Friday, October 31, 2008

Skyrider - William King

http://www.trollslayer.net/fiction/sky.html

Job setup flying lesson.


4 out of 5

Easy Steps To Posthumanity - William King

http://www.trollslayer.net/fiction/esp.html

Slice, dice, long trip's gonna hurt.


3.5 out of 5

Thy Servant A Dog - Rudyard Kipling

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603801.txt

Boots was made for walkin'.


4 out of 5

Myth Manners' Guide to Greek Mythology 1 Andromeda and Persueus - Harry Turtledove

Myth Manners' Guide to Greek Missology <...> - Harry Turtledove

If men are so useless, the Gorgons are all yours, girlie.


3.5 out of 5

Uncle Alf - Harry Turtledove

Uncle Alf - Harry Turtledove

Oh those French, roger you.


2.5 out of 5

In the Navy - David Weber

In the Navy - David Weber

You can't strangle the kiddies. You gotta build stuff.


3 out of 5

Second Landing - Floyd L. Wallace

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24958/24958.txt

Angel alien, maybe.


3 out of 5

Here Comes Santa Claus - K. D. Wentworth

Here Comes Santa Claus - K. D. Wentworth

Need one, even martial if we have to.


3 out of 5

Marsdog - Beth Bernobich

Marsdog - Beth Bernobich

ET phone home.


3.5 out of 5

Poison - Beth Bernobich

Poison - Beth Bernobich

Hunting for roots.


3.5 out of 5

Chameleon - Beth Bernobich

Chameleon - Beth Bernobich

Human awareness.


3 out of 5

The Rain At the End Of the World - Dale Bailey

The Rain at the End of the World - Dale Bailey

Wetapocalypse.


3.5 out of 5

The Mechanism Of Grace - Daniel Abraham

http://www.infinitematrix.net/stories/shortshorts/riohondo/abraham-rh4.html

Not loopy.


3 out of 5

The Killing Flash - Hugo Gernsback

http://pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=284

Zap bastard story return.


3 out of 5

Cinnnamon - Neil Gaiman

Cinnamon - Neil Gaiman

Talky tiger.


3 out of 5

Prior Restraint - Orson Scott Card

Prior Restraint - Orson Scott Card

Just finish it doc, publish or no.


2.5 out of 5

Missed - Orson Scott Card

Missed - Orson Scott Card

Past world run.


3 out of 5

Homeless In Hell - Orson Scott Card

Homeless in Hell - Orson Scott Card

A bit of ghostly Santa Robin Hood action.


3.5 out of 5

Atlantis - Orson Scott Card

Atlantis - Orson Scott Card

O Great Derku.


2.5 out of 5

Minnesota Gothic - Thomas Disch

Minnesota Gothic - Thomas Disch

She's a witch, Gretel.


3 out of 5

Casbalanca - Thomas Disch

Casablanca - Thomas Disch

That's a kicker.


2.5 out of 5

A Lineman For the County - Dave Freer

A Lineman For the Country - Dave Freer

Phone prisoner release.


3 out of 5

Heavy Lifting - Suzy McKee Charnas

Heavy Lifting - Suzy McKee Charnas

I am Iron Nephew, maybe, ghosty.


3 out of 5

Peregrines - Suzy McKee Charnas

Peregrines - Suzy McKee Charnas

Tarot for the birds.


3 out of 5

Among the Dead - Edward Bryant

Among the Dead - Edward Bryant

Biobomb ghouls.


3.5 out of 5

The Little Lamb - Fredric Brown

The Little Lamb - Fredric Brown

Dead in the closet.


3 out of 5

The Success Machine - Henry Slesar

The Success Machine - Henry Slesar

Pink for you, unsatisfied brain.


3 out of 5

The Delegate From Venus - Henry Slesar

The Delegate from Venus - Henry Slesar

No nukes, or we getcha.


3 out of 5

Snackfood - Jeff Carlson

http://media.libsyn.com/media/clonepod2/ff6_Snackfood.mp3

Gonadless, but tasty.


3 out of 5

Nobodies and Somebodies - Eugie Foster

http://www.hd-image.com/podcast/wp-content/uploads/ad_ep004.mp3

OCD with pollen.


2.5 out of 5

Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing 66 - Elizabeth Bear

http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/2008/10/aisfp-66-elizabeth-bear-and-tobias-buckell

A lengthy, interesting interview where, among other things she professes much earlier admiration for Thundarr the Barbarian, and continuing such for Sherlock Holmes.


5 out of 5

Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing - Shaun Farrell and Sam Wynns

http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/

A podcast about SF, with interviews with authors, editors, etc. Some writer nerd stuff of course, but the latter works at a SF bookshop in San Diego, so you get that perespective too. Along with plenty of good bad jokes.


5 out of 5

The Dragon Page Cover to Cover - Irene Gallo and Pablo Defendini

http://www.dragonpage.com/2008/10/27/cover-to-cover-333a/

Talking about Tor.com and how it came to be.


4.5 out of 5

Box Of Spoons - Eugie Foster

http://www.righthandpublishing.co.uk/images/Hub_68.pdf

Aphrodite's daughter, some polish.


3 out of 5

Selene 15 - Lilith Saintcrow

http://www.lilithsaintcrow.com/selene/fifteen/

"Irritation flooded her. Goddammit, Nikolai. As if I’m a bicycle chained to a rack, and you don’t want him making off with me. But the words refused to come.


2.5 out of 5

Deluge 4 - Brian Keene

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=227

"Next came a group of creatures that looked like a mix of human beings and great white sharks. They had the legs, arms, and partial torso of a person, but the tail, head, dorsal fin and upper body of a shark. Their mouths were the creatures’ most striking feature—rows and rows of razor-sharp teeth. Over ten-feet in length, they swam by using both their powerful tails and their lithe legs—propelling themselves through the water with great speed."


3.5 out of 5

Bloody Bones 1 - Laurell K. Hamilton

http://www.laurellkhamilton.org/Anita/BloodyBonesChapterOne.html

""So can you raise the entire cemetery in one night?"

"You're crazy," I said.

"Can you do it?"

I opened my mouth to say no, and closed it. I had raised an entire cemetery once. Not all of them had been two centuries old, but some of them had been older, nearly three hundred. And I raised them all. Of course, I had two human sacrifices to ride for power. It was a long story how I ended up with two people dying inside a circle of power. Self-defense, but the magic didn't care. Death is death."


4 out of 5

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Selene 14 - Lilith Saintcrow

http://www.lilithsaintcrow.com/selene/fourteen/

"If I stabbed him, it wouldn’t matter. He’d shake it off. The knife won’t cause enough damage. I shot him, and it didn’t even make a dent. Determination caught fire inside her chest. Her breathing evened out. I’ll give it the old college try, though. Let’s see if that bores him."


3.5 out of 5

Deluge 3 - Brian Keene

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=153

The large worm heaved itself forward. Mud squelched beneath its tremendous bulk. Sarah continued fumbling with the wet knife while Kevin retreated to her side. Another of the smaller worms wriggled after him. Kevin swung the bat, but the beast dodged the blow and seized the weapon in its mouth, wrenching the bat from Kevin’s grip.

“Fuck this.” Sarah shoved the knife back in her pocket and pulled out one of the emergency flares instead. Moving quickly, she unscrewed the cap and struck the tip of the flare against it. The flare sputtered to life, emitting a red flame. Sparks burned the tiny hairs on her arm, but she ignored them. She thrust the flare forward, and the worm reared back.


4 out of 5

A Water Matter - Jay Lake

http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=story&id=7757#preview

Dancing Mistress hunt.


3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Selene 13 - Lilith Saintcrow

http://www.lilithsaintcrow.com/selene/thirteen/

"I’m a thief as well as a murderer now, just to top off a life spent being a paranormal tramp. Christos. Really racking up the score here, Selene."


3.5 out of 5

Deluge 2 - Brian Keene

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=116

"The road had collapsed in front of them, and the truck had tumbled into a sinkhole. The trench was about five feet deep. Cold rain and wind lashed at her as she appraised their situation. Water churned at the bottom of the hole. Mud rolled off the sides and splashed into the water. She stared closer at the soil, and noticed veins of white mold spreading throughout it. Her breath caught in her throat.

She’d seen that white fuzz before. But now, there was a new aspect to it.

“What the hell?”

The dirt around the fungus seemed to be liquefying.

“What’s wrong,” Kevin asked. “Worms?”

“No. It’s… I don’t know what. It’s that weird mold, but it’s doing something different. It’s turning the dirt into water or something.”"


3.5 out of 5

The Forgotten Enemy - Arthur C. Clarke

http://freakytrigger.co.uk/wordpress/podpress_trac/feed/12319/0/s2e08.mp3

There's a polar bear in there.


4 out of 5

Paragaea 1-5 - Chris Roberson

http://pyrsamples.blogspot.com/2008/10/paragaea-planetary-romance-by-chris.html

"Hieronymus was on his feet at once, expertly stowing his map back in its tube and his globe back in its case in a matter of heartbeats, his hands then flying to the saber at his side, all before he’d even had a chance to register what the danger might be. By the time Leena had reached a standing position, Balam was at her side, knife drawn, and fangs and claws bared.

It took Leena’s eyes a brief moment to adjust to the gloom, having stared so long in the direction of the firelight, but the dim illumination cast by the still-flickering cook-fire aided somewhat.

There, only a few meters before them, hulked the massive form of a sloth, but not like any sloth Leena had ever seen, in life or in photograph. Laying supine on the ground, its muzzle pointed towards them, eyes blazing in the flickering firelight, this sloth was easily two meters from belly to back.

“What is?” Leena said, almost unable to breathe.

The sloth climbed slowly to its hind legs, standing almost as high as the surrounding trees, and brandished claws almost as long as Leena was tall.

“Trouble,” Hieronymus said simply, and tightened his grip on the saber."


4 out of 5

The Laird Barron Sequence Defining the Undefinable - Laird Barron

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/barron_interview/

An interview for Clarkesworld magazine.


4 out of 5

Bibliophile Stalker Interview - Laird Barron

http://charles-tan.blogspot.com/2008/09/feature-interview-with-laird-barron.html

On horror, Imago Sequence, and whiteout survival multiverse shifts.


4 out of 5

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Isostasy - Michael Blumlein

http://www.michaelblumlein.com/miscellany/isos_blumlein.pdf

Donut stone perve.


3 out of 5

Ghost Technology From the Sun - Paul Jessup

http://pauljessup.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/ghost-technology-from-the-sun.pdf

Rabbitars against necromancy? Need more help.


4 out of 5

City At World's End - Edmond Hamilton

http://manybooks.net/titles/hamiltoneother05cityworldsend.html

Atomic continuum smashing future jump.

A massive atomic explosion throws Middletown, USA tens of thousands of years into the future, as they discover.

It is a cold, dead place they arrive in, and they have to move to a domed city they find to survive. Further culture shock awakes - there are people arriving, not all human.

Old Earth stubbornness and clinging to the past clashes with a Galactic Federation's views on old planetary archaeology, primitive inhabitants, and more. Stuck in the middle of this tense situation is Kenniston, and also in a bit of a past-future love triangle, too.

I liked this quite a bit, call it a 3.75.


4 out of 5

Circus Of the Damned 1 - Laurell K. Hamilton

http://www.laurellkhamilton.org/Anita/CircusOfTheDamnedChapterOne.html

"I have since started a new group, Humans First. We have the same goals as HAV, but our methods are more direct." I stared at him. HAV's main goal was to make vampires illegal again, so they could be hunted down like animals. It worked for me. I used to be a vampire slayer, hunter, whatever. Now I was a vampire executioner. I had to have a death warrant to kill a specific vampire, or it was murder. To get a warrant, you had to prove the vampire was a danger to society, which meant you had to wait for the vampire to kill people. The lowest kill was five humans, the highest was twenty-three. That was a lot of dead bodies. In the good ol' days you could just kill a vampire on sight."


4 out of 5

Tom Edison and His Telegraphic Harpoon - Jay Lake

http://weirdtales.net/wordpress/2008/09/17/tom-edison-and-his-telegraphic-harpoon/

Anti-Nephilim electric defense.


3.5 out of 5

Weird Tales 350 - Ann Vandermeer

http://www.weirdtales.net/getweird/weirdtales350.pdf

A nifty idea to give a sample issue out, although PDF makes it a bit hard to read. Still, free is free I suppose, and I had wanted to have a look at this basically ungettable publication, here. A couple of short columns at the start, and a good interview with Mike Mignola, about Hellboy, and a bunch of book reviews at the end. Not a big surprise that a Spinrad story is the best, either. The excerpt is pretty inconsequential, but it is Chapter 1.

The best stuff is at the start and the end, and overall a lot of average in this issue, at only 3.20.

Weird Tales 350 : Weird Tales 350 - Ann VanderMeer
Weird Tales 350 : All In - Peter Atwood
Weird Tales 350 : How I Got Here - Ramsey Shehadeh
Weird Tales 350 : Belair Plaza - Adam Corbin Fusco
Weird Tales 350 : An Invitation Via Email - Mike Allen
Weird Tales 350 : Mainevermontnewhampshiremass - Nick Mamatas
Weird Tales 350 : The Stone-Hearted Queen - Kelly Barnhill
Weird Tales 350 : Ganaranok - Rory Steves
Weird Tales 350 : Evolution - Karen Heuler
Weird Tales 350 : Right You Are If You Say You Are - Norman Spinrad
Weird Tales 350 : The Court of the Air Excerpt - Stephen Hunt


Lunger poker bits.

3.5 out of 5


Hell of a gang.

3.5 out of 5


Store detail.

3 out of 5


Ritual communication.

3 out of 5


Writing evil.

3 out of 5


Fight time. Give us da boyz only.

3 out of 5


Snack bloke.

3 out of 5


Form hunt.

3 out of 5


One ex-virgin, one knight, one black knight, one dragon, one fall wins.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Court Of the Air 1 - Stephen Hunt

http://www.weirdtales.net/getweird/weirdtales350.pdf

"You tell the Beadle we runs a place of work here, not a library. When we wants a lady of letters, I’ll send for an articled clerk, not some Sun Gate scruff."


3 out of 5

Right You Are If you Say You Are - Norman Spinrad

http://www.weirdtales.net/getweird/weirdtales350.pdf

One ex-virgin, one knight, one black knight, one dragon, one fall wins.


3.5 out of 5

Evolution - Karen Heuler

http://www.weirdtales.net/getweird/weirdtales350.pdf

Form hunt.


3.5 out of 5

Ganaranok - Rory Steves

http://www.weirdtales.net/getweird/weirdtales350.pdf

Snack bloke.


3 out of 5

The Stone-heart Queen - Kelly Barnhill

http://www.weirdtales.net/getweird/weirdtales350.pdf

Fight time. Give us da boyz only.


3 out of 5

Mainevermontnewhampshiremass - Nick Mamatas

http://www.weirdtales.net/getweird/weirdtales350.pdf

Writing evil.


3 out of 5

An Invitation Via Email - Mike Allen

http://www.weirdtales.net/getweird/weirdtales350.pdf

Ritual communication.


3 out of 5

Belair Plaza - Adam Corbin Fusco

http://www.weirdtales.net/getweird/weirdtales350.pdf

Store detail.


3 out of 5

How I Got Here - Ramsey Shehadeh

http://www.weirdtales.net/getweird/weirdtales350.pdf

Hell of a gang.


3.5 out of 5

All In - Peter Atwood

http://www.weirdtales.net/getweird/weirdtales350.pdf

Lunger poker bits.


3.5 out of 5

Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle - Jonathan Wood

http://www.electricvelocipede.com/htm/imaginarybeetle.htm

Entomology slash reflexology.


3.5 out of 5

Sitting Round the Stewpot - Patricia Russo

http://www.electricvelocipede.com/htm/stewpot.htm

Too crap for dogs.


2.5 out of 5

The Oldest Man On Earth - Patrick O'Leary

http://www.electricvelocipede.com/htm/oldestman.htm

Keep the people, I'll take the bears and robots.


3 out of 5

Selene 12 - Lilith Saintcrow

http://www.lilithsaintcrow.com/selene/twelve/

"He’s a beast-master. He rules werecain. Her entire body went cold. The medallion pulsed, strangely subdued. That was what she’d been unable to remember—the beastmasters. Werecain were peculiarly vulnerable to psychic pressure anyway, but some of the Nichtvren could control werecain without it, become a dominant member of a pack. And Grigori, immensely ancient and powerful, was one of them."


2.5 out of 5

Angry Rose's Lament - Cat Rambo

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200810-angry.html

Wasp men Brain Stealers of Solin.


3.5 out of 5

Troy and the Aliens - Ruth Nestvold

http://www.abyssandapex.com/200810-troy.html

"Think about it, Sarah. Did you ever imagine you would be standing in a German beer tent watching an alien dancing on a tabletop wearing a Grateful Dead T–shirt?"


3.5 out of 5

Deluge 1 - Brian Keene

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=102

"“Why are we stopping?”

Kevin pointed through the truck’s rain-streaked windshield. “There’s a worm in the road.”

At first, Sarah didn’t see it. The downpour severely limited their visibility. But then she spotted a flash of movement amidst the rain—an elongated, gray and white form, glistening with slime and mud. The creature was easily the size of a large dog, but much longer. Its body stretched across the gravel lane, digging furrows in the road. Neither its front nor hind end were visible. The worm seemed oblivious to the idling pick-up truck. Or maybe it just didn’t care.

Maybe it had already eaten.

“Run it over,” she said."


4 out of 5

Walking Dead 4 - Greg Rucka

http://ruckawriter.livejournal.com/60652.html#cutid1

"“You’re looking to make trouble yourself.”

“Maybe. But that’s my business.”

He considered that. “You and Yeva, you’ve lived here four years now?”

“About that.”

“Never any problems from you two. Everyone likes you, everyone likes Yeva. Everyone even likes your fucking dog.”

“We like it here.”

“What I don’t like is trouble, David. You remember that thing with the kids, couple years back? You remember?”

“I remember.”

“You know I shot them?”

“So I heard.”"


4 out of 5

Monday, October 27, 2008

Veil Of Ignorance - David Barr Kirtley

http://www.davidbarrkirtley.com/audio/veilmechmuse.mp3

Five-way mindfray drug's a headache.


4 out of 5

The Second Rat - David Barr Kirtley

http://www.davidbarrkirtley.com/audio/secondratmechmuse.mp3

Rewind death trap.


3.5 out of 5

A Logic Named Will - Robert Silverberg

http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0812/ref.shtml

On Murray Leinster and A Logic Named Joe.


4.5 out of 5

Disciple - David Barr Kirtley

http://www.davidbarrkirtley.com/audio/disciplepseudopod.mp3

Facing up to fish status.


3 out of 5

Glass - Daryl Gregory

http://www.technologyreview.com/printer_friendly_article.aspx?id=21539&channel=biomedicine§ion=

All-star psychopath drug trial.


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Grand Guignol - Andy Duncan

http://media.rawvoice.com/podcastle/media.libsyn.com/media/podcastle/PC030_GrandGuignol.mp3

Bloody theatre employees eye improvement.


3.5 out of 5

Starship Sofa Interview - Christian Dunn

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/StarShipSofa_Engine_Room_No_7_Solaris_Books.mp3

The publisher of Solaris Books. Apparently mass market all the way, baby.


4.5 out of 5

New Hat - Connie Willis

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/sep/26/new-hat/

No mine, just millinery.


3 out of 5

Kelly Country 4 - A. Bertram Chandler

http://www.bertramchandler.com/kellycountry.aspx

"“Strasser kept out of range of the Australian Gatlings. His four 70s had climbed to the same altitude as my great-grandfather’s metalclads and then he had turned, running away (as it seemed) from the raiders. Soon Kiel would be spread out below the Allied airships, a helpless victim. At the same time the German air fleet was being slowly overtaken. The aeroplanes from both sides, the Camels and the Taubes, were still dogfighting but nobody, as far as I can gather from my reading of the various accounts of the battle, was worrying much about them. They were just nuisances, capable of drawing blood, just as a mosquito is, but no more than nuisances. This was an affair of big ships. It was the only airship battle in history-but, of course, nobody at the time knew that, Deirdre and Kathleen opened fire on LZ4O-crippled and lagging-with their belly Gatlings. This time there was a fire. She went down in a great flare of blazing hydrogen. And LZ38, too, had fallen astern of the main German fleet. She was just within Gatling range. There was another, slowly falling, funeral pyre."


3.5 out of 5

Faces - F. Paul Wilson

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_47_F_Paul_Wilson.mp3

Facelift murderer freak relation.


4 out of 5

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hellhounds Of the Cosmos - Clifford D. Simak

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/2/7/0/1/27013/

Dimensional degeneration.


3 out of 5

The Distant Sound Of Engines - Algys Budrys

http://www.technologyreview.com/printer_friendly_article.aspx?id=21538&channel=communications§ion=

Hospital equation.


3 out of 5

A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century - Chuck Klosterman

http://www.esquire.com/features/chuck-klostermans-america/brief-history-21st-century-1008?src=rss

"NOV. 7, 2028: Tom Brady (R-Michigan) defeats Will Smith (D-California) in the race for the Oval Office."


4 out of 5

Friday, October 24, 2008

Magic Strikes 1 and a bit - Ilona Andrews

http://ilona-andrews.livejournal.com/211528.html#cutid1

"A lean shadow skittered from the alley, followed by another. Emaciated, hairless, loping on all fours in a jerky uncoordinated gait, they crossed the street before me and paused. They had been human at some point but both had been dead for more than a decade. No fat or softness remained on their bodies. No flesh – only steel-wire muscle beneath thick hide. Two vampires on the prowl. And they were out of their territory.

"ID," I said. Most navigators knew me by sight just like they knew every member of the Order in Atlanta.

The forefront bloodsucker unhinged his jaw and the navigator's voice issued forth, distorted slightly. "Journeyman Rodriguez, Journeyman Salvo."

"Your Master?"

"Rowena."

Of all the Masters of the Dead, I detested Rowena the least. "You're a long way from the Casino."

"We..."

The second bloodsucker opened his mouth, revealing light fangs against his black maw. "He screwed up and got us lost in the Warren."

"I followed the map."

The second bloodsucker stabbed a clawed finger at the sky. "The map's useless if you can't orient for shit. The moon doesn't rise in the north, you moron."

Two idiots. It would be comical, if I didn't feel the blood hunger rising from the vamps. If these two knuckleheads lost control for a moment, the bloodsuckers would rip into me. "


4 out of 5

I Tell You It's Love - Joe R. Lansdale

http://www.joerlansdale.com/stories.shtml

Pain need.


3 out of 5

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2 - Scott H. Andrews

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/toc.php?s=2

The second part of Willrich's story seems to drag a bit, and the other is only average. There's no non-fictioning.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2 : The Sword of Loving Kindness 2 - Chris Willrich
Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2 : Architectural Constants - Yoon Ha Lee

Boneless Box happy bash mastery.

3 out of 5


The Spiderlook Climbables.

3 out of 5



2 out of 5

Nethescurial - Thomas Ligotti

http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=433

Idol dream.


3 out of 5

Mrs. Rinaldi's Angel - Thomas Ligotti

http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=439

Dream sucker.


3 out of 5

Architectural Constraints - Yoon Ha Lee

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/story.php?s=3

The Spiderlook Climbables.


3 out of 5

The Sword Of Loving Kindness 2 - Chris Willrich

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/story.php?s=6

Boneless Box happy bash mastery.


(call it 3.25)
3 out of 5

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Half the Blood Of Brooklyn - Charlie Huston

http://pulpnoir.com/?p=160

"I don’t like the way he smells. I don’t like the way he looks. I don’t like his shoes. If I stuck a blade in him and drank the blood that shot out of the open wound, I wouldn’t like the way he tastes.

But Terry told me to be cool.

So I don’t kill the guy."


4 out of 5

No Dominion - Charlie Huston

http://pulpnoir.com/?p=150

"OK, time to stop worrying about the glass, time to start worrying about getting this guy off of me. I can’t expect any help from the bartenders or the crowd, not after they watched him pound on the bouncer with that pool cue. And I don’t see any helpful officers of the law rolling up outside at this point. Not that I have any intention of being here when the cops show up. So, I guess it’s just me and him. That’s OK, I can go this one alone. Not like it’s new to me or anything. I just wish he really was on PCP; if it was just PCP he’d be pretty easy to deal with. But this? This is gonna take grace and style, maybe even a little tact."


4 out of 5

The Shotgun Rule 1 Piece Of Shit Bike - Charlie Huston

"It started with Andy’s piece of shit bike.

-What the fuck were you doing not locking it up?

-I just went in for a second.

-I just went it for a second. How the fuck long do you think it takes to steal a bike, dickweed?

-It was right next to the window.

-Yeah, that’ll do it, no one ever steals shit that’s next to a window. Fucking numbnuts."


3 out of 5

Failures of Capitalism and the Success of Science Fiction - Richard Morgan

http://io9.com/5066416/richard-k-morgan-on-the-failures-of-capitalism-and-the-success-of-science-fiction#

So some politics in this interview, don't read it if that will bore you. Still lots of good bits about his books there though, and is long and detailed.


5 out of 5

The Man With the Golden Gun 1 Can I Help You? - Ian Fleming

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780142003282,00.html?sym=EXC

"So now James Bond paused before he replied to Major Townsend's question about how he could be of help. He looked at the Soft Man and then into the fire. He added up the accuracy of the description he had been given of Major Townsend's appearance and, before he said what he had been told to say, he gave Colonel Boris ninety out of a hundred. The big, friendly face, the wide-apart, pale-brown eyes, bracketed by the wrinkles of a million smiles, the military moustache, the rimless monocle dangling from a thin black cord, the brushed-back, thinning sandy hair, the immaculate double-breasted blue suit, stiff white collar and Brigade tie - it was all there. But what Colonel Boris hadn't said was that the friendly eyes were as cold and steady as gun barrels and that the lips were thin and scholarly.

James Bond said patiently: 'It's really quite simple. I'm who I say I am. I'm doing what I naturally would do, and that's report back to M.'

'Quite. But you must realise' (a sympathetic smile) ' that you've been out of contact for nearly a year. You have been officially posted as "missing believed killed". Your obituary has even appeared in The Times. Have you any evidence of identity? I admit that you look very much like your photographs, but you must see that we have to be very sure before we pass you on up the ladder.'

'A Miss Mary Goodnight was my secretary. She'd recognise me all right. So would dozens of other people at HQ.'

'Miss Goodnight's been posted abroad. Can you give me a brief description of HQ, just the main geography ?'

Bond did so.

'Right. Now, who was a Miss Maria Freudenstadt?'

‘Was?'

'Yes, she's dead.'

'Thought she wouldn't last long. She was a double, working for KGB. Section 100 controlled her. I wouldn't get any thanks for telling you any more.'"


3.5 out of 5

From Russia With Love 1 Roseland - Ian Fleming

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780142002070,00.html?sym=EXC

"The masseuse worked up the arm to the huge biceps. Where had the man got these fantastic muscles from? Was he a boxer? What did he do with his formidable body? Rumour said this was a police villa. The two menservants were obviously guards of some sort, although they did the cooking and the housework. Regularly every month the man went away for a few days and she would be told not to come. And from time to time she would be told to stay away for a week, or two weeks, or a month. Once, after one of these absences, the man's neck and the upper part of his body had been a mass of bruises. On another occasion the red corner of a half healed wound had shown under a foot of surgical plaster down the ribs over his heart. She had never dared to ask about him at the hospital or in the town. When she had first been sent to the house, one of the menservants had told her that if she spoke about what she saw she would go to prison. Back at the hospital, the Chief Superintendent, who had never recognised her existence before, had sent for her and had said the same thing. She would go to prison. The girl's strong fingers gouged nervously into the big deltoid muscle on the point of the shoulder. She had always known it was a matter of State Security. Perhaps that was what revolted her about this splendid body. Perhaps it was just fear of the organisation that had the body in custody. She squeezed her eyes shut at the thought of who he might be, of what he could order to be done to her. Quickly she opened them again. He might have noticed. But the eyes gazed blankly up at the sky.

Now - she reached for the oil - to do the face.

The girl's thumbs had scarcely pressed into the sockets of the man's closed eyes when the telephone in the house started ringing. The sound reached impatiently out into the quiet garden. At once the man was up on one knee like a runner waiting for the gun. But he didn't move forward. The ringing stopped. There was the mutter of a voice. The girl could not hear what it was saying, but it sounded humble, noting instructions. The voice stopped and one of the menservants showed briefly at the door, made a gesture of summons and went back into the house. Half way through the gesture, the naked man was already running. She watched the brown back flash through the open glass door. Better not let him find her there when he came out again - doing nothing, perhaps listening. She got to her feet, took two steps to the concrete edge of the pool and dived gracefully in.

Although it would have explained her instincts about the man whose body she massaged, it was as well for the girl's peace of mind that she did not know who he was.

His real name was Donovan Grant, or 'Red' Grant. But, for the past ten years, it had been Krassno Granitski, with the code name of 'Granit'.

He was the Chief Executioner of SMERSH, the murder apparat of the MGB, and at this moment he was receiving his instructions on the MGB direct line with Moscow."


3.5 out of 5

Things - Ursula K. Le Guin

http://freakytrigger.co.uk/wordpress/podpress_trac/web/12304/0/S2E07.mp3

No panic here.


3 out of 5

Moonraker 1 Secret Paperwork - Ian Fleming

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780142002063,00.html?sym=EXC

"The two thirty-eights roared simultaneously.

The walls of the underground room took the crash of sound and batted it to and fro between them until there was silence. James Bond watched the smoke being sucked from each end of the room towards the central Ventaxia fan. The memory in his right hand of how he had drawn and fired with one sweep from the left made him confident. He broke the chamber sideways out of the Colt Detective Special and waited, his gun pointing at the floor, while the Instructor walked the twenty yards towards him through the half-light of the gallery.

Bond saw that the Instructor was grinning. 'I don't believe it,' he said. 'I got you that time.'

The Instructor came up with him. 'I'm in hospital, but you're dead, sir,' he said. In one hand he held the silhouette target of the upper body of a man. In the other a polaroid film, postcard size. He handed this to Bond and they turned to a table behind them on which there was a green-shaded desk-light and a large magnifying glass.

Bond picked up the glass and bent over the photograph. It was a flash-light photograph of him. Around his right hand there was a blurred burst of white flame. He focused the glass carefully on the left side of his dark jacket. In the centre of his heart there was a tiny pinpoint of light.

Without speaking, the Instructor laid the big white man-shaped target under the lamp. Its heart was a black bullseye, about three inches across. Just below and half an inch to the right was the rent made by Bond's bullet.

'Through the left wall of the stomach and out at the back,' said the Instructor, with satisfaction. He took out a pencil and scribbled an addition on the side of the target.' Twenty rounds and I make it you owe me seven-and-six, sir,' he said impassively."


4 out of 5

Live and Let Die 1 The Red Carpet - Ian Fleming

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780142003237,00.html?sym=EXC

"'Arranging the flowers by your bed. Part of the famous CIA "Service With a Smile".' The tall thin young man came forward with a wide grin, his hand outstretched, to where Bond stood rooted with astonishment.

'Felix Leiter! What the hell are you doing here?' Bond grasped the hard hand and shook it warmly. 'And what the hell are you doing in my bedroom, anyway? God! it's good to see you. Why aren't you in Paris? Don't tell me they've put you on this job?'

Leiter examined the Englishman affectionately.

'You've said it. That's just exactly what they have done. What a break! At least, it is for me. CIA, thought we did all right together on the Casino job so they hauled me away from the Joint Intelligence chaps in Paris, put me through the works in Washington and here I am. I'm sort of liaison between the Central Intelligence Agency and our friends of the FBI.' He waved towards Captain Dexter, who was watching this unprofessional ebullience without enthusiasm. 'It's their case, of course, at least the American end of it is, but as you know there are some big overseas angles which are CIA's territory, so we're running it joint. Now you're here to handle the Jamaican end for the British and the team's complete. How does it look to you? Sit down and let's have a drink. I ordered lunch directly I got the word you were downstairs and it'll be on its way.' He went over to the sideboard and started mixing a Martini.

'Well, I'm damned,' said Bond. 'Of course that old devil M never told me. He just gives one the facts. Never tells one any good news. I suppose he thinks it might influence one's decision to take a case or not. Anyway, it's grand.'"


4 out of 5

Casino Royale 1 The Secret Agent - Ian Fleming

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780142002025,00.html?sym=EXC

"Some of this background to his cable passed through Bond's mind. He was used to oblique control and rather liked it. He felt it feather-bedded him a little, allowed him to give or take an hour or two in his communications with M. He knew that this was probably a fallacy, that probably there was another member of the Service at Royale-les-Eaux who was reporting independently, but it did give the illusion that he wasn't only 150 miles across the Channel from that deadly office building near Regent's Park, being watched and judged by those few cold brains that made the whole show work. Just as Fawcett, the Cayman Islander in Kingston, knew that if he bought that Morris Minor outright instead of signing the hire-purchase agreement, someone in London would probably know and want to know where the money had come from.

Bond read the cable twice. He tore a telegram form off the pad on the desk (why give them carbon copies?) and wrote his reply in capital letters:

THANKS INFORMATION SHOULD SUFFICE—BOND

He handed this to the concierge and put the cable signed 'Dasilva' in his pocket. The employers (if any) of the concierge could bribe a copy out of the local post office, if the concierge hadn't already steamed the envelope open or read the cable upside down in Bond's hands.

He took his key and said good night and turned to the stairs, shaking his head at the liftman. Bond knew what an obliging danger-signal a lift could be. He didn't expect anyone to be moving on the first floor, but he preferred to be prudent.

Walking quietly up on the balls of his feet, he regretted the hubris of his reply to M via Jamaica. As a gambler he knew it was a mistake to rely on too small a capital. Anyway, M probably wouldn't let him have any more. He shrugged his shoulders and turned off the stairs into the corridor and walked softly to the door of his room."


4 out of 5

Diamonds Are Forever - Ian Fleming

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780142002056,00.html?sym=EXC

"The man on the ground watched it go, and with it the £100,000 worth of diamonds his men had filched from the diggings during the past month and had casually held out on their pink tongues as he stood beside the dentist's chair and brusquely inquired where it hurt.

Still talking about their teeth, he would pick the stones out of their mouths and hold them up to the dentist's spotlight, and then softly he would say 50, 75,100; and they always nodded and took the notes and hid them in their clothes and went out of the surgery with a couple of aspirins in a twist of paper as an alibi. They had to accept his price. There was no hope of a native getting diamonds out. When the miners did get out, perhaps once a year to visit their tribe or to bury a relative, there was a whole routine of X-rays and castor oil to be gone through, and a grim future if they were caught. It was so easy to go to the dental surgery and pick the day when 'Him' was on duty. And paper-money didn't show up on X-rays.

The man wheeled his motor-cycle over the rough ground on to the narrow trail and started off towards the frontier hills of Sierra Leone. They were more distinct now. He would only just have time to get to Susie's hut before dawn. He grimaced at the thought of having to make love to her at the end of an exhausting night. But it would have to be done. Money was not enough to pay for the alibi she gave him. It was his white body she wanted. And then another ten miles to the club for breakfast and the coarse jokes of his friends.

'Do a nice bit of inlay. Doc?' 'I hear she has the best set of frontals in the Province.' 'Say Doc, what is it the full moon does to you?'

But each £100,000 worth meant £1000 for him in a London safe deposit. Nice crisp fivers. It was worth it. By God it was. But not for much longer. No sir! At £20,000 he would definitely quit. And then ...?"


3.5 out of 5

Poison Sleep 1 - Tim Pratt

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780553589993&view=excerpt

"Marla braced herself. Was it Roger Vaughn, the mad sorcerer determined to sacrifice the world to a dark god that didn't actually exist? Norma Nilson, the nihilomancer, who had driven whole towns to suicide? Ayres, the necromancer with the Cotard delusion, who believed he himself was a corpse? None of the other patients in Blackwing was as dangerous as Elsie Jarrow, but they were all confined at the Institute for good reason. "Who got out?"

"Genevieve Kelley."

Marla frowned. "Who the hell's that?"

"One of my lesser-known patients. Not so much notorious as sad. Still, her escape . . . it's troubling. I'll tell you about her on the way to her room. But first, Rondeau, would you be a dear and help me pop my dislocated shoulder back in?"

"Sure thing," he said.

"Wow," Marla said. "That's more action than he got the time you guys went out.""


3.5 out of 5

Dead Reign 1 - Tim Pratt

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780553591354&view=excerpt&ref=news&name=spectrapulse

""We're not hassling Ayres. He doesn't even know we're here. We're just going to enforce the terms of his parole. Unless you want hordes of zombies running around all over town?"

"Fast zombies or slow zombies?"

Marla scowled at him, but he didn't take much notice. "What?"

"Well, the classic George Romero Night of the Living Dead zombies, shambling around slowly, there could be a certain pleasure in dealing with that, you know? Taking them out using shotguns and baseball bats, whack whack whack. Killing zombies is like killing Nazis. You don't even have to feel bad about it. It's like shooting rats at the dump. Very cathartic."

"You're a sick bastard, Rondeau."

He shrugged. "Fast zombies, though, like you see in movies nowadays, those are scary."

"Ayres makes real zombies." She considered. "Well, not actually like Haitian Vodoun zombies, either, I guess. He animates corpses to do his bidding. Not like movie zombies anyway."

"Oh, so the zombies aren't even contagious? I mean, if they bite you, you don't rise from the dead with a craving for brains? Hell. Those would be easy.""


4 out of 5

Doctor No 1 Hear You Loud and Clear - Ian Fleming

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780142002032,00.html?sym=EXC

"Automatically, another part of Strangways's mind took in the three blind men. They were tapping slowly towards him down the sidewalk. They were about twenty yards away. He calculated that they would pass him a second or two before he reached his car. Out of shame for his own health and gratitude for it, Strangways felt for a coin. He ran his thumbnail down its edge to make sure it was a florin and not a penny. He took it out. He was parallel with the beggars. How odd, they were all Chigroes! How very odd! Strangways's hand went out. The coin clanged in the tin cup.

'Bless you. Master,' said the leading man. 'Bless you,' echoed the other two.

The car key was in Strangways's hand. Vaguely he registered the moment of silence as the tapping of the white sticks ceased. It was too late.

As Strangways had passed the last man, all three had swivelled. The back two had fanned out a step to have a clear field of fire. Three revolvers, ungainly with their sausage-shaped silencers, whipped out of holsters concealed among the rags. With disciplined precision the three men aimed at different points down Strangways's spine—one between the shoulders, one in the small of the back, one at the pelvis.

The three heavy coughs were almost one. Strangways's body was hurled forward as if it had been kicked. It lay absolutely still in the small puff of dust from the sidewalk."


3.5 out of 5

Bell Book and Candle - Leah Bobet

http://www.bookspotcentral.com/2008/07/exclusive-bell-book-and-candle-by-leah-bobet-short-fiction-from-clockwork-phoenix/

Ring my live light inside.


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Navy Brat - Kay Kenyon

http://media.rawvoice.com/escapepod/media.libsyn.com/media/escapepod/EP180_NavyBrat.mp3

Big ship religion bah.


3 out of 5

Jubilee - Richard A. Lupoff

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/jubilee.htm

Roman Martian attack.


3.5 out of 5

Discovery Of the Ghooric Zone - Richard A. Lupoff

Discovery of the Ghooric Zone - Richard A. Lupoff

Yuggoth space.


3.5 out of 5

Pebble Among the Stars - Gregory Benford

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0671698265/0671698265___3.htm

First priest farseeing tachyon Starcrossing.


3.5 out of 5

The Tree On the Hill - H. P. Lovecraft and Duane W. Rimel

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Tree_on_the_Hill

Black Goats and crystals.


3 out of 5

The Trap - H. P. Lovecraft and Henry S. Whitehead

http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/lovecraft/html/trap.htm

Can only get the newest one out.


3 out of 5

Out Of the Aeons - H. P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Out_of_the_Aeons

We got us a nasty mummy.


3.5 out of 5

The Company 1 - K. J. Parker

http://www.orbitbooks.net/an-extract-from-the-company/

"“We were all at the Military College together, six of us; all from Faralia, which meant we had something in common; the city kids treated us like peasants, so we formed what you might call an offensive and defensive alliance, for mutual support. Then the war came, and amazingly enough the brass had the good sense not to split us up. They made us into a lance - “

”What does that mean?”

“Sorry? Oh, right. A lance is a military unit, an officer and ten men, only they were so short of manpower by then, most units were under strength. It was the six of us plus the officer, Lieutenant D’Eteleieto. Anyhow, we stayed together all through the war. One of us didn’t make it, but compared to most we got off lightly. Specially since we were linebreakers. That means we were the ones who - “

”Don’t tell me about that,” she said sharply."


3 out of 5

Till A' the Seas - H. P. Lovecraft and R. H. Barlow

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Till_A'_the_Seas

Dead Earth.


3 out of 5

Poetry and the Gods - H. P. Lovecraft and Anna Helen Crofts

http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/lovecraft/html/poetry.htm

Low cut and in need of the literary.


2.5 out of 5

The Night Ocean - H. P. Lovecraft and R. H. Barlow

http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/lovecraft/html/nightocean.htm

Hanging out at the beach can be a bit strange.


3 out of 5

The Mound - H. P. Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop

http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/lovecraft/html/mound.htm

Doing some Old One archaeology.


3.5 out of 5

The Man Of Stone - H. P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald

http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/lovecraft/html/stone.htm>

Going to commit statuary.


3 out of 5

The Last Test - H. P. Lovecraft and Adolphe de Castro

http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/lovecraft/html/last_test.txt

"You, damn you - you're a fine one to talk defeat and moderation to me! Who started all this, anyway? Did I have any idea of your cursed devil-gods and elder world? Did I ever in my life think of your damned spaces beyond the stars and your crawling chaos Nyarlathotep? I was a normal scientific man, confound you, till I was fool enough to drag you out of the vaults with your devilish Atlantean secrets. You egged me on, and now you want to cut me off! You loaf around doing nothing and telling me to go slow when you might just as well as not be going out and getting material. You know damn well that I don't know hot to go about such things, whereas you must have been an old hand at it before the earth was made. It's like you, you damned walking corpse, to start something you won't or can't finish!"


2.5 out of 5

In the Walls Of Eryx - H. P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Sterling

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/In_the_Walls_of_Eryx

Too many reptile devils for me and my flame pistol.


3.5 out of 5

The Horror In the Museum - H. P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Horror_in_the_Museum

""Wza-y'ei! Wza-y'ei!" howled the madman. "Y'kaa haa ho-ii, Rhan-Tegoth-Cthulhu fthagn-Ei! Ei! Ei! Ei!-Rhan-Teogth. Rhan-Tegoth, Rhan-Tegoth!""


3.5 out of 5

The Horror In the Burying Ground - H. P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Horror_in_the_Burying-Ground

Drunken six feet under.


3 out of 5

Lucifer's Hammer January-May - Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0872234878/0872234878.htm

"The comets were not alone in the halo.

Local eddies near the center of the maelstrom—that whirling pool of gas which finally collapsed to form the Sun—had condensed into planets. The furious heat of the newly formed star had stripped the gas envelopes from the nearest, leaving nuggets of molten rock and iron. Worlds further out had remained as great balls of gas which men would, in a billion years, name for their gods. There had also been eddies very distant from the whirlpool's axis.

One had formed a planet the size of Saturn, and it was still gathering mass. Its rings were broad and beautiful in starlight. Its surface churned with storms, for its center was furiously hot with the energy of its collapse. Its enormous orbit was tilted almost vertically to the plane of the inner system, and its stately path through the cometary halo took hundreds of thousands of years to complete.

Sometimes a comet would stray too near the black giant and be swept into its ring, or into the thousands of miles of atmosphere. Sometimes that tremendous mass would pluck a comet from its orbit and swing it out into interstellar space, to be lost forever. And sometimes the black planet would send a comet plunging into the maelstrom and hellfire of the inner system.

They moved in slow, stable orbits, these myriads of comets that had survived the ignition of the Sun. But when the black giant passed, orbits became chaos. Comets that fell into the maelstrom might return partially vaporized, and fall back, again and again, until nothing was left but a cloud of stones. But many never returned at all."


3.5 out of 5

Footfall 1-7 - Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0345323440/0345323440_toc.htm

""Not that close," she said. "I got the plates from a few weeks ago. Rick, I had to trace back damn near night by night, it's moving so fast! It's in a hyperbolic orbit."

"Come on, it can't be!"

"It is," Dr. Mouton said.

"Excuse me," Jeanette said. They both turned to look at her. They'd obviously forgotten she was there. "What's a hyperbolic orbit?"

"Fast," Owen said. "Moving too fast for the sun's gravity. Objects in a hyperbolic orbit can escape from the solar system altogether."

She frowned. "How could something be moving that fast?"

"Big planets can make it happen." Richard said. "Disturb something's orbit . . ."

"It's under power," Mary Alice Mouton said.

"Aw, come on!"

"I know it's silly, but it's the only explanation I can think of. Rick, I've followed that thing backward for weeks, and it has decelerated most of the way."

"But . . ."

"Jupiter can't do that. Nothing can."

"No, of course it—Mary Alice?"

"The computer plot fits perfectly if you assume it's a powered spacecraft." Dr. Mouton's voice had taken on a flat, dry note. "And nothing else does.""


3.5 out of 5

Outward Bound - Norman Spinrad

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0671653598/0671653598___3.htm

Overdrive? Force fields? those would be great, thanks.


3.5 out of 5

A Place In the Sun - C. H. Thames

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26966/26966-h/26966-h.htm

“Can you bead him?”

“I think so. But I still feel sorry for Mayhem. He’s expecting to wake up in a cold-storage corpse on Deneb IV but instead he’ll come to in a living body aboard a spaceship on collision course for the sun.”


3.5 out of 5

The Coming Of the Ice - G .Peyton Wertenbaker

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26967/26967-h/26967-h.htm

Long time cold and lonely.


3.5 out of 5

Star Mother - Robert F. Young

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26957/26957-h/26957-h.htm

Fried kid.


2.5 out of 5

Alien Offer - Al Sevik

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26956/26956-h/26956-h.htm

Slave fleet trickery.


3.5 out of 5

I'm Scared - Jack Finney

http://www.otrplotspot.com/SHOWS/SI%20FI%20RADIO_IM%20SCARED.mp3

Out of order.


4 out of 5

The Green Meadow - H. P. Lovecraft and Winifred V. Jackson

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Green_Meadow

Meteor music.


3 out of 5

The Electric Executioner - H. P. Lovecraft and Adolphe de Castro

http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/lovecraft/html/electricexecutioner.txt

New tech might have done, Cthulhu, a little overboard.


3.5 out of 5

The Disinterment - H. P. Lovecraft and Duane W. Rimel

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Disinterment

Rats, a zombie.


4 out of 5

The Diary Of Alonzo Typer - H. P. Lovecraft and William Lumley

http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/lovecraft/html/alonzo_typer.txt

More bad books, signs and chants.


3.5 out of 5

The Curse Of Yig - H. P. Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Curse_of_Yig

Why did it have to be snakes? Because you were lookin'.


3.5 out of 5

Collapsing Cosmoses - H. P. Lovecraft and R. H. Barlow

http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/lovecraft/html/collapsing.htm

Maybe some work for the Super-Galactic Patrol


3 out of 5

The Battle That Ended the Century - H. P. Lovecraft and R. H. Barlow

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Battle_That_Ended_the_Century

Two-Gun Bob's a killer in the ring.


3.5 out of 5

Two Black Bottles - H. P. Lovecraft and Wilfred Blanch Talman

http://www.gordon-fernandes.com/hp-lovecraft/Two%20Black%20Bottles%20by%20H_%20P_%20Lovecraft%20and%20Wilfred%20Blanch%20Talman.htm

Soul jar variation, unc.


3.5 out of 5

Winged Death - H. P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald

http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/lovecraft/html/wingeddeath.txt

Demon fly bites.


3 out of 5

Under the Pyramids - H. P. Lovecraft and Harry Houdini

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600031.txt

Pyramid duel and stuck like an Egyptian.


3.5 out of 5

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pyr Q&A - Chris Roberson

http://www.pyrsf.com/herethereContent.html#ques

On Bonaventures and Planetary Romance.


4.5 out of 5

Emerald City 112 Interview - Chris Roberson

http://www.emcit.com/emcit112.shtml#Monkey

On MonkeyBraining, in the majority, and why and how he picks particular titles.


4 out of 5

New Directions Chocolate in My Peanut Butter - Lou Anders

http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.php?id=1175

An article with several writers, some of whom have done the multiple media thing, about media convergence of entertainment ideas.


4 out of 5

Baker's Dozen - Chris Roberson

http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.php?id=2790

An interview done by Rick Klaw. Lots of Here, There and Everywhere.


4 out of 5

The Eternal Night Interview - Chris Roberson

http://www.eternalnight.co.uk/interviews/2006/robersonchris.html

An interview with Tobias Buckell about writing and mixing up all the cool stuff in his native science fiction culture.


4.5 out of 5

Explorations Inteview - Chris Roberson

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=9781591023319&displayonly=ITV

On Bonaventures and MonkeyBrains.


4 out of 5

Here There and Everywhere Prelude - Day Tripper

http://www.chrisroberson.net/Day_Tripper.html

Time and again he found the woman at the sidelines of key points of the band’s history, always looking precisely the same, as though it was the world around her that changed while she remained immutable and static. Same half-smile, same bobbed hair, same clothes, boots, and backpack. David took to carrying a photo of her, a blown-up screen capture from the “Our World” broadcast, the best likeness he’d found, whenever he went out to pick up an interview. He fidgeted his way through each interview, every old girlfriend, classmate and cousin, waiting until that moment when the camera would be shut off and he could produce the photo, but none of them would admit ever having seen her before, or to knowing why she haunted the periphery of the band’s career for so long.


3 out of 5

Paragaea 3 - Chris Roberson

http://www.chrisroberson.net/paragaea/chapter3.htm

"The attack was swift, concentrated, and confusing. Leena, lying hands and feet bound on the unforgiving ground, perceived it only as a series of sounds and obscured images. Metal on metal, metal on flesh, flesh on flesh, and the quick ballet of shadows and shapes dancing fatally over her were all Leena managed to follow.

The pole from which she’d been suspend lay across her, pinned between her legs, pressing down into her stomach, and resting against one side of her helmet. Her hands were tied together, but only looped over the pole, so as she flinched away from the sounds of battle first on one side, then the other, she found herself inadvertently working her hands up and over the pole’s end.

The attacker, a blur of white and metal in the moonlight, was joined by another from the clearing’s far side, a hulking shadowy figure who plowed the leader of the jaguar men to the ground, snarling and bloodthirsty.

While the jaguar men’s leader and his shadowy foe thrashed across the rough forest floor, the other attacker moved like a shot from one end of the clearing to another, shouting and laughing by turns."


4 out of 5

Paragaea 2 - Chris Roberson

http://www.chrisroberson.net/paragaea/chapter2.htm

"A shadow fell across Leena’s face, the backsides of her eyelids going from red to black. She opened her eyes, and immediately wished she hadn’t.

It stood upright on two legs, with two arms and a head, and in a dim light might have been mistaken for a human being, but with the bright sunlight behind it there could be no question. It was some sort of cat-thing, standing some more than two meters tall, spotted like a leopard or jaguar. Black lips curled back over wicked teeth under its pronounced snout, and while its hands were shaped like those of a man, the fingers were tipped with curved black claws that glinted like obsidian in the bright light. A collection of straps and belts crisscrossed its chest, arms and legs, with an abbreviated loincloth hanging at its waist. Otherwise it was naked, the golden-yellow fur with the black and white spots its only covering.

“Mat’ata’rrom,” the thing snarled, pointing a clawed finger at Leena’s nose. “Mat’ata’das’ul.”

There came from all sides the sound of low growling, and angling her head from one side to the other Leena could see another half-dozen or more of the creatures approaching, encircling her."


4 out of 5

Paragea 1 - Chris Roberson

http://www.chrisroberson.net/paragaea/chapter1.htm

"Leena knew her geography. She’d studied the protected path of Vostok 7 in its orbits until she could have drawn maps of the continents from memory, had pored over the photos snapped by the earlier cosmonauts until they painted her dreams, and at no point, in all of those months and years of work, had she ever seen anything like the vista stretching out before her.

Wherever she was, whatever had just happened, she was no longer orbiting the Earth she knew."


3.5 out of 5

History Repurposed The Celestial Empire stories - Chris Roberson

http://www.chrisroberson.net/2008/02/history-repurposed.html

A timeline explanation.


4.5 out of 5

Infinity Plus Interview - Chris Roberson

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/intcr.htm

On many, many things of interesting, including, of course, MonkeyBrain evolution.


5 out of 5

Jipi and the Paranoid Chip - Neal Stephenson

http://www.vanemden.com/books/neals/jipi.html

Talking down the odd explosive car.


4 out of 5

The Great Simoleon Caper - Neal Stephenson

http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,982610,00.html

E-Money contest.


3.5 out of 5

Spew - Neal Stephenson

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.10/spew_pr.html

"Are you on the trail of the next unexploited market niche - or just on a nookie hunt?"


4 out of 5

Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson

http://browseinside.harpercollins.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780380788620

(note: his website says this is free to read)

A great, rambling novel. At times the rambling and wandering can lead to it seeming to become tedious, and sometimes the rambling is good.

Some discourse on computer systems, as three university friends are
working in different parts of the world during the war, all having
studied the same sort of cryptanalysis.

There is a lot more than that in this geeky tract, however.


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cryptonomicon Prologue - Neal Stephenson

http://www.cryptonomicon.com/text.html

"When not marching back and forth on the flood plain of the Skunk River making loud dinging noises, Lawrence was majoring in mechanical engineering. He ended up doing poorly in this area because he had fallen in with a Bulgarian professor named John Vincent Atanasoff and his graduate student, Clifford Berry, who were building a machine that was intended to automate the solution of some especially tedious differential equations.

The basic problem for Lawrence was that he was lazy. He had figured out that everything was much simpler if, like Superman with his X-ray vision, you just stared through the cosmetic distractions and saw the underlying mathematical skeleton. Once you found the math in a thing, you knew everything about it, and you could manipulate it to your heart's content with nothing more than a pencil and a napkin. He saw it in the curve of the silver bars on his glockenspiel, saw it in the catenary arch of a bridge and in the capacitor-studded drum of Atanasoff and Berry's computing machine. Actually pounding on the glockenspiel, riveting the bridge together, or trying to figure out why the computing machine wasn't working were not as interesting to him.

Consequently he got poor grades. From time to time, though, he would perform some stunt on the blackboard that would leave his professor weak in the knees and the other students baffled and hostile. Word got around.

At the same time, his grandmother Blanche was invoking her extensive Congregational connections, working the angles on Lawrence's behalf, totally unbeknownst to him. Her efforts culminated in triumph when Lawrence was awarded an obscure scholarship, endowed by a St. Paul oat-processing heir, whose purpose was to send Midwestern Congregationalists to the Ivy League for one year, which (evidently) was deemed a long enough period of time to raise their IQs by a few crucial points but not long enough to debauch them. So Lawrence got to be a sophomore in Princeton.

Now Princeton was an august school and going there was a great honor, but no one got around to mentioning either of these facts to Lawrence, who had no way of knowing. This had bad and good consequences. He accepted the scholarship with a faintness of gratitude that infuriated the oat lord. On the other hand, he adjusted to Princeton easily because it was just another place. It reminded him of the nicer bits of Virginia, and there were some nice pipe organs in town, though he was not all that happy with his engineering homework of bridge-designing and sprocket-cutting problems. As always, these eventually came down to math, most of which he could handle easily. From time to time he would get stuck, though, which led him to the Fine Hall: the headquarters of the Math Department."


3.5 out of 5

In the Beginning Was the Command Line - Neal Stephenson

http://www.cryptonomicon.com/beginning.html

A lengthy 1999 article on computer operating systems.


4 out of 5

When Bear Creek Came To Chawed Ear - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608611.txt

A drinking contest leads to of course, trouble, and a rock smashing declaration of love.


3.5 out of 5

Meet Cap'n Kidd - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608611.txt

Elkins find the big hard-headed hoss for him.


4 out of 5

Striped Shirts and Busted Hearts - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608611.txt

Of course Elkins is going to like the only big girl he isn't related to in his hills.


3.5 out of 5

A Gent From Bear Creek - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608611.txt

A fixup of the Breckenridge Elkins stories from Action stories magazine. A most amusing bunch of tales, and the compiler notes in the introduction that the hardback original of this work is one of the most sought after collectible first editions from America in the 20th century.

Elkins is larger than life, edging slightly into Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill territory, if rather a lot more shooting and breaking of things going on than the more fabulous variety.

Gent From Bear Creek : Striped Shirts and Busted Hearts - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : Mountain Man - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : Meet Cap'n Kidd - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : Guns of the Mountains - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : A Gent from Bear Creek - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : The Feud Buster - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : The Road to Bear Creek - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : The Scalp Hunter - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : Cupid from Bear Creek - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : The Haunted Mountain - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : Educate or Bust - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : War on Bear Creek - Robert E. Howard
Gent From Bear Creek : When Bear Creek Came to Chawed Ear - Robert E. Howard


Of course Elkins is going to like the only big girl he isn't related to in his hills.

3.5 out of 5


Elkins is sent to fetch a letter, but ends up in the ring.

3 out of 5


Elkins find the big hard-headed hoss for him.

4 out of 5


Elkins goes after some outlaws who robbed his uncle, but has a problem telling them from the law.

3.5 out of 5


Elkins has to stop his family trying to kill each other over some gold, and the loss of.

4 out of 5


Elkins decides to put an end to some clan disagreements.

3.5 out of 5


Elkins is asked to help with a disagreement between his father and uncle, but some of the same old happens.

3 out of 5


Of uncle's hairpieces, mule assassination, and counterfeiting.

3.5 out of 5


Elkins gets in the middle of making a wedding happen.

3 out of 5


Elkins, tired of his Aunt, hires on to help out an athropologist.

3 out of 5


Elkins in pursuit of the suicidal, pretty schoolteachers and maniacs.

3 out of 5


All the shot, stabbed and broken people were apparently the razorback's fault, says Elkins.

3.5 out of 5


A drinking contest leads to of course, trouble, and a rock smashing declaration of love.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

The Moon Pool - Abraham Merritt

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/765

A Russian, a Norwegian and an Irishman went through a gate to another world.


Sound like a good joke? No, just an old fashioned fantasy adventure involving Russians being bad, Norwegian guys having serious Viking tendencies once they get someone that smashing people is useful, and lots of scantily clad priestesses and their underlings, both good and bad.

If you have read the Ship Of Ishtar then you'll know what to expect, here.


3 out of 5

While Smoke Rolled - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608701.txt

Bearfields, Big Noses and Fat Bears.


3 out of 5

March 15 1935 Letter To Clark Ashton Smith - Robert E. Howard

"I am very glad that you have found the Conan series of interest, and appreciate very much the kind things you said about the yarns. I shall look forward with eager anticipation for "The Dark Eidolon" and the other stories you mentioned to be published in Weird Tales. Incidentally, your story in the current Weird Tales is splendid.

I am enclosing a check for EBONY AND CRYSTAL and would feel most honored if you would write your autograph on the fly page."


4 out of 5

Midnight - Robert E. Howard

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Midnight

Too early. More beer.


3 out of 5

With a Set of Rattlesnake Rattles - Robert E. Howard

"Here is the emblem of a lethal form of life for which I have no love, but a definite admiration. The wearer of this emblem is inflexibly individualistic. He mingles not with the herd, nor bows before the thrones of the mighty. Between him and the lords of the earth lies an everlasting feud that shall not be quenched until the last man lies dying and the Conqueror sways in shimmering coils above him."


3.5 out of 5

The Beast From the Abyss - Robert E. Howard

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Beast_from_the_Abyss

On the doom of cats.


3.5 out of 5

Leather Lightning - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0609061.txt

“You hate Ridley, eh? What would you do to him if you could?" “Anything,” I said bitterly. “Hangin's too good for a rat like him." She rested her elbows on the table and her chin in her hands, and, looking into my eyes, she said, “Do you know who I am?" “Yeah,” I answered. “I ain't never seen you before, but you couldn't be nobody else but the girl the Chinese call the ‘White Tigress.’” Her narrow eyes glittered a little and she nodded. “Yes. And would you like to know what drove a decent white girl into the shadows of the Orient—made an innocent, trusting child into one of a band of international criminals, and the leader of desperate tongmen? Well, I'll tell you in a few words. It was the heartlessness of a man—"

However, The White Tigress and Steve Costigan have serious differences on what they mean by 'killing' the dodgy ref.


4 out of 5

Swords Of the Red Brotherhood - Robert E. Howard

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Black_Vulmea's_Vengeance/Swords_of_the_Red_Brotherhood

A frightened count, a girl, Vulmea, and a scary black figure in the mist.


3.5 out of 5

The Isle Of Pirate's Doom - Robert E. Howard

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Black_Vulmea's_Vengeance/The_Isle_of_Pirate's_Doom/And_Last

Treasure, swords, muskets, an adventurous woman, etc.


3 out of 5

Boys Will Be Boys - Joe R. Lansdale

http://www.joerlansdale.com/stories.shtml

Evil house human refuse collection.


3 out of 5

Infinity Plus An Interview with Paul McAuley - Paul J. McAuley

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/intpmca07.htm

"I've always been too restless for my own good, I guess. I started out by trying to rewrite and redeem space opera, moved towards more tightly focussed novels with Pasquale's Angel (a noir set in a steampunk version of Renaissance Florence) and Fairyland, briefly returned to 'widescreen' SF with the Confluence trilogy, and then turned back to the near future with The Secret of Life, Whole Wide World, and White Devils. At around that time I was getting more and more interested in thrillers: Whole Wide World is a police procedural set just a little way in the future, after terrorists have attacked the hardware that supports the Internet and the rest of our information-based technology (it was written in 2000). And along the way, I've written two straight non-sf thrillers, Mind's Eye, and Players."


4.5 out of 5

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Profile of Paul McAuley - Michael Swanwick

http://www.michaelswanwick.com/nonfic/mcauley.html

"This guy is great!

So why is it so hard to explain why I like him?"

As you may have guessed, no argument from me! Swanwick also mentions that (this is from 2000) that the whole Quiet War series thing may have a novel in it!

"Paul is one of that select few (I’m another) who believe that short fiction is important enough to justify the time and effort that writing it takes, despite the fact that it pays (by the word or by the hour) only a fraction of what any moderately successful novel brings in. There are only two reasons for an accomplished novelist to even touch short fiction. One is from love of the form. The other is to learn.

"Making History," is chronologically the first of a brief series of stories ("Sea Change, With Monsters," "Second Skin," and "The Gardens of Saturn" have already appeared elsewhere) dealing with the aftermath of the Quiet War, and, more importantly, with the biotechnology bubbling underfoot which is rapidly transforming the Solar System. The series may well inspire a novel somewhere down the line."


4.5 out of 5

Stand Up and Slug - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0609191.txt

Costigan shows he still has no brains where dodgy dames are concerned.


3.5 out of 5

Waterfront Fists - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0609191.txt

Costigan shows he still has no brains where dodgy dames are concerned.


3.5 out of 5

Texas Fists - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0609141.txt

Costigan is shanghaied to fight a miner, who turns out to be his old mate Biff. No one told him about the bullets flying though.


3.5 out of 5

Shanghaied Mitts - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0609141.txt

Costigan is shanghaied to fight a miner, who turns out to be his old mate Biff. No one told him about the bullets flying though.


3.5 out of 5

The Slugger's Game - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0609161.txt

Too many limeys for Steve, particularly when his dog is stolen to take part in some illegal animal fights.


4 out of 5

Sluggers On the Beach - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0609131.txt

Costigan takes a disliking to a referee, but ends up involved with a dodgy dame, a treasure map, and fighting the same guy.


3.5 out of 5

The Sign Of the Snake - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608821.txt

A beach fight for Costigan turns into a brawl with a Malay gang.


3 out of 5

War On Bear Creek - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608841.txt

All the shot, stabbed and broken people were apparently the razorback's fault, says Elkins.


3.5 out of 5

A Stranger In Grizzly Claw - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608811.txt

Of uncle's hairpieces, mule assassination, and counterfeiting.


3.5 out of 5

The Scalp Hunter - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608811.txt

Of uncle's hairpieces, mule assassination, and counterfeiting.


3.5 out of 5

Red Blades Of Black Cathay - Robert E. Howard and Tevis Clyde Smith

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Red_Blades_of_Black_Cathay

A veteran Crusader, now less gullible, falls in a saving act. Nursed back to health by a creamy cheeked smart woman, he now has a small problem to deal with named Genghis Khan.


4 out of 5

Swords Of the Hill - Robert E. Howard

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Lost_Valley_of_Iskander

El Borak gets a hand, and gets a bit tied up on a courier mission.


3 out of 5

The Lost Valley Of Iskander - Robert E. Howard

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Lost_Valley_of_Iskander

El Borak gets a hand, and gets a bit tied up on a courier mission.


3 out of 5

The Road To Bear Creek - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608801.txt

Elkins is asked to help with a disagreement between his father and uncle, but some of the same old happens.


3 out of 5

The Quiet War 9 - Paul J. McAuley

http://www.omegacom.demon.co.uk/quietwar9.htm

"‘I had an interesting conversation with the peace officers investigating Miz Freye's murder,' Sri Hong-Owen said.

‘I couldn't help noticing them leave,' Loc said. He didn't want to antagonise the gene wizard, not now, when she was about to put her trust in him, so he didn't add that he knew that the confrontation had been staged in a clumsy attempt to unnerve him.

‘They told me that Miz Freye was killed by a nail fired into her medulla oblongata,' Sri Hong-Owen said. ‘It killed her instantly. Either the person who murdered her was very lucky, or they knew exactly what they were doing. Also, the wound track indicates that the nail gun was angled downwards when it was fired, and bruising of the skin of Miz Freye's hands and neck suggest that she was seized from behind before she was shot, and her wrists were pinioned. That isn't consistent with Mr Twain's claim that he saw Miz Minnot and Miz Freye struggle. And although Miz Freye was shot at close range, the peace officers found no trace of blowback on the clothes Miz Minnot left behind in the airlock when she escaped from the biome. No blood, no bone or brain fragments consistent with a close-range shot. There were traces of blood on Miz Minnot's fingers, yes, but she told the peace officers that she had checked Miz Freye's pulse. Then there is the question of the lack of fingerprints and DNA on the murder weapon. Perhaps Miz Minnot was wearing gloves, but none were found. She certainly was not wearing them when she got Miz Freye's blood on her fingers. In short, Mr Ifrahim, the peace officers do not believe that Miz Minnot killed Miz Freye. And they do not believe Mr Twain's witness statement, either. So let me ask you directly: do you think that she did it?'

Here it was. Loc let a little concern show on his face and said, ‘I have given you the official story. But now that we can speak freely? No. No, I don't think that Macy Minnot killed Ursula Freye.'

‘Who did?'

‘I think we both know the answer, ma'am.'"


3.5 out of 5

The Quiet War 8 - Paul J. McAuley

http://www.omegacom.demon.co.uk/quietwar8.htm

"She lay on her back, one arm carelessly flung out as if reaching for something, head turned sideways. She didn't move as Macy crept towards her, softly calling her name. Her nostrils were wet with blood and blood had run in a thick line down her left cheek. Her eyes were open but rolled back. Macy pressed two fingers under the hinge of her jaw, failed to find a pulse, and with a flash of freezing fear realised that Loris had been right all along. She'd been set up. She sprang to her feet so quickly that she left the ground for a couple of breathless seconds; as she floated down the string of chandeliers hung above the lake lit up bright as noon.

Even though the light-enhancing function of Macy's spex immediately cut off, she was dazzled by the sudden flood of brightness. She tore off the spex and thumbed tears from her eyes, saw a shadow race at her from the right, someone running too fast, losing his footing and plunging headlong. It was Speller Twain, bouncing up and aiming a taser at her, the kind that shot fractally compressed loops of superconducting nanowire.

Macy jinked left as a miniature lightning bolt scorched across the turf in front of her. Speller Twain shouted, ordering her to stop, but she was already running, bounding across the lawn like a gazelle pursued by a lion. A chain of bright sparks spattered the side of a bioreactor as she flew past, and she jumped high and caught the rim and pulled herself up, moving easily and fluidly in the low gravity. She ran the length of the boxcar-sized tank, jumped the wide gap to the next, ran along that and jumped to the ground and ran on across the plaza. Sparks exploded from the railing at the edge of the plaza as she hurdled it, spattering her with stinging flecks of hot metal, and she dropped straight down and ran down the gentle slope of the dry lake bed towards the beached skiff.

She was dragging the skiff into the water when Speller Twain vaulted the railing. He landed awkwardly and went over on his back, and his taser spat a bolt that shot straight up through the bright air and burst like a firework on a pane of the tent high above. As the big man got to his feet, Macy saw something move out across the railing above and behind him, saw him whirl around as the drone stooped down at full speed and slammed into his face.

He fell down again, and dropped the taser. Macy rushed forward and scooped it up, dancing away when Speller Twain made a swipe at her. She stepped backward towards the skiff, keeping the taser on him. He pushed to his feet and spat a mouthful of blood and told her that she was making a big mistake.

Macy was knee-deep in water. Her mouth was dry and she had to suck up some spit before she could say, 'Stay right there, Mr Twain. I don't want to shoot you.'

'You aren't going to shoot me,' Speller Twain said, and flew at her.

She shot him. The bolt struck his chest and he belly-flopped into the water, jerking and flailing. Macy scrambled into the skiff and pressed the button that started its motor and jammed the tiller hard around, spinning the little craft through a hundred and eighty degrees as it accelerated away. She'd drawn a long arc past the mouth of the bay before she'd calmed down enough to realise that there was only one place where she could go now. She turned west, heading for the far shore, and activated the phone function of her spex. But before she could place the call, a window scrolled down and Loc Ifrahim leaned into her face and said, 'Now you've gone and done it.'"


4 out of 5

Mind's Eye - Paul J. McAuley

http://www.omegacom.demon.co.uk/mindseye.htm

"Alfie nodded. He was staring into the heart of the fire, where sparks snapped and jumped among glowing embers. His father leaned in and stroked his neck, murmuring the incantation that put him under. Alfie knew that he was being hypnotized and slyly thought to himself that this time he would resist, or he would suddenly jump up and chase around the fire or run off into the dark. But it was easier to do nothing, to sit with the fire parching his face and the wind chilling his back while the familiar patterns crawled through the shivering heart of the fire and his father's voice rose and fell with the sound of the waves collapsing on the beach, a meaningless but soothing murmur . . .

Presently, Alfie passed from a light hypnotic trance into sleep. Mick Flowers stood, worked the stiff knee where a fragment of shrapnel was still lodged, and gathered his son's slack body into his arms. He kicked sand over the embers of the fire and carried Alfie through the dunes to where the little red sports car crouched. Behind him, the tide crept up the beach, touching and retouching with fingers of lacy foam the patterns he'd idly drawn in the sand. Then, with a sudden bold surge, it erased them, with another put out the fire.

The next day, Mick Flowers flew to Beirut. A week later, the flat he rented in London was destroyed by a fire. Three days after that, the British embassy in Beirut received an envelope containing his bloodstained passport.

His body was never found."


3 out of 5

White Devils 1 - Paul J. McAuley

http://www.omegacom.demon.co.uk/extract.htm

"Tremaine says, trying to justify his little joke, "There are plenty of people who think we're the bad guys, Nick. Plenty who don't like that we're disturbing the dead, usually because they've got something to hide. They had themselves a nasty little civil war in the Congo. There were atrocities on both sides. Obligate tolerates what we do because it's good PR and even better politics -- they believe that the atrocities we're documenting will eventually help indict Nyibizo and his Loyalists for war crimes. But that doesn't mean they feel they have to take care of us. Also, do I have to mention the wild animals? You're walking down some little jungle path and you come across a bull buffalo, you'll be sorry if you aren't carrying."

"I don't think you'd want to shoot at a forest buffalo with a handgun, Tre. They're pretty hard to kill."

"One shot through the eye will do it, or better still, between the front legs into the heart," Tremaine says, thumping his own chest, and spilling a little beer on his sweat-soaked T-shirt. "No problem."

"Even if you do make the kill shot," Nicholas Hyde says, "forest buffalo generally travel in groups of three or four. And they're quick, too. They can easily run a man down. If you ever shoot one, Tre, you should make sure you're near a tree that you can climb, and get as high as you can before its friends come at you."

"I'll keep it in mind. But you know what we mostly have to worry about are bandits, gangsters, Loyalists . . . anyone who sees charity workers as an easy target, or wants to take us hostage, or blames us for the Black Flu, or wants to hack us open to get at our magic bullets. Twenty-five, thirty years ago, we wouldn't be having this conversation because we wouldn't have needed to carry guns, but now the world's in such a sorry state we can't afford not to."

"I'll be sure to bring a gun along with me next time," Nicholas Hyde says, and sets the unopened can of beer on the ground and turns back to the scatter of half-excavated bones."


4 out of 5

Whole Wide World - Paul J. McAuley

http://www.omegacom.demon.co.uk/www.htm

"Pete Reid said in my ear, "I see you."

"Fuck off."

"I'm in the system, Minimum. White T-shirt, red shorts."

"Lucky guess." I shouldn't have resented Pete Reid's use of my nickname, but sue me, I did.

"Watch the birdie," Pete Reid said. Tall steel poles were planted at intervals along the park's perimeter, coated in gluey grey anti-vandal paint and topped with the metal shoeboxes of CCTV cameras and their underslung spotlights, the cameras linked via RedLine chips to ADESS, the Autonomous Distributed Expert Surveillance System, that watched all London with omniscient patience.

One night in March, I'd seen these same cameras track a fox. The hapless animal had become increasingly frantic as it dashed to and fro, trying to outrun spotlights that fingered the darkness with unforgiving precision, until at last it could run no more and stood still, scrawny flanks heaving, eyes blankly reflecting the glare of overlapping circles of light that briefly twirled around it before snapping off. That's when I'd become aware of something new and non-human at play in the world; an intelligence vast and cold and unsympathetic testing the limits of its ability.

Now, one camera and then another and another turned to follow me as I ran past. Watching the detective. I gave them the finger.

"A ninety-two per cent recognition factor," Pete Reid said. "Even without the caring gesture."

"For someone who wears elasticated boots because he can't tie a proper knot, you're a very technical boy all of a sudden."

"We have search filters and microwave links. We have polygonal forcing routines. We have eight crucial physiognomy points, too, whatever the fuck they are. There's some kind of slogan on your T-shirt but I can't quite read it. No doubt something sarcastic. You're a sarcastic little fucker, Minimum, but I'll let it slide because I need you to do something."

"Who's running the rig for you? Someone has to be helping an old-fashioned one-finger typist like you.""


4 out of 5

The Secret Of Life - Paul J. McAuley

http://www.omegacom.demon.co.uk/mars.htm

"A young, skinny Chinese man sits beside the American and orders a Rob Roy. They don't talk, but when the American stands up and leaves the other man gulps down his shot of whisky and follows him into an alley, where the American suddenly turns and embraces and kisses him.

The Chinese man is startled and angry and tries to push away, but the American holds him tight. "They might be watching, so make it real," he says, and kisses the man again, tasting the whisky on his breath. They hire a room in a short-time hotel and go up the rickety stairs, stepping between the sleeping bodies of an entire family, from shrunken grandmother to fretful baby.

The room is tiny and overheated, smells of disinfectant, mould, and sex. It is almost entirely filled by a gel slab bed covered in purple, vat-grown fur.

The young Chinese man sits down and strokes the coarse fur and says, "My company makes this." His long black hair is brushed back from his round face; his skin is sallow and shiny with sweat. The width of his smile is a precise index of his discomfort.

The American tosses his hat on to the bed and says impatiently, "Let's do it."

The Chinese man, his eyes fixed on the American, slowly pulls a pair of flat-ended tweezers from the inside pocket of his snakeskin jacket. He uses them to lift up the nail of his left thumb, picks a glass capillary tube from the pink bed of artificial flesh, and drops it into the American's palm.

The American stares at the sliver of glass. "What's this shit?"

"It is in there. Alive."

"I wanted the code."

"That is not possible. I tell you already it is not possible. This is the second generation, but it has the essential property of the Chi. It is alive. You can sequence it yourself. Your people can. I do not cheat you."

"If you're fucking with me."

"I have no access to the sequence libraries. I tell you that already. Not the sequence libraries, not the Chi itself. I get you the second generation lab prototype. I smuggle it past the sniffers. Very hard to do, very difficult. But I do it. I bring it to you."

The American's hand closes over the capillary tube. "I can verify nucleotide sequences right here. I can't verify this."

The Chinese man's smile is very wide now. "You sequence it. You see I do not lie. It is the essence of the Chi."

"Second generation."

"Yes."

"And also a prototype."

"It is fully tested. It splices genes, self-selects at a very high rate. Evolution with a fast-forward button."

The American stares hard into the Chinese man's fixed smile and says again, "If you're fucking with me."

"No, sir. I do not. This is for my family -- "

"Yeah, yeah." The American knows the story -- dissidents exiled to a mining village in Antarctica, a massive bribe needed to release them, blah blah blah. He says, "Before your family can wave bye-bye to penguin land, we'll have to check this out."

Now the Chinese man allows a hardness to show in his face. "Perhaps you fuck with me."

"Here, we shake on the deal. Okay? It's an American custom."

The Chinese man doesn't look at the American's hand. He says, "No. No, I don't think so."

The American scratches his nose. He's amused. "Suit yourself, Charlie. Maybe you want to fuck instead. We have the room another twenty minutes. Plenty of time for a quick in and out."

The Chinese man stands. "You will sequence the organism and you will pay."

"You've already been paid."

"You will pay the rest."

"Yeah, sure. We done here? Fuck off then."

The American lies back on the fur-covered bed after the Chinese man has gone. The handshake doesn't matter because the kiss did it; his saliva contains a toxin derived from puffer fish liver, a toxin to which he has been made immune. It will shut down his victim's nervous system in about twenty minutes: clonic seizures, suffocation, heart failure."


4 out of 5