A few interesting free fiction links to start the week.
Issue 43 (July 2014) of Expanded Horizons
• "Glass" by M. M. Pryor
"Rene skims the letters printed on the spotless glass window of the
telegram office. The sun behind her blots out most of her reflection in
the glass, bleaching her brown skin translucent. She straightens the
collar of her sweat-soaked shirt. She has a change of clothes in her
satchel, but they are even dirtier than the ones she is wearing. Ever
since she arrived in Texaca four days ago, she has been cold and hungry
and tired and dirty."
• "Snap" by Jamie Mason"
"The warden speaks through a screen of roses. He is fond of roses – so
fond, in fact, that he grows his own in an atmospherically-sealed
green-house beside the exercise yard, tending them personally on
weekends. His hybrids fetch a pretty penny off-world."
• "The Foster Child" by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
"The day Jeff and Rodrigo married was the day they found the baby Finman
on their front porch. They’d just returned home from the courthouse
where, after waiting in line for five hours, the justice of the peace
announced them husband and husband. The Finman was crouched into the
corner of the porch, leaning against the house. They wouldn’t even have
discerned it from the shadows had it not been for Rodrigo, whose sense
of smell was impeccable."
• "Slip Road" by Tade Thompson"
"It’s lost like car keys, like the song on the tip of your tongue. I
can’t seem trace my steps, but I write down the few things I do
• "Extinction" by Anne Carly Abad. Poem.
The Devil in the Details" by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald. - contemporary fantasy.
"A new adventure of Peter Crossman, special agent of the Knights Templar—a man prepared to administer last rites with one hand while wielding a flamethrower with the other. Now an ancient manuscript of peculiar power has surfaced, and Crossman’s assignment is simple: Get it for the Temple at all costs."
• and "Polynia" by China Mieville. - science fiction | weird fiction.
"They’d started as wisps, anomalies noticed only by dedicated
weather-watchers. Slowly they’d grown, started to glint in the early
winter afternoon. They solidified, their sides becoming more faceted,
more opaquely white. They started to shed shadows."
• At Escape Pod: "EP453: "The Grotto of the Dancing Deer" by by Clifford Simak - narrated by Norm Sherman. Science Fiction.
"This story won the 1980 Nebula Award for Best Short Story and the 1981 Hugo Award for Best Short Story." . . . "Luis was playing his pipe when Boyd climbed the steep path that led up to the cave. There was no need to visit the cave again; all the work was done, mapping, measuring, photographing, extracting all possible information from the site."
• At Pseudopod: "Pseudopod 393: West Gate" by Mitchell Edgeworth, read by Ron Jon. Horror.
"A dozen helicopters were hovering around the distant city, all lancing their spotlights down on the same place – by his reckoning, somewhere near the Domain Tunnel or the Arts Centre. He could see no other movement. No explosions, no gunfire, no destruction. Had it been contained?"