BCS now available in the Amazon Kindle Store
New: From the Archives, a select past BCS story related to one in the current issue.
“The Circus of King Minos’ Masque,” by Michael J. DeLuca
Condescension, from a slave, though Periphas. How appropriate. He got up, following the loggerhead along the circus’ aisle as it swam. The carvings on its shell were spidery and thin, interconnected traceries meaningless in any language of logic or linear thought. He doubted that an untrained eye, even in the first row, would know them for what they were: the marks of madness bent to will. The symbols of a sorcerer’s attention.
“Pawn’s Gambit,” by Adam Heine
Tarc was awake for a couple hours at the beginning and end of my shift, and those hours were longer than the ones I spent with my thoughts. He was chatty as a guiro-bug. He didn’t just talk, though. He asked questions. The more he asked, the more chary I got that he’d figure out what I was doing–that one of his marks was my little girl, and that I meant to stop him.
“Waiting for Number Five,” by Tom Crosshill, from BCS #40
He’d called her excellent! Four’s heart soared, and she sped up to keep pace with the music’s racing beat. Oh, let them watch. Let them ooh and aah, them with their foul stinking breath. Even when sweat rolled down their noses and fell to her platform in large blobs, splashing so she had to jump out of the way, she never flinched. Let Master see how strong she was.
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.