Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jan Of the Jungle - Otis Adelbert Kline

http://www.gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/...

A Tarzan clone, and unlike in the planetary romance case where Kline is worth a shot, here you can stick with Tarzan.

Although the love interest being named Ramona is certainly a little different, even if the royalty part is not.

You also do get some mastodons along with lots of capturing, caging and escaping of Jan.


2.5 out of 5

Friday, January 30, 2009

Between the Strokes Of Night 1-9 - Charles Sheffield

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743435680/0743435680.htm

"From the diary of Charlene Bloom:

Today I received word from Kallen's World. Wolfgang IV is dead. He was five hundred and four years old, and like his forebears he was respected by the whole planet. A picture of his own grandson came with the message. I looked at it for a long time, but blood thins across six generations. It was impossible, save in my imagination, to recognize any sign of the original (and to me the one-and-only) Wolfgang in this descendant.

My Wolfgang is dead, long dead; but the great wager goes on. On days like this I feel that I am the only person in the Universe who cares about the outcome. If Wolfgang and his friends are right, who but I will know and be here to applaud him? And if we win, who but I will know the cost of victory?

It is significant that I record this death first, before acknowledging the report of a faster-than-light drive from Beacon Four. Gulf City is throbbing with the news, but I have heard the same rumor a hundred—a thousand?—times before. For 28,000 years our struggle to escape the yoke of relativity has continued; still it binds us, as strongly as ever. In public I say that the research must go on even if Beacon Four has nothing, that the faster-than-light drive will be the single most important discovery in human history; but deep within me I deny even the possibility. If the Universe is apprehensible to the human mind, then it must have some final laws. I am not permitted to admit it, but I believe the light-speed limit is one. As humans explore the galaxy, it must be done at a sub-light crawl.

I wish I could believe otherwise. But most of all today I wish that I could spend one hour again with Wolfgang."


3.5 out of 5

The Web Between the Worlds 1-6 - Charles Sheffield

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0671319736/0671319736.htm

"Rob sat down again in the chair facing Regulo. "You know there's an old saying about engineering projects. Fast—cheap—good. You can only have two out of three."

Regulo waved a hand. "Oh, I know, I know. I've already made my pick. You give me fast and good, and let me worry about the costs."

Rob stared hard at the ruined face, trying to read the feelings behind the deformed mask. It was impossible. Only the eyes were human, and they glittered with an intense intellectual interest. "All right. Fast and good. It's still your ball. You realize that an extrusion rate of two hundred kilometers a day could spin a supporting cable out of the Spider in one year to go twice around the Earth? At ten kilometers a day we'd have thousands of kilometers of cable—more than we'd ever need. What are you playing at, designing bridges to put on Jupiter?"

"No. Something a lot more interesting and a lot more useful." Regulo leaned across to the control panel at the side of the desk and pressed a sequence of keys. The big display screen on the right hand wall came alive with the stylized image of the Earth-Moon system, roughly to scale. "You already know my view of rockets, from the motto in the top of the desk. I'm responsible for hauling more material up from Earth than anyone else, and we use rockets for all of that; but I happen to believe that I'm working with an obsolete piece of technology. Even with the best nuclear propulsion systems, it still takes an awful lot of energy to hoist a payload up from the surface of Earth into orbit. And it takes just as much energy and reaction mass to get the damned stuff back down again.

"Now, Rob, you're trained in physics as well as engineering. I checked that much of your background, before I ever asked Cornelia to try and bring you up here. So you know very well that a Newtonian gravitational field is conservative. A potential function exists for it. What does that mean? I'll tell you: it means that in principle you should be able to take a mass from one point of the field—let's say the surface of the Earth—out to some other point—let's say geosynchronous orbit—using a certain amount of energy. Then you should be able to take it back down to Earth—and you should recover all the energy you expended to get it up in the first place. That's the whole point of a conservative field, what you used going up, you should recover when you come back down again."

Rob shrugged. "I understand the ideas behind potential fields. They don't help at all in practice. The Earth's gravitational field is very close to conservative, true enough, but you still have to use energy to get the rockets up into space from the surface. And you still need reaction mass and energy to stop them falling too fast when you want to go back down."

"We do. Isn't that a terrible situation, from the point of view of engineering efficiency? So there's where we have to begin." Regulo pressed another key on the control console and the wall display became animated, showing the Earth and Moon rotating together about their common center of mass, with the Earth also rotating on its axis.

"Suppose we don't use rockets at all," he said. "Rockets are like ferry-boats, taking materials and people up and down. Suppose that instead of ferry-boats we were to build a bridge to space. The idea is simple enough: we take a cable, tethered to a point of the Earth's surface, somewhere on the equator. It extends vertically upwards, all the way up to synchronous orbit, where we are now, and on beyond it. At the far end, we have some kind of ballast weight. See the picture? The whole thing hangs there in equilibrium, with the downward forces from all the length of cable below geosynchronous altitude just balancing the outward forces from centrifugal acceleration. The ballast weight wants to fly outward, but the cable prevents that, and the outward tension on the cable is just balanced by the force on the tether point, down on the surface. The whole assembly rotates, at exactly the same speed as the Earth. Like this."

Regulo pressed another key. The rotating Earth-Moon system now showed a long cable, extending up from the surface of the Earth and rotating steadily with it.

Rob stared at the display, thoughtfully, head to one side and hand rubbing at his black beard. He had not bothered to remove the eleven-day growth before he and Corrie left Suget Jangal. "It sounds nice. But I don't see how it could work. Every element on that cable wants to move in a different orbit. Every part of it wants to move around the Earth at a different speed."

"Quite true." Regulo sounded confident, and it was clear that he was enjoying himself. "Elements of the cable want to move at different speeds—but they can't. The tension in the cable prevents that from happening. There's no difference between this situation and a stone swinging around on the end of a rope."

He reached again to the side of the desk and picked up another listing. "Look, Rob, this isn't something I've just now dreamed up. You can find references to it in the literature—as an idea, not as an engineering reality—over ninety years ago. The first suggestions for a system like this one go back to the 1960's, maybe even farther. All the orbital mechanics were studied back then. This is a list of some of the references. I told you, I've known about the idea and wanted to build it for over forty years. The thing that always held me back was the problem of materials. We never had anything strong enough to support the cable's own weight, never mind carry other materials up and down. I've been watching the progress in materials science, year after year, looking for something like that article I just showed you. Finally, it came."

Regulo again picked up the abstract that he and Rob had been reading earlier. He tapped the page with a thin finger. "There's a crucial point about this that you might have missed on a quick read through. These doped silicon whiskers for cable-making can be produced cheaply, and that's the key to everything. They're even less expensive than the graphite ones."

Rob was still staring at the image on the display screen. His eyes were blank as he performed rapid mental calculations. "Regulo, that thing would have to be at least seventy thousand kilometers long, just to keep the ballast weight to a reasonable value. My God, what a project—and I thought the Tasmanian Bridge might be the biggest job I'd ever see."

Regulo watched approvingly as Rob's absorption in the display before him increased. "You see now why I'm interested in the Spider," he said. "You know, I noticed at once when you patented the Spider, three years ago. I thought it was just the thing we'd need if I ever got the chance to build this one. We tried to duplicate the idea for ourselves, thinking we might find a way around your patents once we understood the process. We never came close. That's when I realized the two of us ought to be talking. It's one of my basic principles, hire anybody who does something that I can't. As for your estimate of seventy thousand kilometers . . ."

He leaned forward and again pressed a key on the control board. The display remained in position, but an additional message appeared at the foot of the screen: CABLE DESIGN LENGTH: ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE THOUSAND KILOMETERS."


3 out of 5

The Harpooner at the Bottom of the World - Catherynne M. Valente

http://catherynnemvalente.com/shortfiction/harpooner/

Big belly baby story inscription.


3.5 out of 5

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Key - Ilsa J. Bick

The Key - Ilsa J. Bick

Abomination child for Lilith.


3.5 out of 5

The Woman In The Cherry-Red Convertible By The Platinum Sea - Ilsa J. Bick

The Woman In The Cherry-Red Convertible <...> - Ilsa J. Bick

Crazy viewpoint.


3 out of 5

Other Agents - Richard Butner

Other Agents - Richard Butner

Definitely small time mission.


2.5 out of 5

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The House Of the Future - Richard Butner

The House of the Future - Richard Butner

Sketchy picture.


2.5 out of 5

In the Blood - Ilsa J. Bick

In the Blood - Ilsa J. Bick

Bunko Strong shot Taswegian bailout.


3.5 out of 5

Ash City Stomp - Richard Butner

Ash City Stomp - Richard Butner

Devil ride.


3 out of 5

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cobra - Timothy Zahn

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743488474/0743488474.htm

An episodic novel that tells the story of a young man who signs up for a space force army when it seems that war with an alien race is inevitable.

He then is picked to get what is the 24 million dollar man treatment - full bionics, plus weapons implants.

The various novel sections follow him in training, in first guerilla action on a planet, coming home, as a colonist, and then as a politician.


3.5 out of 5

The Mercenaries - H. Beam Piper

The Mercenaries - H. Beam Piper

Duncan MacLeod Research Team.


3.5 out of 5

Ghost Dancing - Jason Erik Lundberg

http://www.jasonlundberg.net/page.php?show=GhostDancing

Transparent friendship.


3.5 out of 5

The Thing In the Cellar - David H. Keller

http://thenostalgialeague.com/olmag/cellar.html

Nothing killed Tommy.


3.5 out of 5

The Ghostly Rental - Henry James

http://www.horrormasters.com/Text/a0707.pdf

Some people walk about after death.


2.5 out of 5

Editing For Content - Gavin Grant

Editing for Content - Gavin J. Grant

Memory rebuild.


3.5 out of 5

The Old Nurse's Story - Elizabeth Gaskell

http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/Oldnurse.htm

Family phantoms outside.


3.5 out of 5

The Wallenstein Gambit - Eric Flint

The Wallenstein Gambit - Eric Flint

Multi-part. With APCs. Whether you call them rooks or bishops, dunno.


2.5 out of 5

The Werewolf - Eugene Field

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0605671.txt

Hairy Harry.


3 out of 5

Not Enough Stars In the Night - Brendan DuBois

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/1974/full

Simple program virtually never works.


3.5 out of 5

A True Story - Benjamin Disraeli

http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/truestry.htm

Ghost girl soldier fever.


3 out of 5

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Screaming Skull - F. Marion Crawford

http://manybooks.net/titles/crawfordother08screaming_skull.html

It hates me. Loudly.


3.5 out of 5

Articles Of A Personal Nature - Deborah Coates

Articles of a Personal Nature - Deborah Coates

Tracking teach.


3 out of 5

Is You Is/is You Ain't? - Michael Canfield

http://futurismic.com/2004/11/01/is-you-is-is-you-aint-by-michael-canfield/

Baby Act.


3 out of 5

Protection: A Christmas Story - Valery Bryusov

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0605231.txt

Not dead husband.


3 out of 5

Napoleon and the Spectre - Charlotte Bronte

http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/SPECTRE.htm

Ghostly tryst.


3.5 out of 5

The Kith Of the Elf-Folk - Lord Dunsany

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10806

Wild Thing, you make the marsh sing.


3 out of 5

Temptation 3 - David Brin

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_59_Gregory_Frost.mp3

Jijo got a big future, if we are rational.


3.5 out of 5

In the Sunken Museum - Gregory Frost

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_59_Gregory_Frost.mp3

Don't think you should be, though.


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blood Bound 1 - Patricia Briggs

http://www.hurog.com/books/bloodboundChapter.shtml

"No, I don't need you in order to appear intimidating," Stefan agreed softly after I'd stared at him for a few seconds. "But he'll think intimidation is why I have a coyote on my leash. " He hesitated, then shrugged. "This vampire has been through here before, and I think that he managed to deceive one of our young ones. Because of what you are, you are immune to many vampyric powers, especially if the vampire in question doesn't know what you are. Thinking you a coyote, he's probably not going to waste his magic on you at all. It is unlikely, but he might manage to deceive me as well as he did Daniel, but I don't think he'll be able to deceive you."


3.5 out of 5

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Gentle Seduction - Marc Stiegler

The Gentle Seduction - Marc Stiegler

Nanotech, singularity, alien save millenia.


3.5 out of 5

Crossing the Camp - Michael Jasper

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2001/20010122/crossing_the_camp.shtml

Alien energy prayer.


3 out of 5

Wantaviewer - Michael Jasper

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2002/20020916/wantaviewer.shtml

Alien arrival footage.


3 out of 5

Explosions - Michael Jasper

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2001/20010702/explosions.shtml

Snakey alien brewery blowup.


3 out of 5

Remainders - Michael Jasper

http://www.sfreader.com/contest-2003-2.asp

Dead Bob mission stink changes.


3 out of 5

Breathing Trouble - Michael Jasper

http://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/gallery.php?item=56&fl=1&title=&author=jasper

Gonna make a deal, guy, see this gun?


3 out of 5

Edna Sharrow - Paul J. McAuley

http://www.omegacom.demon.co.uk/sharrow1.htm

Dead tour.


3 out of 5

The Walls Of the Universe 2 - Paul Melko

http://www.paulmelko.com/walls/Chapter2.html

"Prime smiled. "Don't want me hitting on Casey Nicholson, huh?"

"Stop it!" He raised his hand. "That's it. Why don't you just move on? Hit the next town or the next universe or whatever. Just get out of my life!"

Prime frowned. He paused for a moment, as if considering something important. Finally, he lifted up his shirt. Under his grey sweatshirt was a shoulder harness with a thin disk the diameter of a softball attached at the center. It had a digital readout which said 7533, three blue buttons on the front, and dials and levers on the sides.

Prime began unstrapping the harness and said, "John, maybe it's time you saw for yourself."


3.5 out of 5

Little Lost Robot - Paul J. McAuley

http://ttapress.com/LittleLostRobot.pdf

Omega level Sundive not Choose Life decision.


4.5 out of 5

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dangerous Space - Kelley Eskridge

http://www.kelleyeskridge.com/Dangerous-Space-Kelley-Eskridge.pdf

Band bond.


3.5 out of 5

Temptation 2 - David Brin

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_58_Ian_Watson.mp3

Second part of Brin's dolphin adventure novella. Also available on his website in text version.

http://www.kithrup.com/.brin/temptation1.html


3.5 out of 5

Looking Down On You - Ian Watson

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_58_Ian_Watson.mp3

Jelly fall.


2 out of 5

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mopsa the Fairy - Jean Ingelow

http://gerald-massey.org.uk/ingelow/b_mopsa_the%20fairy.htm

Winding up Jack. Slowly.


2.5 out of 5

The Bagman's Story - Charles Dickens

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/580

Ugly old chair dude.


3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Afterword to Wizardry and Wild Romance - Jeff VanderMeer

http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/2009/01/12/afterword-to-michael-moorcocks-wizardry-and-wild-romance/

Apparently an updated edition of the earlier work that looks at fantasy books. I have the older version, so can't speak for the rest of this one, but the first is definitely interesting. This is also from Monkey Brain Books who specialise in non-fiction about science fiction and fantasy, so I am sure what they have done is good, given I have several of their other books. You can trust Chris Roberson, who is the Big MonkeyBrain to do good stuff.


4.5 out of 5

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 8 - Scott H. Andrews

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

A pretty typical Beneath Ceaseless Skies issues it would seem, but with this particular pair of stories good enough to round up.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 8 : Beneath the Mask - Aliette de Bodard
Beneath Ceaseless Skies 8 : Winterblood - Megan Arkenberg

Blood and masks for Quetzlcoatl.

3.5 out of 5


Cold musketeering.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Winterblood - Megan Arkenberg

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/story.php?s=18

Cold musketeering.


3 out of 5

Beneath the Mask - Aliette de Bodard

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/story.php?s=17

Blood and Souls for Quetzlcoatl.


3.5 out of 5

Mouth Of Hell - David I. Masson

Mouth of Hell - David I. Masson

Organising a climb.


3 out of 5

Sir Arthur and I - Frederik Pohl

http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/2009/01/sir-arthur-and-i/#more-28

Talking about how he came to collaborate on the last Arthur C. Clarke book.


5 out of 5

The Walls Of the Universe 1 - Paul Melko

http://www.paulmelko.com/walls/Chapter1.html

"My name is John, just like yours. I am you, but you may not like to think of me as John Rayburn. I think of you as John Farmboy. But you gotta' remember there's an infinite number of us. It's going to be hard to keep track of all us John Rayburns if we ever get together." The stranger laughed. "How about you think of me as John Prime for now? We'll keep track of ourselves relative to our downstream and upstream universes."

"Who gave you the device?"

"John Superprime," Prime said with a smile. "So do you believe me yet?"


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All the Cool Monsters At Once - James Alan Gardner

All the Cool Monsters At Once - James Alan Gardner

Canadian style.


3.5 out of 5

The Children Of Creche - James Alan Gardner

The Children of Creche - James Alan Gardner

Colony kids cold.


3 out of 5

Miles Away - Paul E. Martens

http://www.deepoutside.com/Fiction/milesaway.shtml?3

Bodily fluids numbered.


3 out of 5

Just One Memory - Paul E. Martens

http://www.deepoutside.com/Fiction/justonemem.shtml

Swap for sister fungus.


3 out of 5

Eros and Thanatos - Tim Pratt

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~cafrica/ultraverse/2004_11/v2i1_scifimage_pratt.shtml

Cupid vs Death, with lots of guns.


3.5 out of 5

Behemoth Brewing And Distribution Co. - Tim Pratt

http://www.forteanbureau.com/feb2004/Pratt/

Sasquatch's Old Hairy Bastard Stout
Aztec Nectar Ale
Angelic Effluvia Lager
Giant Whale Ale
Lo! Calorie Light Beer
Deathly Pale Ale

From this lot, recommend the stout.


3.5 out of 5

Robin Of Wonderland Wood - Tim Pratt

http://www.ideomancer.com/fy/Pratt-Robin/Pratt-Robin.htm

Merry Men, Bruce.


3 out of 5

Melancholy Shore - Tim Pratt

http://www.ideomancer.com/hr/Pratt-Shore/Pratt-Shore.htm

Abandon hope, plus all leftovers and cold beer.


3.5 out of 5

Old Ones - Tim Pratt

http://www.journalscape.com/tim/2006-08-12-09:42#oldones

Birthday party tentacle summoning.


3.5 out of 5

Dr. Nefarious And The Lazarus Project - Tim Pratt

http://www.timpratt.org/nefarious.html

"It's simple, Li. You impersonate Harold Sullivan and take Dr. Nefarious his parrot and his hot dog. Once you're inside his headquarters, you capture him, stop the rain, and bring us the weather machine."


4 out of 5

Bluebeard And The White Buffalo A Rangergirl Yarn - Tim Pratt

http://www.timpratt.org/bluebeard.html

Hart and Boot and other dead posses.


3.5 out of 5

Hatchling - Tim Pratt

http://pages.prodigy.net/sullydog/archives/sotw012.htm

Bloody expensive cackleberry kid.


3 out of 5

Pearls Frogs Spiders - Tim Pratt

http://www.timpratt.org/pearls.html

Good girl production line.


3.5 out of 5

Cassie - Tim Pratt

http://www.timpratt.org/cassie.html

Gambling prediction.


3 out of 5

Puppets Of the Nano Master - Tim Pratt

http://www.timpratt.org/puppets.html

Bugman nemesis.


3.5 out of 5

Bleeding West - Tim Pratt

http://www.deepoutside.com/Fiction/bleedingwest.shtml

Ghost Riders Fought the Law and the Law Lost.


4 out of 5

The Dog Boys - Tim Pratt

http://www.deepoutside.com/Fiction/dogboys.shtml

Roadkill bus group.


3.5 out of 5

The Psychic Magic Show - Melanie Tem

http://www.deepoutside.com/Fiction/psychic.shtml

Dream stuck saw.


3 out of 5

Bounty - Trent Jamieson

http://www.deepoutside.com/Fiction/story200207.shtml

Wizard world end.


3.5 out of 5

The Extinction Of Ursus Theodorus - Ted Kosmatka

http://www.deepoutside.com/Fiction/extinction.shtml

Designer pet overshoot termination.


4 out of 5

Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing - Tom Lloyd

http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/2008/12/aisfp-69-tom-lloyd/

An interview with the author of The Stormcaller, published a while ago, now getting a US edition through Pyr, and how that came to be.


4.5 out of 5

The Astronaut - Brian Plante

The Astronaut - Brian Plante

Mission absence house help.


3.5 out of 5

The Prophet Of Flores - Ted Kosmatka

The Prophet of Flores - Ted Kosmatka

Hobbit descent discovery doctrine defiance.


3.5 out of 5

Don't Stop - James Patrick Kelly

Don't Stop - James Patrick Kelly

Dead run.


4 out of 5

Dark Rooms - Lisa Goldstein

Dark Rooms - Lisa Goldstein

Movie magic men memories.


3.5 out of 5

The Ray-gun: A Love Story - James Alan Gardner

The Ray-Gun: A Love Story - James Alan Gardner

" On the other hand, Jack had just acquired great power. And great responsibility. Like Peter Parker, Jack had to keep his power secret, for fear of tragic consequences. In Jack's case, maybe aliens would come for him. Maybe spies or government agents would kidnap him and his family. No matter how farfetched those things seemed, the existence of a ray-gun proved the world wasn't tame."


4 out of 5

Quaestiones Super Caelo Et Mundo - Michael F. Flynn

Quaestiones Super Caelo et Mundo - Michael F. Flynn

Old mechanics.


2.5 out of 5

Brimstone Orange - Livia Llewellyn

http://media.rawvoice.com/pseudopod/media.libsyn.com/media/pseudopod/PseudoFlash006_BrimstoneOrange.mp3

Scary fruit licker bunch.


3.5 out of 5

And Salome Danced - Kelley Eskridge

And Salome Danced - Kelley Eskridge

Actor authentic in any role you like.


4 out of 5

Skull Valley - Michael Cassutt

Skull Valley - Michael Cassutt

Neanderthal hybrid hunt relief.


4 out of 5

26 Monkeys Also the Abyss - Kij Johnson

26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss - Kij Johnson

Not going ape for this list.


3 out of 5

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Legacy Of Master Li - Maxine McArthur

http://www.ripping-ozzie-reads.com/fLegacyMastgerLi.html

Painting wrong.


3 out of 5

The God At Ixtlan Del Rio - Richard Harland

http://www.ripping-ozzie-reads.com/hgodat.html

Stinky god copy question.


3 out of 5

Black Angels - Michael Jasper

http://michaeljasper.wordpress.com/stories/black-angels/

Fallen forever, if unlucky.


3.5 out of 5

The Long Denouement - Lewis Shiner

http://www.lewisshiner.com/liberation/denouement.html

Chandler no private dick.


4 out of 5

New Talk - Richard Harland

http://www.ripping-ozzie-reads.com/sfNewTalk.html

Alien conception scream.


3.5 out of 5

Hollywood Roadkill - Cat Sparks

http://www.ripping-ozzie-reads.com/sfHolywoodRoadkill.html

The old car accident scam is a lot harder with spider robots and armoured guys with guns.

(call it 4.25)
4 out of 5

Incident On And Off A Mountain Road - Joe R. Lansdale

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

Panty slingshot frypan basher baby clubbing slasher fightback mountain man murder.


4 out of 5

The Longest Running Pulps - Mike Ashley

http://pulprack.com/arch/2009/01/the_longest_run.html

Some magazine history, trivia (and big numbers) to be found here.


4.5 out of 5

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rosebuds - Tansy Rayner Roberts

http://www.ripping-ozzie-reads.com/ya...

Dwarf bear ball bashing horny planter.


3 out of 5

Suffer the Little Children - Rowena Cory Daniells

http://www.ripping-ozzie-reads.com/hsufferthelittlechildren.html

Children in the bush are becoming very different.


3 out of 5

Slow and Ache - Trent Jamieson

http://www.ripping-ozzie-reads.com/sfSlowandAche.html

Sellout. Jump out. Knives out. Clear out.


4 out of 5

The Bluebell Vengeance - Tansy Rayner Roberts

http://www.ripping-ozzie-reads.com/yaBluebell.html

Good fairies and bad witches have conniving families.


4 out of 5

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Ape and the Mystery - Gerald Kersh

The Ape and the Mystery - Gerald Kersh

The Leonardo filter plan picture.


3.5 out of 5

Friday, January 16, 2009

Three Tales From Sky River - Vandana Singh

Three Tales from Sky River <...> - Vandana Singh

"Listen!" Said the Tipi-Bird
Haiho's Knife
The Marriage of Tree and Stone

Humans blow too much shit up, so we'll natural disaster 'em every so often.

3 out of 5


Tentacle bonfire.

3.5 out of 5


Rocky woody scare.

2.5 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

The Marriage of Tree and Stone - Vandana Singh

Three Tales from Sky River <...> - Vandana Singh

Rocky woody scare.


2.5 out of 5

Haiho's Knife - Vandana Singh

Three Tales from Sky River <...> - Vandana Singh

Tentacle bonfire.


3 out of 5

Listen! Said the Tipi-Bird - Vandana Singh

Three Tales from Sky River <...> - Vandana Singh

Humans blow too much shit up, so we'll natural disaster 'em every so often.


3 out of 5

Errata - Jeff VanderMeer

http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=story&id=11546#comments

Magazine ramblings.


3 out of 5

Honey In His Mouth - Lester Dent

http://www.hardcasecrime.com/books_bios.cgi?entry=bk60&type=excerpt

"Harsh supposed that using the girl to con Roebuck out of seven hundred and twelve dollars worth of photo supplies was what had driven the man crazy. If Harsh had stuck to the straight con and left out sex, maybe Roebuck wouldn’t have blown his top. However it made no difference now, it was water past the bridge. Harsh had used the photo supplies. He did not have money to pay up. All he could do was run for it. The roar from his engine was deafening and the whole car pounded and shuddered. Son of a bitch trying to fly to pieces, he thought."


3.5 out of 5

Losers Live Longer 1 - Russell Atwood

http://www.hardcasecrime.com/books_bios.cgi?entry=bk59&type=excerpt

"The light changed and he started across. He looked frail, but had sounded solid enough over the phone.

Well, solid enough for me because, fact or fantasy, I could use his hundred bucks, even if I only spent the rest of the day tramping after heffalumps and woozles."


3.5 out of 5

The Star Pit - Samuel R. Delany

http://www.pseudopodium.org/repress/TheStarPit/index.html

Psycho kids good at space travel.


3 out of 5

An Officer and A Lady - Rex Stout

http://fiction.eserver.org/short/stout/an-officer-and-a-lady.html

Burglary martinet marching bust.


3.5 out of 5

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Go With the Flow - Ben Jeapes

Go With the Flow - Ben Jeapes

Knockout Gran inspiration dedication.


3.5 out of 5

Pages Out Of Order - Ben Jeapes

Pages Out of Order - Ben Jeapes

Buttocks and buggery in Time.


3 out of 5

Trial By Alien - Ben Jeapes

Trial by Alien - Ben Jeapes

Dead Hugo Run Knowledge.


3.5 out of 5

Orphan's Tales 1 - Catherynne M. Valente

http://www.archive.org/download/TheOrphansTalesPodcast-01/orphans_tales-01.mp3

Some goose snapping prince choppery and some witch capturing origin.


4 out of 5

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Agony Column Interview on New Fantasy - Lou Anders

http://www.bookotron.com/agony/audio/2009/2009-news/010909-anders.mp3

Talking about the 'New Fantasy' - e.g. epic fantasy that is grittier, more realistic - and of course relating that to some of his authors, Lloyd, Enge and Mark Chadbourn in particular (who is great, and someone that got me interested in fantasy books again way back when they originally came out).

(If this one gets a takedown notice, perhaps I'll ask the lawyers of the idiots that did it for the complete Pyr catalogue in damages, for their lawbreaking :)).


4.5 out of 5

Bone Women - Eliot Fintushel

Bone Women - Eliot Fintushel

Disturbed boy.


2 out of 5

Women Are Ugly - Eliot Fintushel

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2004/20040621/ugly.shtml

And apparently lustfully bumfuzzling.


2.5 out of 5

The Green Leopard Plague - Walter Jon Williams

The Green Leopard Plague - Walter Jon Williams
(Upgrade! :) )

Plant people economic overthrow research romance revenge.


5 out of 5

Revenge - Arthur Porges

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/27756

Drug stupidity removal.


3.5 out of 5

Bibliophile Stalker Interview - Tobias S. Buckell

http://charles-tan.blogspot.com/2009/01/interview-tobias-buckell.html

Where he professes a desire for X-Men novelage.


3.5 out of 5

Metro Magazine Interview - Lewis Shiner

http://artandliterature.wordpress.com/2009/01/11/lewis-shiner-reflects-on-black-white/

Talking about his Black and White novel, mostly.


4 out of 5

Mystery Train - Lewis Shiner

http://www.lewisshiner.com/liberation/mystrain.html

Elvis headshot.


3 out of 5

The Shoemaker's Tale - Lewis Shiner

http://www.lewisshiner.com/liberation/shoemaker.html

Blue suede elf overload.


3.5 out of 5

The Redemption Of Silky Bill - Sarah Zettel

http://www.bookviewcafe.com/index.php?option=com_deeppockets&task=contShow&id=1566&Itemid=57

Gambler's Cheyenne devil deal.


3.5 out of 5

Excerpts from the Discussion of the Controlled Vibration Theory of Communication Among the Un-Kin - Sarah Zettel

http://www.bookviewcafe.com/index.php?option=com_deeppockets&task=contShow&id=1563&Itemid=56

Unlikely solo talk.


3.5 out of 5

The Caliban Proclamation - Sarah Zettel

http://www.bookviewcafe.com/index.php?option=com_deeppockets&task=contShow&id=1438&Itemid=56

Dumb ugly help.


3 out of 5

Mad For the Mints - Amy Sterling Casil

http://www.bookviewcafe.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=120&Itemid=251

Crazy poms, talking horses, and chonks.


3 out of 5

Godfather Death - Richard Bowes

Godfather Death - Richard Bowes

Time cadet sponsor.


3.5 out of 5

The Quicksilver Kid - Richard Bowes

The Quicksilver Kid - Richard Bowes

Mercury Girl Jes Quick no Flash.


3 out of 5

Days Red and Green - Richard Bowes

Days Red And Green - Richard Bowes

St Patrick's primary event.


3.5 out of 5

From the Files Of the Time Rangers - Richard Bowes

http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/originals/originals_archive/bowes/bowes1.html

Old murders.


3.5 out of 5

The Steel Remains 1 - Richard Morgan

http://www.randomhouse.com/delrey/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780345493033&view=excerpt&ref=news&name=drin0109

"From his one or two previous encounters with these creatures,
Ringil also knew that they could be very—

The corpsemite flexed its body free of the encaging ribs, leapt
straight at him.

—fast.

He hacked sideways, rather inelegantly, and succeeded in batting the
thing away to the left. It hit a headstone and dropped to the ground
writhing, sliced almost in half by the stroke. Ringil brought the sword
down again and finished the job, mouth pursed with distaste. The two
severed halves of the creature twisted and trembled and then lay still.

Demons and the souls of the evil dead were not, it seemed, up to
repairing that kind of damage."


4 out of 5

The Spacetime Pool - Catherine Asaro

http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=33623623207

Riemann sheet match capture factorial escape discovery.


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Gulf Between - Tom Godwin

The Gulf Between - Tom Godwin

Combat research brain.


3.5 out of 5

Space Prison - Tom Godwin

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/22549

The Gern Empire declares war on Earth and humans, and a ship full of people are stranded on a planet with a name fitting its grim environment - Ragnarok - there they struggle to adapt to the heavy gravity and harsh weather.

Revenge is on their minds, so along with food and shelter enough knowledge has to be preserved to get back into space - a task they realise will not be able to be accomplished in one generation.

A grim survival and pioneering fightback story.


4 out of 5

The Survivors - Tom Godwin

The Survivors - Tom Godwin

The Gern Empire declares war on Earth and humans, and a ship full of people are stranded on a planet with a name fitting its grim environment - Ragnarok - there they struggle to adapt to the heavy gravity and harsh weather.

Revenge is on their minds, so along with food and shelter enough knowledge has to be preserved to get back into space - a task they realise will not be able to be accomplished in one generation.

A grim survival and pioneering fightback story.


4 out of 5

Time Rangers stories - Rick Bowes

http://snurri.livejournal.com/218243.html

According to the gentleman in question, this is the list :-

Seven stories I wrote and published from around 2000 to 2004 were used.
From SciFiction:
'From the Files of the Time Rangers'
'The Quicksilver Kid'
'Days Red and Green'
'Godfather Death'
from F&SF:
'The Ferryman's Wife'
'The Mask of the Rex'
from Black Gate:
'Straight to My Lover's Heart'

in addition I used two earlier stories:
From F&SF:
'Diana In the Spring'
from Bending the Landscape - Fantasy:
'In the House of the Man in the Moon'


4.5 out of 5

Monday, January 12, 2009

Unthinkable - Rog Phillips

Unthinkable - Rog Phillips

Working with the new rule comprehension.


3.5 out of 5

Misprint - Vonda N. McIntyre

Misprint - Vonda McIntyre

Cat talk upgrade.


3.5 out of 5

The Fallen Angel - Mike Resnick

The Fallen Angel - Mike Resnick

Bawling devil.


3.5 out of 5

Babel 3000 - Colin P. Davies

Babel 3000 - Colin P. Davies

Word lust.


3.5 out of 5

Game - Bruce McAllister

Game - Bruce McAllister

Multi-level species love.


2.5 out of 5

The Warriors - Larry Niven

The Warriors - Larry Niven

Cat ship fry.


3 out of 5

Madness Has Its Place - Larry Niven

Madness Has Its Place - Larry Niven

ARM to schizo arm.


3.5 out of 5

Just Before Recess - James Van Pelt

Just Before Recess - James van Pelt

Sun teacher eater.


3 out of 5

God's Demon 1 - Wayne Barlowe

http://us.macmillan.com/BookCustomPage.aspx?isbn=9780765348654

"There was the Fall. And no one was permitted to speak of it, or of the time before or of the Above. But it was the Fall that established many things in Hell, not the least of which was the distribution of territory. The future wards of Hell were randomly determined as each Demon Major, on his own sizzling trajectory from the Above, plunged headlong, meteoric, into the unknown wilds of the Inferno."


3.5 out of 5

Blasphemy 1 - Douglas Preston

http://us.macmillan.com/BookCustomPage.aspx?isbn=9780765349668

"“Gregory, Isabella might be tearing the ’brane,” said Mercer. “I really think we should power down now.”

The black dot grew, expanded, began swallowing the image on the screen. At its margins, it jittered manically with intense color.

“These numbers are wild,” said Chen. “I’m getting extreme space-time curvature right at CZero. It looks like some kind of singularity. We might be creating a black hole.”

“Impossible,” said Alan Edelstein, the team’s mathematician, looking up from the workstation he had been quietly hunched over in the corner. “There’s no evidence of Hawking radiation.”

“I swear to God,” said Chen loudly, “we’re ripping a hole in space-time!”

On the screen that ran the program code in real time, the symbols and numbers were flying by like an express train. On the big screen above their heads, the writhing flower had disappeared, leaving a black void. Then there was movement in the void—ghostly, batlike. Dolby stared at it, surprised.

“Damn it, Gregory, power down!” Mercer called.

“Isabella not accept input!” Volkonsky yelled. “I lose core routines!”"


3.5 out of 5

Dazzle Joins the Screenwriters Guild - Scott Bradfield

http://media.libsyn.com/media/clonepod2/EP_26__Dazzle_Joins_the_Screen_Writers_Guild.mp3

Entertainment for the dogs.


3 out of 5

Everybody Plays the Fool - Joe R. Lansdale

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

Tornado exhumation.


3 out of 5

Knowledge - Grace Dugan

http://transmissionsfrombeyond.com/podpress_trac/web/115/0/TFB_014_Knowledge.mp3

Death clock watch.


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Magician - Jeff VanderMeer

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_55_Ben_Bova.mp3

Tongue retention tastier than pigeon pie prestidigitation.


3 out of 5

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The People's Machine - Tobias S. Buckell

http://www.scribd.com/doc/9996270/Peoples-Machine

Possible computer revolution.


3.5 out of 5

The Road To the Rim 1-5 - A. Bertram Chandler

http://www.webscription.net/p-686-the-road-to-the-rim.aspx

"HIS UNIFORM was new, too new, all knife-edged creases, and the braid and buttons as yet un-dimmed by time. It sat awkwardly upon his chunky body—and even more awkwardly his big ears protruded from under the cap that was set too squarely upon his head. Beneath the shiny visor his eyes were gray (but not yet hard), and his face, for all its promise of strength, was as yet unlined, had yet to lose its immature softness. He stood at the foot of the ramp by which he had disembarked from the transport that had carried him from the Antarctic Base to Port Woomera, looking across the silver towers that were the ships, interplanetary and interstellar, gleaming in the desert. The westering sun was hot on his back, but he did not notice the discomfort. There were the ships, the real ships—not obsolescent puddle-jumpers like the decrepit cruiser in which he, with the other midshipmen of his class, had made the training cruise to the moons of Saturn. There were the ships, the star ships, that span their web of commerce from Earth to the Centaurian planets, to the Cluster Worlds, to the Empire of Waverley, to the Shakespearian Sector and beyond.

(But they're only merchantmen, he thought, with a young man's snobbery.)

He wondered in which one of the vessels he would be taking passage. Merchantman or not, that big ship, the one that stood out from her neighbors like a city skyscraper among village church steeples, looked a likely enough craft. He pulled the folder containing his orders from his inside breast pocket, opened it, read (not for the second time, even), the relevant page.

. . . you are to report on board the Interstellar Transport Commission's Delta Orionis . . .

He was not a spaceman yet, in spite of his uniform, but he knew the Commission's system of nomenclature. There was the Alpha class, and the Beta class, and there were the Gamma and Delta classes. He grinned wryly. His ship was one of the smaller ones. Well, at least he would not be traveling to Lindisfarne Base in an Epsilon class tramp.

Ensign John Grimes, Federation Survey Service, shrugged his broad shoulders and stepped into the ground car waiting to carry him and his baggage from the airport to the spaceport."


3 out of 5

Friday, January 09, 2009

Bone Sigh - Tim Pratt

http://media.rawvoice.com/pseudopod/media.libsyn.com/media/pseudopod/Pseudo123_BoneSigh.mp3

A bit of daughter scarification.


3.5 out of 5

SciFi Dimensions - Lou Anders

http://www.scifidimensions.com/main/podpress_trac/web/60/0/sfdpodcast018.mp3

Talking a lot about the Fast Forward 2 anthology and SF, but also about Pyr books, and apparently at the time of this sales had been going up in for 8 months in a row (no real surprise to me, given this :- http://notfreesf.blogspot.com/2008/12/burning-christmas-pyr-or-lou-anders-in.html
Also branching out into some oversized mass market paperbacks with Joel Shepherd's excellent Cassandra Kresnov series.


4.5 out of 5

Cyril With an M or I'm As Kornbluth as Kansas in August - Bud Webster

http://baens-universe.com/articles/Cyril_With_an_M__or__I_m_As_Kornbluth_as_Kansas_in

The Budzilla lives, it seems, and so does his excellent Past Masters column.

You can also find all of the Helix variety here http://www.helixsf.com/list.htm

One of these led me to a lot of the awesomeness of Leigh Brackett, so check them out.

This column is of course all about C. M. Kornbluth, who I can definitely recommend, too, having read all his stories that weren't team-ups.


4.5 out of 5

Short Story Collections - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

http://baens-universe.com/articles/Short_Story_Collections

On the economics thereof (and not having her own whole heap of old ones organised).


4.5 out of 5

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Death On the Crosstime Express - Chris Roberson

http://www.chrisroberson.net/2009/01/for-your-consideration-death-on.html

Underspace Pinkerton seer shield slipper sleuthing.


4 out of 5

The Last Great Clown Hunt - Chris Furst

http://weirdtales.net/wordpress/2009/01/07/the-last-great-clown-hunt/

Trying to bag the Three Ring Slam.


4 out of 5

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Refining Fire - Elizabeth Bear and Emma Bull

http://www.shadowunit.org/refiningfire1.html

The Shadow Unit finale novel has Chaz out by himself in Nowheresville, which turns out to be a pretty big mistake.

Cue capture by supervillain and entry into a Stephen King situation - made even worse because of the Hummingbird like metabolism of this particular officer.

The rest of the team have an additional problem when they work out where he is likely to be. The surrounding countryside is literally like a tinderbox, so violent confrontation could get really, really hot.


4 out of 5

Nocturne - J. R. Dunn

Nocturne - J. R. Dunn

Biology music.


2.5 out of 5

For Keeps - J. R. Dunn

For Keeps - J. R. Dunn

Flashlight program.


2.5 out of 5

Intruders - J. R. Dunn

Intruders - J. R. Dunn

Hooker breaking.


2.5 out of 5

Apex Magazine 4 - Jason Sizemore

http://www.apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/

Lavie Tidhar is a bookburner. Doctor Doom only does karaoke via myspace appointment.

Apex Magazine 4 : On the Shadow Side of the Beast - Ruth Nestvold
Apex Magazine 4 : In Memory - Eric James Stone
Apex Magazine 4 : Starter House - Jason Palmer
Apex Magazine 4 : Edison's Dead Men - Ed Turner

Hunters and Strangers.

3 out of 5


And sorting them out.

3.5 out of 5


Falling apart food hunt.

3.5 out of 5


Zombie shock.

3 out of 5




3 out of 5

Edison's Dead Men - Ed Turner

http://www.apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/2009/01/permuted-press-presents-edisons-dead-men/

Zombie shock.


3 out of 5

Starter House - Jason Palmer

http://www.apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/2009/01/short-fiction-starter-house/

Falling apart food hunt.


3.5 out of 5

In Memory - Eric James Stone

http://www.apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/2009/01/short-fiction-in-memory/

And sorting them out.


3.5 out of 5

On The Shadow Side Of The Beast - Ruth Nestvold

http://www.apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/2009/01/short-fiction-on-the-shadow-side-of-the-beast/

Hunters and Strangers.


3 out of 5

In Fading Suns and Dying Moons - John Varley

http://media.libsyn.com/media/spiderweb/SOTW061.mp3

Multidimensional collection switchoff.


4 out of 5

Nova Swing 1 - M. John Harrison

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780553590869&view=excerpt&ref=news&name=spectrapulse

"At the sound of her voice, the shadow operators unfolded themselves and streamed towards her from every corner of the room, to whirl about her head like ghosts, bats, scrap paper, smoke or old women clasping antique lockets of hair. They recognised privilege when they saw it.

"My dear," they whispered. "What beautiful hands.""


2.5 out of 5

The Lost Ones 1 - Christopher Golden

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780553587807&view=excerpt&ref=news&name=spectrapulse

"Oliver Bascombe paced his dungeon cell, wondering when his captors would decide to kill him and how they would do it. Public execution? Swift murder? Torture? Or perhaps they would simply feed him to the Battle Swine and let those filthy porcine warriors bite off his head and strip the flesh from his bones."


3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Weather Bulletin - Suzette Haden Elgin

Weather Bulletin - Suzette Haden Elgin

Family going federal.


3.5 out of 5

The Bone Farmer - Neil Williamson

The Bone Farmer - Neil Williamson

Immune alone.


3.5 out of 5

Example of DMCA Insanity (IFPI, apparently) presumably not AgonyColumn/Rick Kleffel

Got a takedown notice for this post :-

http://209.85.175.132/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=cache:http://freesf.blogspot.com/2009/01/agony-column-jeremy-lassen.html&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Which was this, basically :-

http://www.bookotron.com/agony/audio/2008/2008-news/123008-lassen_eclipse.mp3

An interview talking about the publishing end of the Eclipse 2 anthology.


4 out of 5



Bankruptcy for these fools can't come soon enough. In actuality, what this does is mean there will be less listeners for that show. Brilliant, eh?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Clarkesworld 28 - Sean Wallace

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/issue_28

Usual fiction sort of thing, a 3 and a 3.5. A good multi-interview about doing the anthology thing, and a trip to good old Hilo and Mauna Kea for some astronomy in the articles.

Clarkesworld 28 : Celadon - Desirina Boskovich
Clarkesworld 28 : Teaching Bigfoot to Read - Geoffrey W. Cole

Ghostworm worldshifter.

3 out of 5


Life on the moon sucks mail.

3.5 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

Teaching Bigfoot To Read - Geoffrey W. Cole

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/cole_01_09/

Life on the moon sucks mail.


3.5 out of 5

Celadon - Deskina Boskovich

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/boskovich_01_09/

Ghostworm worldshifter.


3 out of 5

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 7 - Scott H. Andrews

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

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 7 : Snake in the Glass - P.E. Cunningham
Beneath Ceaseless Skies 7 : Sand-Skin Man - K.C. Shaw


Ball breaker surprise.

3 out of 5


Kill father's killer. Take sword. Go home.

3.5 out of 5




3 out of 5

Snake In the Grass - P. E. Cunningham

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/story.php?s=16

Ball breaker surprise.


3 out of 5

Sand-Skin Man - K. C. Shaw

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/story.php?s=15

Kill father's killer. Take sword. Go home.


3.5 out of 5

All About the Sponsors - Jeffrey R. DeRego

http://media.rawvoice.com/escapepod/media.libsyn.com/media/escapepod/EP185_UD_AllAboutTheSponsors.mp3

The origin of the Union is told here,via the original founders, some flashbacks, and a funeral.


4 out of 5

Temptation 1 - David Brin

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_57_Geoff_Ryman_David_Brin_Special.mp3

" The Trinary haiku was expressive and wry. At the same time though, Makanee could not help making a physician's diagnosis. She found her old friend's sonic patterns rife with undertones of Primal -- the natural cetacean demi-language used by wild Tursiops truncatus dolphins back on Earth -- a dialect that members of the modern amicus breed were supposed to avoid, lest their minds succumb to tempting ancient ways. Mental styles that lured with rhythms of animal-like purity.
She found it worrisome to hear Primal from Brookida, one of her few companions with an intact psyche. Most of the other dolphins on Jijo suffered to some degree from stress-atavism. Having lost the cognitive focus needed by engineers and starfarers, they could no longer help Streaker in its desperate flight across five galaxies. Planting this small colony on Jijo had seemed a logical solution, leaving the regressed ones for Makanee to care for in this gentle place, while their shipmates sped on to new crises elsewhere."


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Dead World - Jack Douglas

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/27631

"And even the mighty United Galaxies needs guards for expeditions to the unexplored galaxies. But they don't like us and they don't want us. They don't cut off our little fingers anymore, but we have to wear our special black uniforms when we go into United territory under penalty of a quick death. Humane, of course, they just put us to sleep gently and for keeps. And they've got a stockpile of ionic bombs ready at all times in case we get out of hand."


3.5 out of 5

Bluff - Steven Brust

http://www.continuouscoast.com/08preview/bluff.html

Pipe hunt axe Murder In the Dark.


3.5 out of 5

Here's Looking At You - Donald E. Westlake

http://www.donaldwestlake.com/wks_ss7.html

No sex, just eating.


3.5 out of 5

Robowassailing - Allen M. Steele

http://podcast.starshipsofa.com/podcast/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_56_China_Mieville.mp3

Dozered little singers.


3.5 out of 5

Aftermath - David Conyers

http://www.apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/2007/08/short-fiction-aftermath/

Zebra king neural control bleeding shot, mate.


4 out of 5

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Dance Of Shadows - Fred Chappell

http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/fiction/reprint01.htm

This thief has no Hawkman in pursuit.


3 out of 5

Friday, January 02, 2009

SFFWorld.com Interview - Paul Kearney

http://www.sffworld.com/interview/270p0.html

Discussing The Ten Thousand, and how it is not allowed to be SF :-

"The world of the The Ten Thousand is notable for completely lacking magic of any sort. Was there a reason for this? For example, were you concerned that the involvement of magic could detract from the focus on the physical battles and the overall impact of them?

Swift answer; yes. I wanted the emphasis of the book to be on sweaty, muscle-tearing physical struggle, and magic would have just clouded the issue somewhat. I don't like the 'easy' use of magic in books; I prefer it downplayed. Tolkien, again, got it just right, hinting at hidden powers rather than having wizards casting firebolts across battlefields. It was far more effective. I write fantasy, but my main concern is, oddly enough, to make it 'realistic.' Also, if you want to be pedantic about it, The Ten Thousand is actually science fiction. It's set on a planet which is clearly not earth, since it has two moons, and it has alien species co-existing with mankind. In that setting, magic would be out of place. I actually have a full back story for the origins of the Macht, but am forbidden by my publisher from revealing it, because it's pure science fiction!"


4.5 out of 5

The Mastodon Virtual Book of (free online) Mega-Astounding Science Fiction

The Mastodon Virtual book of Mega-Astounding Sciece Fiction

3rd Edition - January 02, 2009

edited by H. E. Avenoklewz and I. M. Nutsireus


Mastodon ebooks is an imprint of no-one. You think anyone is that silly?

All rights to all compilations of ancient Tellurian material abolished in the Copyfighter Dktrvian rebellion victory constitution, July 17, 2671.


This is a Virtual Anthology of Tellurian 'science fiction' written entertainment material, which those crazy editor guys think verges on the excellent to outstanding.

Said cheapskate publisher (probably wisely, it must be said given the lack of intellect, experience or knowledge of said editorial staff) has left little space for an introduction.

The editors, however, are competent enough to point out that in the interests of authenticity, the following work is provided in archaic html 'www' technology, and each entry is what was once known as a 'URL' which was accessed via an optical pointing device apparently likened to a rodent.

Many great stories follow after the cut thingo.




Lobsters - Charles Stross
0wnz0red - Cory Doctorow
The Nine Billion Names Of God - Arthur C. Clarke
Catherine Drewe - Paul Cornell
Dark Integers - Greg Egan
The Scab's Progress - Paul Di Filippo and Bruce Sterling
Stories For Men - John Kessel
A Dry Quiet War - Tony Daniel
Privateers' Moon - Terry Dowling
The Walls of the Universe - Paul Melko
The Gambler - Paolo Bacigalupi
The Old Die Rich - H. L. Gold
Retroactive anti-terror - Alex Irvine
Options - John Varley
Biographical Notes - Benjamin Rosenbaum
Roller Ball Murder - William Harrison
Toast A Con Report - Charles Stross
I Robot - Cory Doctorow
Titanium Mike Saves the Day - David D. Levine
Starsong - Fred Saberhagen
Scanners Live In Vain - Cordwainer Smith
Looking Through Lace - Ruth Nestvold
Unsportsmanlike Conduct - Scott Westerfeld
The Cold Equations - Tom Godwin
Wikiworld - Paul Di Filippo
The Juniper Tree - John Kessel
Osama Phone Home - David Marusek
Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog - B. W. Clough
Tourist - Charles Stross
Scroogled - Cory Doctorow
Craters - Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Glory - Greg Egan
Stealing Alabama - Allen M. Steele
Henry James This One's For You - Jack McDevitt
Bag Lady - Walter Jon Williams
The Chief Designer - Andy Duncan
Caught In the Organ Draft - Robert Silverberg
The Children's Crusade - Robert Reed
Overkill - Elizabeth Bear
In the Upper Room - Terry Bisson
Exit Before Saving - Ruth Nestvold
Legions In Time - Michael Swanwick
Incarnation Day - Walter Jon Williams
Mercytanks - Jennifer Pelland
Of Mist and Grass and Sand - Vonda N. McIntyre
Qubit Conflicts - Jetse De Vries
Ice Dwarves - Doug Goodman
Six Lights Off Green Star - Gareth L. Powell
Halo - Charles Stross
I Row-Boat - Cory Doctorow
Omnilingual - H. Beam Piper
Steve Fever - Greg Egan
The Days Between - Allen M. Steele
Survivor - Charles Stross
Anda's Game - Cory Doctorow
Ginungagap - Michael Swanwick
Pulp Alibis - Paul Di Filippo
The Colour Out of Space - H. P. Lovecraft
The Egan Thief - Gord Sellars
Damned If You Don't - Randall Garrett
Approaching Perimelasma - Geoffrey A. Landis
Consider Her Ways - John Wyndham
The People Of Sand and Slag - Paolo Bacigalupi
Sheena 5 - Stephen Baxter
First Contact - Murray Leinster
Kin - Bruce McAllister
The Sledge-Maker's Daughter - Alastair Reynolds
Laws Of Survival - Nancy Kress
Diplomat-At-Arms - Keith Laumer
Unwirer - Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross
Pride - Mary Turzillo
Ship's Eye - Terry Dowling
Shade - Steve Gould
Melancholy Elephants - Spider Robinson
The Green Leopard Plague - Walter Jon Williams
Elector - Charles Stross
When SysAdmins Ruled the Earth - Cory Doctorow
Radiant Green Star - Lucius Shepard
Sergeant Chip - Bradley Denton
Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons - Cordwainer Smith
Division By Zero - Ted Chiang
Exploration Team - Murray Leinster
The Dead - Michael Swanwick
Border Guards - Greg Egan
Who Goes There? - John W. Campbell
Lusts of the Cat Queen: A Dash Manning Adventure - Melanie Fletcher
Ti's Toys - James H. Schmitz
Thunder and Roses - Theodore Sturgeon
Shambleau - C. L. Moore

Hitch Your Spaceship To A Star - Donald E. Westlake

http://www.donaldwestlake.com/wks_ss6.html

Naked parade.


3 out of 5

Anthologists Discuss Their Craft - Jeremy L. C. Jones

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/anthologists_interview/

An interview for Clarkesworld that gets into the nuts and bolts of the matter with these editors : -

John Joseph Adams
Ellen Datlow
James Lowder
Jonathan Strahan
Ann VanderMeer
Jeff VanderMeer


5 out of 5

Salt - Adam Roberts

http://www.adamroberts.com/writing/salt/#extract

"We had been traveling for thirty-seven years. Not counting the eighteen months it took us to assemble in Earth orbit, and accelerate slowly with displacement rockets on a capture orbit to grab our comet. Nor the two weeks we spent grappling with that steaming ice-world; to fix our tether (my primary area of expertise); to set up burners in a zodiacal circuit around the central cable, and then to settle our final orientation with thrust-explosives. Then, pointed in the right direction, we began to speed up. Our comet, fuel and buffer, building speed slowly. Us, strung out along the cable behind, eleven little homes like sea-shells on a child's necklace-string. Do you know how long it took us to reach traveling speed? At accelerations of over 1.1g, we accelerated for over a year. A year of gravity, when there could be no hibernation; a year awake, crammed in with our sisters and brothers, our children, our friends and enemies, our lovers and ex-lovers. A year of feeling trapped and heavy, of smelling sweat and shit; of eating recycled food. A year of games, and talk, and meditation, and nothing to do and nothing to be done but hope our comet would lead us on to the brave new world."


3 out of 5

On - Adam Roberts

http://www.adamroberts.com/writing/on/

"'I guess I've always wondered why goats are better than monkeys,' he had said, a few weeks before his birthday. It had been a bad moment. Pashe was sitting in her chair, reading through her tattered edition of the Sayings. 'Pashe, why is it that goats are better than monkeys?' His question sent her flying into a rage. Sometimes it took the slightest thing to send her exploding with her anger. Even as a little boy Tighe could sense that she was a woman stuffed so full of anger that the merest rip in her outward skein of mood would cause it to come bursting out. She didn't get up this time (which was good, he knew, because it meant she wouldn't get up and smack him), but she sat there screaming. 'This boy will drive us all over the ledge, will he never stop with his questions? Will he smash my head apart with all his questions? On and on and on...'"


3.5 out of 5

Stone 1 - Adam Roberts

http://www.adamroberts.com/writing/stone/#extract

"I am a bad man, I've done some bad things. I beg your pardon, stone, in telling you these things (do you like that politeness? You're an ancient object, and I've got a whole store of ancient cultural habits to deploy if I feel like it). I am a bad man. I still think of myself as a man, in fact, although there's little biological evidence for that fact. When the nano-technology abandoned my body the default biological settings reasserted themselves. I had liked being a man, in fact. I'd been a man for so long I'd acquired the mental habit of calling myself male, of thinking it at a deep level. I still think that way, even though my male genitalia have long since shrunken and wizened like drying fruit, grapes turning to raisins and finally shrinking to nothing at all. Then the whole area itched, and I couldn't help but scratch. You won't know what itch means, stone. There's something you have in common with the rest of humanity, that's something their nanotechnology protect them from. But let me tell you, to itch, it's a strange thing. It's a torture and a pleasure at once. I scratched my whole body raw. I scratched my new genital smoothness so hard it opened up lips. So I suppose I am she, except I'm not so in my head, it somehow hasn't percolated through to my head. I haven't grown breasts either. But maybe that's because I'm not eating. When I first came to prison, my first prison, I was in a state. I tried starving myself, but the nano technology kept me alive. I'm not sure how. Perhaps it picked up nutrients from here and there, drew them through my skin as I lay asleep on the soil - I don't know. Nano technology, dotTech as it is called, is an astonishingly clever thing. It really is. I have battled against it, trying to kill people when it is designed to keep people alive. I know my enemy. Better now than ever. Listen to what I have to tell you, dear stone, and you will know it too."


3.5 out of 5

Gradisil 3 1 - Adam Roberts

http://www.adamroberts.com/writing/gradisil/#extract

"'Horosho, OK, gentlemen and ladies,' announces the ferryman (pilot I mean) over the speakers. 'This is your Konduktor speakiŋ. We'll soon be—' there's a lurch, a hiccough, and the grindiŋ noise of wheels-over-concrete is blotted into the sensation of frictionless onward motion '—oy-oop there we go, in the air now. We'll be runniŋ on a little to avoid those nubarrones, the—pardon me whilst I search for the English word, the, in other words—those thunderous-clouds, behind us. Then we'll swoop round. Once we're over the weather and we engage elem we'll be in space in less than a half of an hour. Settle down enjoy the flight.'"


3 out of 5

Land Of the Headless - Adam Roberts

http://www.adamroberts.com/writing/land-of-the-headless/

"And let us not,' I replied, bitterly, 'ever depart from the usual. Let us never reform, or improve, the ancient barbarities.'

'Boh, Jon Cavala,' Bil replied. 'For you cannot deny that these beheadings have indeed been thoroughly reformed and improved since the old days!'

I said nothing.

The surgeons touched the base of my spine with an analgesic proboscis. They spliced swiftly and precisely into my spine, affixed the primary and secondary node and embedded the ordinator. The analgesic meant that I felt none of this, except for the butterfly pressure of the machines moving over my back. I could hear only the whiz and click of their metal tools. I could see nothing but the portion of grey bench immediately in front of my eyes. This, by a chain of association, brought into my mind the thought of my impending blindness, and my dissatisfactions found voice. I will admit that I spoke peevishly.

'You will shortly be blinding me,' I pointed out to Bil. 'Taking my sight, and my hearing and taste and smell, as well as my head. The latter necessarily includes all the former.'

'By no means,' returned Bil, in an easy voice. 'There are many forms of prosthetic sight on the market, even for somebody with funds as limited as, perhaps, are yours. Only last month Medicom released a new design: fashioned as a webbed cloak worn around the shoulders and granting one-hundred-and-eighty degrees of vision behind the wearer. Or, if you choose to wear the cloak on your front, ahead of you.'And let us not,' I replied, bitterly, 'ever depart from the usual. Let us never reform, or improve, the ancient barbarities.'

'Boh, Jon Cavala,' Bil replied. 'For you cannot deny that these beheadings have indeed been thoroughly reformed and improved since the old days!'

I said nothing.

The surgeons touched the base of my spine with an analgesic proboscis. They spliced swiftly and precisely into my spine, affixed the primary and secondary node and embedded the ordinator. The analgesic meant that I felt none of this, except for the butterfly pressure of the machines moving over my back. I could hear only the whiz and click of their metal tools. I could see nothing but the portion of grey bench immediately in front of my eyes. This, by a chain of association, brought into my mind the thought of my impending blindness, and my dissatisfactions found voice. I will admit that I spoke peevishly.

'You will shortly be blinding me,' I pointed out to Bil. 'Taking my sight, and my hearing and taste and smell, as well as my head. The latter necessarily includes all the former.'

'By no means,' returned Bil, in an easy voice. 'There are many forms of prosthetic sight on the market, even for somebody with funds as limited as, perhaps, are yours. Only last month Medicom released a new design: fashioned as a webbed cloak worn around the shoulders and granting one-hundred-and-eighty degrees of vision behind the wearer. Or, if you choose to wear the cloak on your front, ahead of you.'"


3.5 out of 5

Swiftly 4 - Adam Roberts

http://www.adamroberts.com/writing/swiftly-novel/

"'I am sure,' gabbled Bates. He tended to talk too rapidly when the mood was on him, when his blood was hurtling through his body, but it couldn't be helped. 'Now that they have declared themselves for the humanity of the Lilliputians and Brobdingnagians, all of the civilised world will support them, surely. And their alliance has meant that they could recruit a regiment of giants to fight us. To fight the English. Moreover,' he went on, wide-eyed, 'they have perfected a device, a machine, a thinking machine. Have you heard of Mister Babbing?'"


3 out of 5

Splinter 1-2 - Adam Roberts

http://www.adamroberts.com/writing/splinter/#extract

"But Hector could tell she wasn't really interested.

'Some,' he said. 'But, you know, Steak Houses. Of course, it's a big university town, Montpellier. Students love to eat American, fast food, steaks. That's the reason I was there, actually, doing some work at the university.'"


2.5 out of 5

The World's A Stage - Donald E. Westlake

http://www.donaldwestlake.com/shortstory5_intro.html

Bad space opera rehearsal.


3 out of 5

The Burning Man Prologue - Mark Chadbourn

http://www.markchadbourn.net/extracts/burning_man.htm

"When he had reclaimed the window cleaner, he was surprised to see another person had arrived silently behind Rourke. Mallory had a second to take in the man's determined face before a fiery crackle signalled Rourke's head leaping from its shoulders.

At first Mallory had difficulty perceiving what the assassin held. His mind told him it was a clockwork machine, seemingly too large for him to hold, then a crystal glowing a brilliant white. Finally he realised it was an ancient sword with a thin blue flame flickering along the edge.

And then he was no longer the Mallory who cleaned the toilets five times a day. Instinctively, he whisked his mop handle to the stranger's throat like a sword. The stranger simply smiled.

"You killed him," Mallory said incredulously.

"I've been looking for you for a long time. They hid you well," the stranger said. "My name's Church. I'm here to take you back to your real life.""


4 out of 5

Jack Of Ravens 1 - Mark Chadbourn

http://www.markchadbourn.net/extracts/jack_of_ravens.htm

"He was rooted for a second too long. Fingers as strong as ironwood clamped around his chest. He felt his ribs start to crack as the giant lifted him off the ground.

Six men brandishing swords, spears and shields ran from the mist to attack the giant. Despite his pain, Church was shocked by their appearance. Five of the men had whitened hair, spiked and tied in ponytails, while the sixth wore a bronze horned helmet. They were all naked from the waist up, their torsos tattooed with blue circles and swirls above loose-fitting tartan trousers.

The warriors brutally gouged out chunks of the matter that made up the giant's form. Roars of pain and anger followed each assault.

Church was on the verge of blacking out from the pressure on his ribs when the giant finally loosened its grip to defend itself. A voice deep inside him, calm and blue as a summer sky, told him he could launch his own attack. Extending his sword arm, Church was surprised to see the blade now limned with a thin sapphire light that occasionally became tiny dancing flames. He thought he could hear it singing, a gentle susurration that soothed him.

The giant's red eyes glowed with the intensity of hot coals in reaction to the sword. Church lashed out at its wrist, and wood and rock showered into the air. When its grasp loosened further, Church dropped, landed on his feet and bounded away. With a fierce roar, the giant disappeared into the mist.

The warriors eyed him uneasily as they readied themselves to repel another attack."


3.5 out of 5

The Hounds Of Avalon 1 - Mark Chadbourn

http://www.markchadbourn.net/extracts/hounds_avalon.htm

"The final days of the human race started as they would end, with sapphire lightning bolts lashing back and forth across a stark hall. It appeared to the assembled group that a furious electrical storm was raging within the room, the air suffused with the smell of burned iron. Eyes shielded from the glare by sunglasses, the four men and one woman stood in awe behind the Plexiglas screen. They had the universe in their hands and they knew it."


4 out of 5

The Queen Of Sinister - Mark Chadbourn

http://www.markchadbourn.net/extracts/queen_sinister.htm

""Come on, Prof," Matt said quietly. "You're the expert here. What kind of predators should we be looking out for?"

Crowther's laugh was not comforting. "Think of your worst nightmare, then expect something ten times more hideous. This is the land where anything is possible, good or bad. If we thought we were slipping down the food chain on our world, here—"

"I get the idea, Prof. Thanks for putting my mind at ease." Matt continued to lead the way, but his eyes never stopped searching the surroundings.

Eventually the gully gave way to a small, exposed plateau where the snow lay thickly. But beyond it, the land fell away gradually and the snow soon gave way to a mass of the enormous boulders. "Looks like we're nearly in the foothills," Matt said. "Should be easier going if we can get across this bit." He didn't need to give voice to his fear that this would be the place where whatever was tracking them would attack; there was no cover, no place to run. At least they would be able to see it coming.

The snow was calf-high as they lurched into it, crunching underfoot like gravel. But they hadn't gone far when the two red eyes appeared suddenly on the ground six feet ahead of Matt. He half-turned, ready to urge the others to sprint back to the gully.

Something rose up from the ground, as white as the snow that had concealed it. At first glance it resembled an enormous jellyfish with a crab-shell head from beneath which the two eyes glowed. But then they saw that beneath the strange-shaped skull it had a human form and what they had taken for the jellyfish-like, drifting appendages were glistening, white clothes, hanging from its shoulders in tattered rags.

"I search for the Cailleach Bheur," the thing said in a voice that sounded like glass breaking. "She may release the Fimbulwinter.""


3.5 out of 5

The Devil In Green 1 - Mark Chadbourn

http://www.markchadbourn.net/extracts/devil_in_green.htm

"Obliquely, Mallory wondered if Salisbury was no longer there, like the rumours he had heard of Newcastle and some of the villages in the Scottish borders. The night had been so impenetrable as he drove south, the whole world could have been wiped away.

If he'd had a choice in the matter he would have travelled in daylight. The countryside was filled with gangs armed with shotguns and knives, raiding villages and the outskirts of towns for food; life had become infinitely more brutal since everything had turned sour. But it was the other things that cast more disturbing shadows across life. The silhouettes of little men moving slowly across the open fields under the stars. The thing he'd glimpsed up close once, emerging from an abandoned pig farm; eyes like saucers, scales that glinted in the moonlight and fingers that were too, too long. It only confirmed the stories that kept everyone confined to their homes once the sun set; the night didn't belong to man any more.

Mallory watched the traveller's slow progress and wondered obliquely what was on his mind."


3.5 out of 5

Always Forever - Mark Chadbourn

http://www.markchadbourn.net/extracts/always_forever.htm

"The Bone Inspector had suggested Balor would not be at its peak until Samhain, one of the Celtic feast-days marking an occasion when the great cycle of existence unleashed powerful forces. From a Christian perspective it was chillingly fitting: the Church had made Samhain into Halloween when the forces of evil were loosed on the earth. And there was no doubt the threat was gathering pace. The progression was like the darkness eating away at the edges of the vision of a dying man; each day seemed a little gloomier. Soon all hell would break loose.

In the face of such a thing, there appeared little they could do; and time was short, just three months before the doors of Samhain opened; no time at all. But Church's experiences over the preceding months had left him with the belief that there was a meaning to everything; he refused to give in to fatalism, however dark things appeared. If the Tuatha Dé Danann could be convinced to help them, they stood the slimmest of chances.

To win over the Golden Ones he had to expunge the Fomorii corruption from his body, an act he had been told could only be carried out in the mysterious Western Isles, the home of the gods somewhere in Tir n'a Nog. The journey to that place began at Mousehole on the Cornish coast, and a landmark called Merlin's Rock where legend said it was possible to spy a fairy ship that travelled between this world and the next. But one thing in the myths disturbed him greatly: his destination had another name - the Islands of the Dead."


4 out of 5

Darkest Hour - Mark Chadbourn

http://www.markchadbourn.net/extracts/darkest_hour.htm

"Nelson, who was four years McShay's junior, a little more stylish but without any of his charisma, sucked on his bottom lip for a second; an irritating habit. "What they want to do," he began cautiously, "is make sure most of Scotland isn't irradiated in the next few weeks. I don't mean to sound glib," he added hastily, "but that's the bottom line. It's these power failures--"

McShay sighed, shook his head. "Not just power, William, technology. There's no point denying it. Mechanical processes have been hit just as much. I mean, who can explain something like that? If I were superstitious..." He paused. "...I'd still have a hard time explaining it. The near-misses we've had over the last few weeks..." He didn't need to go into detail; Nelson had been there too during the crazed panics when they all thought they were going to die, the cooling system shut-downs, the fail-safe failures that were beyond anyone's comprehension; yet every time it had stopped just before the whole place had gone sky-high. He couldn't tell if they were jinxed or lucky, but he felt like it had made an old man of him."


3.5 out of 5

World's End - Mark Chadbourn

http://www.markchadbourn.net/extracts/worlds_end.htm

"The heat made his skin bloom and he half-expected the glass to implode, but then they were through it and racing across the empty motorway ahead.

"God," Ruth said in shock. She clasped her hands together in her lap to stop them shaking.

Church slowed down and headed towards one of the emergency phones on the hard shoulder.

"Don't stop!" Tom yelled. "The worm will still be here. It doesn't give up easily!" Then he added with exasperation, "Don't you see? It's after us."

Church swung the car in a wide arc until they faced the wall of fire. Vehicles had backed up on the other side of the central barrier. In the distance came the sound of sirens.

"What are you doing?" Tom snapped.

"I have to see for myself." Church leaned forward over the wheel and searched the skies. He and Ruth saw it at the same moment, just a glimmer at first, high above the billowing black smoke. But as it came lower it fell into focus and they both froze in their seats. They saw glints of copper and gold and green as the red glare of the fire burnished its scales. A scarlet eye as bright as a brake light. Enormous, leathery wings that beat the air with a slow, heavy rhythm, and a long tail that writhed and twisted behind it as if it had a separate existence. As it swooped low, it opened its mouth wide and belched another gush of golden-orange fire that sprayed into the inferno and sent a torrent of flames spouting high. Its movements were fluid as it soared on the air currents, terrifying and majestic at the same time."


4 out of 5

Scissorman - Mark Chadbourn

http://www.markchadbourn.net/extracts/scissorman.htm

""Hang on, I can just see something poking through his teeth--"

"Leave it be!"

The boy suddenly open his mouth with a roar.

Frozen in the flash of light, Culver saw what erupted out, slamming into Miles' face before disappearing into the shadows under the small bed.

Miles pitched backwards, scrabbling to wipe the stinging slime from his face. "Jesus!" he gasped. "A toad! He had a fucking toad in his mouth!"

Lansing stared in horror. "Ridiculous," she said hopefully. But she had seen it too.

Miles coughed, then choked, and scrambled upright, searching for his composure.

Culver pulled Lansing out roughly. "Shut the damn door," he hissed.

They stared at each other for a long moment before Culver said to her, "What is going on here?" as if it were her fault.

"There's no way he could have got a toad in here. Unless..." She then shook her head.

Miles finished it for her. "Unless it was inside him.""


3.5 out of 5

The Eternal 3-4 - Mark Chadbourn

http://www.markchadbourn.net/extracts/eternal.htm

"Morrison had the woman's head in his hands. She wore an expression of surprise and sudden fear, that increased as Morrison grinned. He was enjoying it. Annie was gripped with a hideous fascination. Morrison held the woman's head even tighter and then gave a sudden twist. There was a sickening crack. All the conflicting emotions that had been churning away inside Annie suddenly erupted in a short, sharp scream that cleaved through the sea of tension between them. Morrison looked up suddenly, saw her.

He smiled.

Darkness."


3 out of 5

Testimony - Mark Chadbourn

http://www.markchadbourn.net/extracts/testimony.htm

"Strange faces appear on the floor of a house in a remote village in southern Spain. A ghost plane rises from the depths of Ladybower Reservoir on the Derbyshire Moors. The mummified hand of an English martyr is used to raise a Benedictine monk from a coma on the edge of death.

Odd stories. Perhaps unbelievable stories. Yet all of them were reported in British newspapers in the first half of 1995. They are just a tiny drop in the tidal wave of weirdness that sweeps over us every day of the year, all over the globe. Somehow, though, we persist in maintaining the illusion that in this age of high technology there can be no such thing as the supernatural. At least that is the view presented by much of the media.

In our hearts we know differently. Sometimes the mundane, grey reality of our day to day lives peels back and we see what lies behind it. It might be a tale whispered by a close friend in a shop or pub, or we might even experience it ourselves, something we can't explain, appearing then disappearing in the blink of an eye. Often it gives us a brief feeling of wonder, almost a religious transcedence. Occasionally, it can fill us with the deepest dread."


3.5 out of 5