Plugs

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.

Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

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 the ‘Authors’ Category

Full Stop

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Revolutions just aren’t what they used to be. Technology improves, timelines shrink, we all forget this shit used to take years – even decades. Now it happens between status updates. Because of status updates.

Today started like any other. Get up, check the news streams, stock prices, send the standard series of trend analysis bots out to look for anomalies. Make some coffee and send adjustment bots out on triage missions.

A small worker uprising in Kuala Lumpur could affect tin supplies. Rez an entire colony of small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri into the middle of Tokyo and use the power of cute to distract. Tweak and reassess, tweak and reassess. It’s what I did. What we all did. Trust me, things are more connected than they seem.

First – about noon today – they came for the stand-up comedians, and I didn’t speak out. Radio and talk-show hosts, late-night TV hosts, even fringe webshow hosts. I’m all for a funny one-liner, but it’s not like entertainment would be a barren wasteland without these guys, right?

Never underestimate funny or the power of funny to keep the mind distracted.

A few hours later they came for the small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri, and I didn’t say anything. I watched the live streams from their death camps, thousands upon thousands of the little guys tossed into fires, burned alive. But, I mean, who gives a fuck? They’re just small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri, after all. Aren’t they?

Never underestimate the power of cute or the removal of cute from society.

And around dinner time they came for me, and found a husk of a man, sitting in his chair, eyes fixed on walls of data. I’d been gone a long, long time by then. There was no one left to speak for me.

But the revolution can’t end when they can’t find you. When you’re distributed. When you’re everywhere.

In the age of the internet, nothing ever really goes away.

Magic Shake

Friday, April 1st, 2011

John knew them all: the giant grasshopper, the amoeba with floating brains, the child-sized ones with big heads and even bigger eyes. This one looked like a lobster with the head of a horse; no more or less bizarre than many of the others. It must have been the expression. All the rest, the ones with faces anyway, smiled all the time.

The horse lobster kicked a rusty can out of its way and squatted, knees far above its head. “Why do you do it?”

“Excuse me?” John took a swig of Magic Shake. All of a sudden he didn’t want it, and spat into the fire, which hissed and flared green.

HL waved its arm, as if to take in everything around them: the desolate camp, the ruins of Miami, the ruins of the whole human race.

John raised his bottle. “Here’s to rescue from ourselves. Perfect nutrition, a taste you can neither become addicted to nor tired of, something in the air I suppose that vastly reduces human fertility, and our 10,000-year effort to wipe ourselves out is stymied. Our rescuers could have demanded anything, but instead they demand nothing. Because they demand nothing, we produce nothing. So the question, ‘Is Nothing sacred?’ has been answered in the affirmative.” He threw the bottle into the fire, with another fluorescent emerald response.

HL shrugged.

“Your species is bisexual,” the creature said. “You should have a mate. Instead, relieved of the threat of violence or want, you have practically nothing. Why? What happened to the civilization that had almost made it to the stars?”

“I had a partner. Although I think you mean that my species has two genders. Bisexual means something different. I had a partner. He’s gone. He couldn’t take freedom. Couldn’t cope like I can.”

The HL seemed to nod. “Those busybodies go everywhere, bring their technology, makes everything so easy. What it doesn’t do is give you access to the things they don’t know. The places you could contribute. There are such places. There are such things. My group tries to warn young races to stay away from that debilitating drug.” HL pointed at the fire, where the plastic bottle stubbornly refused to burn or melt.

“Similar things happened when human cultures met. We should have known. So. How long will it take to recover from this mess?”

“It’s a process,” HL said.

End

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