Plugs

For a minute there, Tom thought he smelled something burning, but then the phone rang, and he muted the YouTube video and picked up.

“TotalCast Cable, this is Tom,” he said, tilting his head to see the contortionist in the video better. “How may I help you today?”

The person on the other end of the line asked something about local hours in Vermont.

“Your call is important to us,” he said. “First, can you give me your address?”

The other person complained that Tom didn’t need her address: a troublemaker. Tom hated these people.

“I need your address to find your closest local office,” he said patiently.

The other person gave the exact address of the closest local office and repeated, as though Tom hadn’t heard the first time, that all she needed was when they opened Saturday.

“Yes, but I need your address to be able to tell you about special offers in your area.”

The person yammered on about having already closed their account, blah blah blah. Tom brought up the hours of that local office on the screen just for his own amusement, then closed it. The contortionist video had finished, but there was a link to an X-Rated contortionist site. Tom clicked on it.

“I can try to look it up without your address, but it may take a while,” Tom said. There were two contortionists in this video, and one of them was a redhead. “While you’re waiting, let me tell you about some of the new features available in your area.” Without waiting, he started doing that while the customer tried to protest, talking over him. Then, suddenly, the room went dark.

“That will be plenty, thank you,” said a grating voice that was so loud it hurt his ears. The computer was gone, and the room he was in, and the light had gone dull red. Realization flooded back in on him.

“No, let me try again!” he shrieked. “I promise I’ll do better! I promise!” He reeled away, but the demon grabbed him by the scruff of the throat and dragged him along the gritty black rock toward the Door.

 “Don’t worry. You can try again in another hundred years,” said the demon. He patted Tom on the head, and a patch of skin on Tom’s scalp burned away at the acid touch. “I’m sure you’ll get it eventually.”

Kat Beyer
Kat BeyerWhen Kat Beyer lost the use of her hands in 1999, she decided that shouldn’t stop her. She writes with speech software, and her hands have healed enough to paint. She has published with Circlet Press, Strange Horizons, and others. Check out her website, complete with gallery, links to writings, favorite single malt scotch, and “Wasabi for the mind, ” at www.katspaw.com.

 

Ken Brady

Ken BradyKen is multiple kinds of geek: writing, film making, virtual worlds, video games, music, cars, motorcycles, and computers. His publications include Analog, Writers of the Future, Strange Horizons, Talebones, Darker Matter, Fortean Bureau, Ideomancer, Weird Tales, Midnight Street, Modern Magic, The William and Mary Review, Rosebud, Science Fiction World, Exquisite Corpuscle, and others. He’s also sold some stage plays, a screenplay, and produced an award-winning feature film. There are rumors he may be making more films soon.

He lives in Tokyo with his wife, Yuki – a manga artist — and runs a company that creates virtual world and social media strategies. Sometimes, people force him to speak at conferences.

His website is irregularly updated. Someone should really do something about this, don’t you think? Alternately, you can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Quillpill, LinkedIn, Naymz, and occasionally MySpace and Friendster.
Daniel Braum

Daniel BraumDaniel Braum likes his fiction to take him to places on the edge of civilization, or anywhere near or far where the darkness needs a little light or vice versa. His stories often blur the lines between genres, most of the time unintentionally. His short stories can be found in print in places such as Cemetery Dance, Electric Velocipede, and Full Unit Hook Up and online at sites such as the Fortean Bureau, Abyss and Apex, and Dark Recesses. He is very happy to be in such good company with the diverse and talented authors here at the Cabal. He is currently shopping for a publisher for his first novel, a supernatural thriller set in Central America. Visit him at www.danielbraum.com and www.livejournal.com/danielbraum.

Rudi Dornemann

Rudi DornemannWhat we know of the Rudi Dornemann has come has been passed down through the generations of storytellers, from father to son and from mother to daughter since the days before the Dark Times. The tale-tellers speak of how the Rudi’s fiction appeared in various magazines, some of which were fashioned from the skins of ancient creatures called trees, others of which were made of a more ethereal substance — some chronicles speak of webs, others of vast systems of tubes. The names of these magazines have come down to us like the words of some incantation — Behind the Wainscot, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, The Fortean Bureau, Flytrap, Ideomancer/, Rabid Transit: Menagerie, and others. Some of the legends tell of the Rudi’s home in a place called “Maine”– an Atlantis-like locale said to be located somewhere off the coast of Vermont. A few of the tales relate that he had a thing called a website and others speak of his blog.

Jason Fischer
Jason FischerJason Fischer is based in Adelaide, South Australia. He is a graduate of the 2007 Clarion South workshop, and a recent finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. He has a story in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again, and forthcoming stories appearing in Aurealis Magazine and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. Jason likes anything to do with zombies or post-apocalyptic settings, and when he’s not writing he wishes he was. He can be found lurking in internetland at jasoni.livejournal.com

Sara Genge

Sara GengeSara Genge lives in Madrid, Spain. She writes speculative fiction aided and abetted by a coven of friends and female relatives. She’s walked the Camino de Santiago and spent a year as a foreign exchange student in Paris. Sara even saw a gnome once, but it was after a week of sleep deprivation and sixteen hours of studying, so she’s not sure if it wore a pointed red hat or not. Her blog is regularly updated.

David C. Kopaska-Merkel

David C. Kopska-MerkelDavid C. Kopaska-Merkel was born in Charlottesville Virginia in 1872. He attended Redhill school until the fourth grade, but dropped out after only 18 years without completing high school. He took to electronics like a duck to water, once the field was invented, and quickly developed a machine that allowed him to become his own great-great-grandfather. He later tried his hand at fiction but, realistically, it was too unbelievable. So he became a ghostwriter for scientific reports. In his spare time he specializes in yak pedicures and appraisals of stuffed marmots. He lives in a quarter million dollar condo a half a block from the railroad tracks, with a flock of seagulls and a couple of minor inconveniences.

Jason Erik Lundberg

Jason Erik LundbergJason Erik Lundberg is an American expatriate living in Singapore, and the author of The Time Traveler’s Son (2008), Four Seasons in One Day (2003, with Janet Chui), and over forty articles and short stories; he is also the co-editor of Scattered, Covered, Smothered (2004) and A Field Guide to Surreal Botany (2008). His solo work has most recently appeared (or will soon) in Polyphony 7, Subterranean Magazine, Sybil’s Garage, Farrago’s Wainscot, Hot Metal Bridge, and other groovy venues. His short fiction has been honorably mentioned in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, nominated for the SLF Fountain Award, and shortlisted for the Brenda L. Smart Award for Short Fiction. With Janet Chui, Lundberg runs Two Cranes Press, an independent publishing atelier. A graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop and the Creative Writing Master’s program at North Carolina State University, he now teaches English and creative writing at Hwa Chong Institution. His website and blog can be found at jasonlundberg.net.

Susannah Mandel

SusannahSusannah Mandel enjoys poetry, bicycling, comic books, movies, languages, and landscapes — in fact with the proper priming she can enjoy just about anything. She is especially hot on science fiction, and looking at things. Susannah has degrees in English literature and media studies (and it may not be over yet), and has worked in research, editing, translation, teaching and linguistics. After time in northern California, Boston, and the north of France, she now lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She publishes a regular column at Strange Horizons about the fantastic in classic literature.
Alex Dally MacFarlane
AlexAlex Dally MacFarlane has been writing ever since the discovery of computer games made her think that if stories could be found on a 32-bit cartridge, why not in the mind of an eleven-year-old girl? Now she works just outside London, England, proof-reading military specifications. Her short fiction has sold to magazines including Shimmer, Sybil’s Garage and Farrago’s Wainscot, and she guest-edited the Five Senses issue of Behind the Wainscot. Visit her at http://alankria.livejournal.com.

Luc Reid

Luc ReidLuc Reid is a past winner of the Writers of the Future Contest and the founder of the online neo-pro writers group Codex. His first book, Talk the Talk: The Slang of 65 American Subcultures was published in 2006. He created and writes for a site with practical articles about how self-motivation works called The Willpower Engine and recently completed a free-to-copy eBook on writing motivation called The Writing Engine: A Practical Guide to Writing Motivation. Luc lives in Williston, Vermont. His Web site is www.lucreid.com.

Angela Slatter

AngelaAngela Slatter is a Brisbane-based writer, schlepping her way through life. Her short fiction has appeared in places such as Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Shimmer, The Lifted Brow, Strange Tales II, 2012, Crimson Highway, Dreaming Again and a few small disreputable bars in London. She likes fairytales and thinks the creepier they are, the better. She is working on a couple of novels, but the one taking her time at the moment is set in Jerusalem during the last years of the Crusader Kingdom – it’s always 1187 in her head.

Jeremiah Tolbert

Jeremiah TolbertJeremiah Tolbert is a web designer, photographer, and writer living in Fort Collins, Colorado. His stories have appeared in Interzone, Ideomancer, Polyphony 4, and All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories. He is responsible for the design and maintenance of the Daily Cabal site, so if anything goes wrong, you know who to blame. He blogs on photography, science news, and more at his website.

Edd Vick

Edd VickEdd Vick, the son of a pirate father and a baking mogul mother, is a 2002 graduate of the Clarion SF Writing Workshop. He has had several stories published in Asimov’s SF Magazine. Other magazines to publish his work include Electric Velocipede, Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe, and Jim Baen’s Universe. Anthologies with stories by Edd include Fundamentally Challenged, Distant Planes, and Northwest Passages. He lives in Seattle with SF novelist Amy Thomson and their adopted daughter Katie. Visit him at eddvick.livejournal.com.

Trent Walters

Trent WaltersTrent makes his living taking drugs for the DEA. Unlike most Americans, he walks to work every day with a spring in his step. His work appeared in The Golden Age SF anthology, Electric Velocipede, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and BSFA’s Vector. Online work can be found at 3am Magazine, The Angler, EOTU, Lamination Colony, Pindledyboz, Vacancy (audio). Forthcoming are works in Full Unit Hookup, Grendelsong, Legends of the Mountain State, Triangulation, and Visual Journeys. Also forthcoming from Morpo Press, a poetry chapbook called Learning the Ropes. He is the poetry editor of Abyss and Apex.

Jonathan Wood

Jonathan Wood is an Englishman in New York. He writes odd little things that show up in odd little places, like Weird Tales, Fantasy Magazine, Farrago’s Wainscot, and Behind the Wainscot. It’s also forthcoming in Chizine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and several anthologies, including Crawlspace: The Best of Farrago’s Wainscot, and Hatter Bones.

INTERIOR, ONE OF THE INNUMERABLE CORRIDORS IN THE BONOBO KING’S SECRET SUBTERRANEAN LAIR

THE BONOBO KING, a chimpanzee in an expensive Italian suit, sans shoes, walks down the hallway, accompanied by two of his associates: DR MANDRILL, a blue-faced, red-nosed monkey in a white lab coat and HENCH, a shaggy gigantopithecus in stained overalls.

BONOBO KING: Brilliant work, Dr. Mandrill. The anti-gravity suit worked exactly as you said it would. Like being lifted up by the hands of angels. Perfect.

MANDRILL: Thank you, my liege. I trust the baby-bot and zombirazzi performed as expected?

BONOBO KING: They seem to have worked splendidly. After all, Hench got in and out of Fort Knox without any interference by the annoying Ms. Rook. Didn’t you, Hench?

HENCH: In-got.

MANDRILL: If it pleases your excellency, I have a boon to ask.

BONOBO KING: Ask away.

[They enter A GRAND DINING ROOM furnished in gold-crusted Louis XVI furniture.]

MANDRILL: From now on, I would like to be known as “Zaius.”

BONOBO KING [peeling a grape with his toes]: Zaius?

HENCH: Zay-us.

MANDRILL: Zaius.

BONOBO KING [through mouthful of pomegranate]: That’s ridiculous. Your name is Oscar. [Spits seeds.] It’s a perfectly nice name.

HENCH: Oss-car.

MANDRILL: But Zaius just sounds so much more…

[The Bobobo King gnaws on a pineapple.]

MANDRILL: …scientific.

BONOBO KING: Pfaugh! We’ve talked about this before. How those Planet of the Apes movies systematically misrepresent the glories of the coming pan-simian age…

MANDRILL: Isn’t it funny how “pan-simian” starts with the name of your genus.

[The Bonobo King freezes, his teeth just sinking into a kumquat, and stares coldly at his chief scientist.]

BONOBO KING: Exactly what part of “king” is it that you don’t understand, Oscar?

[Dr. Mandrill manages to return the stare for a few seconds before faltering and looking away.]

MANDRILL [quaveringly]: My apologies. I forgot myself.

BONOBO KING: Take that tone with me again, and I’ll ask that Gibbon sisters make sure that everyone else forgets you as well.

[Dr. Mandrill falls groveling at the king's feet.]

HENCH: Pan-sim. I…

[His expression suggests he's forgotten what he's going to say next.]

BONOBO KING: Come on– [Burps.] Haven’t you got some new and even more nefarious devices to demonstrate? I believe you mentioned something about a giant robot that transforms into a robot giant?

MANDRILL: Oh, yes. I’ve worked up a few things I think you’ll enjoy quite a bit. And Parthenia Rook won’t enjoy at all. Heh. Heh-heh.

BONOBO KING: HA!

MANDRILL [maniacally]: Eee-hee, eee-hee, hee-hee-heeeeee!

HENCH [uncertainly]: HEH.

BONOBO KING [diabolically]: MWAHAHAHAA!

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Rucker:

As you may be aware, Santa Clara County is conducting a series of above-ground atomic bomb tests in our effort to defend ourselves against the invasion of forces from San Francisco. These tests began two years ago when Oakland destroyed the Bay Bridge and San Francisco’s navy proved unequal to mounting an assault across San Francisco Bay. San Francisco then turned their attention south toward San Jose, provoking our military to explore the nuclear defense option. After considering many factors including environmental, strategic, economic, and impact on residents, the site selection committee has chosen the 5200 block of Merit Avenue as the best candidate site.

This letter is to inform you that your house (identified as Tax Parcel No. 5480035017) was chosen as the site of the test. The County of Santa Clara, California hereby claims your property under the right of eminent domain so that this test may be conducted.

The County of Santa Clara will reimburse your family the current tax assessed value of your home and reasonable moving expenses if you choose to remain in the county. We anticipate that you will have questions about this purchase, and will be pleased to discuss the particulars with you. Ms. Beverley Allele will be your point of contact with Santa Clara County, and can be reached at the number below.

By the way, should you choose to remain within the city of San Jose, we recommend you avoid North Loganberry Way.

Yours truly,

Leopold Budden

County Assessor’s Office

Archive for the ‘Jason Erik Lundberg’ Category

Auto Draft

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Auto Draft

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

« Older Posts |