Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

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

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

Archive for the ‘Jon Hansen’ Category

Staff Disaster Plan #24

Friday, March 25th, 2011

This is Staff Disaster Plan #24: Giant Monster Attack. Although at first glance most people would say this is simply an expanded variation of Plan #23 (Monster Attack), planning for a giant monster attack more closely resembles planning for severe weather, such as a tornado or hurricane. For the purposes of this plan, a giant monster is a monster that is too large to enter a building without destroying it in the process.

When a warning for a giant monster has been given (meaning a giant monster has been spotted in the vicinity), you should immediately:

  • Evacuate to the lowest level of the building. Giant monsters typically smash the upper levels of buildings, as they are typically closest (there are always exceptions). It will also improve your chances of fleeing if the building is destroyed. Floor wardens should do a quick sweep of their floor to check for stragglers, but do not spend too much time on this. Your safety is important as well.
  • Avoid all windows. If you are near a window, you are likely visible from the outside and may attract the monster’s attention. Even if the monster is blind or does not see by terrestrial methods, flying and broken glass remains a serious hazard. Some floor wardens have reported that occasionally a person will insist on watching from a window because “they’ve never seen a giant monster before.” There is nothing you can do for these people except ask them to write their name somewhere on their torso.
  • If you are outdoors when a giant monster is sighted, you should immediately go inside the nearest building. Failing that, hide under or inside the largest object you can find. If there is no cover nearby, drop to the ground and curl up into as tight a ball as you can, then do not move. Do not make any noise. Try and minimize your breathing. Even if you think you have been seen, hold still. Many giant monsters rely on movement to track their prey. Get up and run only if you have no other choice.

Other emergency situations may arise as the result of a giant monster attack. Please refer to the appropriate plan as needed:

#1 (fire)
#4 (chemical spill)
#4a (poison gas)
#5 (earthquake)
#8 (flooding)
#13 (radiation leak)
#15 (virus/disease)
#19 (zombies/undead)
#20 (lycanthropy outbreak)
#23 (monster attack)
#27 (alien invasion)


Friday, February 25th, 2011

I never was a tea drinker.  Double espresso from the CoffeeTown drive thru every morning to the office.  But one morning the barista gave me the wrong order, and I found myself drinking tea.  And liking it.  So I started making my own.

It’s a simple process. Heat the water, add the tea, then wait.  I got an electric kettle that would heat the water for me.  Toss in a teabag of Lipton or Tetley, then I was good to go.  But after a while, I found myself wondering if it could be any better.

I spent some time in the tea section of Earth Organics, where a helpful young lady got me to drop the mass-produced stuff in favor of fair trade, loose organic teas from India, Japan, China. Made a few other changes. Told my boss at corporate to take a flying leap. I swapped the electric kettle to my neighbor for his battered old tea pot his ex-wife had left behind.  The water took longer to boil now, but I didn’t mind.  I felt more grounded.

Unfortunately, I bounced a couple checks at Earth Organics and the tea girl told me to go to hell.  I started getting my tea from a hole-in-the-wall bodega up the street, trading them stuff from my apartment.  The teas they carried had labels in languages that made my eyes cross if I tried to read them.  Some tasted like sunsets when you were twelve and in love, others like black licorice and a punch in the nose.  I liked those better.

It was about that time the gas got cut off.  Heating the water was tricky, until I picked up a pamphlet lying in the street.  Pyrokinesis Made Easy, it said, but it still took me staring at my kettle for three days, eyes unblinking, focusing until the water molecules finally began to heat.

The night I left my apartment for the last time I dreamed I floated upon a dark ocean that smelled of cloves and cinnamon while a voice like steam whispered a secret I could only half-understand.  Each night the dream came to me again, and again, and I understand it now.  I will walk until I find enough water to let my body steep in it, and I will become one with the infinite, one with the tea.

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