• At L5R: "Voice of the Empress" by Seth Mason. Fantasy.
"The Imperial Court was quiet today, as the large, elaborate chamber hosted only a small handful of individuals. It was rare for the Empress to hold such a small gathering, but events of late had warranted unusual protocols. Secrets had to be kept, Toku Hikaru noted from his position near the Throne… but not beside it as was customary."
• At Nightmare Magazine: "Halfway Home" by Linda Nagata. Horror.
"'Those diagrams are terribly optimistic,' the woman in the seat beside me said, eyeing the brochure as our plane climbed away from Manila. She spoke masterful English, clipped with a Filipino accent. 'Let’s hope we never have to test that theory.'"
• At Project Gutenberg: Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (Volumes I and II) by Songling Pu. translated by Herbert A. Giles. Ghosts.
"Pu borrows from a tradition of oral storytelling where the boundary between reality and the odd or fantastic is blurred. The stories are filled with magical foxes, ghosts, scholars, court officials, Taoist exorcists and beasts. Moral purposes are often inverted between humans; the supposedly degenerate ghosts or spirits are often bold and trustworthy, while humans are weak, indecisive and easily manipulated" - Wikipedia.
• Now Posted: Allegory - Fall 2013: Horror, Science Fiction. Fantasy.
• "Graveyard Love" by Wendy C. Williford
"Annie sat waiting on the small couch, wringing her hands uncontrollably. It had been an hour since they’d arrived and her nerves were shot. She’d been like this for over a month and now that she felt she was at the end of this personal disaster, the fact that this was almost over didn’t help one bit."
• "How I Became a Murderer" by Django Mathijsen
"The stratotractor was bigger, blacker and newer than the dilapidated little tractors my neighbors and I ploughed through the air with. It had a menacing appearance, similar to the komodo-flies that were recently discovered on GammaStimba. I had read about those in the Galaxy Telegraph, while hanging in my weightless field."
• "Ben's Moonshine" by Jennifer R. Povey
"Anyway, that's beside the point. Back then, people still made shine and people still cared about making good shine. It wasn't just about avoiding the revenuers. It was about pride. Good, old fashioned, mountain pride."
• "Dead Meat" by C.I. Kemp
"She leaned over and put her hand on his cheek, unmindful of the smoke rising from the charred herb-doused meat. The herbs were necessary. The Clan might think their purpose was to add taste, but Finn and Dara knew better – it was to disguise taste."
• "Body Bag" by Eric Bonholtzer
"His wife was in the bag, well, what was left of her. Vincent had been able to get rid of one of the hands when he’d stopped for gas, providing a very hungry and very scrawny dog with a decent meal, and he knew that if he could just make it to Forester City, he’d be in the clear."
• "Firefly" by Evan Mallon
"Bo, the most competent of my unimpressive group of cousins, read the will aloud after her funeral. My sister had a habit of misspelling at least one word in every sentence, so those who knew her best were not surprised to see “My Last Will and Tetament” sprawled across the top of the paper."
• "The Porch" by Kevin Wood
"The woman in the street, who he recognized as Dawn Bradley, the divorcee from two doors down, was likely worrying about friends in the city who were now just smoke particles billowing into the sky or maybe puddles of melted fat in the middle of 5th Avenue and still did not see the creature sauntering in the street light."
• "Marigolds" by Gavin Broom
"As I turn and close the door on the suited men out on the landing, I think of ways to answer the question but as the lock clicks shut and the world shrinks to this room and me and my younger brother, the only thing I'm left with is honesty."
• Now Posted: Ideomancer Vol 12 No 3.
• "A Painted Room" by Adam Smith.
"She hesitated for a moment at the end of the drive, but there was little she could do. The appointment was set, and some portion of it had already been pre-paid for supplies. She eased her foot off the brake and coasted into the street, sending up prayers that this gift wouldn’t turn out quite as badly for Will as some others had."
• “Loved and Lost” by Sarah Byrne.
"Maybe it’s a meteor. Or an asteroid, or whatever they’re called. Going to wipe out the earth like happened to the dinosaurs. Maybe it’s an alien invasion."
• "Melusine" by Danielle Coombs.
"Eluned is nine and it’s high summer. The sun has baked her skin brown, and sand dusts her like sugar. The beach stretches away to the left like a golden road, but she turns right and plunges into the jumbled rocks that hide the tidal pools. There are small red jellied globules clinging just above the water line, and when she pokes them they squirt water at her."
• Now posted Nightblade September 2013:
• "The Kiss of Legend" by T.H. LeeFlash Fiction
"The cops launched a full-fledged investigation, careful to keep the circumstances of the deaths out of the media. The F.B.I. was even calling, but no one would discuss details with me."
• "Le Cirque" by Jess Simms
"A gray-jumpsuited Bellagio mechanic was tethered to the highbar rig above. It had malfunctioned last night during the Masked Thief’s first-act solo. The Muses had been on it at the time."
• "Empire of Ash" by Cameron Johnston
"It seemed to him that somehow even in death the land protected what it could. Maybe the heathen Cruithii had been right in a way."
• "Jonesy" by Evan Purcell
"Cleveland is in my backyard now. He’s in the spot with no grass. There are three other spots like it, but Cleveland is in the one behind the porch."
• "With The Band" by Carl Barker
"His voice was louder this time, somehow closer than before. Stronger. I could hear his long dead fingers patiently drumming out a familiar rhythm in the background."
• At Daily Science Fiction: "Love Is Orange, Love Is Red" by Eric James Stone. Science Fiction.
• At Every Day Fiction: "Steel Killer" by JR Hume. Horror.
• At Silver Blade: "Prometheus" by Robert Borski. Poem.
• At 365 Tomorrows: "Spark" by Mickey Hunt. Science Fiction.
• At Yesteryear Fiction: "Sparrows Live Forever" by Donal Mahoney. Fantasy. Poem.
At Nightblade: Poems.
by David Luntz
by Sara Norja
"Lady Mary Speaks of Dreams"
by Sandi Leibowitz
by Brittany Warman
"The moon, so low"
by Dan Campbell
by Erik Amundsen
"Not Too Bold"
by Shira Lipkin
- "Speech of the Witch of the End" by Brittany Warman
- "Tuesday Tuesday, Born on Wednesday, Was Born to Travel Time" by Sarah Terry
- "Cosmology" by Quinn White
- "When He Fell" by Dominik Parisien
• At Drabblecast: "Partial Inventory" by Helena Bell. Read by Hananel Mavity. Horror.
" November in the South is hardly hot, but thirteen hours in any vehicle with nearly a half dozen relatives and mismatched belongings, each one trying to both curl and crowd themselves into their claimed seats had left the air warm and slick and smelling faintly of musk." also "Knock " by Chris Thompson.
• At StarShipSofa: "Adrift on the Sea of Rains - Part 2" by Ian Sales. Science Fiction.
"nuclear war has killed everyone on Earth, leaving stranded on the Moon nine astronauts at Falcon Base. With them they have a "torsion field generator", a mysterious device which they hope will find them an alternate Earth which has not succumbed to nuclear armageddon." - Amazon.