“The Temple of Thirteen Pleasures” by Laurence Raphael Brothers
(Originally published in The Sockdolager #3.)
“I’m sorry to summon you like this, Countess” said Marcus apologetically. We were sitting together on a divan in his townhouse drawing room. Lord Cyprian’s heir was dressed in a deep crimson suit so dark it was almost black, with a ruffled white cravat held in place with a ruby stickpin. A black memorial armband for his late father was prominent on his sleeve. I was in my temple whites.
“Please,” I said, “call me Harriet. Anyway I’m here in my capacity as a novice, and it’s quite an honor to assist in your rite of investiture. I had to fight off a dozen other priestesses to get the job.”
Laurence Raphael Brothers is a technologist with R&D experience at such firms as Bell Communications Research and Google. He has recently sold short fiction to the New Haven Review, to The Sockdolager, and to the SciFutures City of the Future anthology. Follow him on Twitter via @lbrothers.
“Dante’s Unfinished Business” by Alex Shvartsman
(Originally published in Galaxy’s Edge #22.)
Dante Ferrero had three serious and immediate problems. First, he was fiending for a joint something awful. He hadn’t been high for almost two days now, and the sensation of observing the world through sober eyes was entirely unpleasant. Second, the Bengals lost to the Steelers, which eliminated any chance they had at the playoffs and also left Dante owing a considerable amount of money to Mitch, his bookie. Third, he was dead.
Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator and game designer from Brooklyn, NY. More than 80 of his short stories have appeared in Nature, Galaxy’s Edge, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, and many other magazines and anthologies. He won the 2014 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction and was a finalist for the 2015 Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Fiction. He is the editor of the Unidentified Funny Objects annual anthology series of humorous SF/F. His collection Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories and his steampunk humor novella H.G. Wells, Secret Agent were both published in 2015. His website is alexshvartsman.com.
About the Narrators:
Fran Carris is whatever she decides to be when she wakes up each morning. She has also been known to be a voice talent, performance artist, and poet, and professional dabbler in other arts that express. You can find her online at misfran.com.
Anthony Babington is a voice in the internet’s head who looks almost, but not quite, exactly how you expect him to. Having escaped from the sinister forces of Texas, he has retreated to an ingeniously disguised bunker in a secure, undisclosed location in Burnsville, Minnesota. his life goal is to someday annoy Norm Sherman into letting him voice a part on Escape Pod, but until then, he’d be happy to voice a project for you. Yes, you in the checked shirt. Contact him on Google Plus, or on Twitter at @AlephBaker.