Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

Fiction

Fantasy

Alsiso

The first Alsiso was a gift from Lord Grastiac’s murderer. The word came from the lexicon of a dead language—a language which had gone to the scaffold laughing three hundred years ago, with “alsiso” being one of its last words. The assassin wrote “alsiso” on the pale carpet in the nobleman’s blood, balancing the death of the man with the resurrection of one word.

Fantasy

Observations About Eggs from the Man Sitting Next to Me on a Flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cedar Rapids, Iowa

1. Lord, it’s hot in this cabin. I could hard-boil an egg inside my mouth. What’s your name?
2. Have you ever poached an egg? The trick is white vinegar. Everyone forgets the white vinegar, and the blasted thing falls apart, and then they miss one of the greatest wonders of the world.

Fantasy

Phalloon the Illimitable

The estate of Phalloon the so-called Illimitable was in most respects much like that of the budding thaumaturge Diomedo Obron, Erm Kaslo’s new employer: It had a large, solid house, some remote outbuildings, lawns and a lake, clumps of mature trees, and an all-enclosing wall. What made it different, Kaslo saw as he surveyed it from a hill in the middling distance, was a rocky prominence that stood in the estate’s northeast corner.

Fantasy

The Armies of Elfland

It was the middle of the night when the mirrors came out of the elves. With a sound like the cushioned patter of an ice storm, the tiny mirrors fell to the ground, leaving a crust of glitter behind the marching elf army. They bled, of course, but the elven blood restored the dry land, undoing the effects of the drought, and moss emerged green from the ground in the troops’ wake.

Fantasy

A Drink for Teddy Ford

It was often said in certain circles of town that no event could hope to match Jerry Ulkridge’s New Year’s Eve parties. The entire year was spent in anticipation of what the next one might feature. Could he possibly beat the ice sculptures of ’21? The champagne fountain of two years back?

Fantasy

A Different Fate

We are one. We are three. We are sisters, together and individual. Past, present, future. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. One of us must have been born first, but the stories say there were always three, and so there were. Fate is too weighty a thing to be dealt by only one.

Fantasy

None Owns the Air

“Push! Push! Damn it, put your backs into it!” Kino Ye’s voice rose to a panicked screech as the four sweat-drenched soldiers strained against the spokes of the giant winch. “Push!” But one of the spokes snapped as the man leaning against it fell face-first into the sand, and the winch whipped around and tossed the other three men through the air to land sprawling on the beach a few paces away.

Fantasy

Love in Another Language

Linguists estimate that of the 6,000 or so languages now spoken in the world, about half will be gone within the next 100 years. In his paper “Endangered Languages of the Pacific Region,” Osamu Sakiyama reports that Nasarian has only twenty speakers, Maragus and Ura have only ten speakers each, and Aore has only a single speaker—and by the time you read this, those speakers will have died.

Fantasy

So Sharp That Blood Must Flow

In the end, the water goes black with the witch’s blood. Before this happens, the little mermaid understands that a deal is a deal, a bargain a bargain, and there can’t be reneging. But this isn’t reneging, she tells herself as she sinks down, down, down into water so black that in truth it would be difficult to discern witch’s blood within it even had a hundred witches been slaughtered in its depths.

Fantasy

Detours on the Way to Nothing

It’s midnight when you and your girlfriend, Elka, have your first fight since you moved in together. Words wound, tears flow, doors slam. You storm out of the apartment, not caring where you go as long as it’s far away from her. When you step off the front stoop onto the sidewalk, that’s the moment when the newest version of me is born.