Susannah Mandel’s short story “The Monkey and the Butterfly” is in Shimmer #11. She also has poems in the current issues of Sybil’s Garage, Goblin Fruit, and Peter Parasol.

Angela Slatter’s story ‘Frozen’ will appear in the December 09 issue of Doorways Magazine, and ‘The Girl with No Hands’ will appear in the next issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

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

Alex Dally MacFarlane’s story “The Devonshire Arms” is available online at Clarkesworld.

Ike Turnbull Answers ‘Rabbiless in Renton’

by Luc Reid

Uncanny Pittsburgh welcomes new columnist Ike Turnbull, who will answer questions from uncanny people just like you on life, love, and self-actualization.

Dear Ike,

I’m a golem who’s been having trouble with my rabbi. When I was first created, he ranted to me and gave me orders all the time. It was like a dream. But I think he’s just tired of me now. He never sends me to defend anything or gives me new prayer scrolls any more. I hate myself for suspecting this, but I think he might be getting mixed up in ouija boarding. What can I do?

Rabbiless in Renton

Dear Rabbiless,

Don’t guess at what your Rabbi might be thinking: talk to him. Maybe he has concerns he doesn’t think he can tell you about. Create a safe environment for him to share his feelings. If you want to know if he’s using a ouija board, ask him. If he is, help him understand that he has a problem, but that there is help. Courting random spirits with an upside-down tumbler just isn’t what healthy people do. There are safe facilities where he can go that will help him understand why ghostly manipulation of the alphabet isn’t the answer, and that can help him transition back to a normal life through substitutes like touchpad finger painting and air hockey.

But if ouija boarding isn’t the problem, ask yourself frankly what your role has been in the relationship. Do you stand silently awaiting his orders for months or years as necessary? If not, why not? Have you killed anyone for him lately? Sometimes all a golem-Rabbi relationship needs to perk up is the destruction of someone truly evil. Try to think about both your needs and his needs. How can you work together so that everyone feels fulfilled?

And this doesn’t relate to your question, but golem friends of mine always tell me to recommend cocoa butter. Apparently it keeps your clay as fresh and malleable as the day you were wakened, even in hot sun. Just a handy tip.


Ike Turnbull is the author of Women are from Venus, Vampires are from Hell and How to Cope With Your Poltergeist. He welcomes questions from readers of Uncanny Pittsburgh and in comments on its sister publication, The Daily Cabal.

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