(Originally published in Fireside magazine.)
The muted horns of passing cars drifted up to Enthos, where he sat on his ledge, peering over the street. The familiar lights and sounds were both comforting and maddening. The scent of flowers washed over him, the blossoms continuing their cycle of blooming and dying under his watch. How much time do I have left?
The sun fell below the horizon, casting shadow over the city, but he felt no chill of night on his wings. The wind howled, but it did not tickle the fur of his neck. The gargoyle sat still, stationary. Stone.
Addison Smith lives and writes in the wilds of icy Minnesota with a wolf, a baby wolfling, and (one day soon) another human. He tweets as @addisoncs, but it’s mostly an excuse to share photos of his pets.
Main Story: “A Proper War” by James A. Moore
(Originally published in Grimdark #8.)
They found their prey near the edge of the cliff that fell into the Rehkail River a few hundred feet below. There was a damp trail of footsteps that ran from the edge of the cliff to where the shape waited. Allim wondered if the furry mass they stared at had actually climbed the sheer cliffside and then shook the notion away. Madness.
“What do you make of that, then?” Allim stared at the lump of fur leaning against a large rock and frowned. Under him his piebald shifted from hoof to hoof, but did not bolt. The damned thing was always skittish.
“It’s a big bastard of a man, or a bear. Damn near the same size.” Benny spoke, no more troubled than if they were having a pint around a fire. Just the same Benny checked that his weapons were in easy reach.
James A. Moore is the award-winning author of more than twenty novels, thrillers, dark fantasy and horror alike, including the critically acclaimed Fireworks, Under The Overtree, Blood Red, the Serenity Falls trilogy (featuring his recurring anti-hero, Jonathan Crowley), and his most recent novels The Blasted Lands and City of Wonders. In addition to writing multiple short stories, he has also edited, with Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, the British Invasion anthology for Cemetery Dance Publications.
James cut his teeth in the industry writing for Marvel Comics and authoring over twenty role-playing supplements for White Wolf Games, including Berlin by Night, Land of 1,000,000 Dreams, and The Get of Fenris tribe book for Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse, among others. He also penned the White Wolf novels Vampire: House of Secrets and Werewolf: Hellstorm.
His first short story collection, Slices, sold out before ever seeing print. His most recent novels include A Hell Within (With Charles R. Rutledge) and the forthcoming apocalyptic sci-fi thriller Spores, and a new series tentatively called The Tides of War, with the first book The Last Sacrifice slated for release in January 2017. More information can be at jamesamoorebooks.com and genrefied.blogspot.com. James can also be found on Twitter as @ and on Facebook.
About the Narrators:
By day, Roberto Suarez works as a community college student advocate and recruiter. By night he geeks out on all things fantasy and science fiction, comic books and board games He is the co-host and producer of A Pod of Casts: The Game of Thrones Podcast and the new Radio Westworld, a podcast dedicated to HBO’s recent science fiction series. You can find Roberto on the web at robertosuarez.me, or on Twitter as @PuertoGeekan.
Mark “The Encaffeinated One” Kilfoil loves fiction, so much so that he’s written some (such as the Parsec-nominated Tainted Roses), read quite a lot (a library of over a thousand half-read books and growing), and now narrates it (sometimes actually recorded for others). He’s found that volunteering for a dozen years in radio was a decent way to get a full-time job as a Program Director at a community radio station in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, but not such a great way to finish his thesis, so he stopped at a Masters in Computer Science. He can be heard frequently on CHSRfm.ca, and two of his shows regularly appear as podcasts, and can be found at encaffeinated.ca and theweirdshow.com. He likes cats enough to pet them but not enough to own one, and computers enough to own several but pet none of them. He will someday write a million words, but at this rate, that will require life extension, so he eagerly awaits the ability to upload into a computer, if that hasn’t already happened and this is all only a simulation.