Showtime – Jamie Brindle

Week One The adverts are compelling, but you tell yourself you only watch the show because Mary wants to. Your wife has always loved reality TV. So on day one you tune in like half the nation, and you are hooked. The ten contestants are pretty awful, they always are on these things. But it’s different this time. When this show ends, only one of these people will survive. Though of course, sims aren’t classed …

Strix Antiqua – Hamilton Perez

I didn’t want to go back into those woods. I didn’t trust them, and I suppose they didn’t trust me either. But deep down, I knew—I had to go. You can’t just stay at home, whispering to God on bended knee when your little sister’s been taken by a witch. Police combed through the forest during the day but didn’t find anything. They wouldn’t of course. A witch takes people when they’re alone, not in …

Shiplight – Benjamin C. Kinney

“Right there, any moment now. Their future,” Jacob said, resentment thick and sour in his mouth. He pointed up into the night sky, above the heads of the close-packed crowd on the porch. Everyone was silent. Despite everything, Jacob and all the other Sea-born natives held their breath. A fresh pinprick appeared in the night’s threadbare shroud. A new star, flickering and bright with the flare of the decelerating pulse drive. Shiplight. Voices erupted in …

Dragons I Have Slain – B. Morris Allen

I collect dragon tears. It isn’t difficult; they’re insidious and subtle, and they seep through my armor and into my skin like ink, leaving me stained, soiled, sorrowful — a human map of misery. The Dragon Atlas, I call it — marked with the precise locations of honor and shame. Dragons cry for the same reasons we do — pain, heartache, joy. We think of them as wise and cold, but wisdom is no antidote …

So, You’re In an Alternate Universe – Jeremy Packert Burke

So, you’re in an alternate universe. It doesn’t feel alternate. Your mom is still your mom, who smells like fennel, with red-rubbed knuckles. Your dad still has his large tie collection: his wooden tie, his Yellow Submarine tie, his tie that looks like a large fish. Hitler was still Hitler, and Stalin, Stalin. The sun outside is very yellow—is it too yellow? Is that the difference? The scar on your knee is still there. Eileen …

The Bonesetter – Santiago Belluco

Nissil saw a disturbance within the mold brambles in the far distance and turned to the broad edge of her tissue-fitting terrace. Soldiers approached from the east. The narrow road they took was partially obscured by the tall mold that dominated her holdings, but Nissil counted six figures with ease. She expected the attack on her keep to be more subtle than this, and was unsure if such an obvious maneuver should be cause for …