Friday, November 30, 2012


Hello!  Hello!  We are teeth!  We are smell!  Hello!  Who are you?  Hello!  Bigteeth bigsmell hello!  Who am I?

Cold there is.  Hello!  Cold outside.  Air is nosecold.  Bloodwarm smell is.

Hello!  Road there is.  Road in cold.  We are.  Hello, hello!  We are teeth!   We are run!  Running teeth running cold running air is cold is bloodwarm smell hello!

Colddark smell.  Wind smell.  Hello!  Hello!  Found you!  We found you!  Hello!

We are teeth!  Hello!  We are taste!  Good!  Good! 

Gone now.  Hello!  Back now.  Hello, hello!  Teeth now.  Smell now.  You are we!  Who am I?

We are.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Time Traveler

He doesn't fit.  That's the first thing everyone notices, and the only detail they remember.  They saw a little old man, and he didn't fit.

It isn't his fault.  Not directly.  He has a place, of course - everything does, sooner or later - but he can no longer find it.  It is lost, and he squeezes into cracks as best he can, dreaming of home.

Home doesn't exist.  Home is another causality, a different spacetime.

Home is dead.  He killed it.

It was necessary.  This fact occasionally comforts him.

But he is the only one who remembers, and so he must dream.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Devoutly to Be Wished

He lights a match, holds it, lets it burn.

It is a consummation, he says.  The wood is fuel, swollen with promise.  The chemicals on the tip are nothing but a combustion in potentia, the lightest, faintest shove away from an orgy of wanton electron exchange.

He flicks the spent splinter away, gnarled and blackened.  He lights another.

Every flame is unique, he says.  Is it better to live in a watertight box, nestled among sleeping siblings, or to burn in furious, idiosyncratic glory, however brief?

Everything wants so badly to happen, he says, and his eyes flash as he smiles.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Glistening Like Pearls in the Dark

The contest, such as it was, is over!  Congratulations, Heidi, on your shiny new doorstop book!  

I encourage everyone to at least sign up for Daily Science Fiction's e-mail feed; free stories delivered to you every day is about as good as it gets, and they're proving themselves to be a solid contributor to the genre markets as well. 


The waters of fourth grade were perilous, all sharks and hidden reefs.  But here they were, Suze and Kayden, proof positive that Trudy wasn't the least popular girl in the school.  It was a triumph, the result of months of research and careful planning.

"You have a dollhouse?" Suze asked, prodding the offending object with one precociously painted fingernail.

"It's from when I was smaller," said Trudy.  "I outgrew it."

"Oughtta dump it," said Kayden.  Suze nodded emphatically.

Trudy looked down, appropriately shamed.  They didn't need to know that Trudy's sisters would need the house, too... when they finally hatched.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Towers of Haran

The towers of Haran pierce the sky, great looping swirls of translucent glass.  We admired them from afar, up in the north, before we became Haran, long before we ever thought to come to this land in the first place.  At first they appear colorless, transparent, but then the first rays of the sun leap across the horizon and set the world afire, and the thousand subtle shades become apparent.  It is a tracery of frost that spreads from the highest slopes of Yttrin Mountain all the way down to the wall at the furthest reaches of the burbling Sal'Vikanti, where it runs through the valley and out to the sea.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Beneath His Notice

It's echoes, man.  Resonances.  Nested versions inside nested versions.

Look.  You know how they discovered penicillin, right?  They were studying some crazy germs and had a bunch of old petri dishes, but they had to leave unexpectedly and when they came back, everything was moldy.  Only in some of the dishes, the mold was killing the bacteria.

Right, so that's us.  The mold.  The scientist is distracted - he's looking out the window and contemplating the blue infinity or whatever - and we're growing where he can't see.  But we don't kill germs, do we?  No, we squeeze out shit like war and hate and goddamned idiocy.  What do you think he's going to do when he finally sees us?  We ain't a miracle drug, I tell you that much.

And this is the bit that kills me: people are calling out to him, trying to get his attention.  That's dangerous.  He's not physical; the physical universie is just his little lab, his testing ground, his fucking petri dish.  Flesh ties down thoughts.  But if you think thoughts hard enough, you make an echo.  If enough echos match up, you make resonance. 

You make it loud enough, enough voices together, and he just might notice.

He might turn around...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just Then, Coincidentally, the Lights Went Out

"It's a matter of equipment," said Edgar.  "We live in analog.  Time flows fast, it flows slow, but it always flows.  Ghosts aren't moving forward anymore, so they're stuck in digital.  Binary: zero or one, on or off."

"And so you're... throwing them a party?" Bertha asked, eyeing the strobe lights.

Edgar huffed.  "I'm going to isolate a series of discrete temporal instances and analyze them for spectral content."

"You're taking pictures of flashing lights."


"So... if you make an analog version of a digital being, aren't you bringing it back into the timestream with us?  What happens then?"

Friday, November 2, 2012


The kitchen was a welter of steam and sound.  Reggie had to shout as he introduced Thom's new coworkers.

"And that's Fenris," Reggie said, pointing to a shaggy wolf in an apron.  "He's from out of state."

"I dwell in the dark behind the sun," the wolf growled.

"Technically we're violating some health codes, but Lordy-Lord, there is just not a hairnet big enough.  Show him your trick, Fenny."

The wolf's eyes glittered dangerously.  Reggie, grinning, held out a can of condensed stock.  Slowly, hatefully, the wolf opened its bone-crushing jaws and delicately sheared the top off.

"Handy!" Reggie crowed.