Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31

"Would you take off that stupid mask?  Honestly, it's barely breakfast."

"No."  Leo's voice was muffled under the hideous rubbery face.  "I like it."

Cynthia shuddered and gathered up her dishes.  "It gives me the creeps."  She paused over the sink.  "I know what this is.  I've seen movies.  You're going to take the mask off and it'll be the same monster face underneath."

"Oh, fine," Leo tugged the mask off, revealing his tousled brown hair.  "See?"  He coughed, and his voice dropped to a strangled buzz.  "Besides, it's like chicken pox.  Once it's happened to you one time..."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Surrounded by Miles of the Dead

It doesn’t control minds or eat flesh or any of those lurid B-movie boogums.  It isn’t immune to fire or uprooting.  It does spread fairly quickly, like any weed.  A bit faster than dandelions.

But it isn’t from here, and everything knows it.  Animals don’t eat it.  Insects won’t parasitize it.  Even bacteria don’t touch it; it never decays.  Normally, dead trees fall to fungus, microbes, and even other plants, rotting back to dirt and keeping the engine turning over. 

What it takes is gone for good.  Tiny bites – the individual plants aren’t large – but it... accumulates.  Immaculate.  Untouchable. 



Don't forget the Daily Science Fiction giveaway!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

"The Woman Made of Flowers" at the Drabblecast

Norm keeps forgetting to tell me when these things appear.  :-/  :-)

At any rate, my drabble "The Woman Made of Flowers" appeared in Episode 259 of the Drabblecast.  If you're not listening to that podcast, you should be.  :-D

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Dribblecast

You may not know about The Dribblecast.  (You may even not know about The Drabblecast, though since you're reading the writing blog of the Drabblecast's Submissions Editor, that's a little weirder.)  At any rate, it's a fan-run, fan-produced site where fans read other fans works out loud and distribute them for free.  Any drabbles posted in the Drabblecast forums might get a PM from someone asking if it's okay to "dribble" the story.  There's pretty much no downside to this thing.

And they have very good taste.

(Psst... the Daily Science Fiction giveaway is still open for posting!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Giveaway: Daily Science Fiction Year One: Not Just Rockets and Robots

I've got a great honking brick of a book here in front of me: the first yearly collection of Daily Science Fiction.  Over 850 pages of speculative fiction; 260 separate stories.  

And two of them feature my fifth or sixth favorite author: Me!  Also Ken Liu, Cat Rambo, Tim Pratt, Lavie Tidhar... There's some good stuff in here, is my point.

I am giving away this beast for absolutely nothing, y'all.  Free book!  Free really heavy book!  Just post in the comments to enter yourself in the drawing (and include a means of contact so I can ping you privily for mailing info.)

For this one... well, since this is a yearly summary of (most of) 2011, how about y'all tell me the best book you read this past year?  Recommend me some reading material, guys!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Waste of Time

The alarm shattered the morning, startling Briony awake.  Briony drank her lukewarm coffee while reading the paper as she sat up blinking in bed while the shower steamed she narrowly missed a bicycle while pulling out of her driveway-

"Crap," she muttered.  "It's gotten all jumbled."

She fiddled with the shards, shooing away Fluffster, her long-dead childhood dog.  He loved seeing her again, and dogs never had much respect for causality.

"Ouch!"  She'd cut herself on a seven-minute splinter.  Sevens were always the sharpest.  "Screw it," she said, leaving the minutes where they'd fallen.  "I'll just be late this morning."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Interrogation Room 113

"You're right, of course," said Detective Voutar.  "We can't do anything to you.  It wouldn't be right."

The door creaked open, and something hunched and dark crawled in.  Thick, corded muscles bunched and flexed as moon-pale claws left faint gouges in the concrete floor.  It had either one too many or one too few limbs.

"I think I hear someone calling me.  Out in the hall."  Voutar waved and shut the door gently behind him.

"It's nothing to do with me," he said to no one in particular as the noises began.  "It's good to be the good guys."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Guard It with Your Life

“Are we ready?”

Violet tied the bandana around her head, her eyes mere glints through the holes she’d cut.  “Are you really going to wear the cape?”

“We’re superheroes, right?”  Ethan smirked.

“Yeah, but this is real.  This is serious.  This is- Gerald, what the hell are you wearing?”

One pair of tights – neither matching the other in color or pattern – adorned his legs.  He had shorts, a spandex unitard, a military jacket, and a trenchcoat, along with four bandoliers, a hood, a domino mask, and a tricorn hat.

“Secret identities are important,” Gerald said.  “I wanted to be sure.”

Monday, October 8, 2012

Inner Strength

It doesn't matter, they told me on my first day, what you look like, or even what you can do or where you come from.

They said it’s about what’s inside.  That’s what’s important.

And I believe that.  I really do.  I may still doubt myself – that’s normal, they said, and will pass – and I may still suspect that some doink born with a ten-million-dollar silver spoon in his mouth probably - being honest - has an easier time of it, but I believe that what’s inside is what really matters.

At night, when I’m falling asleep, I can feel it moving.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dragonslayer at IGMS

"Dragonslayer" is in the current issue of Intergalactic Medicine Show!  (You gotta pay, I'm afraid, but it's a pretty good 'zine.)