New, starting with this issue: From the Archives (below), a select past BCS story that’s related to one in the current issue.
“Sanji’s Demon, Pt. II,” by Richard Parks
The old man’s form shimmered in my grasp, like a mountain peak glimpsed through summer haze. Another instant and I did not hold an old man at all, but rather an oni. He was perhaps a head taller than myself, with red skin, gleaming tusks and horns, and black hair as coarse and thick as a horse’s mane. He continued to struggle, and it was all I could do to hold him.
“The Leafsmith in Love,” by K.J. Kabza
Jesper whirled. Right at his back, feet clacking on the limestone, was one of his steam-powered wolves. But instead of ambling across the gravel path and back into the forest, it went utterly mad, hoping forward and back, tail pinwheeling. It jumped forward, teeth bared; the air rent with a scream and the ugly sound of ripping fabric; the wolf danced away with a mangled petticoat in its gleaming jaws.
“In Memoriam,” by Alys Sterling, from BCS #38
I felt it, or rather Gaumont’s body did, and with such force that it took me a moment to throw it off, a sudden desperation not to see what lay beneath that heavy drape of fabric. Yet I watched eagerly as the hands drew back the folds of grey material to reveal a granitic face, human in form, but so frozen that its wrinkles might have been carved from stone.
Kenji began to chant. It might have been a passage from the Diamond Sutra; I was not pious enough to know one book of Buddhist scripture from another, but Kenji, despite his flaws, knew nearly all of them and could recite the appropriate passages at will. Which he was doing now. The shadow moved away from us toward the outbuilding as we stepped out onto the rear veranda, always keeping the structure to its back, or such I judged its back to be. It was hard to be certain with something so close to formless.