Roll Calls are back! And this is a big one. We have new tales and continuing series, horror, aliens and tech. What more could you want?
These story descriptions were made possible by the generous help of Quango-Baud, Shini: R.O.A.C.H., Bismod, and me (Bamf.to.NYC, standing in as your announcer).
Read, comment—it's what inspires and encourages the writers, and be merry!
Thursday Tales 3.24.2011
A Small Matter of Revenge, Myseri
“Tell them about the time I chased Nixon through Watergate ...” Steve is a muse of the best kind, which means that he is a muse of the worst kind: A Demon. He's mischievous and spontaneous and, via an author of good repute acting as his medium, he seeks to influence a new generation while playfully testing his human companion's wits. We don't know if Steve is a figment of the author's imagination, but only we can see that Steve's practical jokes and antics provide a nerve-wracking distraction for the poor guy. Written with wit and wry wisdom, we can only wonder what Steve will get up to next.
In Defense of the Realm – Chapter 1, now4the_post
In this intriguing opening chapter, a messenger from the mountain guard has come to meet with the Land-Regent, a wise but strange lord who doesn't like to be called "lord." The messenger brings news of travelers with a mysterious and troubling destination. What's really happening beyond the mountains? And even more puzzling, why does the Land-Regent already know so much about these travelers?
Bridge Builder – Chapter 35: Lukewarm Welcome, Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
In this installment of the Bridge Builder series Alex and Carbon make an unexpected return home. But when they appear out of nowhere with a huge unknown object not everyone is ready to welcome them back with open arms. Welcome to quarantine. Tight descriptions of the labs and their techs will leave you just as hungry for fresh air as Alex.
UseTech, riren100 (aka John Wiswell)
Did you ever have a problem with with your cellphone, something just didn't work out right for you? Did you ever think that maybe you didn't work out right for it? John Wiswell shows us the machine solution to the user problem.
Saturday Short Stories 3.26.2011
Telepaths: The Park Slope Conspiracy – Full Disclosure, Bamf.to.NYC
In this ongoing telepathic suspense tale we see last week’s shooting looks different from the shooter’s point of view. Who got thrown against that window? Did Andrew get a good look at who he was shooting at? Why is he in such a hurry to get his quarry back to the labs?
Thursday Tales 4.1.2011
My Space Plane, riren100 (aka John Wiswell)
"My space plane would have no leaks." The action is fast and so is the monologue: Valet-bots and bikini-clad engineers abound while a captain commands a sleek shiny space cruiser ... Or, maybe it is a battered old skiff that is under attack? When reading this enjoyable multi-faceted story you will need to choose your perspective carefully!
City of Walls: Prologue pt 1, Archnemesis_goldenhair
Archnemesis_goldenhair shows us a dark vision of the near future in her freshman outing. North America is dotted with radioactive craters after a barrage of nuclear weapons is launched from Mexico. Countries struggle to cope with the damage, rebuilding with an eye turned to protecting their populace. Despite of this disaster, life goes on for a young girl and her father, one of the people working to build cities to protect them from the fallout.
Bridge Builder, Chapter 36: Poorly Hidden, Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
This chapter begins with Alex waiting out his monotonous quarantine. He and Carbon are reunited as they journey to an enormous space station for debriefing. But it's a subdued reunion, neither of them sure that their relationship will be widely accepted here in the public eye.
The Puppethead War #1, now4the_post
Is the underwater city a dream, a home or a terrible danger? With chilling details and a touch of irreverent fun this continuation of First Encounter will draw you into the Puppethead Saga and leave you wanting more.
Saturday Short Stories 4.3.2011
Telepaths: The Park Slope Conspiracy – Trouble In Paradise, Bamf.to.NYC
In this installment of the telepathic suspense tale Carl get his chance to berate Maggie and Elise for getting shot at before they get down to talking about the case. But when Elise leaves it's time for the old friends to discuss their real problems. And it's time for Carl to discover what his breaking point is.
Thursday Tales 4.7.2011
Bridge Builder Chapter 37: Keeping Secrets, Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
After an artifact from an ancient alien civilization is discovered, the authorities question and confine protagonists Alex & Carbon in luxurious surroundings on a space station. There is tension, paperwork and even tenderness in this chapter. And, there are a couple of lines that will reach into your soul. I have not read "Bridge Builder" before; So, I found myself wanting to go back to previous chapters to find out what adventures have kept Alex & Carbon apart. This is a quiet moment in an epic.
A somber vignette from a time after the fall of mankind to the machines. Horace lies dying, only finding solace in his memories of a better world, and the hope that he still means something to an old android friend.
City of Walls: Prologue pt 2, Archnemesis_goldenhair
When performing tests on new methods of power generation, it's best to use children. They're energetic, they'll work for crayons and they're surprisingly resistant to injury. If it ends in a breakthrough... well, that will make for fond memories.
Saturday Short Stories 4.9.2011
Telepaths: The Park Slope Conspiracy – An Extra For Dinner, Bamf.to.NYC
So you saved someone's life, of course her family is going to be happy. They might even invite you over for dinner. At least they're all telepaths too, so everyone is on level ground... What's the worst that could happen? Bamf.to.nyc shows us exactly what could go wrong (and right) in this chapter.
Thursday Tales 4.14.2011
City of Walls: Chapter 1, Archnemesis_goldenhair
In this post-prologue chapter of "City of Walls", Sonja gossips with her boss during a long elevator ride as she prepares for work in the bustling, claustrophobic bubblopolis that protects its citizens from a desolate world. With energy resources, physical space and virtual memory at a premium; the simple act of downloading a video can affect your credit rating. Archnemesis Goldenhair has a flair for combining ideas about technology, has a way with cultural memes and has a writing style worthy of a stage performance.
Target Practice, MaxConnell
Fifteen year old Jessie practices her shooting on the poisoned earth of her family farm. Having already had her father torn away from her, Jessie faces a life of peril; drifting and maybe grifting to survive in a land afflicted by a disaster. Max Connell's opener to this series marries a vivid decaying post-apocalyptic world with the feel of a frontier western.
The Gray House, WatchingPreacher
WatchingPreacher makes you feel every heartbeat and hear each creaking footstep in this atmospheric tale of fear.
Girl Scouts in a Cyberpunk Era, Moxie6
From hacking the mainframes of evil multi-national conglomerates to building cloning labs from scratch, Megan S. gives us a rundown of the challenging new badges the Girl Scouts of tomorrow will be striving for in this hilarious look at the coming cyberpunk dystopia.
Jakob is going to get a job... but he's not going to be the same person when he gets it. He's been chosen for vocation and personality training and finds himself entirely at the mercy of the powers that oversee it. bjefferyvidt writes a chilling tale about what happens when someone doesn't have the ability to survive on their own.
The Puppethead War #2, now4the_post
Old friends and new allies are found as Talon and Ferran make the first stop on their journey to warn the Overarchy about the coming invasion. Talon learns an embarrassing lesson in keeping secrets as he does his best to turn an ally into an enemy as in the next installment in the Puppethead Saga.
Working Grandpa, riren100 (aka John Wiswell)
You know that family member. The one that matters to you enough that you want them to think well of you, even if it's hard to impress them. John Wiswell offers an unusual take on resolving the problem.
Police State, Myseri
Paul gets a rude awakening in the early hours one morning, the police threatening to break down his door, absolutely certain there is a criminal living in his house. He gets a lesson in reading the fine print in a story that feels uncomfortably close to being real.
Bridge Builder, Chapter 38: Decisions, Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
There are a lot of things to consider when you date an alien. Has it ever been done before? How does your society deal with change? What will her people say? What will her father say? And how long can you keep it a secret? Despite being home again and safe, life continues to get more complicated for Alex and Carbon.
Saturday Short Stories 4.16.2011
Telepaths: The Park Slope Conspiracy – Pool Cues, Bamf.to.NYC
Since his escape from Park Slope Asylum, Andrew has been hiding in his head. He's closed his mind so well that he was almost caught kidnapping one subject and had to shoot a second one. In this chapter of the Telepath series he finds out how burying his thoughts will affect his personal life.
Thursday Tales 4.21.2011
Bridge Builder, Chapter 39: New Job, Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
Alex has a difficult morning. With Carbon in his shower, and room service at the door, he struggles to keep her presence a secret. He then has an unexpected visitor who gives him something more to worry about than hiding his relationship with Carbon.
Imagine buying something that ends up taking much more than a "few minutes of your time". In "Upgrade", a man's desire for new tech leads to more than he bargained for. Myseri gives us a familiar vignette on those dark, air-less little places in malls and subways that fill (and create) the holes in our technological needs.
Saturday Short Stories 4.23.2011
Telepaths: The Park Slope Conspiracy - In The Corner, Bamf.to.NYC
It's hard being the odd one out, particularly when you're the only one who isn't a telepath in your family. Elise deals with fallout from Lee's visit to the family dinner and some painful revelations. Because really, when you're about to go explain to your boss why you almost got shot pretending to be a spy, is there a better way to get ready than a healthy dose of family trouble?
Hollow World Book 2 Chapter 1, Myseri
Hollow World is back with a bang. Graham and his army need a place to camp for the winter. But the Others don’t build what they need, they take it. A fierce battle for winter housing becomes eerily symbolic of the war to come.