Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Empire State - Adam Christopher

"As the man moved his head to look first at his two defeated opponents, and then at Rad, the weak light reflected off an angled helmet, a sharp-fronted slatted visor covering the entire face and continuing back and up past the ears. The edges stood nearly a foot away from the top of the man’s head, and were fluted into sharp points, like the flight feathers of a bird’s wing.

The uniform was outrageous, far odder than the two masked villains that lay insensible at his feet. But it didn’t particularly cross Rad’s mind. He relaxed a little, recognising his saviour, but still keeping his back to the wall. He knew he was safe – assumed he was safe, anyway – but he’d… heard things. Not all of them good.

The Skyguard. A legend, a bedtime story for good little boys. A story that the Empire State would rather not be told. A hero, a helper, and according to the city, a vigilante, criminal, and terrorist. Someone who couldn’t be there, not tonight."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/08/empire-state-excerpt

The Slab - Jeff Mariotte

"The Slab was a weird place, there was no getting around that. It was, literally, a series of vast slabs of cement poured on a flat stretch between the Chocolate Mountains and the Salton Sea. At the beginning of Hal Shipp’s war, the military had decided that the best place to train troops to fight the Nazis in North Africa was in one of America’s hottest and driest deserts. Imperial County fit that bill, and besides, this was California’s ass end, where the waste-brown Colorado dribbled down into Mexico, so there’d been a few farmers in the Valley but mostly empty land, and no one to complain about the noise. They’d built a camp up here, then abandoned it right after the war. There was nothing left of it but the slabs now."


3.5 out of 5

http://ebooksofhorror.com/2011/08/29/the-slab-by-jeffrey-j-mariotte/

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Home By the Sea - Pat Cadigan

Home By the Sea - Pat Cadigan
Vampire longtime holiday.


3.5 out of 5

http://strangehorizons.com/2011/20110829/1homesea-f.shtml

Q and A at Apple Part 3 - Charles Stross

"In the final part of the Q&A, Charlie talks about e-books and DRM, different companies' responses to DMCA takedown notices, how writers are paid and compares text editors."





4.5 out of 5

Q and A at Apple Part 2 - Charles Stross

"Charlie discusses Knuth, 3D printers and the law, Bitcoin and the future of publishing."




4.5 out of 5

Q and A at Apple Part 1 - Charles Stross

The first part of Charles Stross' question and answer session after his reading.




4.5 out of 5

The Sultan of the Clouds 1 - Geoffrey A. Landis

First part of an audio serial.


3 out of 5

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/starshipsofa/StarShipSofa_No_201_Geoffrey_A_Landis_Pt_1.mp3

Edgar Rice Burroughs's Venus Part 2: Lost on VenusRyan Harvey

"The parade on the second planet continues in Lost on Venus. This one of the most controversial works that Edgar Rice Burroughs ever published, although it surprises me that enough readers managed to get through the lackluster first book, Pirates of Venus, to want to pick up the sequel and be able to argue about it. But here it is, so get out your anti-tharban gear and be ready to test your genetic purity!"


4 out of 5

http://www.blackgate.com/2011/08/30/edgar-rice-burroughs%E2%80%99s-venus-part-2-lost-on-venus/

Cinderlands - Tim Pratt

Dexter Ward's strange Rats In the Garden.


3.5 out of 5

http://gardenstreet.org/drabblecastarchive/archive/151200_files/podcast_145.m4a

Jeroboam Henley's Debt - Charles R. Saunders

Semando Gbomi.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.innsmouthfreepress.com/?p=6339

Monday, August 29, 2011

On the possibility of extraterrestrial-artefact finds on the Earth - A. V. Arkhipov

"Title:
On the possibility of extraterrestrial-artefact finds on the Earth
Authors:
Arkhipov, A. V.
Publication:
The Observatory, v. 116, p. 175-176 (1996)"


5 out of 5

http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1996Obs...116..175A

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sparks - Ben Peek

"But, outside that, and for myself personally, I have always loved the idea of a society fractured between those living in the sky and those on the ground. There’s lots of examples out there of it, but I think I first saw the idea in an Aliens Vs Predator comic, written by Chris Claremont, an author who pretty much defined the X-Men to be what they are now, before the company fired him. Deadliest of the Species was a series he wrote around that time, in which Earth is covered in aliens, and people live in ships that sail through the sky. I remember liking it well enough as a kid, and despite myself, I have always had a bit of a weakness for those company properties–but what stuck with me throughout was the idea of the physical division, of how you could divide people by race, economy, and culture, and apply that to a story."


3.5 out of 5

http://kaaronwarren.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/sparks-ben-peek/

Sparks - Cat Sparks

Secret Agents need a favorite drink?

"Surfing culture is big down here. There are folks bobbing up and down in search of waves no matter how fierce the weather. We used to live in a unit full of young guys who surfed and smoked pot endlessly and it occurred to me one day that they’d probably keep on doing just that even if the rest of the world exploded. Surfin’ the apocalypse and why the hell wouldn’t you if there was no one else calling the shots?"


3.5 out of 5

http://kaaronwarren.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/sparks-cat-sparks/

Sparks - Lucy Sussex

"Stories can come out of writing-related work. I was editing a Lonely Planet book on Madagascar, and got so fascinated by the detail that I asked the author if I could use it fictionally. He said yes, and that is how ‘Sagittaire’ (the new story in Matilda) came about"


3 out of 5

http://kaaronwarren.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/sparks-lucy-sussex/

Sparks - Sean Williams

"The Crooked Letter became my Silmarillion, the odd-shaped missing piece that sits between the Books of the Change and the Books of the Cataclysm, and my Broken Land books for kids as well. I think it’s my least successful book, but that hasn’t stopped people liking it (and I’m very grateful for that). It has won some awards and is in the process of being turned into a TV series (fingers crossed). For me, ultimately, it was great fun, whipping up that spark into a crazy wild-fire of ideas."


3.5 out of 5

http://kaaronwarren.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/sparks-sean-williams/

The Island Of Doctor Death and Other Stories - Gene Wolfe

http://www.shortcovers.com/shortcovers/Fevre-Dream/sc-1g2JnQ0-OUePj0eNCc21Qg/page1.html#2

Wait just a Moreau and the story will be with you again.

4 out of 5

http://podcastle.org/2011/08/23/podcastle-171-the-island-of-doctor-death-and-other-stories/

Soulmates - Mike Resnick and Lezli Robyn

Robots not so valuable.


3 out of 5


http://escapepod.org/2011/08/26/ep307-soulmates/

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Portal: No Escape




3.5 out of 5

Friday, August 26, 2011

Spacegirl - Travis Charest

Spacegirl - Travis Charest

Funny adventure serial: trouble with megaborging tyrants and a dangerous prisoner.


4 out of 5

http://spacegirl.travischarestgallery.com/?issue=02

Honour Those Who Serve - Steve Singleman

Tattoo memorial army art collection. Live version.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/4664/full

The Mark of Zorro Part 8 - Johnston McCulley

Penultimate part of an audio serial.


4.5 out of 5

http://traffic.libsyn.com/classictales/CT_224_Zorro_8of9.mp3

The Dala Horse - Michael Swanwick

Troll end.


3 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/07/the-dala-horse

My Father's Wounds - Ferret Steinmetz

Passing on the Blacksmith tradition is a gut stabbing experience.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/story.php?s=157

Deluge 82 - Brian Keene

"“Holy shit,” Henry gasped. “We’re not the only ones left alive!”"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=8165#more-8165

The Nyarlathotep Event: Case File 10 Rematch - Jonathan Wood

"Up until now it hasn’t been too much of a problem. Until now, I’ve been able to take advantage of this being a reality other than ours, and just summoned things by concentrating hard. Apparently now I’m in Nyarlathotep’s actual house, that’s not an option. Not that I don’t try it. I imagine swords, guns, knives, bombs, even Donkey Kong on the off chance I can catch him off guard.

No go."


4 out of 5

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/08/the-nyarlathotep-event-by-jonathan-wood-case-file-10-rematch/

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Emperor Of Mars - Allen M. Steele

Prefer planetary romance to reality.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/starshipsofa/Aural_Delights_No_168_Allen_Steele.mp3

http://t.co/yBkSDAV

The Nyarlathotep Event: Case File 9 Citadel - Jonathan Wood

"As citadels that are the embodiment of sheer terror go, Nyarlathotep’s is pretty imposing."


4 out of 5

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/08/the-nyarlathotep-event-by-jonathan-wood-case-file-9-citadel/

Memories In Bronze Feathers and Blood - Aliette de Bodard

Metal war, gods.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/story.php?s=102

Recalculating - Tina Connolly

Underwater mall survival aide advice.


3.5 out of 5

http://aftereverafter.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/recalculating/

Three Little Pigs - Justin Gustainis

Porky with a problem.


2.5 out of 5

http://www.tyngasreviews.com/2011/08/ffthree-little-pigs-by-justin-gustainis.html

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Swingers - Robert Reed

Mini-alien big body Joining story maybe.


3 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/08/swingers

Love In Balance - Liz Coley

Review IP credit.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/4607/full

Lightspeed 14 - John Joseph Adams

A very good issue at 3.75, led off by the famous Godwin story with the rest solid. An article on Epigenetics and Mike Brotherton discusses the story The Cold Equations. A nifty twist by Kerr - what if the history of science had missed the importance of Einsteinian relativity and the time effects as you approach the speed of light? Then send out a ship going that fast and try and communicate.

Lightspeed 14 : Lightspeed 14 - John Joseph Adams
Lightspeed 14 : The Cold Equations - Tom Godwin
Lightspeed 14 : The Old Equations - Jake Kerr
Lightspeed 14 : Sweet Sixteen - Kat Howard
Lightspeed 14 : Face Value - Karen Joy Fowler

Kid is a waste of oxygen.

5 out of 5


Kid is a waste of oxygen.

3.5 out of 5


DNA role change needle, no Tiffany.

3.5 out of 5


Mene study.

3 out of 5



4.5 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/issue/july-2011-issue-14/

Face Value - Karen Joy Fowler

Mene study.


3 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/face-value/

Sweet Sixteen - Kat Howard

DNA role change needle, no Tiffany.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/sweet-sixteen/

The Old Equations - Jake Kerr

Stellar quantum communication relativity mistake.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-old-equations/

The Jaguar House In Shadow - Aliette de Bodard

Knight future.


3.5 out of 5

http://aliettedebodard.com/bibliography/online-fiction/the-jaguar-house-in-shadow/

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/starshipsofa/StarShipSofa_No_200_Aliette_de_Bodard.mp3

Lightspeed 13 - John Joseph Adams

A very good McDonald story reprint makes this issue and brings it up to a 3.50.
The usual articles etc. with brief commentary by the aforementioned on his Chaga work.

Lightspeed 13 : Snapshots I Brought Back from the Black Hole - K.C. Ball
Lightspeed 13 : Frost Painting - Carolyn Ives Gilman
Lightspeed 13 : Transcript of Interaction Between Astronaut Mike Scudderman and the OnStar Hands-Free A.I. Crash Advisor - Grady Hendrix
Lightspeed 13 : Recording Angel - Ian McDonald

Grabbie retrieval failure.

3.5 out of 5


Unrealistic artists.

3.5 out of 5


Dumb directions.

3 out of 5


Africaforming.

4 out of 5



4 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/issue/june-2011-issue-13/

Snapshots I Brought Back From The Black Hole - K. C. Ball

Grabbie retrieval failure.


3.5 out of 5


http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/snapshots-i-brought-back-from-the-black-hole/

Transcript Of Interaction Between Astronaut Mike Scudderman And The Onstar Hands-free A.I. Crash Advisor - Gardy Hendrix

Dumb directions.


3 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/transcript-of-interaction-between-astronaut-mike-scudderman-and-the-onstar-hands-free-a-i-crash-advisor/

Author Spotlight - Ian McDonald

"You’ve written several novels revolving around the Chaga, entitled the Chaga Saga. Were they born from “Recording Angel”? Do you think you’ll ever revisit Gaby and her story?

No, the sequence is “Towards Kilimanjaro,” Chaga/Evolution’s Shore, “Recording Angel,” Kirinya, and Tendeleo’s Story. I do have the final volume of the Chaga Saga plotted out, but it’s getting round to it. But I wouldn’t like to leave her, and her daughter Serena, and Faraway, the cameraman who becomes a major Chaga diplomat to the North (not giving too much away here) in limbo forever."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-ian-mcdonald/

Recording Angel - Ian McDonald

Recording Angel - Ian McDonald
Africaforming.


4 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/recording-angel/

Frost Painting - Carolyn Ives Gilman

Frost Painting - Carolyn Ives Gilman
Unrealistic artists.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/frost-painting/

Clarkesworld 59 - Neil Clarke

Two decent stories and an article on changing constants and part of an epic fantasy discussion for a fine issue.

Clarkesworld 59 : Conservation of Shadows - Yoon Ha Lee
Clarkesworld 59 : The Fish of Lijiang - Chen Qiufan

Clone gates.

3.5 out of 5


Time dilation sickness and rehab.

3.5 out of 5




4.5 out of 5

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/issue_59

The Fish Of Lijiang - Chen Qiufan

Time dilation sickness and rehab.


3.5 out of 5

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/chen_08_11/

Conservation Of Shadows - Yoon Ha Lee

Clone gates.


3.5 out of 5

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/lee_08_11/

Texture of Other Ways 3 - Mark W. Tiedemann

"The light dimmed when our counterparts entered. Our group had been assigned the Cursians. They were bulky, almost humanoid types. Their torsos began where knees should have been and their limbs looked like dense extrusions of rope. Individual tendrils would separate to perform the articulations of fingers, but they constantly touched themselves with them. No eyes that we could discern, but a thick mass of lighter tissue gathered in the center of the bumpy mass we thought of as its head. They wore threads of metal draped in complex patterns over their dense torsos. We were told that they breathed a compound of CO2, CH3, and CH5N. The air seemed to glow a faint green on their side of the room."


3.5 out of 5

http://martyhalpern.blogspot.com/2011/08/texture-of-other-ways-by-mark-w_19.html#more

Sidekicks In Stockholm - Jeffrey R. DeRego

Adam Smasher decides that maybe the Chairman is right. The super-rich banker hostages he ahs do deserve shooting. He walks away.


4 out of 5

http://escapepod.org/2011/08/04/ep304-union-dues-–-sidekicks-in-stockholm/

http://traffic.libsyn.com/escapepod/EP304_UnionDues_SidekicksInStockholm.mp3

Nonstop To Portales - Connie Willis

Nonstop To Portales - Connie Willis
The Williamson time tour.


4 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/nonstop-to-portales/

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Venus Part 1: Pirates of Venus - Ryan Harvey

"Of all the “Origin Novels” from Edgar Rice Burroughs’s various series, Pirates of Venus is the weakest — and by a significant margin. Stacked against A Princess of Mars, Tarzan of the Apes, and At the Earth’s Core, all of which were written pre-1920, this is some tepid, weary storytelling going on here on Amtor. The prose is about the same — ERB reached a plateau with his style early on — and the level of imagination invested in the setting is laudable, but the enthusiasm for telling a ripping yarn must have flown into the Sun when Carson changed course. Even ERB’s generic plot devices/crutches are absent, and not a single supporting character is the least bit memorable. I just finished re-reading it and I can barely connect anybody’s name with his title or role in the story."


4 out of 5

http://www.blackgate.com/2011/08/23/edgar-rice-burroughs%E2%80%99s-venus-part-1-pirates-of-venus/

Monuments To the Dead - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Monuments To the Dead - Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Rushmore reversal, woman.


3.5 out of 5

http://kriswrites.com/2011/08/22/free-fiction-monday-monuments-to-the-dead/

The Edge of the World - Michael Swanwick

The Edge of the World - Michael Swanwick
Unwise excursion can get a bloke absolutely lost.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.fantasy-magazine.com/new/new-fiction/the-edge-of-the-world/

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Vision of Venus - Otis Adelbert Kline

Tork or not, take me, Lotan!


2.5 out of 5

http://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0037.html

The People of the Crater - Andre Norton

Garin's in Tav.


2.5 out of 5

http://www.feedbooks.com/book/4571/the-people-of-the-crater

Texture of Other Ways 1 - Mark W. Tiedemann

""Then the seti showed up and the race panicked. Not one word made sense. You're right, we've been capable of producing telepaths—actually, the term is telelog, there's a difference—for a long time. But people are afraid of the idea. That's the only real area of privacy, your thoughts. But when the Chairman, the Forum, and the Armada realized that the most insurmountable problem confronting them with the setis was language, they seized the opportunity. It was a question of weighing competitive fears. Of course, fear of the alien won out.""


3.5 out of 5

http://martyhalpern.blogspot.com/2011/08/alien-contact-anthology-story-16.html

Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song 3 - Ernest Hogan

"And I received input from her mind—she was strange, like the humanoids who rode see-through ships to the end of time to observe the aesthetic qualities of the heat death of the universe—other people's experiences and thoughts were what she lived for. She rarely ate, or moved—was more interested in reading more and more minds than the university's experiments—she wasted away. They thought she would die."


3.5 out of 5

http://martyhalpern.blogspot.com/2011/07/guerrilla-mural-of-sirens-song-by_15.html

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song 2 - Ernest Hogan

""This sight! Jupiter up close! Wagstaff and the rest of those tight-assed idiots at the Space Culture Project should see this. That is what space art should be about. This energy! This power! This freedom! This is what I had in mind when I created splatterpainting.""


3.5 out of 5


http://martyhalpern.blogspot.com/2011/07/guerrilla-mural-of-sirens-song-by.html

Midnight Blue - Will McIntosh

Midnight Blue - Will McIntosh
Charming powerup collection.


4 out of 5

http://traffic.libsyn.com/escapepod/EP305__Midnight_Blue.mp3

The Nyarlathotep Event Case File 8 Interrogation - Jonathan Wood

"I never thought I’d say it, but once you get used to a dimension of fear and chaos, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Yes, it’s driven my partner, Clyde, insane, and yes, it does keep trying to kill me with more and more depraved horrors, but, well it could be worse."


4 out of 5

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/08/the-nyarlathotep-event-by-jonathan-wood-case-file-8-interrogation/

Dragon's Fin Soup - S. P. Somtow

Chinese special.


3 out of 5

http://somtow.net/dragon.html

Friday, August 19, 2011

Deluge 81 - Brian Keene

"It was a giant crab. Sarah gaped at its size. It was big enough that the eight of them could have used its hollowed-out shell as a lifeboat. The eye-stalks wiggled as the creature surveyed them. It waved its arms in the air, clacking its claws together. Then it scuttled forward, its segmented legs clacking across the wet deck. Tatiana screamed as the beast bore down on her. Sarah saw Simon and Novak trying to reach her, but both men slipped as the ship rolled even further to the side."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=8106

The Mark of Zorro Part 7 - Johnston McCulley

Part of an audio serial.


4.5 out of 5

http://traffic.libsyn.com/classictales/CT_223_Zorro_7of9.mp3

SFFWRTCHT: Chat With Editor - John Joseph Adams

"SFFWRTCHT: The link between post-apocalyptic and dystopian can vary; is it because post-apocalyptic is often “the end” where dystopia is not? Meaning that dystopia is part of the process of civilization, the rise and fall, that can lead to a bad end.

JJA: An apocalypse can involve dystopia, but they aren’t necessarily connected. In dystopian fiction you need a society, whereas often post-apocalyptic is the absence of society. Sure, sometimes dystopias lead to the apocalypse and vice versa, but sometimes there are dystopias with no apocalypse in sight. Many people use dystopia incorrectly to encompass anything that’s a dark future. It has a more specific meaning than that."


4 out of 5

http://www.graspingforthewind.com/2011/08/18/sffwrtcht-a-chat-with-editor-john-joseph-adams/

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Holdfast - Matthew Johnson

Charm knot.


3 out of 5

http://www.fantasy-magazine.com/fiction/holdfast/

Helping Them Take the Old Man Down - William Preston

Artic citadel work end.


3.5 out of 5

http://j.mp/qdUzmt

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Leftlion - Mark Chadbourn

"What's next for Will and the gang in Book Three?
In The Devil's Looking Glass all the threads of the first two books come to a head. The characters must battle to prevent the powerful sorcerer Dr Dee falling into the hands of the Fay enemy. It has living dead pirates, The Tempest, and a trip to the New World and the heart of darkness in an Apocalypse Now-stylee."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/id/3852/title/mark-chadbourn

The Sacrifice 1-3 - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

"A man does not need Visions to know you’re making a mistake, the Black King had said. We need a rest. We’re no longer ready to fight.

So you have seen nothing, Rugar had said. Nothing at all.

Rugar took a deep breath. Rain dripped off his nose onto his lips. The water was cool and tasted fresh. Rugar had had the Vision; his father had not. Rulers followed Vision, even if it was someone else’s. Rugar had reminded his father of that, even though it had done no good.

He still made this trip without his father’s permission.

But permission didn’t matter. Rugar had seen Jewel walking the halls of the palace. He knew the history of the Isle. He would fight the easiest battle in the history of his people.

The Fey would own Blue Isle within a day. The Islanders wouldn’t even know they had been invaded until it was too late."


3.5 out of 5

http://kriswrites.com/2011/08/16/mid-month-novel-excerpt-sacrifice/

The Nyarlathotep Event Case File 7 The I in Team - Jonathan Wood

"Reality slips. I stand in a corridor full of doors. I can hear scampering about and above me. And I know I can hear the rats in the walls.

I am still afraid. I would still favor flight over fight. But fight I will. Because I can face my fear. Because now, Nyarlathotep, you get bloody yours."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/08/the-nyarlathotep-event-by-jonathan-wood-case-file-7-the-i-in-team/

Crossroads - Laura Anne Gilman

Magician duels are definitely deadly iffy.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.fantasy-magazine.com/new/new-fiction/crossroads/

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sung In Blood 1-9 - Glen Cook

"Death stalked the night. It haunted the shadowed alleys of Shasesserre.

Those it passed near hurried away, driven by the knives of fear.

Death wore the guise of a squat, gnarly man in a vile yellow mask, the mask of a shantor, a carrier of the weeping sickness.

Death was a liar, a wearer of false faces.

The gnarly man zigzagged the darkest ways, hurrying toward the City’s heart—the Plaza of Jehrke Victorious. Across his back he carried a rag-wrapped bundle. He reached the edge of the great square. Beyond, the Rock and its crown, Citadel Nibroc, reared their humped and spiky silhouettes against the stars.

It was a rare and cloud-clear night there at the crossroads ’twixt land and sea.

Between plaza’s edge and Citadel stood a five-hundred-foot temporary needle of timbers, kept upright by scores of guylines. The masked man paused to see if he was observed, then ran to its foot. He swarmed upward with the tireless energy of a machine. When he reached the crowning platform, from which rope divers would plunge during tomorrow’s celebrations, he was barely panting.

The gnarly man shed his burden. For a moment he stared at the nearest spire of the Citadel, then began ripping rags off his bundle. Starlight glinted off steel and polished wood. He began assembling some mysterious engine.

A moist breeze off the Golden Crescent lifted his yellow mask. It betrayed an evil, gap-toothed murderer’s grin.



Jehrke entered his laboratory almost furtively. His lamp illuminated a face gaunt with worry, with fear.

The Protector afraid? Impossible. For three centuries his wizardry had nurtured and shielded Shasesserre in a world that hungered to rape its wealth and plunder its power. He had brushed aside a thousand perils. He had survived a thousand threats. His might and skill were legend.

“It’s him! But how does he come, that I do not smell him in every shadow?” His web of sorcery lay everywhere upon the City. No magician great or feeble, white or dark, could evade his notice. “The breath of him stinks. And what better time to strike?”

Jehrke moved about, lighting lamps. They revealed a laboratory that would have amazed his most advanced colleagues. “Through what dark crack does he design to thrust his wickedness?”

Shasesserre remained Queen of the Orient, Crossroad of the World, because for three centuries no shadow had leaked past Jehrke’s vigilance. There was a saying: “Good or bad, Kings and Queens come and go. Jehrke is forever.”

It was a time of a good King, and the Protector, and all at the heart of the world prospered.

But wolves howled beyond the border, dark and jealous. Their master kept them whipped to a frenzy.

Jehrke looked out the window on the night, on the constellation that was the city that never sleeps. The hairs on his neck bristled. A chill made him shudder.

He turned gaunt face and hollow eyes toward a map of Shasesserre’s domains. “Can there be a rent in the fabric of the web? Has he found some way to steal close unremarked?” He scowled at the chart. It told him nothing he had not known for centuries.

Suddenly, he whirled to face the window. He knew he felt death’s cold breath and clammy touch.



Cursing, the gnarly man hammered a wooden frame member with his fist. It snapped into place. He glanced at the newly lighted window. The man passed the light.

The gnarly fellow cursed again and furiously pumped a crank on the side of his engine. Wood creaked. Steel scraped, a large coil spring wound tighter and tighter.

“He must die. The Master has condemned him. He must die tonight.”

Finished cranking, he gazed through a metal tube attached to his device. He adjusted its position. Satisfied, he tripped a wooden lever. The engine creaked as the coil spring drove gears and pulleys and hauled back the string of the massive crossbow that was the machine’s heartpiece.

A short arrow, or long quarrel, dropped from a hopper into the channel of the crossbow.

Three hundred yards away the doomed man faced a map, back to the window, centered within its rectangle. The gnarly man tripped another lever and dove for the ladder down. Behind him the death engine thunked and began to rewind.

A terrible cry ripped the fabric of the night. It shook the foundations of the Rock. A bleak and horrible wind bowled through the Plaza of Jehrke Victorious. The gnarly assassin clung to the ladder four hundred eighty feet above cobblestones and shrieked entreaties to heathen gods.

The wind departed as suddenly as it came. The killer resumed his scramble toward the ground.

Above, the death machine creaked and thunked methodically.



The first bolt shattered the window and hit Jehrke an inch above the heart. It flung him back against the map. Nine of its eighteen inches buried themselves in the wall.

Direct physical assault! Never had he considered the chance of an attack so unsubtle.

Agony tore his flesh. Almost, his control slipped as he screamed a death-curse that sent his web into insane paroxysms. He gestured with his left hand. Pale fire crawled about the laboratory. He gestured with his right. Shadows flew out into the storm, toward the diving tower, only possible point for launching the attack.

The next bolt arrived. The Protector jerked, then sagged. Soon another missile thumped home. Then another; and another, in regular, deadly rhythm."


4 out of 5

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/9781597803823/9781597803823.htm?blurb

Dead Easy 1-6 - William Mark Simmons

"Now that was creepy on more than one level. "At this point we've entered the comic book realm," I said, repressing a shiver.

"The preferred term is graphic novel," Zotz called from the galley.

"A rose by any other name and no way I'm gonna wear spandex," I growled.

"And you never found any scuba gear that would account for your underwater revival?" she continued, ignoring that last comment.

I shook my head. "But someone was helping me down there. Someone who looked a lot like Suki."

"One mystery at a time," she said. It was the third time she had changed the subject when I had invoked the Asian vampire's name. Apparently when the Doman of Seattle says that someone is "dead to him," he not only means personally but everyone who works for him, as well.

"For now, I want you to consider another theory," she continued.

"I'm not going to like it, am I." It wasn't really a question.

"The blood and tissue samples we took just after your return from Colorado by way of New York—before all the Domans agreed to place you on joint quarantine status—showed evidence of an evolutionary trend in your nanite technology. There were several different types of nanomachines found in your tissue samples. Yet, they fell into two functional classifications. Those that repaired damaged tissues on the cellular level. And those that repaired and replicated the other machines.

"Over the course of time we observed that some of the nanites evolved into machines with different functions as the tissue samples aged and withered. The very nature of their purpose was challenged as a piece of tissue removed from its larger component no longer functions the same—if at all. The machines seemed to adjust their programming to deal with changes in environment, oxygen levels, hormonal flux—"

"You're saying that these itty-bitty bots built me some kind of breathing apparatus? An artificial gill? In a matter of minutes? That's nuts!"

"I dare say," she replied calmly, "along with vampires, werewolves, demons, and fish people.""


3.5 out of 5

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1416521321/1416521321.htm?blurb

47 Echo - Shawn Kupfer

""ID?" the man behind the desk growled. He was younger than the man who'd thrown the boots at Nick, but not by much. He was also a lot fatter, and the stripes on his shoulder identified him as a Staff Sergeant.

"Um...Nick Morrow."

"No one gives a shit about your name, fuckwad." The fat sergeant sighed, reaching across the desk and grabbing the dog tags hanging from Nick's neck. "Four-seven Echo, 1153," the sergeant read. His fat fingers (of which there were only three on his right hand) tapped the number into his computer. Nick couldn't see the screen, but he knew his file had popped up immediately.

"Here you are. Eleven fifty-three, male, twenty-nine years. Oooh. Multiple Homicide. Aren't we just the little badass?"

Nick said nothing, and the fat sergeant just shrugged. With one of the fingers on his mangled right hand, the sergeant pointed off to the left.

"See those big-ass tents over there? Go to the one labeled Echo. You wait there until someone tells you where to go. You get me?"

"I got you."

"Sergeant. I got you, Sergeant."

"Whatever."

The fat sergeant snapped two of his fingers together, and another uniformed soldier appeared. The soldier slammed the butt of his rifle into Nick's stomach, dropping him to the dirt instantly.

"Little tip, convict. Show the proper fucking respect at all times. Get me?""


3.5 out of 5

http://ebooks.carinapress.com/4433F138-4C0D-4F23-80EC-FFD7E9026DF9/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=684B5DA0-7849-412A-ADD2-4514B0CE6A97

Monday, August 15, 2011

Habeas Corpses 1-6 - William Mark Simmons

"The fangs, of course, went without saying.

But she had undergone another extreme makeover in drinking my mutated blood a few months ago. Now her sharp, pointy teeth were all but gone. More obviously, her skin was approaching the mocha and cream shade that came from a daily regimen of sunbathing—something you rarely see in a redhead and never in a vampire. Which was the point, I suppose, as Deirdre was no longer technically undead.

My unique hemoglobin didn't make her human, again, you understand. The crimson eyes were an obvious clue that she was no longer the girl next door. That and the fact that she could still bench-press a small truck. But while I couldn't give her back everything that she had lost in her original transformation, she seemed content: being "un-undead" suited her just fine.

If only Deirdre's situation suited Lupé, as well.

My significant other understood, of course, that I needed a security chief and bodyguard who was conversant with the unique nature of my enemies, could stop a bullet without flinching, and could—well—bench-press a small truck. She also understood the unique obligations involved as (technically speaking) I was the one who had brought Deirdre "over" and (literally speaking) I was the one who had brought her "back." Lupé knew something about blood-bonds and curses and debts-that-do-not-die even when we do the mortal coil shuffle.

Still, Deirdre was major eye candy. Worse, she had made it clear that, when it came to swapping body fluids, we needn't limit ourselves (as we had on the two previous occasions) to blood alone.

It required frequent reminders to all and sundry that my heart belonged to Lupé.

Deirdre, it seemed, had someone else's heart right now.

She was holding it in the palm of her hand.

And it was convulsing as if it were still alive. "


3.5 out of 5

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1416509135/1416509135.htm?blurb

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Mark of Zorro Part 6 - Johnston McCulley

"Punishment is meted out against the unjust merchant and magistrado. However, when the alarm is raised, and the entire pueblo seems to rise up against the masked avenger, Zorro is hard pressed to make any kind of escape."


4.5 out of 5


http://traffic.libsyn.com/classictales/CT_222_Zorro_6of9.mp3

Dead On My Feet 1-7 - Wm Mark Simmons

"The Witch of Cachtice remained on my mind as I jogged into the gloaming.

Gloaming. What a lovely word for that deepening purple twilight between the setting of the sun and the actual fall of night. My state of mind, however, was anything but lovely as skies downshifted from azure to indigo and the first stars of the evening faded into timorous glimmers.

Of all the mumbo-jumbo that the so-called fortune-teller had thrown at me, that one phrase continued to burn in my mind. What else had she called her? Marinette Bois-Chèche? I wasn't familiar with the reference but she had mentioned the "Loa" and that meant Vodoun or voodoo. I'd have to do a little research from that angle, maybe drive down to New Orleans this weekend.

Or, better yet, fly to Haiti, I decided, loping back up onto the sidewalk as a car approached. Aside from the assumption that the island source material would be purer, I knew there was a vampire enclave down in the Big Easy—reason enough to not make a return visit.

While Haiti had its own supernatural blood-drinkers—specifically the mauvais airs and the mauvais nanm of voodoo origin, and such West Indies imports as the loogaroo of Grenada, the asema of Surinam, and the sukuyan of Trinidad—I doubted that the island had any organized demesne system. The Crescent City enclave wasn't much on structure either but, sooner or later, every badass vampire wannabe decided to make the pilgrimage and few were said to return. Perversely, I was probably safer in the jungles of an alien nation than the back streets of an American tourist trap.

Mama Cséjthe didn't raise no dummy.

Unless you count my buying any part of Mama Samm's sideshow act.

The car passed by and I hopped off the sidewalk, sprinted across the street, and cut across a vacant lot. The streetlights were old and mostly out of order in this section of town, which was why I liked to run here. Even though I didn't huff and puff anymore, I detested being on display for the neighbors. The only thing I hated worse than jogging out in the open was running laps on a fixed track where the repetitive scenery is slightly less boring than watching the Golf Channel on cable.

A row of decrepit shotgun houses loomed ahead. Their coffinlike silhouettes provided an appropriate backdrop to my thoughts as I considered Mama Samm's veiled warnings and her troubling reference to Marinette Bois-Chèche.

The "Witch of Cachtice" made sense in only one context.

The ruins of a castle remain today in the Slovak Republic—Cachtice, Slovakia, to be precise. Once upon a time it lay within the borders of Hungary and was known by a different name. It was the ancestral home of Countess Erzsébet Báthory, who practiced the dark arts and came to believe that the blood of virgins would keep her eternally young and beautiful. During the opening years of the seventeenth century, she murdered over six hundred young women, practicing abominable tortures and draining their bodies of blood for her horrific beauty regimen.

Mama Samm's admonition to "unmask the whore of Babylon before she puts her red dress on" might have made sense four hundred years ago. But the infamous Blood Countess of Hungary died, walled up in her dark tower, in 1614. How could that have anything to do with me?

Other than the fact that the Báthory castle had two names.

Today it is known as Cachtice in the Slovak tongue.

In Erzsébet's time, the Hungarians called it Castle Cséjthe."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743436105/0743436105.htm?blurb

Friday, August 12, 2011

Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song 1 - Ernest Hogan

"It didn't bother me. Not me. I had to keep going. Keep wandering. Volunteered to go to Ithaca Base and get lowered through the dangerous radioactive magnetosphere of the Big Planet, down to the Great Red Spot, into the heart of the Sirens' sphere of influence, let their alien thoughts flow through my skull and survive!"


4 out of 5

http://martyhalpern.blogspot.com/2011/07/alien-contact-anthology-story-11.html#more

The Shadow Over Innsmouth 4 - H. P. Lovecraft

"The Final Chapter!

We’re joined by Mr. Burriesci and Mr. Leman once again as we flee from the uncanny valley of Innsmouth."


4 out of 5

http://hppodcraft.com/podcasts/11_08_11_hppodcraft_ep087.mp3

The Livings Drive-by I presume - Martin Livings

"1. The idea for The Tide came from … and how did you convince the participants?
“The Tide” came about the usual way story ideas tend to come about. Two completely separate subjects somehow got smooshed together in my mind, in this case immigration (and, more to the point, the Australian mass media’s xenophobic and hypocritical knee-jerk reaction to asylum seekers) and vampires. I knew two things almost immediately. Firstly, it had to be told in newspaper clippings, and secondly, that I wouldn’t be able to write it myself. I did try, but all the news clippings had basically the same voice, my voice, funnily enough. So all of a sudden I had the third part of the idea – to collaborate with as many people as possible on the story in order to give it that variety of voices that newspaper clippings would have, that element of randomness that would make it so much more believable."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.angelaslatter.com/the-livings-drive-by-i-presume-martin-livings/

Just Another Perfect Day - John Varley

Just Another Perfect Day - John Varley
Multi-dimensional Martian memory loop man for the job.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/just-another-perfect-day/

Deluge 80 - Brian Keene

"She recounted her encounter with Leviathan, beginning with the cult on the nearby rooftop, the arrival of the vampire-like mermaid, the ill-fated rescue mission that Kevin and the others had launched in an attempt to disrupt the cult’s sacrificial ceremony, how that – and the murder of the mermaid – had led to Leviathan’s emergence, the creature’s subsequent attack on their building, and how she, Salty, and Kevin had escaped."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=8057

Pornokitsch Interview - Richard Morgan

"PK: The Steel Remains is set up as the adventure after the adventure. Ringil, Archeth and Egar all have rich pasts that are never fully explored or explained. What drew you to write a series about established (or even “washed-up”) heroes, rather than starting from the beginning - stableboys, lost princes, apprentice wizards and the like?


RM: Yeah, it was weird - quite a few people who didn’t like the book kept going on about how the flashbacks just weren’t detailed enough, we don’t see what actually happened in the war, I wasn’t telling the story right - as if they thought I’d somehow overshot my subject matter by mistake! It didn’t seem to have occurred to them that someone might actually prefer to take as their subject matter the experiences of a group of heroes after the Great War is done. But for me it was axiomatic that this was just a far more interesting place to go - by definition, the most interesting people, in fact or fiction, are those who have already lived a rich and full life, not those just starting out. Guys like Luke Skywalker leave me cold - they’ve been nowhere, done nothing, know nothing; they’re essentially a Boy’s Own wank fantasy of self-importance. Give me a grizzled, world-weary veteran any day, someone who’s already earned his stripes, paid his dues and collected the scar tissue along the way. And in fact, such characters are a staple of the noir form - how often, after all, do you get a cop or PI in crime fiction who’s just starting out, day one on the job? Noir is just not peopled by wide eyed bright young things - except maybe as cannon fodder!"


4.5 out of 5

http://www.pornokitsch.com/2011/08/pk-interview-richard-morgan.html

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Mark of Zorro Part 5 - Johnston McCulley

Audio version.


4.5 out of 5

http://traffic.libsyn.com/classictales/CT_221_Zorro_5of9.mp3

Cowboys and Aliens 1 - Joan D. Vinge

"The only dead man whose shirt didn’t look worse than his did was the one with the broken neck. Their sizes matched well enough. He stripped the jacket, vest, and shirt off the body, threw away his own ruined Henley. He moved carefully as he put on his new clothes; the wound on his side had opened up again during of the fight."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/08/cowboys-a-aliens-excerpt

The Shadow Over Innsmouth 3 - H. P. Lovecraft

"We’re back with reader Andrew Leman and guest Matt Burriesci on our voyage into the deep end."


4 out of 5

http://www.hppodcraft.com/podcasts/11_08_04_hppodcraft_ep086.mp3

Interview: author of Sympathy For the Devil - Justin Gustainis

"Sympathy for the Devil,book 3 in the Morris and Chastain series just came out. Are there plans for more?
In Sympathy for the Devil,we find Senator Howard Stark,who is secretly possessed by the demon Sargatanas,running for President of the U.S. Stark was a “dark horse” candidate at first,but his competitors for the nomination have been falling by the wayside,the victims of “accidents,” suicide,and scandal. If Stark is elected,the (literally) diabolical plan is for him to use the powers of the office to destroy the world (they don’t like humanity much,down there in Hell). Quincey and Libby have found out what’s going on,and are determined to stop it. Their only obstacles are the dedicated agents of the U.S. Secret Service,and all the power of Hell itself.

As for a fourth book in the series,I have plans,but I’m not sure if the publisher does. I was told they were going to see how SFTD sells. If there is a fourth book,it’ll be called Play with Fire – I figured since Santana got two titles,the Stones should have a couple,as well."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.mybookishways.com/2011/08/interview-justin-gustainis-author-of-sympathy-for-the-devil.html

Writefast - Lauren Beukes

"5. What is the strangest thing you have ever done while writing?
"When I'm writing TV scripts or comics, it's really important to describe the action and emotions very clearly to the artist who has to illustrate/animate it. I'll find myself acting out the movement (would she throw a brick at his head underarm or over-) and making funny faces as I work out the expressions.""


3.5 out of 5

http://writefasttheinterviews.blogspot.com/2011/08/lauren-beukes.html

The Nyarlathotep Event: Case File 6 Sweet Dreams - Jonathan Wood

"Some days I really get the vastness of the universe. I’m tiny. It’s big. I don’t matter. I get it.

Then, some days, you save the world—you know, for example you close an interdimentsional portal infecting the world with madness, kill an avatar of fear called Nyarlathotep when armed only with a bit of two-by-four—and you think the world should really pay more attention.

But no. Instead, Oxford remains a twisted fun house version of itself and the populace remains howling at the moon."


4.5 out of 5

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/08/the-nyarlathotep-event-by-jonathan-wood-case-file-6-sweet-dreams/

Catastrophe Baker and the Cold Equations - Mike Resnick

Catastrophe Baker and the Cold Equations - Mike Resnick
http://www.fortunecity.com/tattooine/farmer/2/Catastrophe.htm

Zenobia its going to be warm enough around here.


4 out of 5


Added audio version :-

http://traffic.libsyn.com/dunesteef/Dunesteef_108_Catastrophe_Baker_And_The_Cold_Equations_by_Mike_Resnick.mp3

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Nyarlathotep Event: Case File 4 Portal - Jonathan Wood

"Some days, I think, I really need to ask for a transfer. You get told you’re going into a department called MI37, and you think, oh that sounds cloak-and-dagger exciting. They charge you with defending the realm from all things supernatural and tentacle-y, and you think, well that could be exciting.

Then you find you find yourself in the middle of Christ Church College facing a pack of yellow-robed cultists standing around a bubbling rip in reality.

“Not good,” I say to Clyde, my equally up-shit-creek partner."


4.5 out of 5

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/07/the-nyarlathotep-event-by-jonathan-wood-case-file-4-portal/

Poets and the Prosaic - Richard Morgan

"‘I served a cause,’ Ringil said stiffly, sticking to the role. ‘I served my Emperor and defended my people. That was payment enough for me.’

The shaven-headed man nodded. ‘Yeah. And now you’re hunting bandits in a foreign land for fifty florins a pop.’

‘There’s no brawling in here,’ the clerk warned. ‘Start anything and your name comes off the list. That goes for you too, Klithren.’

The bounty hunter waved it off. ‘No one’s brawling, inkspurt. Just working men here, trading air and waiting on the names so we can get to work. Right, Shenshenath?’

Ringil nodded curtly, turned back to the desk. ‘About this sorcerer. Outside they’re saying he’s worth twenty-five thousand florins up in Trelayne.’"


4 out of 5

http://www.richardkmorgan.com/news/773/poets-and-the-prosaic/

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A Chat With - Vernor Vinge

"JOHN OTTINGER: How do you pronounce your last name? I heard somewhere that your last name rhymes with “Benji,” not “hinge,” but I don’t know that for a fact. I’ve always said it as V(h)inge. Am I off base?

VERNOR VINGE: I pronounce it as rhyming with the word “stingy.”

OTTINGER: Do you still think the Singularity will happen within 20-30 years? Why or why not?

VINGE: Barring catastrophes such as world nuclear war, I’d be surprised if the Technological Singularity hasn’t happened by 2030. The enabling technologies of computation and communication seem to be going like gangbusters. By the way, I think my 1993 essay, still does a good job of addressing many Singularity issues."


3 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/08/a-chat-with-vernor-vinge

Destiny - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Very Shifty.


3 out of 5

http://kriswrites.com/2011/08/01/free-fiction-monday-destiny/

Monday, August 01, 2011

Judge Dredd - 120 The Forever Crimes

Judge Dredd the Forever Crimes

Stasis intelligence corruption - so stasis wait for punishment.


4 out of 5

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/comics/2000adstrips/dredd/dredd01.shtml

Camera Obscured - Ferrett Steinmetz

Ranking, bee.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.theferrett.com/ferrettworks/stories/camera-obscured/

Under The Thumb Of The Brain Patrol - Ferrett Steinmetz

Dungeon actuarial test muscles Shoggoth boo-boo.


4 out of 5

http://www.theferrett.com/ferrettworks/stories/under-the-thumb-of-the-brain-patrol/

The Nyarlathotep Event: Case File 5 Nyarlathotep - Jonathan Wood

"In real life you face down a horde of angry cultists, close an interdimensional portal, high-five your spell-slinging partner, and then you find out there’s a seven-foot tall avatar of fear and chaos who’s all pissed about it and manifested behind you when you weren’t looking.

In real life this shit never ends."


4 out of 5

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/07/the-nyarlathotep-event-by-jonathan-wood-case-file-5-nyarlathotep/

Elegy For A Young Elk - Hannu Rajaniemi

With audio version :-

Booze, bears and quantum relatives plague.


4 out of 5

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/spring-2010/fiction-elegy-for-a-...

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/starshipsofa/StarShipSofa_No_199_Hannu_Rajanime.mp3

The Mark of Zorro Part 4 - Johnston McCulley

"Captain Ramon is caught executing a vicious revenge against the Pulido family. However, once Zorro has stopped this wanton cruelty, he is cornered by Sergeant Garcia's men inside the presidio. How will he escape?"


4.5 out of 5

http://traffic.libsyn.com/classictales/CT_220_Zorro_4of9.mp3