Kat Beyer’s Cabal story “A Change In Government” has been nominated for a BSFA award for best short fiction.

David Kopaska-Merkel’s book of humorous noir fiction based on nursery rhymes, Nursery Rhyme Noir 978-09821068-3-9, is sold at the Genre Mall. Other new books include The zSimian Transcript (Cyberwizard Productions) and Brushfires (Sams Dot Publishing).

Jason Erik Lundberg‘s fiction is forthcoming from Subterranean Magazine and Polyphony 7.

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

A Brief Guide to the Windiest City

by AlexM

Remember, first of all, that this is no ordinary city. The wind has teeth and they bite exposed flesh — cover up, plan your route to minimise time spent outdoors, accept the inevitability that the clever wind will find its way to your wrists and cheeks.

The main attraction is the prison, a construction of stone and exquisitely painted wood that funnels the wind into a series of passageways. A century ago, prisoners were chained there, tormented for as long as their crime — or the need for information — dictated. Now, tourists gasp at the chain-stumps and shriek when the wind sneaks up their sleeves.

It is a unique experience. No visit is complete without at least an hour there.

Opinions are divided on whether you should do this first of all, or save it until last so that the rest of your stay is not as painful. However, this latter option means you might have accumulated too much pain from the preceding days and find the prison almost as torturous as its inmates did.
We recommend seeing it first. Overleaf, see a map showing the safest passageways, as agreed upon by our team of independent travellers.

Other major sights include the moaning bridge, the museum, the art gallery (the often surreal depictions of the wind on the second floor are excellent) and, of course, the palace.

Much of the former rulers’ home is in ruin, after the uprising of 1904 and the end of the city-state’s independence, but the preserved parts are worth viewing: throne hall, with spectacular granite thrones; various tiled floors; enough intact walls to give an impression of the shape; and, most eerie of all things in this city, fallen pieces of the wooden roof. Bite-grooves from centuries of wind flowing over the palace are boldly visible. No other buildings are made of wood in these times.

A favourite cultural experience is the basement club, where the city’s youth remove their armoured clothing and dance. Their pale skin, sluiced with the clever wind’s marks, is unsettlingly beautiful: their wrists, ankles and faces seem the epicentres of strange white and red jewellery. A few visitors consider the dancers’ ages, usually in the 20s, and wonder at the appearance of their grandparents.

It is a mostly cheap city, although we recommend paying extra for a thoroughly insulated hotel. Evzen Hotel is good. The following restaurants are especially fine: Damek’s, Vaclav Grillhouse, The Wind-Sliced Rabbit.

Some risk-takers skimp on clothing, to “experience the true city”. Do not copy them.

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