Science Fiction & Fantasy

COLDWATER by Jeff Rovin




The Fiddler of Bayou Teche

Come here, cher, and I tell you a story. One time there is a girl lives out in the swamp. Her skin and hair are white like the feathers of a white egret and her eyes are pink like a possum’s nose. When she is a baby, the loup-garous find her floating on the bayou in an old pirogue and take her to Tante Eulalie. Tante Eulalie does not howl and grow hair on her body when the moon is full like the loup-garous. But she hide in the swamp same as they do.

Science Fiction

Solder and Seam

There was a man who built a whale out of wood. He built it in the middle of a field out in the dry country, where nobody bothered him but birds and a couple of farm cats. The whale was white, and it took two years to build. He made it out of planks from old barns, which he stole in the night. He didn’t steal them from anyone who’d miss them. Most people were gone. There were a lot of things falling down.


Werewolf Loves Mermaid

How They Met: They met at a wedding. He was in the wedding party. She was serving canapés at the reception. On some level, reclining in a fountain while holding a tray of canapés is more efficient than circulating through a crowd with them. On most levels, it isn’t. “Canapé?” the mermaid asked the werewolf when he wandered near the fountain. “Isn’t this just garnish?” said the werewolf, picking up a wilted stem of parsley.

Science Fiction

Harry and Marlowe Meet the Founder of the Aetherian Revolution

“We could have taken George’s courier ship and arrived in a quarter of the time.” “No, we couldn’t,” Harry said, scowling at Marlowe, who knew very well they shouldn’t be here at all, much less aboard her brother’s ship. But he seemed to enjoy mentioning her brother George and reminding Harry of the impropriety of it all. It was a long-running joke, and she let him have his fun. Marlowe just smiled.


Estella Saves the Village

I have lived in the village all my life. Miss Havisham has told me the story over and over again: how, as an infant, I was found in a basket on the front steps of the church, and how Reverend Rivers asked the villagers gathered for service on Sunday morning which of them would be willing to raise a foundling. And how Miss Havisham immediately said, “I will.”

Science Fiction

All in a Hot and Copper Sky

I have written a thousand letters to her in my head. Part of me is always writing to her, while I sit in front of the dusty yellow windows in the coffee shops on Market Street, or roll sticky cinnamon dough on my cold granite counter, or stand in the smooth gray sand at the very edge of the sea. I never wrote to her while she was alive, not even at the end, when letters might have comforted us both.


The Ninth Seduction

The sun had descended behind Lakefell as seven times seven goblin artisans gathered before the throne of Castellerine Lynder in the Serpentine Garden, their choicest and most enchanting creations for the year past held high. Chancellor Arrender walked slowly along the lines of scarlet cushions that glowed softly around the delights placed upon them, inspecting what the castellerine would soon consider.

Science Fiction

God Mode

Memories. Nauseous snatches of infinity trickling in, thumbing into my forehead, pinning me to this flower-smelling bed. My fractured thoughts are bursting away with the cannon-shot split of glaciers, broken towers that knife into a sea of amnesia. In all of the forgetting, there is this one constant thing. Her name is Sarah. I will always remember that.


The Iron Hut

When they unearthed the mysterious shard, a sense of excitement rippled through the archaeological camp. They were onto something staggering. Professor Leopold Watson arrived first and examined the shard with reverent care. Kilwa Kivinje had disappeared into antiquity with no clues as to its whereabouts. Despite his colleagues’ skepticism, he was certain that the forgotten city was here—not far from the Olduvai Gorge.

Science Fiction

Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World

Mei dreamed of a new Earth. She took her telescope onto the balcony of her North Philadelphia apartment and pointed it east, at the sky above the Trenton Strait, hoping for a clear view of Mars. Tonight the light pollution from Jersey Island wasn’t as bad as usual, and she was able to make out the ice caps and dark shadow of Syrtis Major.