2012 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Semiprozine
— June 13, 2013
Masaru peered past the struts and wires between his biplane's wings, trying to take the sight in. The tower's base was a madman's helter-skelter ziggurat, made of impossible stone blocks the size of townhouses, that cut a swath across the city's snow-covered grid of tenement blocks and terraces. From the ziggurat’s peak, the ragged-toothed tower reached up to a dark stain of cloud fixed in the sky directly above.
"Stolen," the General hissed. "Stolen!" he shouted, enraged. "It was Easric Dane, I know it! Upon my soul, it must have been he!" Not only was it awful, but Pearl couldn't possibly be suggesting there was any truth to it. Earsic thought of drowning the book in the river. But Pearl Snow had a wicked pack of cards. They brooked none of Easric's sass and weren't lightly ignored.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 29:39 — 20.4MB)
All day, No. 17596 waited, but the guards never came.
— May 30, 2013
No. 17596 let the book fall out of his hands. It would tell him what? It would tell him that the world went on—that somewhere, out there, men and women were carrying on their affairs while he sat alone in his cell, sentenced to ruminate in silence and isolation.
Suddenly a horrible sense of disjunction came over her—looking around the sunny dining room, she seemed to see with a strange doubled sight the wreckage beneath: a thick layer of dust, shattered tables lying on their sides, broken windows, gaping holes in the walls, the beautiful rosewood sideboard wrecked, with its doors hanging off and its mirror cracked—
Podcast: Download (Duration: 40:21 — 27.7MB)
It has to be true, because a year without her is a year without myself.
— May 16, 2013
As Knowe hikes fast over the plain and down the heather-thick slope to the farms spread out along the low lands, she almost laughs thinking: of course a ghost is the first person to want her singing.
Her fingers dance in swoops and waves, cutting runes into the powder. It's odd to see. Hands usually draw with inks or chalk. Powder and silver-tipped slippers are for simple gestures in duels, when there is no time to stoop and paint. With my warped foot, dueling is an impossibility, but I have seen her practice countless times.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 35:06 — 24.1MB)
“Come back and sing with me!” the ghost calls at her back.
— May 02, 2013
The neighborhood was dark and insalubrious; if it had not been for the sake of Professor Haversham's scientific endeavors I would never have ventured into its foul-smelling streets in the daytime, far less at night. He, however, appeared to have no such misgivings but looked about him with interest. "Now to find a public house of suitable character," he said. "Not too difficult in this area, I should think."
"I don't rightly care where he came from—he's one more person to keep watch on." Gwen nudged Corwyn toward the stairs that led belowdecks. Her voice was dark as she added, quietly, "I am not fond of new wrinkles on a job."
Podcast: Download (Duration: 32:49 — 22.5MB)
“Professor Haversham!” I exclaimed. “What is the meaning of this vulgar display?”
— April 18, 2013
With the first snip, the count spoke again. "Filip's hand shook the last time I was in his shop. A man can't have his hair cut by someone he does not trust. Your hand will be true. Will it not, barber?"
The Baron stared long at the tank, and Crane and Gilchrist saw for the first time an unfocused quality to his eyes, a faint gray fog. “I want her to be real,” he muttered, folding his scarred hands together. “She does look real.”
Podcast: Download (Duration: 16:40 — 11.5MB)
"But then why let him live? You had blades at his neck for half an hour, no doubt."
— April 04, 2013
But for a reason I wouldn’t be able to name until years after—years stretching between us like clouds unrolling beneath chariot wheels—I was silent; I was silenced and could not demur. I let him, could not quite pull away, show me how to coax the flame and bring order that it did not need. I let him teach me what I already understood.
Startled, Tau lost her grip on her paddle. Before she had the chance to reform her thoughts, she had to quickly strip off and dive in to retrieve it. A smile a shade more cynical than expected greeted her as she heaved herself back over the edge of the oka, spluttering and cursing. Nhia quit her rearward rescue-paddling and held her own dripping paddle firmly in her lap.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 28:21 — 19.5MB)
Things got worse when they started to have their flush of post-war babies and wanted us back out again.
— March 21, 2013
In celebration of BCS Podcast #100, a special reading, and enter to win an audiobook of Saladin Ahmed’s novel Throne of the Crescent Moon.
Things got worse when they started to have their flush of post-war babies and wanted us back out again, back where we belonged, and we had to tell them there was no "back"—they had conjured us from the blue sky, from nowhere, from their own minds, to win their great war.
"Wrong on both counts," I told Cardinal Galloway, swirling the brandy to disperse my blood through it. "First, I was the one who showed people visions." I offered him the chalice. "And second, they weren't illusions. Have a drink, and see for yourself."
Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:06:04 — 45.4MB)
"Child of fish and ghost," said Bue. "What could be quicker?"
— March 07, 2013
Meat for a blanket was no proper trade. Netta turned away from the fire, waiting for her eyes to adjust. She could make out a few of the other groups of refugees—and yes, they were watching her. Waiting for just such a sign of weakness as this.
I’m not even sure what "her moonblood" means, only that it means the moment when the girl's wolf-colored hair cascades into velvet pelt. I can't stop thinking about the way she moves, so quick and lithe. She could cross the room in one leap.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 42:36 — 29.3MB)
I realized in that moment that even my name is a lie.
— February 21, 2013
I thrust my scimitar into its sheath and picked up one of the books. After the mystics' warning, it was almost too much not to open it. I set the book down again but too close to the edge, and would you look at that, it accidentally opened up. My eyes scanned the pages and came away thirsty. The text was dry. It had something to do with the intricacies of paper-making. I kicked the book into the corner and started digging. The books could wait, but my shriveled insides couldn’t.
"The narrative voice, touched with dark humor and wit, is the making of this one. Recommended." —Lois Tilton, Locus online
When the boy opened his eyes, his finger was gone, the flesh sealed over it as if it had never been. Then the temple wall bucked and groaned, and a hairline crack appeared in its surface. Light came pouring out through it—a strange sort of light he could not describe. “Yes,” said his father. “It is opening. You must give more.”
Podcast: Download (Duration: 33:24 — 22.9MB)
The need to flee--flee the city, the books, the nightmares, the thirst--came over me; to strike back into the desert and come back with the fortune I had promised Sessina so many years ago.