Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

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

Trent Walters, poetry editor at A&A, has a chapbook, Learning the Ropes, from Morpo Press.

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

Archive for December, 2010

Twice Nine Reasons to Return

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

1. The houseboat in the river district, full of mementos of a long life.

2. The morning chaos of the market street.

3. The omnipresent icy light here in the dimension of misplaced djinn, so cold, so piercingly bright.

4. The quiet of the reading rooms in the Great Library.

5. The taste of fresh coffee.

6. The terms of the bargain, which seem, the more that you reflect on them (and what else is there to do in this place?) unfair.

7. The bonus wish you’re sure the djinni promised if you went along with the body swap.

8. The smell of fresh coffee.

9. That it wasn’t exactly a swap, since you were the only one with an actual body.

10. The taste or smell of anything.

11. Summer evenings on the roof of your brother’s house, looking out over the smoky, jagged cityscape horizon.

12. The way your nose itches even though you must be a roiling cloud of sourceless fire like the djinni was, and therefore lacking either a nose or anything to scratch it with.

13. The quiet back corner of the café into which you once fled to escape a downpour of winter rain, but could never find again later.

14. All the things you don’t remember regretting when you gave them up for a scholar’s life–a wife, family, a quiet life untainted by forbidden knowledge–that you realize now you do regret.

15. A song you heard in that café, the refrain of which keeps running through your mind.

16. Your mind which, although increased and expanded by having been translated into this fiery form, is still caught up in things like café songs you haven’t heard in a dozen years.

17. All the things that ancient and regretless being could be doing, right now, in your body, or rather the body that had been yours.

18. The likelihood, small, but worth pursuing, that someone else in this place is willing to make a bargain that will take you back to the world and life you traded away–all your accumulated secret knowledge must be worth something to the inhabitants of this in-between zone.

Daft Tales

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

“Rumpelstiltskin. Final answer.”

When the Princess married the pirate Bluebeard, he warned her never ever to open a certain door. And she didn’t.

“A Kevlar sock?” said Achilles. “Cool!”

Witches proving to be a more durable building material than gingerbread, Hansel and Gretel were soon millionaire contractors with ties to the Mafia.

“My, what a big schlong you have, Grandmother,” Red Riding Hood said, triggering the proofreader’s seizure.

When Paul Bunyan was born, he weighed a hundred pounds. Oh, his poor, poor mother.

“Go ahead,” said Lot to his wife. “Look back. See if I care.” So of course she didn’t.

That night, the lion caught the soon-to-be-late mouse sticking thorns into the paws of the rest of his pride.

“I’m going to have to let all of you go. There are elves willing to work cheaper in a sweatshop overseas.”

The princess tossed; the princess turned. Finally she rolled off the soaring stack of mattresses and broke her neck.

“Here is my curse. On her eighteenth birthday she will prick her finger on an iPod headphone jack and die.”

And when the cat said, “A cat may look upon a king,” he was burned as a witch’s familiar.

“First wish, bring me every other item or being capable of granting wishes, with complete instructions.”

To pass the Sirens, Odysseus was tied to the mast while his men put melted beeswax in their ears. After a trip to the emergency room, his men were treated and released.

“Frogs legs! We eat tonight,” said the princess.

When Babe the Blue Ox was born, his mother exploded.

Someone’s been sleeping in my bed. And she tasted just right.

He wasn’t even a very pretty swan.

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