Thursday, September 10, 2015

The End

Having given it a great deal of thought, I have come to inevitable conclusion that the old QuasarDragon will not be returning.  As much as I would enjoy resuming the free fiction links, I doubt that I will ever have the time to do it.  So rather than just leave things hanging and hoping against hope that this would change, it is time to pull the plug.

This will be the last QD post here unless I put up a one-time guide to free fiction sites (unlikely) or start something completely different dealing with free fiction (even less likely).

Dave T.

P.S. The QD free fiction site is dead but free fiction on the web is alive and well. Be sure to enjoy the great sites out there and support them however you can (such as turning off your add blockers when you visit them).

P.P.S. Two good sources of free fiction links are from  SF Signal and  Sunny Jackson.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Free Links

Continuing to post irregularly.

• At The Colored Lens: "Everything I Should Have Told Her" by Julie Jackson. Urban Fantasy.
"Sophie’s fingers splay slowly against the door. She slides her long blonde hair out of the way and presses her ear firmly to the beige-painted wood grain. Light moves all around the door’s frame, centers on her feet, and stops. She freezes. She doesn’t even breathe. Her mouth is fixed in a tight little line. Her wide eyes lift to the surveillance camera."

• At Lightspeed: "We Are the Cloud" by Sam J. Miller. Science Fiction.
"Me and Case met when someone slammed his head against my door, so hard I heard it with my earphones in and my Game Boy cranked up loud. Sad music from Mega Man 2 filled my head and then there was this thud like the world stopped spinning for a second. I turned the thing off and flipped it shut, felt its warmth between my hands. Slipped it under my pillow."

• At Lightspeed: "Eternal Horizon" by Rhys Hughes. Fantasy.
"Suddenly the horizon gave birth. There were effects. I was affected by them. I sat with my goddess on my knee. She didn’t need me, nor I her. So everything was equal and free. We were in love."

• At Paizo: "Armored - Chapter Four: No Love Like Gold" by Stephanie Lorée. Fantasy. Pathfinder. "The pyre burned for hours. Its flames seemed to lick the sky, and Bea turned her horse and troopers away from the carnage. They rode for home, though she wasn't sure what that meant anymore. Smoke rose behind them, a dark reminder of her lord's betrayal." Part One and Two and Three.

• At Strange Horizons: "The Lucky Strike" by Kim Stanley Robinson
"Today, the first of August, there was something more interesting to watch than the usual Superfortress parade. Word was out that General Le May wanted to take the 509th's mission away from it. Their commander Colonel Tibbets had gone and bitched to La May in person, and the general had agreed the mission was theirs, but on one condition: one of the general's men was to make a test flight with the 509th, to make sure they were fit for combat over Japan." Text and Audio.

• At "Midway Relics and Dying Breeds" by Seanan McGuire. Science Fiction.
"The trouble with wanting to do the right thing is that frequently the right thing today is the wrong thing for tomorrow, or the wrong thing for the people who are standing between you and your perfect, platonic future. The wild was the wrong place for our elephant, just like the recycler was the wrong place for Billie, and the cities were the wrong place for me. A tale of bioengineering, a carnival, and the cost of finding one’s right place."

• At The WiFiles: "The Truth About Red Russian Kale" by Mandy Foster. Speculative Fiction.
"Leanne searched around in the back of the van, looking for her new soil knife. She moved aside kneepads and seed packets, a box of condoms and several paperbacks from the Goosebumps series, ridiculously overdue. She could swear she had tossed the knife back here when she loaded up the van for carpool, but it had been a hairier morning than most; Mondays always were."

Flash Fiction

Audio Fiction
• At Beam Me Up: "Beam Me Up #424 Asimov, Juby"
"Chapter 4 of the “Last Question” by Isaac Asimov and Tiny Leon and his Wee adventure by Michael Juby."

• At Clarkesworld: "Falling Star" by Brendan Dubois, read by Kate Baker. Science Fiction.
"On a late July day in Boston Falls, New Hampshire, Rick Monroe, the oldest resident of the town, sat on a park bench in the Town Common, waiting for the grocery and mail wagon to appear from Greenwich. The damn thing was supposed to arrive at two p.m., but the Congregational Church clock had just chimed three times and the road from Greenwich had remained empty."

• At Classic Tales Podcast: "The Island of Dr. Moreau, Part 3 of 5" by H.G. Wells, read by B. J. Harrison. Science Fiction.
"Our castaway is initiated into a society of unspeakable horrors. When the mysterious doctor shows up with guns and a hunting party, Prendick flees for his very life, and the hunt is on." Part One and Part Two.

• At Cthulhu: "Herbert West: Reanimator, part 2" by H. P. Lovecraft. Horror.
No description.

• At Dunesteef: "The Empire State Building Strikes Back" by Matthew Sanborn Smith.
"It is the age of super science. Dr. Nefarious is on the verge of inducing the singularity and destroying the world. The only hope for humanity is Malcolm…well, he’s not the only hope, there is a plan C. Don’t look for plan B, it’s not back there."

• At Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs: "Episode 09 - Tarzan The Terrible" Adventure.
"Chapter IX – Blood-Stained Altars Tarzan has entered the city of A-lur. To explain his presence in the city of the Ho-don, he has concocted the tale that he, a tailless creature, is the son of Jad-ben-Otho – the tailless god of the Ho-don. His subterfuge has succeeded so far, and he is being escorted to the throneroom of the King of the Pal-ul-don."

• At Forgotten Classics: "The People of the Mist - Finale" by H. R. Haggard. Adventure.
"In which friendship, a newspaper, and a steam fish help our heroes home." Earlier chapters here.

• At PodCastle: "Araminta, Or, The Wreck Of The Amphidrake" by Naomi Novik, read by C.S.E. Cooney. Fantasy.
"Lady Araminta was seen off from the docks at Chenstowe-on-Sea with great ceremony if not much affection by her assembled family. She departed in the company of not one but two maids, a hired eunuch swordsman, and an experienced professional chaperone with the Eye of Horus branded upon her forehead, to keep watch at night while the other two were closed."

• At Pseudopod: "Unforgotten" by Chris Fowler, read by Joel Nisbet. Horror.
"Rooms. Something odd about the rooms. He studied the brick walls of the courtyard formed by the other properties. He felt as if he had a cold coming on. Getting his jacket so wet hadn’t helped matters. He should have bought himself a new umbrella. He sneezed hard, wiped his nose on a tissue. Spots of dark blood, a crimson constellation. He looked from the window again. The bricks. That’s what it was. The bricks to the right of the window. They were in the wrong place. There should have been an empty space there. It was marked on the map, but not there from the window."

• At StarShipSofa: “The Mistress of Fishes” by Octavia Cade, read by Barbra Dillon.
The dead man’s flat was sparsely furnished and silent with dust. Sina ran a finger across the table top, a clean ribbon of wood unfurling behind it. On the mantelpiece were photographs set in cheap frames, the only things in the room that had been kept carefully dusted. She picked one up, studying the woman in the photo, her old fashioned dress and cheerful grin, and the one careful string of pearls around her neck.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's The Almost Weekend Freebies List

More free goodies linked, including text fiction, flash fiction, audio fiction, and an RPG module by QuasarDagon. The last being a pay what you want offering (Yes, $0 is ok.)

Still having technical difficulties, but I'll be back soon.

• At Nightmare: "Old Friends" by Charles L. Grant. Horror.
"David told himself there was nothing to be afraid of, nothing at all. It was, of course, only the delicious sense of anticipation he was feeling and not the fear that he could be mistaken. No. After all these years, all that pain, all that twisting of what he thought he knew . . . mistaken."

• At Paizo: "Armored" Chapters One and Two by Stephanie Lorée.Fantasy.
"The tip of her longsword carved a channel along the beachhead of Lake Encarthan. She dragged the weapon, held it listlessly in her hand. Hers were dark, dirtied hands that knew the weight of good steel, the heft of a man's heart. She remembered a time when she was clean, though she could not recall the feeling of pristine boot soles, nor of a soul unstained."

• At "As Good As New" by Charlie Jane Anders. Science Fiction.
"The panic room had pretty much every TV show ever made on its massive hard drive, with multiple backup systems and a fail-proof generator, so there was nothing stopping Marisol from marathoning The Facts of Life for sixteen hours a day, starting over again with season one when she got to the end of the bedraggled final season."

Flash Fiction
Audio Fiction
• At Clarkesworld: "Patterns of a Murmuration, in Billions of Data Points” by JY Yang and read by Kate Baker.
"Our mother is dead, murdered, blood seared and flesh rendered, her blackened bones lying in a yellow bag on a steel mortuary table somewhere we don’t know. The Right will not tell. After the flames and radiation had freed the sports stadium from their embrace, the Right were the first on the disaster scene, and it was their ambulances that took the remains away to some Central hospital that the Left has no access to."

• At Forgotten Classics: "The People of the Mist, chapters 38-39" by H. Rider Haggard.
No description.

• At StarShipSofa: "No 353 Kathryn Cramer"
Disextinction, Inc.” by Kathryn Cramer and “You, In Emulation” by Kathryn Cramer
“I checked you out of the library. You were due back in two weeks for synchronization, but I kept you out much longer, running up huge fines. The librarian was very nice and didn’t make me pay right away, but said that she had very little discretion; that the fines were set by the library system and your publisher.”

• At DriveThruRPG:  PO-1 The Stolen Child. Fantasy. Pay what you want.
"The pleasant town of Sligo has its tranquility shattered when a young boy vanishes in the middle of the night. Investigating the disappearance, the characters discover lost ruins and an ancient plot for revenge and a long forgotten enemy of humanity. Will the characters be able to rescue the stolen child or will a cruel, wronged race be able to wreak vengeance on all humanity? An OSR compatible module for any old school RPG or modern clone, designed for character levels 7-9, The Stolen Child is easily adaptable to other levels."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday Free Fiction

More good fiction for the huddled masses yearning to read free.
Art for Starfall, linked below.

• At Lightspeed: "Prayers of Forges and Furnaces" by Aliette De Bodard. Fantasy.
"The stranger came at dawn, walking out of the barren land like a mirage—gradually shimmering into existence beside the bronze line of the rails: a wide-brimmed hat, a long cloak, the glint that might have been a rifle or an obsidian-studded sword. Xochipil, who had been scavenging for tech at the mouth of Mictlan’s Well, caught that glint in her eyes—and stopped, watching the stranger approach, a growing hollow in her stomach."

• At Lightspeed: "Starfall" by Saundra Mitchell. Science Fiction.
"KV-62 went supernova today. Well, according to the news, it went supernova on March 14, 1592, but we’re just now finding out about it. Other things that happened on this day in history: Eli Whitney got a patent for the cotton gin, Charles I granted a royal charter to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and I was fished out of a trash can in the Union Square subway station." Text and audio.

• At Strange Horizons: "Never the Same" by Polenth Blake
"When I was younger, people assumed I was nice. I knew when to smile and when to cry. They never believed it was me who stole the biscuits or set the cushions on fire. Until they ran the routine scans and I failed. Then every tear was viewed with suspicion. Every smile was cause to check for smoke. My sister was the only one who disagreed." Text and audio.

Flash Fiction

  • At Daily Science Fiction: "The Rocketeer" by Rebecca Hodgkins. Science Fiction.
  • At 365 Tomorrows: "The African Mystery" by Charles E.J. Moulton. Science Fiction.

Audio Fiction
• At Beam Me Up: BMU #422. Science Fiction.
"Phillippe and His Rather Boring Time Travel (pt1)" by Michael Juby and part two (ch 2+3) of Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question."
"The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way:"

• At Protecting Project Pulp: “Defense Mech” by Ray Bradbury, read by Fred Himebaugh. First published in Planet Stories, Spring, 1946. Science Fiction
"Halloway stared down at Earth, and his brain tore loose and screamed, Man, man, how’d you get in a mess like this, in a rocket a million miles past the moon, shooting for Mars and danger and terror and maybe death."

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Images? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Images!"

QuasarDragon is still recovering from the power surge that destroyed many items here, but the free fiction will not be restrained, Here are some good freebies, though without the images this time. And for many that were missed during our down time, be sure to check out Regan Wolfrom's most recent roundup of free fiction at the always awesome SF Signal.

• At HiLobrow: "King Goshawk - part 37" by Eimar O'Duffy. Science Fiction. 1926.
"Now amongst the other women who loved Cuanduine (and whom, for the appeal in their eyes, he kissed, and then forgot) there was one Eulalia, fifth and eighth wife of Lord Waterfall, the milk monopolist. In the bloom of her youth this noble dame had been engaged to Goshawk, then a rising young financier not yet of royal rank, who had wooed her with a promise that when he should have come into his kingdom he would give her all the humming birds in the world to trim her hats with"

• At Mad Scientist Journal: "Diaries by Heloise Ezra" by Marcelina Vizcarra. Science Fiction.
"We have nearly cleared Room 24, noting nothing of significance thus far on our study of the hollows, though Dr. Margliss’s enthusiasm remains intact. One would never know we were nearly half a mile below the arctic permafrost."

• At Phantasmacore: "Have You Seen Her?" by Karen Pullen
"I remember every detail of that last morning. I’d fixed pancakes and bacon for the three of us. Our seven-year-old, Connor, rocked in his squeaky chair, humming, lost in his crazy-boy thoughts. When sunlight struck a crystal hanging in the window, scattering rainbow flickers around the kitchen, he reached out his hands to catch the flying jewels. He hooted his excited-monkey noise until I silenced him with the last piece of bacon."

• At The WiFiles: "The Sky People" by Alex Hardison.
"Lily’s playing with my hand again, tugging and twisting at the fingers. I don’t mind, because it keeps her near, though I try to stop her from putting the tips of them in her mouth. The metal is supposed to be safe, and I’ve had no ill effects since my original hand was replaced, but when it comes to her health I tend towards the overprotective."

Flash Fiction

Audio Fiction
• At Cast of Wonders: "Flotsam" by Rebecca Schwarz, read by Jeffrey Hite. YA.
"I’m about to blast a Grunt when the game freezes. Mom’s commandeered the link, and now she appears, in her old chinos and a tee-shirt, among the rubble of the Axis bunker." Audio and text,

• At Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Brrroughs: "Episode 06 - Tarzan The Terrible"
"Tarzan is hot on the trail of the missing Pan-at-lee. He has traced her to the Kor-ul-gryf, where she has taken refuge in a cave in the cliff face. Tarzan observes a shadowy manlike figure moving in the direction of her cave, and then hears a piercing scream!" Prior episodes here.

• At Tales to Terrify: "Tales to Terrify No 138 Tour of the Abattoir Coope" Horror.
Mike Allen’s "Tour of the Abattoir" and James Cooper’s "In Fetu."

• At Crime City Central: "Unknown Caller" by Alex Grecian, read by David Cummings.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Very Dated Post

Lost internet, along with telephone, television, and more when lightning struck last Thursday. Here is what I had saved of that post. Will try to return by Monday, but with Murphy's law on steroids comming down on me, no promises.

At Daily Science Fiction: "Good Kids" by Shannon Peavey. Magic Realism.
At Farther Stars Than These: "Little Planet" by Michael Fontana. Science Fiction.
At Nature: "The Angle of the Light on the Bloodstained Kitchen Floor" by Matt Mikalatos. 
At 365 Tomorrows: "Opportunity" by John Plunkett. Science Fiction.

• At DrabbleCast: "The Mouth of God" by  Ramsey Shehadeh. Horror.
"You’re kneeling on the bridge. It’s late afternoon. Clouds mass low in the sky, seagulls wheel over the bridge spans, humidity hangs thick in the air. Cars speed by on either side of you, the whoosh oftheir passage filling your ears." Audio and Text.

• At StarShipSofa: "The Dream Detective” by Lisa Tuttle.
"I don’t know if it was intentional on her part, and honestly, I’m not the sort of dick who always judges women on how hot they are, but if there’s any situation in which a person’s attractiveness matters, I think everybody would agree it’s a blind date"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Part 2

Just lots more good free fiction rounded up and corralled for ya, pilgrim.

• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "The Angel Azrael Delivers Justice to the People of the Dust" by Peter Darbyshire. Fantasy.
"The angel Azrael rode through the dust storm for three days. He figured it to be three days, anyway. It was hard to tell for certain, because the storm turned what little of the world he could see into night, and then into nothing at all. He closed his eyes and let his dead horse take him where it would."

• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "Seeing" by Stephen V. Ramey. Fantasy.
"Mist blanketed the Tsoi River. The clink-clack of the towing elephant’s harness became an eerie rattle from both banks, the gurgling chuck of water against the towboat’s hull were lips sucking flesh from chicken bones. A shiver went through Rahami Honra. She rubbed her forearm, careful not to scratch the spider-bite welts that marked her as Web Seer."

• At Daily Science Fiction: "Dancing" by M. E. Garber. Science Fiction.
"That's how my dad used to say things--how you say and then a long list of the exact words that you would actually use to say it. He was originally from a country called France when Earth was still alive. I think it made him feel good to pretend like he still was an outsider here, a piece of the life that he had before it all went down."

• At Lightspeed: "Traveller’s Rest" by David I. Masson. Science Fiction.
"It was an apocalyptic sector. Out of the red-black curtain of the forward sight-barrier, which at this distance from the Frontier shut down a mere twenty metres north, came every sort of meteoric horror: fission and fusion explosions, chemical detonations, a super-hail of projectiles of all sizes and basic velocities, sprays of nerve-paralysants and thalamic dopes."

• At  Lightspeed: "A Meaningful Exchange" by Kat Howard. Fantasy.
"Quentin told lies to people for money. Or drugs. Or kittens. Or anything, really. The particular currency didn’t matter, so long as what was being offered had value to the person who needed the lie." Text and Audio.

• At Nightmare: "Out of Touch" by Simon Strantzas. Horror.
"I grew up in the suburbs, in a small bungalow house identical to every other bungalow house on my block. Row after row of these houses, all in straight lines, filled the streets as far as my bicycle would take me. That was why the house across from my own never struck me as strange or out-of-the-ordinary, not in all the years I shared the street with it."

• At "A Cup of Salt Tears" by Isabel Yap. Dark Fantasy. Horror.
"Makino’s mother taught her caution, showed her how to carve her name into cucumbers, and insisted that she never let a kappa touch her. But when she grows up and her husband Tetsuya falls deathly ill, a kappa that claims to know her comes calling with a barbed promise. “A Cup of Salt Tears” is a dark fantasy leaning towards horror that asks how much someone should sacrifice for the one she loves."

Flash Fiction
  • At Daily Science Fiction: "Changing the Past" by Barton Paul Levenson. Alternative History. 
  • At Daily Science Fiction: "Dancing" by M. E. Garber. Science Fiction.
  • At Daily Science Fiction: " 
  • At Flashes in the Dark: "The Red Plague" by Matthew Wilson. Horror.
  • At Quantum Muse: "Jatawaff" by Michelle Day. Science Fiction.
  • At Strange Horizons: "A Pantheon of Madnesses" by Cory O'Brien. Poem, text and audio.
  • At 365 Tomorrows: "Time" by Roger Dale Trexler. Science Fiction.

Audio Fiction
• At Beam Me Up: "BMU # 420" Science Fiction.
"Don't Trust Venusian Mushrooms" by Doug Hilton. - "a tongue in cheek tale" and chapter two part two of Crystalwizard's "Wizard's Bane."

• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "Five Fruits I Ate in Sandar Land" by Michael Haynes. Fantasy.
"The man hesitates a moment, looking me over. I will eat the core if that is what he demands. I have come too far not to keep going; have yielded what little I was born with except my honor. If I stop now, I will retain nothing."

• At Beneath Ceaseless Skies: "Precious Meat" by Catherine S. Perdue. Fantasy.
"I lifted my muzzle and sniffed. The wood was different today. Fine dust still hung in the air and sparkled in sunlit shafts. Such a thing this sparkling was. I gazed at it in wonder. Had the light ever been just so before? Was this a new thing?"

• At Amazon: "For Odin, for Thor, for Asgard" [Kindle Edition]
"A collection of short stories of Allfather Odin, his blood son the mighty Thor and their magnificent home of Asgard.

The tales, often in very cosmic settings, see the Asgardian gods in a constant struggle for existence against other great powers, cosmic and mystic, of the Multiverse

Mid-Week Morning Free Fiction

 Part 1 of ? - More to come today.

• At The Colored Lens: "The Master’s Voice" by Todd Thorne. Speculative Fiction.
"“Eat. Eat,” came the woman’s voice again, followed shortly by the can opener’s dutiful grind. “Eat. Eat,” the voice repeated in lifeless monotone as blobs of wetness sucked loose and splattered."

• At HiLobrow: "King Goshawk - part 35" by Eimar O'Duffy.Science Fiction.
"When King Goshawk, the supreme ruler among a caste of “king capitalists,” buys up all the wildflowers and songbirds, an aghast Dublin philosopher travels via the astral plane to Tír na nÓg. First the mythical Irish hero Cúchulainn, then his son Cuanduine, travel to Earth in order to combat the king capitalists. Thirty-five years before the hero of Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, these well-meaning aliens discover that cultural forms and norms are the most effective barrier to social or economic revolution."

• At Mad Scientist Journal: "When I Grow Up" by K. Kitts. Science Fiction.

"When I ask my friends what they want to be when they grow up, they say a hotshot fireman, a policeman, the head of an assassin’s guild. Tyra’s always pushing the envelope. But when I grow up, all I want to be is what I can never be. I want to be like my friends. I want to be a human child."

• At The WiFiles: "Resistance is Futile" by Jessica Morrow Speculative Fiction.
"Every day was an exciting new one for Hamish Harrison. He knew it sounded ridiculous, but he couldn’t wait to jump out of bed at seven on the dot, and get straight into the thick of things."

Flash Fiction
  • At 365 Tomorrows: "Family First" by Cameron Filas. Science Fiction.
  • At 365 Tomorrows: "Heaven Needs an Upgrade" by Duncan Shields. Science Fiction.
  • At Toasted Cake: "Other Theories of Relativity" by Nicole J. LeBoeuf, and "Mon pays c'est l'hiver"
  • by Amal El-Mohtar.

Audio Fiction
• At Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs: "Episode 24 - Tarzan the Untamed (Final)"

"Tarzan, Bertha Kircher and Lt. Smith-Oldwick have made their escape from the city of maniacs, Xuja. Now they are fleeing, pursued by the maniacal Xujans and their hunting lions.

• At Journey Into: "The Secret Diary" by Cassie Alexander. Fantasy.
"A young boy finds himself the target of several attempts on his life."

• At Escape Pod: "The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere." by John Chu. Science Fiction.
"The water that falls on you from nowhere when you lie is perfectly ordinary, but perfectly pure. True fact. I tested it myself when the water started falling a few weeks ago. Everyone on Earth did. Everyone with any sense of lab safety anyway. Never assume any liquid is just water. When you say “I always document my experiments as I go along,” enough water falls to test, but not so much that you have to mop up the lab. Which lie doesn’t matter. The liquid tests as distilled water every time."

• At Pseudopod: "The Screwfly Solution" by James Tiptree Jr.
"AP/Nassau: The excursion liner Carib Swallow reached port under tow today after striking an obstruction in the Gulf Stream off Cape Hatteras. The obstruction was identified as part of a commercial trawler’s seine floated by female corpses. This confirms reports from Florida and the Gulf of the use of such seines, some of them over a mile in length. Similar reports coming from the Pacific coast and as far away as Japan indicate a growing hazard to coastwise shipping.”

• At Tales to Terrify: "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
""Poor little Faith!" thought he, for his heart smote him. "What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Methought as she spoke there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done tonight. But no, no; 't would kill her to think it. Well, she's a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven.""