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

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.

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

Archive for February, 2011

Love Gun

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Cupid’s got himself a chopper. He fancies himself quite the slaughterer of indifference. “Pow!” and movie star falls for waitress. “Kchow,” and billionaire clothing designer finds chauffeur irresistible. ‘Pada-ching!” a ricochet and there’s a three-way for a nun, an opera singer, and some unemployed douche from Passaic.

It’s a Heckler & Koch MP5 with a billion-round magazine adapted for tiny little magical arrows. It’s taller than he is, but he swings it around like he’s been carrying for ten thousand years. It’s got a sight, but that’s not how Cupid rolls. He’s more of a shoot-from-the-hip kinda god.

“Looka me!” he crows, and puts the thing on full auto. A year later the world’s population almost doubles, a lot of people and I do mean a lot die in the next few years, and Cupid finds himself on the wrong end of a scolding.

But that’s all in a day’s work for the Love Assassin.

Breakfast World

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Pancake Land was better than Bacon Land. Bacon Land! Oh my god, the lakes of boiling fat, the stench. Wilson used to like bacon. Bacon sandwiches were listed as his favorite meal on his Facebook page, for god’s sake. Now, he hoped he would never have to eat or even smell it again. They had finally reached the portal in Bacon Land and passed through to find themselves still on Breakfast World.

In Pancake Land it was the sinkholes. The ones that had already popped meant a long, weary trek around a hemispherical hole. Some were miles in diameter. If you fell into one, it might be possible to climb out. The rough surfaces provided plenty of handholds. Might be possible, were the sinkholes not tenanted.

One of the clones had stood too close, peering into one of the first they found, and the edge had given way. The clone had made it about halfway back up the wall (the sinkhole was a small one) when something caught hold of his leg. The clone had struggled for a moment, then abruptly stopped moving and, a few moments later, simply melted into the surface. Soon there was no sign the clone had ever been there.

Nascent holes were much more dangerous. They were concealed under subtle domes in the irregular pancake surface. The bigger the cavity underneath, the gentler the slope above. Newly popped sinkholes were already occupied, but their deadly tenants (whatever they were) were slow to react. One member of the party made it out alive from the second breakthrough, though she left part of her foot behind. It took two more breakthroughs and more loss of life before the survivors realized that the caps were springier than other parts of the pancake surface.

As they toiled on toward the next portal they encountered fresh horrors: steaming rivers of molten butter; a viscous red fluid that pursued them relentlessly until they managed to trick it into a tremendous sinkhole; and fantastical white mountains that were so unstable a heavy footfall could unleash a deadly cream flow.

Finally, the portal was in sight. Its eldritch glow was by now so familiar the pulsing arch seemed like home. Wilson broke into a run, but stopped abruptly when Jordan screamed. She screamed and screamed, pointing at the sky. Wilson looked up. His voice joined hers as gigantic metal pillars plunged toward them.

“The Diner! By all that’s holy, the Diner cometh!”


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