First Story: “Neverland Blues” by Adam Browne
Michael Jackson bobs mothsoft and white in the North African nightsky.
His many eyes tic and tick. Expensive lenses shiver into place, swivelling down. He takes in the view.
Morocco. Tangier; the Kasbah; so beautiful, an Aladdin’s Carpet a thousand metres below him.
Wanting to see more, Michael Jackson twitches an aileron. But he’s still clumsy in this body, and the movement is too emphatic. He spins, the city revolving under him, the soukh a disordered whirl, the Old Mosque glimpsed then gone, the Oriental Quarter a flash of red and gold…
Adam Browne, 50, lives in Melbourne, Australia. His story ‘Neverland Blues’ originally appeared in 2008 in Dreaming Again: Thirty-five New Stories Celebrating the Wild Side of Australian Fiction. It won the 2009 Chronos Award for Best Short Fiction. His first novel, Pyrotechnicon: Being a True Account of the Further Adventures of Cyrano de Bergerac among the States and Empires of the Stars, by Himself (Dec’d), was published by Coeur de Lion in 2012, and is still available as a print-on-demand illustrated hardcover. His collection of short stories, Other Stories and Other Stories, was recently published by Satalyte, and will be available as an audio book later this year.
You can find out more at http://adambrowne.blogspot.com.au/
Second Story: Excerpt from “Deadly Curiosities” by Gail Z. Martin
“You know each other?” Rebecca said, confused. She looked from me to Teag and back again, as Anthony walked over and gave me a hug.
I chuckled, realizing I’d been set up. “Teag and I work together at the shop, and Anthony is a dear friend,” I said.
“We’re your back-up,” Teag explained, pressing a glass of wine into my hand. “I told Anthony about the email you got and about you coming here by yourself—”
Gail Z. Martin is an American writer and the author of The Chronicles of The Necromancer fantasy adventure series for Solaris Books and Double Dragon Publishing.
She began writing fiction as a child (her first story was about a vampire), and says she does not remember a time when she was not enthralled with ghost stories. A voracious reader since childhood, she frequently chose to read books with a supernatural slant, including folktales, compilations of regional ghost stories and gothic mysteries. She credits the TV show Dark Shadows with her lifelong fascination with vampires.
Martin is a frequent contributor of non-fiction articles for local, regional and national magazines. She is an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and teaches adult continuing education for Central Piedmont Community College. She is a truly prolific writer and you can learn more about her and what she has written at http://www.ascendantkingdoms.com/
Flash fiction: “The Swan Maiden” by Barbara A. Barnett
The windowless theater makes it impossible to keep track of the days, but I am certain that years have passed since Fyodor’s last visit. I fear that he has died while his magic has not, for here I still stand, a swan maiden poised forever on pointe. Forever cursed.
I often wonder how our Swan Lake tableau looks from the seats: a circle of ballerinas in white-feathered skirts, one arm raised, the other swept down and back, the entire body mimicking the curve of a swan’s neck.
Barbara A. Barnett is a writer, musician, librarian, Odyssey Writing Workshop alum, coffee addict, wine lover, bad movie mocker, and all-around geek. Her short fiction has appeared in publications such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Shimmer, Daily Science Fiction, Flash Fiction Online, Fantasy Magazine, Black Static, and Wilde Stories 2011: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction. Barbara lives with her husband in southern New Jersey and has been known to frequently burst into song. You can find her online at www.babarnett.com, or babbling as a member of the Star-Dusted Sirens writing group at stardustedsirens.wordpress.com.
About the Narrators:
James Silverstein is a budding author and role-playing game designer, with credits from the 7th Sea and Stargate RPG lines. He’s working on the upcoming ‘Cairn’ RPG, as well as a series of stories about a 1940’s private eye in a city of the undead. James feels that there are always more amazing stories that need to be told, and he writes, narrates, and runs games to share them with the world. He loves speculative fiction, noir detective tales, and pulp fantasy, and is honored to be a returning reader in the District of Wonders.
Nicola Seaton-Clark lives in the wilds of (almost) Eastern Europe with her long-suffering husband, phenomenal children and a grumpy cat. Trained as an actress and singer, she has worked in entertainment for over 20 years and currently splits her time between writing speculative fiction, helping her husband run their voice-over company, Offstimme, and voicing everything from commercials and documentaries to public transport announcements. She also hosts this podcast……
Rachel Dee is new to the audio world and excited to step in. She has always enjoyed reading and was the child who read out loud to her mother, not the other way around. Taking away books was also how she was grounded when she was younger. Currently she lives in the DFW area with her husband, cat, and dog and is pursuing film and television acting. You can learn more about her at www.actressracheldee.com