Science Fiction & Fantasy

Latest Science Fiction Story

Drones Don’t Kill People

I was always already a killer. There was no hazy time in my memory before I knew how to target a person’s heart or brain for clean execution. I did not develop a morbid fascination with death over time; I did not spend my childhood mutilating animals; I was not abused by a violent parent; I did not suffer social injustice until finally I broke down and turned to professional violence. From the moment I was conscious, I could kill and I did.

Latest Fantasy Story

Solstice

This story is about a small-time rocker full of ambition and careful big plans. She lives for the day when she can come up like thunder on the rest of the herd, so she’s a little stunned to find herself fighting with her boyfriend on the night of the big gig, slamming out of his van and marching across a frosty prairie outside Madison, Wisconsin, her guitar in her hand and her hot, angry breath making her scarf all scummy with ice crumbs as she curses him and her stupidity at coming so far in his company.

FEAR CITY by F. Paul Wilson

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Nonfiction

Interview: Charles Stross

Today we’ve got an interview with award-winning science fiction author Charles Stross. His latest book, THE RHESUS CHART, is the fifth volume in The Laundry Files, a series that blends spy thrillers, Lovecraftian horror, and workplace humor. This interview first appeared on Wired.com’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, which is hosted by David Barr Kirtley.

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What Glistens Back

Come back. You hear the call as the lander breaks up around you. You’re aware of the entirely arbitrary concepts of up and down before you realize what’s happening, and then they’re a lot less arbitrary. Down is not so much a direction as a function of possibility, of what might happen to you, of what is happening now. You finally get down as an idea.

Spidersong

Brenneker, the lyre spider, lived inside a lute, a medieval instrument resembling a pear-shaped guitar. The lute was an inexpensive copy of one made by an old master and had rose-wood walls and a spruce sounding board. Her home was sparsely furnished, a vast expanse of unfinished wood, a few sound pegs reaching from floor to ceiling like Greek columns, and in one corner, near the small F-shape sound holes, the fantasy of iron-silk thread that was Brenneker’s web.

Instructions

Let me put it one way—telling the Mysteries for you like beads, simply and straightforwardly—bicycle gears, pink foam, budget sheets, the itch of stars, presumption in a limousine, the dance of plasma, prizes, revisions, giggles, memories, Instruction, and necessary reticences. Have you understood yet?

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Sah-Harah

Lord Knowshire could scarcely contain his emotion. Before him, only a few miles away, gleaming bright in the sunlight, were the red walls of Sah-Harah. In that moment, he forgot the tragic vicissitudes of his journey, forgot the unhappy fate of his companions and the faithlessness of his guides, forgot all but the marvelous sight that lay at last before his eyes. For years he had dreamed of it, repeating the passages from Abu-Abbas engraved in his memory and comparing the Coptic inscriptions of Abydos with the papyrus, two millennia older, discovered in the nameless tomb at Deir-el-Bahari and never fully understood till now.

A Flock of Grief

The woman’s dress was perfectly correct. Indeed, it, and she, would have been utterly unremarkable, were it not for the bird perched upon her shoulder, black-feathered, eyes with the seasick luminosity of moonstones. “Vulgar,” Sofie said to me under her breath. “Why go out in society at all, if you are going to appear like that? No one wishes to have a party disturbed by such reminders of grief and mortality.”

Enter Saunterance

Back in Obron’s workroom, Kaslo told the wizard his theory that the reason their enemy had sent a fire elemental against them was because he wanted the fiery spirit to seize the noubles the op had originally acquired from the murderous thaumaturge, Asrat Gozon. “Fire cannot harm them,” he finished.

More Nonfiction

Editorial, November 2014

Make sure to read the Editorial for all our news and updates, as well as a run-down of this month’s terrific content.

Artist Showcase: Jeremy Wilson

All of the “golden age” illustrators like Pyle, Wyeth, and Cornwell have a major impact on me. I grew up around art. My father is an acclaimed gallery artist. I gained a lot from him concerning technique. Both he and I are also heavily influenced by John Singer Sargent. I have most recently been surrounded by some amazing editorial illustrators. Sterling Hundley has had a major influence on both my life and work.

Interview: Nick Harkaway

Nick Harkaway is the author of THE GONE-AWAY WORLD and ANGELMAKER. His latest book, TIGERMAN, presents an unusual take on the idea of a costumed superhero. This interview first appeared on Wired.com’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, which is hosted by David Barr Kirtley.