This is a big one. Three weeks worth of tech, battles, aliens and a vampire.
Thursday Tales 6.9.2011
Ancestors, Pt.3, bjeffreyvidt
Emith shows his new work to his far more successful brother, Charles. Right away, the critique becomes personal, leaving Emith a wreck. At his wit’s end, he goes to his mother for guidance and she presents him with an inspiring, and rather revealing, family treasure.
The stag who wore a greatcoat had some peculiar opinions, Annalee Newitz
Altered to eloquent sentience, a stag discusses life after war; having taken to gentlemanly pursuits, and even choosing a profession as court advocate. These veterans & experimentees face a question over the very nature of their nature; In their world, how do you define Humanity? Are they Blessed or are they Beasts?
Bridge Builder, Chapter 46: Grilled, Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
What is so scary about meeting potential in-laws? Aboard a Tslao military carrier, Alex & Carbon prepare to meet Empress Etia: There is tension between the two thanks to the revelation of Carbon's royal status. Alex is intimidated by having to meet the Empress in private. As Carbon's Aunt, Etia's questions will have the best of intentions. And as Empress, Etia will be mindful of her people's interests. So ... this could be very, very bad for Alex.
Let Another One In, John Wiswell
There's only one house on the block without a crucifix on the door and the sun is coming up. What will a vampire barter to save his life? Cash, sure. The iPhone, maybe. Jewelry might be where he has to draw the line. John Wiswell offers a hilarious look into the lives of the undead.
Saturday Short Stories 6.11.2011
The Long War part 4, Ghost_in_the_Machine
Captain Radko and his men are back on the front lines to put their training to use. Things go well - the enemy is unprepared for their new tactics and they push through the Brown's line with little trouble. Perhaps they go too well, as Radko soon finds his company cut off from reinforcements in a village deep in enemy territory. They hold the village at a terrible cost but Radko gets a glimpse of what is creating the world they fight in.
- Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
Thursday Tales 6.16.2011
City of Walls: Chapter 6, Archnemesis_Goldenhair
Getting mugged for your nannites is bad. It's worse when you don't have any. Tara wakes up in a strange place full of sunlight with the world's worst hangover. But it might be worth it if it gets her the key to opening a mysterious encrypted file.
Steve Returns, Myseri
Jonathan Martin's favorite demon shows up out of the blue, apparently back from the beach. What's more surprising than a red demon with a sunburn is the fact that his going on break was meant to help the author out, and the hilarious reason his plan backfired.
The Puppethead War Issue 7, now4the_post
Going along with Laryet's ruse of not swapping minds; Daiv travels back to the lake surface with the Puppetheads's stolen-human invasion party aboard the "Grape" (a Quandu diving-bell) with their Commander, Mr Sasket. The group reveal Quandomen personality, as they "vent" about the war and about their commander who they respect and fear. "The Puppethead Saga" seems set on an Earth that has seen past contact with aliens and is now in a period of medieval-like stability.
Plastic World, quango-baud
A rarity this week. We don't often get poetry, but quango-baud brings a dark rhyme that speaks of a polluted world. It's questionable caretakers are there, proud but focused on their own desires.
- Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
Bridge Builder, Chapter 47: Welcome Home, Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
Alex returns to consciousness and to the painful reality of his mind being ransacked by the Tslao Empress, not that this sort of thing hasn’t happened before under less hostile circumstances. This assault reveals a dire threat to the human pilot, with curious implications for Carbon as well.
Blurbs for the Greatest Book Never Written, John Wiswell
This tale is another cunningly constructed comedy from Wiswell. Even the greatest book in the world would still need ringing endorsements and blurbs to sell it. One of my favorites: "Breaking News: Library of Congress to receive one more book, then close permanently. Quote: 'Danni La Paglia has finished literature. English is now complete.'"
Saturday Short Stories 6.18.2011
Telepaths: The Park Slope Conspiracy - 30, Bamf.to.NYC
Elise, Maggie and Carl are running out of time to link Steadman to the kidnappings at Park Slope. It's not the best time for Carl to be going through a divorce, but he soldiers on when Elise hits on an angle that blows the case wide open. They rush to get the information out to the government in a race against the clock before Steadman can disappear again.
- Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
An Introduction to Enemies, Noise
This tale is a chapter in a longer piece. In it we meet Ral, forced to give his leader the news that while they have thirty days left to travel there is only enough food and water on the ship for twenty. He offers a solution that could make or break the fight to come and his own prospects as well. So, no pressure.
Thursday Tales 6.23.2011
The Long War - Part 5, Ghost_in_the_Machine
After telling Olga about the strange things he saw when he almost died, Rudko contemplates a risky maneuver. Soon, the two of them meet again in a shared dream and the truth behind the war is revealed, but is this yet another deception?
The Slow Gun, MaxConnell
How does a completely un-remarkable person become the most talked about person on Earth? In a world obsessed with celebrity, the ultimate reality show format is created. Michael Neil Smith is selected by voluntary lottery to be the victim of a weapon possessing a targeting system entangled to one individual person, but the time it takes for that bullet to reach its victim is completely uncertain. In the tradition of mid-C20th speculative writers, io9er MaxConnell takes us to the outer limits reached by Serling, Silverberg, Dahl and Moore.
Bridge Builder, Chapter 48: Clarification, Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
A mortified Carbon confronts her aunt over what she has done to Alex, and subsequently, herself. The empress reveals her simple motive to the human, and why he is so valuable to her needs.
Mate, John Wiswell
The distant past, the far future; around the block or a different planet... No matter where you go or who you talk to, guys never change.
- Shini: R.O.A.C.H.
Saturday Short Stories 6.25.2011
Hollow World Book 2: Chapter 6, Myseri
A quiet morning on the farm is broken by something impossible. A running car. Running but not exploding. Does this mean that they can drive again? Or will a spark of hope destroy them? Tempers flare and confusion rules in this installment of Myseri's post-apocalyptic vision.