Issues from 2008
2013, 2014 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Semiprozine
Issue #6December 18, 2008

Dunasby, Fire and Ice

Deathfire shot an arrow through the man’s back. Then he drew his sword. The woman and children would be easy enough to kill, but he wanted to take care of the baby first. “Don’t worry,” he said, rubbing a gentle hand across the woman's sweat-soaked brow. “I’ll make it painless for all of you.”

The Dragon’s Child

The wizard raised a hand, his long, pointed nails painted with blue lacquer. With one finger, he drew a slashing arc through the air. Pain seared like fire along Kseniya’s cheek, a line cutting across one of the old scars. She clenched her jaw to keep from crying out. She remembered that pain all too well.

Audio Fiction Podcast:
The Last Devil
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Podcast: Download (Duration: 39:26 — 27.07MB)
Would this querulous magician's insinuations distract my master from slaying our vile prey?
Issue #5December 04, 2008

The God-Death of Halla

The man's head swung wildly, his fingers grasping towards the straining netted bundle. The touch of the God on an unholy man was not pretty. Halla could sense it, crackling the air from the Mouth to the man. It was a compulsion that filled him with blood lust, blanketed his mind with one urge: kill the dove.

Precious Meat

I lifted my muzzle and sniffed. The wood was different today. Fine dust still hung in the air and sparkled in sunlit shafts. Such a thing this sparkling was. I gazed at it in wonder. Had the light ever been just so before? Was this a new thing?

Audio Fiction Podcast:
Kingspeaker
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Podcast: Download (Duration: 31:27 — 21.6MB)
She is the voice of the king, until he cannot speak for himself.
Issue #4November 20, 2008

The Crystal Stair, Pt. II

Khatire reached out to grab the child, who twitched with dreaming, and froze. It was a girl, almost four. They were all brothers and sisters, all bearing mark of their father’s features. A lump, hard and stinging, grew in Khatire’s chest. There were so many! She could only save one.

"a fine story."  —Rich Horton, Locus

Honorable Mention, Year's Best SF 26, ed. Gardner Dozois

Million Writers Award Notable Stories of 2008

The Last Devil

His body lengthened, his worn leather footings bursting as his legs, now fused, spiraled behind, scaled and glistening black. Even when the foul thing had fully turned, its hands still grasped at the air while the twisted mouth shrieked fearful things. It would have seemed only a beast, powerful and deadly, were it not for those hands and eyes, so like a man’s but not, a living sacrilege.

Audio Fiction Podcast:
Sun Magic, Earth Magic
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Podcast: Download (Duration: 39:25 — 27.06MB)
If her venerated sorcery fails, how can she save the boy trapped deep in the cave?
Issue #3November 06, 2008

The Crystal Stair, Pt. I

Khatire couldn’t seem to catch her breath, afraid to swallow the fouled air. The cut in her palm throbbed like heartache. She had just killed one of the precious vaimen. In the eyes of the emperor, her life was forfeit.

"a fine story."  —Rich Horton, Locus

Honorable Mention, Year's Best SF 26, ed. Gardner Dozois

Million Writers Award Notable Stories of 2008

Kingspeaker

I have not spoken with my own voice in nearly seven years. I knew this would be my fate long before it happened—but only now do I understand what it means.

Audio Fiction Podcast:
Architectural Constants
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Podcast: Download (Duration: 28:37 — 19.66MB)
A city, a librarian, a sentinel, and a silhouette.
Issue #2October 23, 2008
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The Sword of Loving Kindness, Pt. II

Mistress Needles said, “Then may we be in harmony, to the degree harmony exists in this cesspool of a universe. The sword’s presence may yet prove a desirable thing. For your freedom, Imago Bone, and that of the companion who brings you fear and pain, depends upon its destruction.”

"strong"  —Rich Horton, Locus

"Recommended"  —Lois Tilton, IROSF

Honorable Mention, Year's Best SF 26, ed. Gardner Dozois

Recommended Reading, Year's Best SF & F 2009, ed. Rich Horton

Architectural Constants

The Spider stepped out of the gate. She was a stooped woman with dark hair. The sockets in her face were empty and scarred over. She wore gloves that were cut off at the first knuckle. At each fingertip was a tiny glittering eye.

"evocative and original"  —Rich Horton, Locus

"Recommended"  —Lois Tilton, IROSF

Recommended Reading, Year's Best SF & F 2009, ed. Rich Horton

Million Writers Award Notable Stories of 2008

Issue #1October 09, 2008
PDFMobi PrcePubKindle Store

The Sword of Loving Kindness, Pt. I

 “All who possess this weapon have regretted it, even the fiercest of killers, mad Lord Runestock, say, or bloody Sir Fairbeast, or Captain Slaughterdark who abandoned it here.  Behold the Sword of Loving Kindness.”

"strong"  —Rich Horton, Locus

"Recommended"  —Lois Tilton, IROSF

Honorable Mention, Year's Best SF 26 (ed. Gardner Dozois)

Recommended Reading, Year's Best SF & F 2009, ed. Rich Horton

Sun Magic, Earth Magic

The tunnel grew narrower, then the ceiling lowered as well. Soon she had to crawl on knees and elbows. Her world closed down to a bubble of light no more than a few handspans across, surrounded by a mountain of rock that pressed in on all sides. Rock that hid her from the light, the air, and her husband the Sun.

Honorable Mention, Year's Best SF 26, ed. Gardner Dozois