Plugs

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.

Recent books by David Kopaska-Merkel
Nursery Rhyme Noir (fiction) 978-09821068-3-9
Night Ship to Never (poetry, with Kendall Evans) 978-0-9821352-3-5

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.

Sometimes when the wind picks up I miss my hometown. It’s the way the windchimes clatter and ring; they sound like the drowned bells of my home. I think then about how I never noticed the taste of salt until it was gone from my mouth.

Air is all right. I manage—there’s a way to still your gills with spells. Feet and tails aren’t so different; it’s easy to change from one to the other. And love, while not a simple matter, is still reason enough to remain. I gave up mermaidhood for her.

Her drunk friends at the palace on the shore dared her to go down to the water and call for a lover. They were all at her engagement party, stealing bottles of wine while their parents celebrated the coming union of Princess Madeline, 16, to Prince Bertram, 21. She’d never met him. He’d sent his portrait, and the original was traveling by slow nuptial progress through the kingdom. He was six carriage-stops away by the time she was two bottles in, stumbling down the rocky path ahead of their shouts.

She took off her shoes halfway down, I remember that. I watched from a rock out from shore, ignoring the songs and shouts bubbling up through the waves.

“Go on, Dauphine,” my friends had said, “Go to the rock and call for a lover. You don’t want that old prince anyway—he’s probably got a tail like a trout.”

I worried that she would cut her feet on the rocks, before I remembered that she had climbed down this cliff hundreds of times. I had seen her before. Maybe she had seen me. She came to lip of the water and pressed her toes into the foam.

I watched her for a while, while she stared out across the water. When I swam up she didn’t look the least afraid.

“I haven’t called yet,” she said, as if we already knew each other.

“I know,” I said. “My name is Princess Dauphine.”

I swam along the shore in the breakers; she ran along the shining edge; we went round the point of the bay; we went on and on; after many stories we wound up here, in our shack on the inland road, with wind chimes, a simple life, the occasional argument, plums from the orchard. Air is not so hard.

When I woke the next morning, sunlight was stretching up the coverlet toward where I lay with ma belle. Only yesterday evening had she first said she loved me. Then she nearly dragged me into the bedroom, where she did a good job of proving it. In the end, it didn’t matter to her that I was covered with coarse hair, that I had the face of some indescribable forest beast.

As I drowsed there, contented, I caught a glimpse of my own bare arm. My bare arm. The curse had been lifted! I was transformed! And ma belle really did love me!

Cherie!” I whispered, “Ma belle, ma petite chou! Wake up! Look!”

She stretched and languidly opened her eyes, the tips of her eyelashes catching a ray of sunlight, her hair pooling around her face like liquid gold. Then she blinked. Then she sat up, pulling the coverlet around her.

“Who are you?” she shouted, terrified. “Ma bête! Aides-moi!

Ma belle, it’s me!” I crowed. “Human again! Your love has broken the curse!”

She stared at me for a long time. I pushed the bedclothes away. She studied me closely, her gaze pausing here and there.

Finally she said, “You’re a little short.”

A miracle, and her first response is that I’m short? “You can’t expect me to be the same size I was as a beast,” I mumbled. “Anyway, I’m nearly as tall as you are.” Because ma belle is tall; there’s no getting around that. But at least I was human!

“Well, this is wonderful,” she said weakly. “Now I can return to my family, I guess.”

“What? No … no! You should marry me … come back to my kingdom …”

She gave a sad kind of half-smile, and the thing I’d begun to fear was clearly shown in her face: her love for me was gone; all that was left was pity.

She didn’t have to say a word to confirm it. I could feel my face stretching into a muzzle, the coarse hair growing out of my skin again. Her eyes opened wide, watching in amazement as I transformed. When I was done, there were tears in her eyes.

Ma bête!” she gasped, and her eyes were filled with love again. She’d probably make me human again by lunchtime–and if I was lucky, again by midnight. I smiled a slow, feral smile … and pounced.

Rain fell in buckets. Laura watched from the safety of TexBank’s reinforced windows, glad she’d stepped in to cash her paycheck.

The smallest buckets were barely larger than thimbles, and bounced high when they hit the pavement. Larger ones, some as big as wine casks, split and splashed water for yards around.

Shop windows shattered, cars were crushed, and people were struck down. Laura gasped as a pedestrian running for the bank was hit by a bucket the size of a coffee cup. The man went down, dazed, then scrambled to his feet and dove for the entrance. An immense vat cannoned into the sidewalk behind him as the security guard yanked him into the air-conditioned bank.

The injured man collapsed into a seat near Laura. He regarded the downpour. “I hear a weatherman’s to blame,” he said. “Two weeks ago it was ‘raining cats and dogs’, then last week we had ‘pea soup fog’. Now this.”

“Those poor people,” said Laura. “Flattened by figures of speech.”

A sudden wind pulled at the bank’s front door. The security guard hauled at it. “What’s next?” he said. “Pennies from heaven?”

The window bowed out, and Laura put a palm to it. It was getting colder by the second. She looked up.

Lightning split the sky open.

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