Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination





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.

Science Fiction

Codename: Delphi

“Valdez, you need to slow down,” Karin Larsen warned, each syllable crisply pronounced into a mic. “Stay behind the seekers. If you overrun them, you’re going to walk into a booby trap.”


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.

Science Fiction

Complex God

Dr. Petra Prawatt pulled her jacket tighter and shivered against the cold of a Michigan winter. There wasn’t much left to block the icy, stiff breeze that whipped in off the river, not since the nuke had crushed most of the buildings in downtown Detroit.

Science Fiction

The Legend of RoboNinja

RoboNinja. A name for garbled tongues and garbled times. Interstate mudlarks peer at him from beneath grotty brows as he passes, eyes the size of headlamps reflecting the gelid glow of his visor. He once tried obscuring the light with handfuls of ash, smeared across LEDs and his shining silver carapace like the penitential marks of a sect long forgotten. It had worked for a time, until the monsoon came mocking once more.


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.

Science Fiction


I was on my way to Teatro del Sale when I saw the crow that hangs around near the entrance to the Newton strut. Birds don’t generally do all that well on Speranza. Jay says it’s because they like light and the whole inside of Speranza is like an Earth city night, with the lights along the struts and the street lighting.


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.

Science Fiction

The Mao Ghost

I still remember that evening: In the heavy air, the plastic dragonflies hovered just below the eaves like miniature helicopters, drifting about slightly even though there was no wind. I came home, and Dad was already in the house but kept the lights off. The setting sun came in through cracks in the window, and his face seemed indescribably thin in the dim, yellow light, like a stranger’s.


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?