Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Not long ago I looked through the books I had been sent to review and pulled some of the more promising out and made a pile. Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke was on the top and, apparently, I had chosen…

Trial of the Wizard King by Chad Corrie

Trial of the Wizard King by Chad Corrie is the second book in the Wizard King series. I am reading the first two books back-to-back which is a privilege I have rarely enjoyed of the past 10+ years of writing book reviews. After the…

A Nation Returns to Greatness

The prisoners were each fastened to one of the poles, the bells rang another three times, and the crowd cheered again. The church doors opened, and a procession of 12 priests in blue cassocks emerged, led by the elderly bishop in his vestments and…

Episode 59: Gretchen: An Unlocked Smartphone

I had been using cell phones ever since my time in Hamburg with the Rat der Mäuse. From the looks on Dichall’s face I could tell that using them was fairly new to him, and Eve, being not so long out of the campground,…

Episode 15: Violet Sky

“If your star charts read poorly, no wind is generous.” Captain Noem Pymecanth “Hurry, Taja. You don’t want to be left behind, do you?” Ranseur glanced back with a smile and flicked her raven hair. The lady laughed at something Captain Pymecanth said and…

Episode Two: Inside the Bunker

Daylight from the open doorway illuminated a few feet of the interior. Something whirled, making a ratchet-like noise and he jumped, and then looked around. Rows and rows of tiny round, lights covered one wall. Hundreds of them, some blinking, some emitting a steady…

Naivety’s Price

Sunar didn’t have to wait, his ‘ride’ appeared in the cargo hold moments after they walked in. They all exchanged the minimum of words, Sunar put his hand on the Wizard’s shoulder, and found himself standing in Master Ikthan’s private office almost before his…

Calendula Blooms by Charles C Cole

Calendula Blooms Charles C Cole A quarter of the city was suffering through “rolling” brown-outs, power outages that lasted for hours. We’d shut down the office in response. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about, Calendula, my half-rosebush secretary, was going through…

The Pit by Dee Artea

The Pit Dee Artea A rumble of distant thunder – woke me up from a deep sleep. My horse too, reacts to the sound. Doesn’t like rain. Me neither. Plus, he’s been acting skittishly these days. Don’t know why. I just want to get…

The Message by Jennifer Walker

The Message Jennifer Walker In the great hall of the palace of Poseidon the merpeople of Atlantis waited for their Queen to speak. To her right floated her daughter Nerissa, an unusually thick mermaid the shape of a small orca. To her left her…

Shoes, Beer, and Flybus

Before the foot revolution, living around the hanging gardens of Andreapolis felt like paradise. Namily used to take long strolls after work, before work, on weekends around the gardens, losing herself in the maze of the green alleys overflowing with a myriad of exotic…

A Reason to Worry by L.L. Richardson

A Reason to Worry L.L. Richardson Monica and I were home when the authorities smashed through the door of the apartment across the hall. All we heard at the time was a tremendous crashing but we had no idea what was going on. I…

Craving by Phil Temples

Craving Phil Temples It’s late Saturday night and the desk sergeant calls me to the lobby to speak with two women. One looks disheveled and a bit confused. The other explains that she found the first woman walking along the side of Highway 24…

More Unfinished Business by Charles C Cole

More Unfinished Business Charles C Cole Wilson saw himself as, first and foremost, a struggling writer. He had cool titles, snippets of clever dialogue, villains that jumped off the page, but no tool to productionalize them. His therapist said he was afraid the finished…

Episode 1: On the Killing Field

Simple. That’s what they claimed, but they — Darius and Carson and Debs, and many others – were dead, and Collin didn’t believe that the robots in the sky simply fired blindly at anyone running across the boulder-strewn killing field. They defended a specific…

Episode Fourteen – The Aquine

Taja cooed at the aquine as it bobbed and floated, seeming content in her hand. She followed Ranseur up to the woman’s mansion. The afternoon sun dipped, the sky’s burnt orange hue casting a backdrop of light about the steepled manor. “Uh-queen?” Taja turned…

Change of Heart

I went back to sitting on the couch and staring at the ceiling for what felt like another hour before I heard the three come out of the office, not bothering to look behind me as they chatted excitedly. “Sorry to keep you waiting,”…

The Meganic’s Guide for Sanding Spacecraft by Kelly Kurtzhals Geiger

The Meganic’s Guide for Sanding Spacecraft Kelly Kurtzhals Geiger I bring my haversack to the dock as my repair, the Kypernia, limps home through the black sea of stars, though this isn’t really her home. Exoks prefer the open spaces far from planets. This…

Episode one: Feet Stickers

It was hard being a pair of feet in a city that didn’t want you. Everything in Andreapolis was made against the foot. Since humans got hooked up to flyballs, they levitated everywhere they went. It was faster and, as it proved, safer. At…

The Good Kind of Rage by Charles C Cole

The Good Kind of Rage Charles C Cole As arranged, I met Dahlia at the city park. It was the first weekend in June, and the place reeked of lilacs. She’d come recommended by a co-worker. “She’s the real deal!” said Sven from Finance….

Once There Was a Mountain by Charles C Cole

Once There Was a Mountain Charles C Cole Once upon a time there was a mountain shaped like a hug that separated a small community from the rest of the world. By dint of circumstance, including isolation and hunger and a dearth of traditional…

A Most Intelligent Ship by Charles C Cole

A Most Intelligent Ship Charles C Cole Deluxe stretch limo to outer space with every accommodation imaginable. That’s me. Point, accelerate, then relax and enjoy the ride. Humans construct a sophisticated, self-evolving AI that can make critical in-flight decisions, simultaneously, like navigating multiple hazards…

The Stranger With a Strange Name by Charles C Cole

The Stranger With a Strange Name Charles C Cole I stood as Calendula, my receptionist, escorted a client out of my chambers. That’s when I felt a sudden dizzy spell, as if I was looking out a high window in a swaying building or…

Summer Child

Sunar sat in the medbay of the ship he’d served on for the last few months and relayed the story of his run-in with Bobby Finkle, his gang, the police chief, how that led him to her door, and rounded the story out with…

Episode Thirteen – White Cap

Episode Thirteen – White Cap “I looked to the sea to remember, and she did not disappoint.” -Herron Huron of the Merfolk   Come child, Ranseur’s voice echoed in Taja’s head. You should have found it by now. Taja’s lips curled to one side,…

Episode 57: Eve: A Sparrow in Human Clothing

“So. Micean Council.” The crow gestured with her beak at my red bead necklace. “I see you brought some muscle with you—a Pomeranian!” She cackled with laughter. “Go lay an egg!” Waffles barked. Dichall stood up on the dog’s back and waved at the…

Making Plans

Gradually, the gritty streets gave way to clean pavement and mansions hidden behind iron gates. We arrived at one, an ancient but well-kept stucco villa surrounded by a wall of sandstone. A guard came out, offering the obligatory bow and “Mio Signore” before opening…

Oh, Those Entitled Dragon Riders by Ekaterina Pushnaya

Oh, Those Entitled Dragon Riders Ekaterina Pushnaya I still vividly remember how we first brought Ligery into the house. He was barely the size of a dog, and he immediately hid under the couch. If you ever owned a pet, you can probably imagine…

Admiral Soki’s Final Mission by Charles C Cole

Admiral Soki’s Final Mission Charles C Cole Though the near-space observations and data harvesting were long over, my quiet childhood home was still in geostationary orbit around Murdock’s moon, but not for long. The family-sized research satellite was being retired, in a big way….

Dragon Parleyer by K. A. Williams

Dragon Parleyer K. A. Williams “Rumor is that a dragon is terrorizing your village,” I said. “You’re not a knight, you’re not even a man. What could you do?” The elder regarded me with a scornful expression as he turned to enter his hut….

Leaving the Light On by Charles C Cole

Leaving the Light On Charles C Cole Barefoot senior Astro-Engineer Granger Mulwatty adroitly waddled down the familiar narrow metal catwalk in his loose animal-print pajamas. His sole job, for over 400 years and counting: using all available tools and methods, keep the surface illumination…

Welcome to Stagno

From reading uncensored history books while traveling abroad, Amadeo learned that Stagno and the other merchant republics had long served as a buffer between two great powers: Lotharingia, which stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Alps and emphasized tradition and conservatism, and the…

Episode Twelve – The Island

“Staying close to the sea makes you glad you are alive.”                                               -The Lady, Tarot Ranseur “I—I don’t want to live in…

Episode 56: Eve: Stowaways

I opened my eyes to see the dog with a piece of pizza crust on the floor in front of him. “Thanks, Waffles!” Gretchen jumped down and ran to the crust, then began ripping pieces for our breakfast. We stuffed our faces, then shoved…

Long Distance

Captain Pora Hairfoot looked at the half-dragon monk who had been such a lucrative – and entertaining – deck-hand for the last several months, and sighed. Yep, as soon as a monk starts acting a little strangely they end up becoming completely unpredictable. By…

Borborygmus by Phil Temples

Borborygmus Phil Temples Scientists using the orbiting Compton Gamma Ray Observatory were dumbfounded when they discovered a jet of hot gas and antimatter almost 3,500 light-years long shooting out of the center of our Milky Galaxy. Some have speculated that the violent gamma-ray emissions…

My Hulk by Barrington Smith-Seetachitt

My Hulk Barrington Smith-Seetachitt The hulk inside me hulks and skulks on the sidelines, waiting for her chance to crash through walls. Unfortunately for her, my life seldom calls for wall-crashing, so she spends a lot of time waiting. When she gets impatient, a…

Relief by Ryan Tan

Relief Ryan Tan One Land Link kit contains: clay soil, goldenrod seeds, one inflatable greenhouse, and two L-shaped flower pots. Best assembled at the gym, library, or any well-lit corridor. Avoid the control room and the dormitory. Spray the soil with submarine-filtered water. Greet…

Joe Avery Deals With Cards by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery Deals With Cards Charles C Cole The city was in the middle of a summer afternoon downpour. The raindrops were large and heavy and plentiful. I preferred walking, but not in this. My taxi arrived. To my surprise, my ride, looking something…

A Writer’s World Beckons by Charles C Cole

A Writer’s World Beckons Charles C Cole Bull D’Moose wrote and drew many marvelous children’s books with a community of whimsical creatures who, except for resembling the fevered imaginings of toddlers, were very much a mirror of humanity. By any measure, he lived a…

Captain’s Eyes

Captain Pora Hairfoot looked up at her half-dragon deckhand and felt a frown pull at the corner of her lips as Sunar did a slow-blink when she told him that someone was going to the expense of keeping an interstellar holo-call open just to…

Episode 55: Eve: Recruiting Waffles

Dichall, Gretchen and I leapt down from the high tower, safely landing in the snow. We found a gull picking through a discarded food container. Dichall held out his red bead necklace. “Hello there.” The gull pulled her head out of the box with…

Episode Eleven – Discovery

“One must willingly wash away self-defined illusions to truly discover who you really are.” -The Scrolls of V’lique, the Ancient Philosopher Taja waded knee-deep into the warm waters of the ocean, then stopped and glanced back to the shore, only to find Ranseur walking…

At the Crossroads

The next morning I find that my spine has stiffened somewhat in the night. Onye is depending on me. She’ll be waiting at the fork for me to bring her to the safety of our walls. I’m still terrified, but I can’t let her…

From Seattle to the Republic of Venice

I called my neighbor to take care of my cat for a few days just in case and packed enough clothes toiletries for a week, along with a few books, my Discman and an album of CDs and my passport. I also made sure…

Piece of Eight

A thud at the door meant the paperboy was late again. I opened it and picked up the rolled-up copy of The Seattle Times, sliding the rubber band off and unfurling it on the coffee table as Amadeo leaned forward to glance at the…

Episode 54: Eve: An Empty Storehouse

The growing stench of charred paper filled the air as we approached the library. We walked in to find scattered, burned pieces of paper on the floor, and a few exhausted mice trying to clean up the mess. A black deer mouse perked up,…

Once Again

Sunar suppressed a sigh as several armed people stepped into the hallway both before and behind him. He stood there and shook his head. “This seems like a lot of trouble to go to just to rob a random spacer.” The male human standing…

Planet Faraway by David Castlewitz

Planet Faraway David Castlewitz Nobody in Phil Stone’s Faraway appreciation group knew why news of the distant planet disappeared from every site that covered events out there. No artist renditions of the giant warships derived from fuzzy photographs sent back to Earth by Big…

Barefoot Witches by Alex Valdiers

Barefoot Witches Alex Valdiers The red earth of Hamlyn crackled, and a witch brought a storm upon the village of Hamlyn. Maeterlink, the troubled wizard with the most useless magic powers in Carmenghast, traveled a long way to reach Hamlyn, at the foot of…

Joe Avery Meets Mother Nature by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery Meets Mother Nature Charles C Cole You can take the detective out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the detective. I was at a gas station some two hours from home. No traffic lights in sight. No…

Calendula, My Partner by Charles C Cole

Calendula, My Partner Charles C Cole I returned from a brisk walk around the block to clear my head. Weird things were happening. I watched a cat giving a tongue-bath to a squirrel! I saw a centaur prancing in circles in traffic to get…

Genie, Ginger, and Gretel by Charles C Cole

Genie, Ginger, and Gretel Charles C Cole Genie, the big-and-tall shirtless exotic client who’d started it all, was back in my office. As he’d done in his original visit, he grabbed some throw pillows and sat cross-legged on the floor. This was not a…

A Portal to Remember by Shauna Checkley

A Portal to Remember Shauna Checkley Staring into the dazzling display which was like Canada Day and Mardi Gras and Carnival all in one, the two strangers stood utterly transfixed! “What is th-that?” Sarah’s mouth was shaped like the letter O. She stepped backwards…

Joe Avery goes for a Ride by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery goes for a Ride Charles C Cole My office, closed for the holiday, was as good a place as any to have a power nap. Signs had been posted on the door for days. I even went so far as to unplug…

Joe Avery and the Old World Visitor by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery and the Old World Visitor Charles C Cole Did you ever have one of those days when the world just seems off? Most days, exotics lined up at our office door like we were the only bar in a corporate mining town….

Joe Avery: When Calendula’s Away by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery: When Calendula’s Away Charles C Cole “Next!” I swung open the door of my consultation chambers into our crowded waiting room, figuring the clients knew who was first in line better than I did and would make the appropriate accommodations. Calendula, my…

Joe Avery Meets the King’s Men by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery Meets the King’s Men Charles C Cole I’d recently earned a reputation as a “fixer” for our community’s exotics, from trolls to sentient trees. My “business plan” began as a viral word-of-mouth campaign through a formerly homeless genie to any folktale creature…

Sojourn

I wake like an explosion, sweat slicked in the hesitant sick-light of dawn. I can’t believe I forgot to check the acer before bed. What if there had been a reply waiting for me? What if someone had been on the other end, wanting…

Eve: Something Rotten at the Council

Vivian went very still. “I don’t want to go home. I want to be a big girl.” “But Miss Magnitrude is a…” How do I say this? “Well, she’s a monster. She only looks like a woman.” Vivian fussed over the hair of her…

Episode Ten – The Past Is Your Future

“The past never is truly passed.” -The Lady, Tarot Ranseur “Awake my darling.” Ranseur’s pleasant but unwelcomed voice washed through Taja’s sleepy ears. “There is much to be done today.” “Wha-what?” Taja rubbed her eyes and stirred in her bed. She had never been,…

Amadeo’s Real Aims

Amadeo Darsa stuck his foot in the door as I tried to slam it shut in the hope of giving myself a few seconds to run to the kitchen and grab a knife, assuming a primitive kitchen utensil would be a match for whatever…

The Song in the Heart of a Friend Charles C Cole

The Song in the Heart of a Friend Charles C Cole “Some of my best friends are trees.” Others said it, but I meant it. A few former clients delighted in paying me back in novel ways. I was relaxing in the uppermost boughs…

Ocam’s Razor by Phil Temples

Ocam’s Razor Phil Temples Class, I’d like to point out this very unusual rock formation located near the Tayma oasis in Saudi Arabia known as the Al Naslaa rock.” The image on the auditorium’s projection screen displays a large boulder–approximately twenty feet high and…

Joe Avery Meets Cupid by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery Meets Cupid Charles C Cole Cupid had curly blonde hair and smiling eyes that could light up a room! Round and jolly like Santa as a youngish man, like a five-foot tall cherub. “I don’t understand,” I began. “Your message to my…

One of Cupid’s Casualties by Charles C Cole

One of Cupid’s Casualties Charles C Cole I stepped inside the bustling java joint for an early wake-up jolt. Large mirrors on the walls made the place seem like a carnival funhouse for pouty mommas’ boys on their way to the first day of…

Joe Avery Meets City Hall by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery Meets City Hall Charles C Cole I was taking a well-deserved day off from private investigations. Calendula, my half-rosebush receptionist, newly promoted to office manager, was in charge of wrangling the wild things who came to call. Our only competition, the Elf…

Joe Avery and the Mysterious Tenant by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery and the Mysterious Tenant Charles C Cole For additional income in their retirement, Janice’s parents, Ken and Lena, converted their basement into a rentable efficiency, with its own entrance and kitchenette. The first tenant was a bit of a mad scientist. Edmund…

Another Wishmaster Sighting by Charles C Cole

Another Wishmaster Sighting Charles C Cole It should come as no surprise for anyone to learn that genies are most convincing liars. (“You want to be a prince? Now you’re a prince!”) This is particularly true of the lovable really-big-fish-in-the-really-big-pond Genie with whom I…

The Getaway by Alex Valdiers

The Getaway Alex Valdiers Jeff, my childhood friend, and I left Earth because we hated our lives. He was a resort sales agent, and I worked for a microchip manufacturer. We were both married, without children, in our forties, and we were miserable. My…

Forbidden Hologram by Barry Yedvobnick

Forbidden Hologram Barry Yedvobnick Julie agreed to the movie but would not sit through another unrealistic proposal. Erik made popcorn as a peace-offering, and burned it again, so an acrid smell filled the room and burned her eyes. She checked her watch and noticed…

Not Just Another Human-Plant Hybrid by Charles C Cole

Not Just Another Human-Plant Hybrid Charles C Cole The place was packed, well, for us. I stepped into the waiting area to check with my new receptionist, Calendula. While she wasn’t exactly a creature of traditional folklore, as most of our clients were, she…

Joe Avery and the Foster Shadow by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery and the Foster Shadow Charles C Cole Calendula, my half-rosebush receptionist, was perturbed. Even a non-detective could conclude this by the obsessive way she sharpened pencils longer than was necessary. Many of our preindustrial clients had a distrust of computers (digital technology…

Joe Avery Meets the Goats Gruff by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery Meets the Goats Gruff Charles C Cole Humpty Dumpty was in town to expand his regional domination. Things had been going well financially, to the extent he was getting the wrong kind of attention from the wrong kind of people. A recent…

The Final Return of the First Client by Charles C Cole

The Final Return of the First Client Charles C Cole The only way to guarantee a lunch break at the office was by leaving the building, but the demands of work didn’t always observe strict protocol. Maybe there was a long call or I…

The Nanny by Devin Vandriel

The Nanny Devin Vandriel At night the cockroaches took little bites out of my flesh. But this was the way of the things back when the world was engulfed by war, for the second time. They called it World War Two. I was a…

Joe Avery Meets a Marathon Sleeper by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery Meets a Marathon Sleeper Charles C Cole Early morning, so early the sentinel rooster on the roof (the penthouse tenant had an extensive chicken coop!) was still snoozing. My intermittently shy, half-rosebush receptionist, Calendula, had been invited by former clients out of…

Joe Avery Returns to the Beach by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery Returns to the Beach Charles C Cole A friend from high school reached out. I didn’t have the best childhood, surrounded as we’d been by neighborhood violence. Most acquaintances had grown up but not out, if you get my drift, older but…

Seven Year Monsoon by H.T. Grossen

Seven Year Monsoon H.T. Grossen Margot had missed the sun. She leaned her forehead miserably against one of the few above-ground windows, staring into the tumult of writhing grey plants: ever growing to be ever crushed under the torrential downpours here on Venus. A…

Three Factorial! by Dee Artea

Three Factorial! (A Tale in Three Sections, Six Ways) Dee Artea Section One “Where are you taking me? I don’t trust you. Are you that lawyer guy who made me uncomfortable by the way you looked at me – my breasts, my legs? You…

History repeats

Four worlds in as many weeks. I do think I signed on to the right ship if I want to see the Empire. Or, every Second Street in it, anyway. Sunar looked around himself at the street full of bars which always seemed to…

Final Justice

Dogs and timber wolves howled and bayed, after the battered Ottfly’s disappeared into the wilderness. But good spirits and joyous humor soon faded… replaced with reality. Omar strode towards Shocka Din, who, with Hanna at his side, started his way. They made steady eye…

A Message

My entire world narrows to the five square inches of the Mercury app’s screen space. This is not an app I have been able to open before. These are not words I have typed. Someone is there. We are not alone. The cursor in…

Episode 52: Eve: Trapped Girl

Waffles slipped silently behind and then past Gombree until we were out of sight. Although the building consisted of a continuous spiral floor going all the way up, it had been divided into a series of room-like spaces, some separated by walls with doors…

Episode Nine – Return to the Ocean

“Grief is the price one must pay if one is to love.” – Abbot Llewellyn Vir “No!” Taja screamed and fell to her knees. Her eyes clouded in tears and confusion. The mental likeness of the bloody knife stained her consciousness, and the shrill…

Déjà Evolution by Barry Yedvobnick

Déjà Evolution Barry Yedvobnick Ellie was crying and barely heard her father’s reply. “She drowned.” At fourteen she’d spend the rest of her life without her mother, who loved the water and was an excellent swimmer. Nobody could explain what happened. They decided it…

Can’t Hide

Sunar sat and looked down at the glass before him while trying to blink away a slight drink-induced haze. His buddies had already won twice, betting that he could drink someone under the table. Then, while he cleared the effects of the booze from…

Episode Eight – Silverwave

“Waves with the tide ebb and flow, their sound both welcomed and feared.” -The Lady Tarot Ranseur “It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen,” Ramsay confided to Yasmine and Taja, as the forward carriage of the Symphony of Daydreams neared the gates of Notre Nouveaux….

Episode 51: Eve: Magnitrude

Waffles walked forward and onto the window. We all looked down (to us) which was actually sideways (to the rest of the world) at the wall of the building next door. “Well that’s disorienting.” I twisted my head to see if it would help….

Armor – Hope and Ruin

Funny word, hope. It once had such broad applications. I have learned this in my research. People once said I hope that boy or girl likes me back, I hope my favorite streamer is renewed, I hope for peace, I hope for clean air…

Not In This House by Melissa R. Mendelson

Not In This House Melissa R. Mendelson The hallway pulled back, almost as if it were denying her entrance. Shadows dared to swallow up her feet, if they moved inside. The sun graced across her shoulders but slipped away before reaching the door, and…

Joe Avery and the Perfect Fit by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery and the Perfect Fit Charles Cole Technically, the drooling toadboy was next, but I needed to mix things up or risk burning out. Sometimes you need an easy case, or at least a client who’s easy on the eyes. Nubia was my…

Joe Avery Marches to a Different Tune by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery Marches to a Different Tune Charles C Cole Calendula, my plant-human hybrid receptionist, stepped into my inner sanctum where I was concluding an early-morning nap in my swivel rocker. I’d driven all night after working a case for the legendary Mothman, dealing…

The Case of the Stone Lions by Charles Cole

The Case of the Stone Lions Charles Cole My ex-wife, Janice, an intersection of deep-rooted quiet and calm like the library where she researched, was agitated. The sight was both alarming and darkly funny, like the time my third-grade teacher, Sister Anna-Maria, had blown…

Terms Apply by Max Christopher

Terms Apply Max Christopher I picked up this year’s free car today, regretting my decision to walk the six blocks to the dealership. Horrible biped dogs leaned in doorways, wagging their tails listlessly when a person walked by. Seeing them made my skin crawl….

Meet Douglas Schwarz

Psychic Chicken Douglas Schwarz Henrietta laid her very first egg in the early hours of a chill spring morning. Like all the hens in her coop, she was confined to a wire cage scarcely big enough to hold her. But unlike the others, her…

Episode 50:    Eve: The Twisted Tower

I frantically looked around for a place for us to escape to. There! I yanked on Waffle’s ear, and pointed at a set of panels barricading a storage area under a building. “Look!” I don’t know if Waffles could see my paw or not,…

Episode Seven – Time Flies

“Time is like a strong breeze. You can try to resist it, but each gust brings with it a new challenge.” -Parson Dalton Ascot “Taja, here are some candied violets,” one of the dancers slipped into her palm. “They are from Lady Ranseur. But…

Episode Sixteen – The Battle

Shocka Din ambled away from King Cat Sateer in deep thought, then picked up speed to a relaxed trot. Sateer says there’s dangers I can’t imagine here. This is one creepy place, but somethin’ is keepin’ me here. Should have fought Omar days ago…

Episode Seven: The Missing Piece

It took Carrie several minutes to get her head together again, but when she finally pulled gently away from Garrett, he let her go and turned back toward the billowing steam. “Well Carrie, are you ready to find out what’s next?” She laughed a…

Shore Leave

Sunar had planned to spend the day at a handful of tourist spots within the city, visit one of the local weapons shops to check out a ‘virtual target practice system’ that claimed to be an excellent way to practice with realistic firearms in…

Episode 10: A Familiar Face

Fragrant smoke wafted over Cole as he sat cross-legged by the crackling brushwood fire. He warmed his palms against the flames and rested his uneasy gaze on the lip of the ravine. Above, the stars turned slowly across the darkened sky, remote and silent…

Detective Joe Avery Hits the Beach by Charles Cole

Detective Joe Avery Hits the Beach Charles Cole For some, every day is a perfect day to go to the shore, even when it’s not. I myself am not much of a sun worshipper: I burn easily. And I’m always profiling the masses for…

The Flower Girl, The Tree Man, and the Troll by Charles C Cole

The Flower Girl, The Tree Man, and the Troll Charles C Cole On doctor’s orders, I was power walking through Central Park, ostensibly sans cigarettes. Being prescriptive, there was no inherent fun in the endeavor. I huffed and puffed – keeping my anti-health disgust…

The Ring Reclaimed by Jeffrey Greene

The Ring Reclaimed Jeffrey Greene On a rainy October evening more than twenty years ago, two hikers traveling in opposite directions on the Appalachian Trail in northern Georgia stopped for the night in one of those doorless log shelters provided by the Park Service…

Joe Avery’s Early Client by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery’s Early Client Charles C Cole I arrived at my office in the early morning. I stepped out of the elevator into an empty hallway. The peace and quiet wouldn’t last, but it was a nice way to start the day. An unexpected…

The Case of the Wolf and Three Pigs by Charles C Cole

The Case of the Wolf and the Three Pigs Charles Cole As an in-demand private detective, I rarely get weekends or holidays or evenings off. Neither do my clients. “No rest for the weary,” my mother used to say. I live in a world…

A Private Eye For Magic Folk by Charles C Cole

A Private Eye For Magic Folk Charles C Cole I’m a detective. Once upon a time, I helped a non-humanoid, and now magic folk line up outside my office like they’re getting free front-row tickets to the elf king’s coronation. Not every customer leaves…

Download A Daydream by K. A. Williams

Download A Daydream K. A. Williams The website at ‘Download A Daydream’ had some interesting selections including – meet underground inhabitants of Mars, sail the high seas with Captain Blackbeard (I already had that daydream), and travel through space with the crew of the…

‘byss Gazer by Michael W. Clark

‘byss Gazer Michael W. Clark They stood on the observation deck of the space platform gazing out into the Universe. It is not dark. There is light all over the Universe, it is just uneven. That point a star. That point a galaxy. That…

Episode 49: Eve: The Brutish Dog

Gretchen blinked up at me from out of the floof. “Do you see something?” “No, everything looks the same. But that bird was talking nonsense.” Gretchen crawled up next to me, Emerson fluttering on her shoulder. She looked up at the nuthatch. “Ma’am? Have…

Episode Six – The Hastening

“To sow the seeds of education is a bitter chore, but the fruits harvested from your work are always sweet.” -Motto above the entrance to the Library of Ayers Loft Taja couldn’t sleep. Thoughts of the magic woman skittered through her mind. The wonderment…

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It Isn’t Blackmail K. A. Williams Manning University held its five year class reunion at the Hammersmythe Hotel and I went, hoping to see Roy Dalton. He was there, of course, smiling and basking in the admiration of his peers. I could see him…

Sweet Tooth by Robert F Young

The Snowball Effect by Katherine MacLean

The Next Logical Step by Ben Bova

Later Than You Think by Fritz Leiber

I Like Martian Music by Charles E. Fritch

The Gravity Business by James Edwin Gunn

 

Duel on Syrtis by Poul Anderson

Beyond Lies the Wub by Philip K. Dick

The Bell Tone by Edmund H. Leftwich

2 B R 0 2 B by Kurt Vonnegut Jr

1000 dollars a plate by Jack Mckenty

The Jezinkas – a Bohemian fairy tale

The Jezinkas A Bohemian fairy tale There was a poor orphan lad who had neither father nor mother, and was compelled to go out to service to get his living. He travelled a long way without being able to obtain an engagement, till one…

Long, Broad, and Sharpsight – a Bohemian fairy tale

Long, Broad, and Sharpsight A Bohemian fairy tale There once was a king, who was already old and had but one son. Once upon a time he called this son to him, and said to him, “My dear son! You know that old fruit…

Ghosts In The Machine by David Barber

Ghosts In The Machine David Barber They were my first visitors since arriving here; what pass for priests in this benighted world. I am writing down what happened, with its guilty conclusion, before the sense of it escapes me. The smaller, squatter of the…