bass accompaniment that rattled her brain. Kaelan had dismounted an hour before and was marching with her rearguard. Two long columns stretched out before her, kicking up dust on the wide road leading south to Tanju. She decided to stop and let her army pass before swinging around to the opposite side of the road to ferret out the source of her headache."
• "One Mississippi..." by Libby A. Smith.
 "She thought of the human’s music as she dropped to the ground, pain tearing through her chest, a sound very different than the agonizing blast of the shotgun.  She loved wandering down Beale Street where she’d first discovered music blaring from a bar, or stopping by a music store where a human might be trying out a guitar."
• "How to Have Fun at the Family Funeral" by Laura J. Underwood.
"And no, I am not knocking bucolic settings.  I'm as fond as any of my kinfolk of sitting back in the hollow, watching night falling over the mountains or listening to the trill of a screech owl on the hunt."
• Now Posted: Nightblade Issue #24. Horror. Fantasy.
• "Shifting Sands of Blood" by Rebecca Harwell
"Inara wanted so much to look up at his face. The silence dug its way under her skin. Would he show mercy? She was running out of time."
• "The Peculiar Fruit of the Savage Chinchilla" by Kate Duva"Our innocent daughter would have been horrified to see this pelt decorating her mother’s shoulder, complete with the animal’s little hollowed head, its eye holes accented by two balls of jet black glass."
• "Compassion, During and After the Fall" by Cory Cone"There is someone there, and the woman knows it is the man who is not like her. He is surrounded by the light, always by the light."
• "The Imago" by Carly Berg"Lei’s fingers knew clay and her holy imagos made the other women gasp. The thumb-sized clay baby looked real."
• "Little Stitches" by M. Shaw"I don’t think they have a language; just a rhythm, and they don’t use it to communicate so much as to wear down, to drone out."
• Now Posted: Plasma Frequency Issue 6 - June/July 2013.
 "Be My Cure" by Sara Puls.
     "I have electromagnetic-destroyerism. It is not a superpower, much as it sounds like one. And it's not a curse, not technically speaking, anyway."
"By the Stars You Will Know Her" by Siobhan Gallagher.
     "She had the eyes of an ancient: mists and lightning swirling into a maelstrom galaxy, a kind of chaos that would pull you in if you gazed too long."
"Cognitive Terminal Velocity" by Adam C. Richardson.
     "Approximately twenty-one times faster than cognitive nominal. Sir, I am having difficulty interpreting your sensory data. Are we falling?"
 "Slaying Dragons" by Brent Knowles.
     "Will the servants ever learn?" Taloma muttered as she swirled away from the polished metal mirror where she had been preparing herself for night. The double doors were to be used only during the day! Guests who came late always entered via the side entrance."
"Witchdoctors and Tears" by Jeff Bowles.
     "She and Brandon had been trying for years. On their own for a time, then with specialists, then with practitioners of...fringe medicine. Jake the witchdoctor was only the latest in a long succession of herbalists, acupuncturists, and clairvoyants."
"Good Deeds in a Weary World" by Rebecca Roland.
      "Guy expected to come back from Spring Break in Mexico with some shot glasses, a residual hangover, and maybe a tattoo. What he hadn't expected was to be sent home to Seattle in a coffin."
"Knowledge You Can’t Give" by Brynna Ramin.
      "Below Obsidian City, John Stempfel held the city's towers on his shoulders, and Sally could never tell him anything useful on the telephone"
"The Hanging Gardener" by Ryan Harvey.
      "Seluku the gardener was interested in the stormy season for one reason. It meant King Nebuchadnezzar would be more paranoid about the priests of Marduk in their temple that towered in the middle of the city. "
• Now Posted: Quantum Muse - June 2013.
• "Exile From Earth" by Gordon Rowlinson. Science Fiction. 
       "People who have no hope are a lost people."   
• "Retro Skelter" by Harry J. Bentham. Science Fiction.
      "A renowned physicist and a hated civil servant are doomed to be shot if they can't construct a time machine within three days. The task seems impossible, until an extremely wild solution emerges." 
• "Make A Wish" by James Thompson. Science Fiction.
      "Regen's pet invades his store of gold artifacts and swallows some small items he's fleeced from superstitious natives on a primitive planet. Strange things begin to happen aboard his ship while he's enroute to the dealer who will buy his gold."
• "The Alarm" by Harris Tobias. Fantasy.
     "What use is money when the dragon awakes?"
• Now Posted  Three-Lobe Burning Eye - Issue 23. Speculative Fiction
• "The Murmurous Paleoscope" by Dixon Chance
      "I wish I had better news about the dig, but ere I relate that tale, I would be remiss if I did not assure you that the Paleoscope and Lithotome have made the journey to Utah fully intact, though it was a hard thing those last hundred miles by stage"
• "One in the Morning and One at Night" by Gemma Files
    "But her dreams smell of decay that night, and a tone runs underneath everything, a hiss. The dead-technology sense-memory of static on an empty channel."
• "Scolyard’s “The Constructs Forsee Their Doom" by Daniel Ausema
     "The most significant relationship of my life — and I’ve led a long and strange one, a life poisoned and infected by my beloved, decaying, doomed city — was with a man I never met. Do you know of the artist Pen Scolyard? Few have heard of him today, but he did have one work that people once knew. One painting that … well, that made him great."
• "The Hecate Centuria" by Claude Lalumière
     "In the light of the full moon, her vision enhanced by vermilion, Dematria watched in horror as Hecate’s changeling centurions terrorized her beloved goddess-city, Venera. The Romans had so far ignored the archipelago; in return the city-state fed the Roman capital with a steady supply of underpriced vermilion spice."
• "Big in Japan" by Lawrence Conquest
     "On the third day they bound my father with rope and lowered his body over the side of the boat. He could no longer speak by that point, his voice having degenerated into a series of choking coughs, but his eyes retained their old intelligence"
• "I Will Trade With You" by J.M. McDermott
      "North, I keep on, but there’s no way to know how far I walked before I stopped to rest on this lump of sand instead of that one. I need to rest to keep walking with these old, uncertain bones. When I’m ready to move again, I crawl a little, and wait for my legs to work right below me."
• At Amazon.com: For Odin, for Thor, for Asgard by David Scholes.Fantasy.
• At Amazon.com: Moonlit by Jadie Jones. YA Fantasy. [via Pixel of Ink]
At Smashwords:
Flash Fiction
At Kazka Press:
At Nightblade: Poems
Audio Fiction
• At Lightspeed: "Princess Lucinda and the Hound of the Moon" by Theodora Goss.
      Described Above

• At Protecting Project Pulp: "The Rats in the Walls" by H. P. Lovecraft. Horror.
     "The place had not been inhabited since the reign of James the First, when a tragedy of intensely hideous, though largely unexplained, nature had struck down the master, five of his children, and several servants; and driven forth under a cloud of suspicion and terror the third son, my lineal progenitor and the only survivor of the abhorred line."

• At Strange Horizons: "Jinki and the Paradox" by Sathya Stone.
     Described Above

At DriveThruRPGRules & Magic book for the LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Game.
       Art free (except the cover) version of this Original Dungeons and Dragons retro-clone.  The game is rated as being only for adults (but that might be mostly for the art and not relevant here?)

Other Genres 

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