“The Last Worders” by Karen Joy Fowler
Charlotta was asleep in the dining car when the train arrived in San Margais. It was tempting to just leave her behind, and I tried to tell myself this wasn’t a mean thought, but came to me because I, myself, might want to be left like that, just for the adventure of it. I might want to wake up hours later and miles away, bewildered and alone. I am always on the lookout for those parts of my life that could be the first scene in a movie. Of course, you could start a movie anywhere, but you wouldn’t; that’s my point. And so this impulse had nothing to do with the way Charlotta had begun to get on my last nerve. That’s my
other point. If I thought being ditched would be sort of exciting, then so did Charlotta. We felt the same about everything.
Karen Joy Fowler is the author of six novels and three short story collections. The Jane Austen Book Club spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New York Times Notable Book. Fowler’s previous novel, Sister Noon, was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Her debut novel, Sarah Canary, was a New York Times Notable Book, as was her second novel, The Sweetheart Season. In addition, Sarah Canary won the Commonwealth medal for best first novel by a Californian, and was listed for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize as well as the Bay Area Book Reviewers Prize. Fowler’s short story collection Black Glass won the World Fantasy Award in 1999, and her collection What I Didn’t See won the World Fantasy Award in 2011. Fowler and her husband, who have two grown children and five grandchildren, live in Santa Cruz, California.
You can find her online here.
“Tales from the City of Seams” by Greg Van Eekhout
In the hills above the city, among the ruins of the old zoo, the kids come to screw. They cage themselves inside the animal enclosures and kick away the cigarette butts and the crushed beer cans and the brittle snake-skin condoms, and then, with the city glittering below, they fill the hot-smog nights with their whispers.
They are not alone.
There is a sort of cave in the hillside behind the picnic grounds. It used to be the bear grotto, but over the decades, the cave has grown deeper. It goes far back,
now, and down. Over the grotto’s entrance hangs a sign that says something to the effect of Abandon hope, all ye who enter.
Greg van Eekhout writes fiction for adults and kids. His work includes the “California Bones” contemporary fantasy series,, starting with the novel, California Bones, and continuing in January with Pacific Fire. His other books are The Boy at the End of the World, Kid vs. Squid, and Norse Code. He lives in San Diego and actively trolls the beach for weird creatures.
Sarah Frederickson and Anthony Babington
Sarah was born in Oregon in the United States, and was raised in beautiful Minnesota. At a young age she realized her passion for musical performance and the creative arts. Sarah spent most of her childhood singing and acting — both onstage and off — and affecting various accents for fun.
She soon found herself competing in local, state and national forensics competitions (that’s competitive speaking). Her experience and awards landed her a forensics scholarship to Bethel University in St.Paul Minnesota, where she continued to compete as well as train other speakers at the collegiate level. Sarah graduated with a degree in Music business and Audio Production. Shortly after graduation she traveled to Australia for a one-year holiday. During that time she became smitten with an Australian man who asked her to stay, and four years later the couple live and work in Australia, going on adventures, writing music and reading stories to their cat.
Anthony is a voice in the internet’s head. He looks almost, but not quite, exactly how you expect him to. He currently resides in Houston, Texas, but hastens to add that it was not his idea. He can be found on Google Plus.