Kaleidotrope + Big Echo

I have a new story and a reprint out this month.

  1. Doll’s House follows directly on from God Thing, which also appeared in Kaleidotrope back in 2017. They are both bouncy adventure stories about Rob and Lettie, a couple of kids doing inadvisable things in a ruined city, under the disapproving supervision of Rob’s goddess, Ann. You shouldn’t need to read both of them, but of course you may want to. 

    This issue also includes great stories and poetry by Anya Ow, Cat Sparks, William R. Eakin, Santiago Belluco, Helen Stubbs, Megan Arkenberg, Jennifer Crow, Karolina Fedyk, R.K. Duncan, Cassandra Rose Clarke and Hester J. Rook. 

  2. Under Dead Marsh originally appeared in Lackington’s Magazine in 2016 and I am really happy it has been reprinted in Big Echo’s Avant Garde issue, which looks fantastic. 

    The other stories are by Brendan C. Byrne, Stephen Langlois, Ahimaz Rajessh, Yurei Raita, Dan Grace, John Shirley, Victor Fernando R. Ocampo, Peter Milne Greiner, Laurence A. Rickels and Rudy Rucker. Mine remains a mix of Dylan Thomas and town council planning application squabbles, on Mars.

 

Short Story in On Spec

I am very late to this, but I see Issue #110 Vol. 29 No.3-4 of On Spec came out in April with a piece by me – well, really a collection of very short pieces called ‘The Care and Conservation of Unusual Properties’.

Contains library deep-cleaning, inventory marking, dusting, volunteer incentive issues and very large spiders! This collection was once accused of being postmodern, which surprised me, because I thought of it as a reasonably accurate transcription of several monologues someone rather like me was once on the nodding side of.

Well, fairly accurate. I guess no one said anything about a dragon.

Lackington’s #18 free to read

The “Magics” issue of Lackington’s is now free to read, including my little Roman ghost story, Prima Fuit, Finis Erit.

First Cynthia caught me with her fulminating eyes. O me miserum! Captive and collared, a fool never before touched. Now she, trailing charred Coan silk, her curls breathing cold perfume, leans over my bed: We shall lie together, you and I…

… but of course you should check out the whole amazing issue. I have said this before, but Propertius is my favourite of the Augustan lyric poets, partly just because of all the Augustan lyric girlfriends only Cynthia gets to speak for herself. And what she says is almost never flattering to Propertius.

Detail of Pear Nuallak’s gorgeous illustration!

Short Story in Lackington’s

Lackington's #18 Cover

The ‘Magics’ issue of Lackington’s is out, with a little Roman ghost story from me that I’m not going to say much about, because I said it all in an interview a couple of weeks ago, although I had not then seen Pear Nuallak’s gorgeous illustration. The full table of contents is:

When the Vine Came, by S.R. Mandel
Prima Fuit, Finis Erit, by Julia August
The Wytch-Byrd of the Nabryd-Keind, by Farah Rose Smith
Collar for Captain Cormorant, by Rekha Valliappan
Song of the Oliphant, by KT Bryski
Love Letters from Velveteen, by M. Raoulee

Artists: Carol Wellart, Grace P. Fong, Sharon J. Gochenour, Derek Newman-Stille, Pear Nuallak, Kat Weaver, and P. Emerson Williams.

… and you can get the issue as ePub, mobi and PDF if you don’t want to wait six months to read it (which of course you shouldn’t).

Short Story in Kaleidotrope

Welcome to 2018! The cover for the new issue of Kaleidotrope was drawn by Kat Weaver and it is so beautiful you absolutely need to go take a look just for that.

Also I have a story in it: ‘The Little Duchess’, in which Baldesar di Casatico relives nine years of his life all at once and regrets dealing with a devil of sorts:

She was wearing crimson, as she had been when Baldesar first met her. He found his feet beginning to drag. In nine years, she hadn’t aged a day.

She wasn’t smiling; but then, she seldom did. He grasped a headstone. He might have known, he thought. Ambitious courtiers, like their princes, seldom got to enjoy a peaceful retirement. He might have realized there would be no escape.

The headstone was shaking, or he was.

“Anna,” he said.

The full TOC is stellar:

“Shadows and Bells”  by Mari Ness
“A Slip in the Slice” by Heather Morris
“The Fashion of Men” by Kat Otis
“The Temporary Suicides of Goldfish” by Octavia Cade
“Totemic” by Jennifer Crow
“Batman at the Wheel” by Mary Alexandra Agner
“Report on Incident 3179” by irving
Horoscopes
A Word from the Editor

Flash Fiction in Syntax & Salt

The new issue of Syntax & Salt is up and I have a dark little piece in there about plagues:

Nothing comes from nothing; this is the cornerstone of all truth. The plague of Thucydides comes from Ethiopia; that of Procopius from Egypt; that of Boccaccio is sea-swept from the dawn toward the setting sun. Virgil’s descends from a diseased sky. Is it the East? Is it our malignant star? Is it the baneful air flying out of a foreign quarter of the heavens?

No: it is a manifestation. It is a sign.

Well, all right: plagues and plague-tropes. As my bio for this one says, I’m trying to give up plagues. Maybe that should be a new year’s resolution.

TOC, aka Other Stories You Should Read:

In The Beginning, All Our Hands Are Cold by Ephiny Gale
Mother Imago by Henry Stanton
When We Sleep We Kill The World by Adam Lock
The Fox, Expatriate by Emily Horner
Milk Teeth And Heartwood by Katherine McMahon
High, High Away by Hamilton Perez
Tales Without Fairies by Matthew F. Amati
The Spinnings by Rob Francis

Short Story in 3LBE #28

I have a new short story in 3LBE #28: Delia’s Door, a piece about music, escapism and the power of inertia. It’s a little melancholic, but on the plus side: no body horror.

The first time I saw the summer country was when the first fugue of Vivaldi’s Dixit came together, finally, for a single perfect moment one wintry night. The rain beat against the drafty windows and fifty voices sang out together, split into two choirs, which means eight different harmony lines, which is quite hard when you’ve only got six tenors and seven basses to start with, and for once, for once it sounded as if we were really singing what Vivaldi had written.

I saw it then. A wash of blue and gold lit up the old school hall turned community centre, splashing raggedly across the choir notice boards and institutional paint and hundred-year-old prize lists full of familiar names, and through a hole as evanescent as a soap bubble I saw a new horizon: green hills, summer sunset skies, a long perspective onto light and color and a different country, far away — yet one I could reach if I could just step through the door our singing had opened up…

I may as well admit now that the quickest way to get my attention is to have a really good singing voice, preferably bass. For this reason, my favourite dragon is Fafner. (Sorry, Glaurung; sorry, Smaug.) Anyway, you should certainly check out the issue! The full table of contents is: