Thursday, August 1, 2013

Our Cups Runneth Over with Free Fiction

More greatness with new issues of Clarkesworld and Interstellar Fiction. There's also flash fiction from AntipodeanSF and 365 Tomorrows.

Now Posted: Clarkesworld Issue 83, August 2013
• "Cry of the Kharchal"  by Vandana Singh.
     "The queen would know, but she was still turned from him. For months now he had indulged her machinations and schemes, petty though they seemed to him: collecting information, and acting on it to obtain desired results. 'If you are to control people’s lives, Avinash,' the Queen had told him, 'you must start small"
• "Sheperds" by Greg Kurzawa.
     "The lioness ambushed Abel’s flock as he herded them down from the high pastures. Dropping soundlessly from a rocky ledge along the sheep path, she landed on a lamb not six months old. The flock scattered. Turning to confront Abel, the beast rose to her hind legs and opened her claws. Her ears lie flat, her tail thrashed. From her mouth hung the lamb, scrawny legs kicking."
• "Found" by Alex Dally MacFarlane.
     "At this last asteroid, I had not traded for any. I had found its interior spaces open and airless, blast-marked, most of its equipment broken or gone, debris—shards of metal, rock, old synth materials, blackened bits of bone—still lodged in some deep crannies. In such a small asteroid, a sudden equipment failure could be unsurvivable. I knew this."
• "The Lovers" by Eleanor Arnason. 
     "There was a woman of the Ahara. She came of a good line within the lineage and grew up to be tall and broad with thick, glossy fur. Her eyes were pale gray, an unusual color in that part of the world. From childhood on, her nickname was Eyes-of-crystal. If she had a fault, it lay in her personality. She was a bit too fierce and solitary."
• "Cilia-of-Gold" by Stephen Baxter.
     "But, even as the people rose from their browsing and crowded through the cold, stale water behind her, Cilia-of-Gold’s resolve wavered. The Seeker was a heavy presence inside her. She could feel its tendrils wrapped around her stomach, and—she knew—its probes must already have penetrated her brain, her mind, her self"
Now Posted: Interstellar Fiction - Aug. 2013
• "The Sgovari Stratagem" by Alex Shvartsman. Science Fiction.
     "Jenkins watched through the small porthole in his cabin as yet another spaceship detached itself from the station and accelerated toward the stars."
• "Planet Texas" by Lance J. Mushung. Science Fiction.
     "I sat in the center of the spherical view screen in Austin’s cockpit with my pilot, Candace Weiss. With only the dim blue glow of our console marring the darkness of the cockpit, it was easy to imagine we were floating in space, surrounded by the splendor of the cosmos"
• "The Only Thing" by Conor Powers-Smith. Science Fiction.
     "You tell yourself you can’t be afraid. That even if you’re afraid, you’ve got to hold the line. You’ve got to be strong. And when the time comes, you run anyway. In every single engagement to date, if you were a human being, and you were in their way, you ran. Except for one group, on one day. And I’m going to get to them."
• "High Maintenance" by Jeffrey L Morris. Science Fiction.
     "George Daly thumped his vis-screen on its side. Nothing. He hit it again, a little harder. 'Crap.' He shut it down and ordered the nanobots to get to work, making tiny, tiny repairs to its insides."
• "The Tidal Lock" by Dan Peacock. Science Fiction.
     "A gust of wind blew a sheath of dust over the truck. The wipers swept the windscreen clean. For a second the Courier was reminded of the desert. There were all the stories he’d read as a kid; adventures set in the Sahara and the Kalahari full of grizzled explorers unearthing mysteries in ancient tombs; there were Pharaohs and sphinxes and pyramids and camels and palm trees."
Flash Fiction
• At 365 Tomorrows: "The Switch" by Vincent E. Hansalik. Science Fiction.
At AntopodeanSF: Speculative Fiction.

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