“The Teashop” by Zoran Zivkovic
Miss Greta was delighted to see a teashop across the street from the entrance to the railway station. The train she’d arrived on had been a quarter of an hour late, but the train she was meant to take for the rest of her trip had left on time. The next possible train wouldn’t leave for around two-and-a-half hours. She could have spent that time reading in the waiting room, but that didn’t seem very appealing.
Zoran Živković was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, in 1948. In 1973 he graduated from the Department of General Literature with the theory of literature, Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade; he received his master’s degree in 1979 and his doctorate in 1982 from the same school. In 2007, Živković was made a professor in the Faculty of Philology at his alma mater, the University of Belgrade, where he now teaches Creative Writing. The author of twenty books of fiction and eight books of nonfiction, Živković continues to push the boundaries of the strange and surreal. His writing belongs to the middle European fantastika tradition, and shares much in common with such masters as Mikhail Bulgakov, Franz Kafka and Stanislaw Lem. Visit http://www.zoranzivkovic.com/ for more details.
“Bamboozled” by Kelley Armstrong
“Are you sure she can do it?” the boy asked Nate as he watered their trio of horses.
Lily was standing right beside him and had both a name and ears. But she knew the boy—Will—wasn’t trying to be rude; he was simply like most of the young men they recruited: rarely set foot off his family homestead, rarely seen womenfolk other than his momma and sisters.
And frontier mommas and sisters did not look like Lily.
Even now, as Will talked about her, he couldn’t look her way—as if merely to glimpse her might damn his mortal soul. Lily could point out that his soul ought to be a lot more worried about the thieving that was coming, but to a boy like Will, that was part of life. Pretty girls with painted faces were not.
Kelley Armstrong is the author of the Women of the Otherworld paranormal suspense series, the Darkest Powers young adult urban fantasy trilogy, and the Nadia Stafford crime series. She grew up in Ontario, Canada, where she still lives with her family. A former computer programmer, she’s now escaped her corporate cubicle and hopes never to return. Link to her website is http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/
Tina Connolly and Natalie Ross
Tina Connolly lives with her family in Portland, Oregon. Her first fantasy novel, Ironskin (Tor 2012), was nominated for a Nebula, and the sequel Copperehead is now out from Tor. Her story “Flash Bang Remember”, co-written with Caroline M. Yoachim, appeared on StarShipSofa earlier this year. She frequently narrates for Podcastle and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake (toastedcake.com), and her website is tinaconnolly.com.
Earphones Award winner Natalie Ross is a native Texan. She has been a stage actor for over 20 years, and is the author of the children’s play Cat Tales: Thoughts from the Family Feline. She has narrated many audiobooks, including romances, thrillers, science fiction and young adult fiction. She currently resides in the Midwest with her husband, two sons and four cats.