New Issue Announcements
Beneath Ceaseless Skies #97

Posted in: New Issue Announcements by Scott H. Andrews

Coming Soon: Ceaseless Steam – Steampunk Stories from Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Issue #97 — June 14, 2012

Issue also available on Kindle and as Epub, Mobi, or PDF

“One Ear Back,” by Tina Connolly

The shadows between the trees were dark and I stood between two birches, sniffing out the right way. My tail was high. This was no headless mouse. This would impress Ingy.

“Death and the Thunderbird, Pt. I,” by Michael J. DeLuca

A shattering scream from the roof of the train; another body tumbling hooves over head. A baleful eye glaring out of the locomotive smoke, and Bienor could no longer deny it: something was there, neither centaur nor human. Whether a ghost, a god, or the malevolent sorcerous eye of Eurytus, it was there. Real. The thunderbird.

Audio Fiction Podcast 084
“One Ear Back,” by Tina Connolly, from BCS #97

The shadows between the trees were dark and I stood between two birches, sniffing out the right way. My tail was high. This was no headless mouse. This would impress Ingy.


From the Archives:

“The Swallow and the Sea,” by E. Catherine Tobler, from BCS #51

‘Twas Abigail who answered, standing some way across the deck. It sounded like the entire crew took a collective breath at the sight of her. Water streamed from her now ill-fitting gown. It seemed as though she was coming apart, becoming water as she crossed to us. Through corset and skirt, it drenched her.


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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #96

Posted in: New Issue Announcements by Scott H. Andrews

Coming Soon: Ceaseless Steam – Steampunk Stories from Beneath Ceaseless Skies

The Best of BCS, Year Two anthology now available

Issue #96 — May 31, 2012

Issue also available on Kindle and as Epub, Mobi, or PDF

“The Magic of Dark and Hollow Places,” by Adam Callaway

He reached to his shoulder. His uncut nails dug into the pulpy mass of muscle and tore downward. A ripping noise stopped every quill. Blood the color of a blind man’s dream flowed down his flayed arm. He took the mass and wrapped it tight around the girl’s head. Muffled screams seeped out, even as the Inked Man’s arm began to repair of its own volition. The girl kicked and clawed and scratched and was still. 

“Serkers and Sleep,” by Kenneth Schneyer

It was dark as earth in the rafters. The rough beams on which I sat were painful, but I stayed still. Minutes later, the outer door opened. I would know her silhouette anywhere, even from above, even stretched and distorted by the angle of the moon; I knew Dipper almost as well as I knew myself. But now I knew her not at all. 

Audio Fiction Podcast 083

“The Magic of Dark and Hollow Places,” by Adam Callaway, from BCS #96

His uncut nails dug into the pulpy mass of muscle and tore downward. Blood the color of a blind man’s dream flowed down his flayed arm. He took the mass and wrapped it tight around the girl’s head. Muffled screams seeped out, even as the Inked Man’s arm began to repair of its own volition.  

 

From the Archives:

“Preservation,” by Jonathan Wood, from BCS #11 and Audio Fiction Podcast 011

“I can preserve (here insert animal’s name if known, otherwise state ‘your loved one’) in any pose and moment of expression that you desire. Whenever you are plagued by dolorous thoughts of his (or ‘her,’ never ‘its’) passing you may simply turn your gaze to your mantelpiece and your spirits will be raised as you see him (or ‘her’) captured eternally in a moment of zestful energy.” 

 


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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #95

Posted in: New Issue Announcements by Scott H. Andrews

The Best of BCS, Year Two anthology now available

Issue #95 — May 17, 2012

Issue also available on Kindle and as Epub, Mobi, or PDF

“The Governess and the Lobster,” by Margaret Ronald

What that profession might be, I would hesitate to explain had you not explicitly stated that you are unconcerned with my history. Pietro is what the many travelers through Harkuma refer to as a facilis or, commonly, “greaser.” He makes his living by arranging contact between the various human merchants and the automata of Akkuma. If a person wishes to visit Akkuma, he must do so in the company of one of these faciles who will vouch for him, undertake the shipment of water, even make business connections, as well as make certain the entrepreneur adheres to all standards of conduct.

“Shades of Amber,” by Marie Croke

Some in the tribe shaded in low spectrum colors that Ferr’s mind couldn’t remain stable after losing so much from her sickness. Amm asked if they thought her unstable as well, given that even with the loss, Ferr still had a wider range than Amm. They averted their gaze as she shaded, pretending to have never seen the question.

Audio Fiction Podcast 082

“A Marble for the Drowning River,” by Ann Chatham, from BCS #94

I held out my hand with the marble in it, and the drowned girl reached out her long fingers and lifted it gently out of my palm, not even touching me with one of her fingernails. She rolled it in her hand for a moment, looking into the misty shadows in the glass, and then swallowed it, grinning almost like she was still human.

From the Archives:

“The Girl Who Tasted the Sea,” by Sarah L. Edwards, from BCS #53 and Audio Fiction Podcast 046

A lift of a wing and their soaring arc encompassed the whole of the house. They swung around it and Abby could see them now, the twin pillars of stone upon which she’d lived all her life. Suddenly she was dropping nearer, nearer, and then they landed in the carved hollow in one pillar just a foot above the tide. She ignored the trembling in her legs as she crouched at the edge and dipped her fingers in the water.


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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #94

Posted in: New Issue Announcements by Scott H. Andrews

The Best of BCS, Year Two anthology now available

Issue #94 — May 3, 2012

Issue also available on Kindle and as Epub, Mobi, or PDF

“To Go Home to Leal,” by Susan Forest

The pronouncements of the captain were drowned by the goading of the crowd, but his actions were clear. It took three men to hold Kaul’s father’s left arm on the block. One soldier brought out a broad-bladed axe and his father’s struggles renewed. The axe-man bent over him, giving instructions, but his eyes rolled and he screamed. The axe-man seemed to shrug; then, raising his weapon, he brought it down, once, with a sickening crunch.

“A Marble for the Drowning River,” by Ann Chatham

I held out my hand with the marble in it, and the drowned girl reached out her long fingers and lifted it gently out of my palm, not even touching me with one of her fingernails. She rolled it in her hand for a moment, looking into the misty shadows in the glass, and then swallowed it, grinning almost like she was still human.

Audio Fiction Podcast 081

“Pridecraft,” by Christian K. Martinez, from BCS #93

I was sagging, listing in pain, by the time I could see Rattle and the crew. They were waiting on the Eight-B platform, near the engine console. The Eight-B line had a rust-and-people smell that mingled into a peculiar musk. I imagined the stench of Hail’s blood and body beneath the usual platform scents. From Rattle’s face, I knew she didn’t have to.

From the Archives:

“My Father’s Wounds,” by Ferrett Steinmetz, from BCS #75 and Audio Fiction Podcast 065

I tear the robe open. Father’s belly’s a ruin–but he has been, as he is in all things, strangely exacting. I press in with my fingers, feeling the wound’s edges; mercifully, they don’t go up underneath the ribs. No, he’s slashed his intestines with expert precision–a deadly but slow wound. Plenty of time before swollen guts and poisoned blood will take his life.


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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #93

Posted in: New Issue Announcements by Scott H. Andrews

The Best of BCS, Year Two anthology now available

Issue #93 — April 19, 2012

Issue also available on Kindle and as Epub, Mobi, or PDF

“The Ivy-Smothered Palisade,” by Mike Allen

A flare of illumination washed the chamber in flickering shadow and gleam. I’d gone through another door, into a different room, longer and wider than the one I knew. Runes were scratched on every visible inch of walls, ceiling and floor. Repeated phrases: Death feeds life. Life breeds death. Death breathes. Tall and heavy armoires slithering with gold filigree lined both sides of this horrid space, most with their doors open, spilling out once-beautiful gowns now molded and rotting, reminding me of molted skins.

“Pridecraft,” by Christian K. Martinez

I was sagging, listing in pain, by the time I could see Rattle and the crew. They were waiting on the Eight-B platform, near the engine console. The Eight-B line had a rust-and-people smell that mingled into a peculiar musk. I imagined the stench of Hail’s blood and body beneath the usual platform scents. From Rattle’s face, I knew she didn’t have to.

Audio Fiction Podcast 080

“Bearslayer and the Black Knight,” by Tom Crosshill, from BCS #92

They clashed in Bear Forest, and the trees sighed around them. Unarmed, dressed only in shadow, they explored each other with sore fingers and hungry eyes. The enchantments of battle cast aside, they were two men of flesh and bone–no taller than any others and no stronger.

From the Archives:

“Thieves of Silence,” by Holly Phillips, from BCS #21

The song became a chant, slow and rhythmic as a sleeping heart. The dance wove together three women, then four, then one alone with steel in her hand. Zel dreamed on her feet, free of pain, comfortable with the prospect of death. Two of the sisters went away into the darkness beyond the ring of fire. When they returned, they bore a white ghost between them. A white-feathered ghost with yellow eyes that burned brighter than the flames.


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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #92

Posted in: New Issue Announcements by Scott H. Andrews

The Best of BCS, Year Two anthology now available

Issue #92 — April 5, 2012

Featuring new cover art by Zsofia Tuska
Issue also available on Kindle and as Epub, Mobi, or PDF

“Bearslayer and the Black Knight,” by Tom Crosshill

They clashed in Bear Forest, and the trees sighed around them. Unarmed, dressed only in shadow, they explored each other with sore fingers and hungry eyes. The enchantments of battle cast aside, they were two men of flesh and bone–no taller than any others and no stronger.

“Sinking Among Lilies,” by Cory Skerry

The science of anathema arrayed itself in my thoughts unbidden. I counted the marks–five in each swipe. They reached as high as a man, avoiding the iron fittings on the window frames. Whatever it was, it was as big as me. Something that size wasn’t a fair match for ignorant villagers with nothing but a book written by an ex-priest.

Audio Fiction Podcast 079

“A Place to Stand,” by Grace Seybold, from BCS #89

The title of the book was Principles of Light-Bearing, and Sharide was engrossed in it by the second page. She had dreamed of being a weaver, and a fisher, and a soldier, and many different wives, but the life of a seeker of knowledge had never come to her yet. When next she slept, she decided, she would try to find a life wherein she had read this book, and other books, and understood them.

From the Archives:

“To Slay with a Thousand Kisses,” by Rodello Santos, from BCS #36 and Audio Fiction Podcast 032

Her age was impossible to say, for her face was crusted with muck and roots. Her teeth were like kernels of mottled corn. She was naked, her skin textured like stone, gray and gravelly. Wet, bulbous mushrooms grew in the moss around her womanly crevice. Her reek nearly brought me to my knees.


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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #91 — Special Issue for BCS Science-Fantasy Month

Posted in: New Issue Announcements, Science-Fantasy Month by Scott H. Andrews

BCS Science-Fansty Month, 2012Enter to win a signed George R.R. Martin anthology for BCS Science-Fantasy Month

Issue #91, Special Issue for BCS Science-Fantasy Month — March 22, 2012

Featuring science-fantasy cover art by Mats Minnhagen and Author Interviews
Issue also available on Kindle and as Epub, Mobi, or PDF

“The Book of Locked Doors,” by Yoon Ha Lee

Vayag entered Subway Station 14, trying to ignore the book’s continued whispering. The station was cleaner than it ever had been during her childhood. Say what you would about the Meroi, but they were excellent administrators. There were no beggars–but neither were there sellers of fruit, players of drums and tellers of fortunes with cards of azalea and crane. Vayag and her sister had come to stations just like this one, buying sour-sweet candies on the way home from school. Now when she looked at the station, all she saw were doors opening and closing, opening and closing, in mechanical defeat.

“Juggernaut,” by Megan Arkenberg

I closed my eyes and lay my head on my folded arms. I wanted to say yes to Casimar, and not only because I needed her protection. Every word of her argument was true; if Juggernaut denied itself the safety of belonging to Casimar Altan, if it let itself fall into the hands of Tourkis, the Dragons’ power in the Tourkis System would be absolute. Like the fuel-starved orbit of Akshayavat, it would be nearly impossible to escape.

Author Interviews, for BCS Science-Fantasy Month:

Megan Arkenberg on “Juggernaut,” the machinery of subgenre, and why an oppressed underclass is allowed economic power.

Yoon Ha Lee on “The Book of Locked Doors,” an occupied people as neither passive victims nor virtuous heroes, and carved keyholes and giant bird-gods. (Coming March 29)

Audio Fiction Podcast 078

“The Book of Locked Doors,” by Yoon Ha Lee, from BCS #91

Vayag entered Subway Station 14, trying to ignore the book’s continued whispering. The station was cleaner than it ever had been during her childhood. Vayag and her sister had come to stations just like this one, buying sour-sweet candies on the way home from school. Now when she looked at the station, all she saw were doors opening and closing, opening and closing, in mechanical defeat.

From the Archives:

“The Motor, the Mirror, the Mind,” by T.F. Davenport, from BCS #36

“When you sat down so suddenly, the movement caused an infinitesimal trauma to the flesh in your head. In that chaos, a few of the tiny creatures that compose your brain were killed. Are you sad for them? Or do you only care about them so long as they provide you with movement, emotions, the mirrors that reflect my mind in yours?”


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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #90 — Special Issue for BCS Science-Fantasy Month

Posted in: New Issue Announcements, Science-Fantasy Month by Scott H. Andrews

Enter to win a signed George R.R. Martin anthology for BCS Science-Fantasy Month

Issue #90, Special Issue for BCS Science-Fantasy Month — March 8, 2012

Featuring science-fantasy cover art by Mats Minnhagen and Author Interviews
Issue also available on Kindle, and by ebook subscription, and as Epub, Mobi, or PDF

“The Mote-Dancer and the Firelife,” by Chris Willrich

The Spinies pressed flutes to their chest-maws and trilled a maniacal improvisation, something like Chinese opera filtered through jazz and spliced with a catfight. Not what I’d call music to die for, but my opinion didn’t count much. Customs had generously allowed me to keep my pistol, after draining its battery to red. I had maybe three shots. Worse yet, if I killed someone, that was the end of my journey to sanity. I’d be deported or executed.

“Scry,” by Anne Ivy

Esthe had no acid and no knife, but she had a little light from the keycards. She bit her tongue hard and spat blood into her hand. Within it she scried, not for the first time, that Karnon Nameless Dae was not a human man. He was neininki; alien. Like all neininki, a lie would cost him his life. Having promised to kill all who sheltered the prince, he would never spare her life.

Author Interviews, for BCS Science-Fantasy Month:

Anne Ivy on “Scry,” alienness and hegemony, and how Oedipus’s parents caused their prophesied end.

Chris Willrich on “The Mote-Dancer and the Firelife,” Quixotes and Sanchos, and how artificial augmentation in humans might impact how we would interact with alien species. (Coming March 15)

Audio Fiction Podcast 077

“The Mote-Dancer and the Firelife,” by Chris Willrich, from BCS #90

The Spinies pressed flutes to their chest-maws and trilled a maniacal improvisation, something like Chinese opera filtered through jazz and spliced with a catfight. Not what I’d call music to die for, but my opinion didn’t count much.

From the Archives:

“The Secret of Pogopolis,” by Matthew Bey, from BCS #43

Carneby and the young woman attend the Apogee Swim, that moment at the height of The City’s bound when the air is becalmed. Lifeguards watch over the citizens who swim into the great void with flippers and paddles made of cardboard and tape. The young woman is ecstatic as she ventures out above the green and blue smear of The Earth. They thrash their cardboard fins, flirting with the airy abyss which is the only respite from the numbing continuity of The City.


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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #89

Posted in: New Issue Announcements by Scott H. Andrews

Coming Next Issue: BCS Science-Fantasy Month

Issue #89 — February 23, 2012

Issue also available on Kindle and as Epub, Mobi, or PDF

“A Place to Stand,” by Grace Seybold

The title of the book was Principles of Light-Bearing, and Sharide was engrossed in it by the second page. It described how light was the underpinning of the world. She had dreamed of being a weaver, and a fisher, and a soldier, and many different wives, but the life of a seeker of knowledge had never come to her yet. When next she slept, she decided, she would try to find a life wherein she had read this book, and other books, and understood them.

“Shadows Under Hexmouth Street,” by Justin Howe

Yengec lingered over his spiced yams and rice, reading Hjel’s journal. Paramentals, not cauldron-borne like homunculi but spontaneously generated from the city itself. Paramentals–every polisomancer whispered of them. They haunted cities. Not quite ghosts, but spirits just the same.

Audio Fiction Podcast 076

“Shadows Under Hexmouth Street,” by Justin Howe, from BCS #89

Yengec lingered over his spiced yams and rice, reading Hjel’s journal. Paramentals, not cauldron-borne like homunculi but spontaneously generated from the city itself.

From the Archives:

“The Secret of Pogopolis,” by Matthew Bey, from BCS #43

Carneby and the young woman attend the Apogee Swim, that moment at the height of The City’s bound when the air is becalmed. Lifeguards watch over the citizens who swim into the great void with flippers and paddles made of cardboard and tape. The young woman is ecstatic as she ventures out above the green and blue smear of The Earth. They thrash their cardboard fins, flirting with the airy abyss which is the only respite from the numbing continuity of The City.


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