Issues from 2019
Issue #273
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Through the Doorways, Whiskey Chile

As he sloshed to the side of the tunnel, toward thick strips of skin raised up like steps on a station platform, a foot or two above the river of hooch, I noticed that the embers of beard he’d wiped away had made sparks in spots where they’d fallen, red puffs of lily pad trailing far behind.

He sloshed to the side of the tunnel, toward thick strips of skin raised up like steps on a station platform, a foot or two above the river of hooch.
New Horizons

Chester recites a silent prayer to St. Stockton. Prays for this trip to be a success. It had begun as a rescue, an escape from the seas and bondage. But now? Now he is a disciple. An acolyte to the rails. And this was to be their final pilgrimage.

Now Chester is a disciple. An acolyte to the rails. And this was to be their final pilgrimage.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
New Horizons
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Podcast: Download (Duration: 32:05 — 22.03MB)
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Now Chester is a disciple. An acolyte to the rails. And this was to be their final pilgrimage.
From the Archives:
The Warriors, The Mothers, The Drowned
Ana thought the land of the dead would be empty, but it is full to bursting.
Issue #272
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When Sirens Sing of Roses and of Delegated Power

She wove the melody with her voice, but as she sang, her entire being vibrated with wonder as the serving dish gave her a glimpse into a flowering rose garden in the heart of a land so different from her own, it almost seemed to inhabit its own reality. Within the configurations of this garden she recognised enough to remember a time when she too was young, and curious enough to want to explore the world of humans in Terra Cognita.

“Much of what we have in our lives originated as ideas in the human world—even in your parlour furniture.” Velia was always too happy to point out the obvious.
The Boy Who Loved Drowning

Bit tucked his body sinking under the black water away into the corner of his mind and went to the other place, where there was no light and he was floating without water. Weeds like ropes caressed him. In the drowning, he moved by falling, feeling what direction he needed to go and letting himself tumble that way. The answers swarmed around his ankles in the dark, warm like fur and soft like mud under his hands.

Bit could go five minutes into the drowning. The answers swarmed around his ankles in the dark.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
When Sirens Sing of Roses and of Delegated Power
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Podcast: Download (Duration: 37:25 — 25.69MB)
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“Much of what we have in our lives originated as ideas in the human world—even in your parlour furniture.” Velia was always too happy to point out the obvious.
From the Archives:
A Marble for the Drowning River
I was afraid to say anything, but my mouth said, “please don’t kill her” without making any sound.
Issue #271
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Blood, Bone, Seed, Spark

She wasn't the first to observe and draw the germinative animalcules inside a man's seed. But as with any field that did not serve the greater goal of abatement, studies into reproduction had fallen by the wayside. And Anell intended, after all, to do more than merely observe and draw. This way lay greatness, the kind that could not be scraped out of a lifetime's long work tacking minutes onto the sunset days of her head of House.

Anell intended, after all, to do more than merely observe and draw. This way lay greatness.
Adrianna in Pomegranate

She was quick to anger, her hands tightening around the book—this book of all books, this book was what he huddled over in his madman’s cave—but she did not yell. She had always kept a better leash on her emotions, and her composure was more upsetting to him than her rage. She knew it, and gods help her, she used it.

It was unfair, the way he summoned her here for these tense bimonthly appointments. It was unfair, the way she persisted in showing up rather than sending an apprentice.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
Adrianna in Pomegranate
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Podcast: Download (Duration: 33:55 — 23.29MB)
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It was unfair, the way he summoned her here for these tense bimonthly appointments. It was unfair, the way she persisted in showing up rather than sending an apprentice.
From the Archives:
The Sweetness of Honey and Rot
Jiteh lets her hand hover a breath away from the Boundary. Somewhere beyond, there are people who do not watch their brothers devoured by the Life Tree. There are people who do not praise.
Issue #270
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To Stab with a Rose, to Love with a Knife

We used our mating knives to wound them, then married them for the year and nursed them back to health. They told us that people in their homeland mated forever. They had no use for wounds, no fear of healing. When they were strong enough to walk back home, a few of our own left with them, lured by that promise of wound-free love, that strange idea of permanence.

Then the night comes when the Lady summons me to her room and I go, I do.
Do Not Look Back, My Lion

Eefa looks back. Talaan is bed-tousled and half-dressed astride a yellow mare, her hair a tangled mane behind her (how many times has Eefa combed that hair, gently, in the glow of the fire?), her robe fallen open to the chest (the laundry Eefa washed the previous day, folded with lavender and cloves). Her feet are bare. She does not seem to feel the white-toothed wind nipping at her flesh.

“I will not feed another child to the Emperor. I will not.”
Audio Fiction Podcast:
To Stab with a Rose, to Love with a Knife
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Podcast: Download (Duration: 15:23 — 10.57MB)
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Then the night comes when the Lady summons me to her room and I go, I do.
From the Archives:
She Who Hungers, She Who Waits
Mei Huang repeats the rite so many times it becomes indistinguishable from breath, and still every iteration ends with the soldier dead.
Issue #269
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The Deepest Notes of the Harp and Drum

I killed my sister with my own two hands. I am not sorry for it; she lied and cheated and stole, and if it had not been her it would have been me. Blood does not mean only one thing, the same across all boundaries. For my sister it meant nothing until I spilled hers, warm and wet and surprisingly copious, up to my elbows in it. Though I loved her, I killed her; though I loved her, she did not love me.

I killed my sister with my own two hands.
La Orpheline

Look: she is here, asleep in a row of plush seats in the Grande Salle. Above her soars the painted ceiling and the many chandeliers of the Opéra le Peletier, which is, in the brief time of this story, the national opera of France. Around her stand the members of the production company—the angular Costume Mistress, the rotund Directeur de Théâtre, the seamstresses and the members of the orchestra and the many brawny stagehands—all peering at her intently and holding their breath, as if she is a princess in a tale.

Look up, at the gilded carvings from which the curtains hang. Look: do you see that little brown face?
Audio Fiction Podcast:
The Deepest Notes of the Harp and Drum
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Podcast: Download (Duration: 22:51 — 15.69MB)
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I killed my sister with my own two hands.
From the Archives:
Suite for Accompanied Cello
I won on my first attempt when I was fourteen; so long ago it seems meaningless.
Issue #268
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The Blighted Godling of Company Town H

"Take a look. I have them here with me. Please, godling." The girl's fear seeped into the words—as did her faith that Dreya would make everything right again. Dreya was unworthy of such devotion, but she drank it in nevertheless.

"Take a look. I have them here with me. Please, godling." The girl's fear seeped into the words—as did her faith that Dreya would make everything right again.
The Beast Weeps with One Eye

I touched my cheekbones. Was that how I looked after a single offering? How would I endure this for two more times? I washed my face and crossed the village to Mkiwa’s hut. Her face still paled, but her strong body had stifled the pain. Did her heart’s pain fare any better, though? I couldn’t tell.

I washed my face and crossed the village to Mkiwa’s hut. Her face still paled, but her strong body had stifled the pain. Did her heart’s pain fare any better, though?
Audio Fiction Podcast:
The Blighted Godling of Company Town H
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Podcast: Download (Duration: 41:20 — 28.38MB)
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"Take a look. I have them here with me. Please, godling." The girl's fear seeped into the words—as did her faith that Dreya would make everything right again.
From the Archives:
The Shark God’s Child
There had been seventy islets when Mei came to Deleur six years ago.
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