Issue #23 — Aug. 13, 2009

“Between Two Treasons,” by Michael J. DeLuca

Unified by poison–by the power of the elder’s will–the ragged line of sorcerers dissolved, passing through a ring of tall stone stelae carved with human shapes. Nods and mumbled words shaped tenuous alliances along demarcations of homeland and creed. The buzzards found perches among the empty seats. This, Periphas realized, is why Eurytus waited. The humans would fight, exhaust themselves to within inches of death; then the centaurs would gallop in, laughing.

“Oil Fire,” by Kate MacLeod

Oh, poor Enanatuma! We had been estranged long before my banishment. I had seen her only once since the day ten years ago when I had given up dancing and devoted all my energies to magic. I had done her a favor in return for the thousand kindnesses she and her father had shown me and had intended never to see her again. But she was still my sister.

Audio Fiction Podcast 020

“Blighted Heart,” by Aliette de Bodard

I felt the first cut like a violation. Pain burst in my chest, would not cease. I screamed and screamed until my voice was raw. No. No. I never asked for this! I saw a priest lift out a bloody, pulsating thing dizzyingly high above me, and a sensation of emptiness spread from the hole in my chest and swallowed me.

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