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Issue #43 — May 20, 2010

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“Mister Hadj’s Sunset Ride,” by Saladin Ahmed

But when Mister Hadj started in on them cowboy songs–well, as sure as I’m standing here, when that man got to crooning a tune he made the earth itself cry. This ain’t just me tale-telling, you hear? I seen tears fall from big red rocks when the old man hummed. Heard stones weep as they parted before him. So when Mister Hadj said that a stone in the road told him where to find Parson Lucifer, I didn’t doubt it.

“The Secret of Pogopolis,” by Matthew Bey

Carneby and the young woman attend the Apogee Swim, that moment at the height of The City’s bound when the air is becalmed. Lifeguards watch over the citizens who swim into the great void with flippers and paddles made of cardboard and tape. The young woman is ecstatic as she ventures out above the green and blue smear of The Earth. They thrash their cardboard fins, flirting with the airy abyss which is the only respite from the numbing continuity of The City.

Audio Fiction Podcast 036

“As the Prairie Grasses Sing,” by Sarah L. Edwards, from BCS #42

I knew I was not alone. Unseen things crept at the edges of my hearing, but none made any sign that they could talk to me, or that they recognized me as a friend. I began making the motions with my hands, which trembled a little. Will any of you talk to me? I asked, knowing it was futile to expect an animal to know the hand-signs that my family used to speak with me.

From the Archives:

“Hangman,” by Erin Cashier, from BCS #10

The full moon let me see the train coming. It raged up the path of the old tracks but it wasn’t on them. It wove across them, ignoring their boundaries, sweeping like a snake on sand. It was a long one. It’d be full of a lot of good things–nails, cotton, wood, corn. That pleased me. Made everything a little more worthwhile, as worthwhile as dying ever got.

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