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).

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

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

Ruined childhoods

by Jonathan Wood

AUTHOR’S NOTE: It’s been a long bloody week. You have been warned.

There is no Santa.

Sleeping Beauty.  The medieval inability to diagnose narcolepsy.  You do the math.

Think about Cinderella.  Think about Anna Nicole Smith.  Think about how you just  thought about the same story twice.

A woman shows up promising you can go to the ball if only you complete several bizarre tasks for her first.  Fairy godmother or spam e-mailer?

Did Jack’s magic beans grow a magic beanstalk to a magic castle and magic gold, or did his mother sell him into slavery and  lie about where she got the cash?  Seriously?

A prince being able to take Snow White’s corpse out of its coffin and take it back to his castle for a “happy ending” simply highlights the fact that the only difference between madness and eccentricity is


“Once upon a time..” was your mother pushing you out into the world with a scream and prayer.  All the fairy tales got right is the big bad wolf.  There is no fairy godmother, no prophecy, no destiny.  All you have is yourself, and the people you can con, cajole or genuinely charm into accompanying you along the way.  It’s up to you to live happily ever after.

Sweet dreams.  Sleep tight.

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