Plugs

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 Fischer has a story appearing in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again.

Jonathan Wood’s story “Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle” from Electric Velocipede 15/16 is available online.

In the Troll Market

by Rudi Dornemann

The job was just annoying. In spite of all the things Miranda remembered about the year she’d spent here as a kid, somehow she’d forgotten the cold.

Now Riggs, the lead singer, wanted a certain sound from a David Bowie song. Couldn’t remember which one. So Miranda raided every used record store the guys from the studio could name, collected LPs, singles, Japanese-only picture disks… Somehow, this was part of the recording engineer’s job. She played them over the mixing room speakers, while Riggs drank and did crossword puzzles, badly, in pen.

Space Oddity.

“Yeah, that’s right,” said Riggs, “Thought it had spacemen or astronauts.”

He could have saved her days of effort if he’d just said that. All she said was, “It’s a Moog.”

Could she find one? asked the producer.

It took a week of asking, begging, and, at one point, recording and mixing a boys’ school choir for free to get information, but she found one. Turned out the owner both knew Miranda’s father and loved Rigg’s records.

Took another week to move, set up, tune, tweak, and generally fix it.

“No, not that sound,” said Riggs, “that little needly-needly-zuzz bit right there.”

“Stylophone,” said Miranda. “Little gadget you play by touching a pen on a wire to a metal plate keyboard to complete the circuit.” Hadn’t been made since the 60’s. In a city on an island in the arctic, it was sure to be even harder to find than the Moog.

She went to the markets, literally underground, in the now-roofed-over valleys between the mountains upon which the city was built. The troll markets, where you could find anything.

But there was too much, so she went to Arduhl, who’d been her father’s assistant twenty years before, and, she remembered, his engineer. He sent her to a man who never left his basement flat, but knew every detail of what came and went through the markets with a trainspotter’s mania for detail.

“There’s a couple of them,” said the basement guy. “I know where. But in return, you have to tell me something I don’t know. About the markets.”

She set up her Nagra under a seller’s booth, recorded 24 hours of market sounds, brought a stack of reel-to-reel tapes to the basement.

His eyes were moist as he shoved a crumpled paper into her hand and shooed her out.

The stylus wire was loose, but she fixed that. And if it gave Riggs a little shock with every note, well, she couldn’t fix everything.


For the curious, a Stylophone demo video .

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.