Clarkesworld Issue 85, October 2013
• "The Symphony of Ice and Dust" by Julie Novakova
“It’s going to be the greatest symphony anyone has ever composed,” said Jurriaan. “Our best work. Something we’ll be remembered for in the next millennia. A frail melody comprised of ice and dust, of distance and cold. It will be our masterpiece.”
• "Bits" by Naomi Kritzer
"So here is something a lot of people don’t realize: most companies that make sex toys are really small. Even a successful sex-toy manufacturer like Squishies (tm) is still run out of a single office attached to a warehouse, and the staff consists of Julia (the owner), Juan (the guy who does all the warehouse stuff), and me (the person who does everything else)."
• "The Creature Recants" by Dale Bailey
"During breaks in shooting, the Creature from the Black Lagoon usually rests in a pond on the studio back lot and dreams of home. The pond isn’t much even as ponds go. It’s maybe four feet deep at its deepest point and a hundred yards or so around, an abandoned set carved out of the scorched southern California earth for some forgotten film or other: cattails and reeds and occasionally a little arrow of ripples when a dry breeze skates across the surface."
• "The Ki-anna" by Gwyneth Jones
"If he’d been at home, he’d have thought, Dump Plant Injuries. In the socially unbalanced, pioneer cities of the Equatorial Ring, little scavengers tangled with the recycling machinery. They needed premium, Earth-atmosphere-and-pressure nursing or the flesh would not regenerate—which they didn’t get."
• "A Night at the Tarn House" by George R.R. Martin. Fantasy.
"The Deodands moved at a steady trot, eating up the leagues. Being dead, they did not feel the chill in the air, nor the cracked and broken stones beneath their heels. The palanquin swayed from side to side, a gentle motion that made Molloqos think back upon his mother rocking him in his cradle. Even he had had a mother once, but that was long ago"
Apex Magazine Issue 53 — October 2013.
• "Becca at the End of the World" by Shira Lipkin
"She has about an hour, we think. And I have about an hour on this camera, an obsolete Flip mini. I guess all cameras are obsolete now. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a device on which to play this. But she wants to do it. And right now, Becca gets anything she wants. Ice cream or a visit to the zoo, a stolen car or a cliff dive; for the next hour, Becca gets anything and everything she wants."
• "Grey in the Gauge of His Storm" by Damien Angelica Walters
"After the storm has passed, I look down at my arm, just above the elbow. The new tear in the lacework of my lining is small. I pull myself up from the floor and sit on the sofa, breathing hard. I feel as if I’m made of dandelion fluff, as if one puff will blow me into a million pieces, but this feeling, this small weakness, will pass."
• "An Assault of Color" by Mari Ness. Fantasy.
"The curses were the loveliest, and most satisfying, to paint. She could see them in her mind, even before she picked up a brush, pulsing and glowing with color in careful, delicate patterns. The love spells were surprisingly pale, dull, often almost lifeless on canvas; she supposed this was in part because the purchasers (and she never painted a love spell without a purchaser) wanted them to be overlooked, unnoticeable"
• "Shatter" by Kelly McCullough.
"With a scream, Sean sat bolt upright throwing off the covers. Eight months after the accident, the crimson dreams still wrenched him from his sleep at least once a night. He staggered to his feet. From past experience he knew that if he stayed in bed, the nightmare would return."