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Colin Clewes

Far Fetched Fables No 26 Ian R. MacLeod and Robert Reed

First Story: “The Master Miller’s Tale” Part 2 by Ian R. MacLeod

THERE ARE ONLY RUINS left now on Burlish Hill, a rough circle of stones. The track which once curved up from the village of Stagsby in the valley below is little more than an indentation in the grass, and the sails of the mill which once turned there are forgotten. Time has moved on, and lives have moved with it. Only the wind remains.

Once, the Westovers were millers. They belonged to their mill as much as it belonged to them, and Burlish Hill was so strongly associated with their trade that the words mill and hill grew blurred in the local dialect until the two became the same. Hill was mill and mill was hill, and one or other of the Westovers, either father or son, was in charge of those turning sails, and that was all the people of Stagsby, and all the workers in the surrounding farms and smallholdings, cared to know.

Ian R MacLeod has been selling and writing professionally for more than 20 years. His critically acclaimed novels have been widely translated, whilst his short stories have been reprinted in many Best Of anthologies. He has twice won the World Fantasy Award and the Sidewise Award for alternate history, as well as the Arthur C Clarke and John W Campbell Memorial awards. As well as using the same alternate history background of his two novels, The Light Ages and The House of Storms, he cites Keith Roberts and Thomas Hardy as his two major references in writing The Master Miller’s Tale. He lives with his two dogs and one wife in the river town of Bewdley. You can learn more at www.ianrmacleod.com.

 

Second story: Show Me Yours” by Robert Reed

She wears a black felt robe long enough to cover her bare knees and pale pink socks pulled over her ankles; her calves are white and freshly shaved and her shins are even whiter and nicked in two places by razor blades. A red belt is cinched tight, making her waist appear narrow and her hips broad. She isn’t a tall woman. By most measures, she is slender, though the body has a roundness that marks five stubborn pounds–pounds sure to grow over time. She isn’t lovely in the traditional ways, but youth and a good complexion help.

Robert David Reed (born in Omaha, Nebraska) is a Hugo Award-winning American science fiction author. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the Nebraska Wesleyan University. He is an extraordinarily prolific genre short-fiction writer with “Alone” being his 200th professional sale. His work regularly appears in Asimov’s, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Sci Fiction. He has also published eleven novels.  Mr. Reed lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife and daughter.

 

About the Narrators:

Colin Clewes is a musician and writer, living in UK. He loves music, reading and movies. Although he’s British, he grew up in Africa and still hasn’t managed to do anything cooler than that – despite studying philosophy and learning to play electric guitar.

Nikolle Doolin writes fiction, poetry, and plays. Her work has appeared in the Wilderness House Literary Review, Tales to Terrify, 3:AM Magazine, 365 Tomorrows, Flashshot, and the literary anthology Wilderness House Literary Review – The Best of Volume 3. Additionally, her stage plays have been presented in festivals.
Nikolle is also a voice actor who has performed for various mediums. She produces a podcast called Audio Literature Odyssey in which she narrates classic literature by the likes of Austen, Poe, James, and more. Furthermore, Nikolle has performed contemporary narrations for Tales To Terrify, Crime City Central, The NoSleep Podcast and now Far Fetched Fables.

Far Fetched Fables No 25 Ian R. MacLeod and Jeremy Sim

First Story: “The Master Miller’s Tale” Part 1 by Ian R. McLeod

THERE ARE ONLY RUINS left now on Burlish Hill, a rough circle of stones. The track which once curved up from the village of Stagsby in the valley below is little more than an indentation in the grass, and the sails of the mill which once turned there are forgotten. Time has moved on, and lives have moved with it. Only the wind remains.

Once, the Westovers were millers. They belonged to their mill as much as it belonged to them, and Burlish Hill was so strongly associated with their trade that the words mill and hill grew blurred in the local dialect until the two became the same. Hill was mill and mill was hill, and one or other of the Westovers, either father or son, was in charge of those turning sails, and that was all the people of Stagsby, and all the workers in the surrounding farms and smallholdings, cared to know.

Ian R MacLeod had been selling and writing professionally for more than 20 years. His critically acclaimed novels have been widely translated, whilst his short stories have been reprinted in many Best Of anthologies. He has twice won the World Fantasy Award and the Sidewise Award for alternate history, as well as the Arthur C Clarke and John W Campbell Memorial awards. As well as using the same alternate history background of his two novels, The Light Ages and The House of Storms, he cites Keith Roberts and Thomas Hardy as his two major references in writing The Master Miller’s Tale. He lives with his two dogs and one wife in the river town of Bewdley. You can learn more at ianrmacleod.com.

Second story: Princesses” by Jeremy Sim

To save a princess you will need three things:

A #2 pencil.

A graphing calculator.

An ally, preferably fearless.

You will need an ally because princesses are notoriously difficult to rescue alone. Your ally should be a family member, a mother or sister who fed you and tied your shoes when the ambit of your life whisked you through blown dandelions and video games. The tying of shoes isn’t important; the feeding is. Bread, water, and the quiet feast of stories, bedtime or otherwise, without which you would not exist. If you lack such an ally, stop reading now and go find one. To rescue a princess you must be absolutely chock full of stories. You must gorge yourself on them.

Jeremy Sim is probably the only Singaporean-American science fiction and fantasy writer currently living in Berlin, Germany. If he’s not, please let him know at www.jeremysim.com or on Twitter @jeremy_sim. This story, “Princesses,” originally appeared in Flash Fiction Online, 2013.

 

About the Narrators:

Colin Clewes is a musician and writer, living in UK. He loves music, reading and movies. Although he’s British, he grew up in Africa and still hasn’t managed to do anything cooler than that – despite studying philosophy and learning to play electric guitar.

Bob Raudys is a voice actor, musician and marketing/advertising guy. He probably should have figured out that voice acting was in his future when he had to do paragraph reads in grade school. The nuns were none too happy with his need to add accents to the stories. Born and raised in the Southwest Side of Chicago (pron. sout-west syde uv shi-kaw-go) as a first generation Lithuanian, he was fortunate to have his first of several European experiences visiting Lithuania, Moscow and Leningrad (now once again St. Petersburg) in 1976. One of the more memorable moments (aside from being arrested in the summer resort town of Palanga) was when he was being chased by an old, screaming Muscovite. Unfortunately Bob didn’t speak Russian, nor did the old woman speak Lithuanian or English. Bob’s migration into voice acting began 2 years ago, but his roots started in 1967 as a classically trained pianist. To his parent’s chagrin, his musical tastes and time moved into blues and rock ‘n roll (and yes, he was a wedding singer at one time). He currently is the keyboard player with the SouthSide Exiles. Performing was, and continues to be in his blood. Bob currently resides in the Chicago area with his wife, daughter and a cat, who is just waiting for the chance to take over the house. Go take a listen to what he can do at www.wordtomouthstudios.com

 

Far Fetched Fables No 6 Sean McMullen and Matthew Burnside

First Story: “A Ring of Green Fire” by Sean McMullen

“As I was travelling through Westbury forest, I met with a man with a ring of green fire around his penis,” Avenzoar’s visitor said casually.

            The poet-physician looked up at his friend and stroked his beard, then gazed wistfully across to the partially built minaret of Caliph al-Mansur’s huge mosque.

            “Such a wonder,” sighed Avenzoar, then turned to his visitor and raised an eyebrow. “I suppose you did not bring him here for this poor physician and poet turned bureaucrat to examine?”

            His friend glanced away, and seemed troubled. “Alas, it was not possible.”

Sean McMullen lives in Melbourne, Australia, but has been published mostly in the USA and Europe. He has had twenty books and eighty stories published, has won fifteen awards, and was runner up for Best Novelette in the 2011 Hugo Awards. His writing is often steampunk in theme and his breakthrough novel, Souls in the Great Machine, featured a future Australia ruled by a caste of psychopathic librarians using a human powered computer and internet. His most recent publications are ebook collections from Reanimus Press: Ghosts of Engines Past (steampunk), and Colours of the Soul (SF and fantasy). Sean works with large scientific computers in his day job, has a PhD in medieval fantasy literature, and is a karate instructor at the Melbourne University club. Before he began writing he was a professional actor and singer, and he can be heard reading some of his own stories at http://www.seanmcmullen.net.au/news.htm

Second story: “Rules to Win the Game” by Matthew Burnside

“It’s a hard world for little things”
—The Night of the Hunter

The Game began around the time we discovered monsters were real. Theo, our eldest brother, started it the day he came into the center of the living room and declared he was no longer Theo but The Noir. Of course, none of us had any idea what it meant but we would learn in the coming weeks that it involved him wearing a long musty trench coat two sizes too big (it smelled like a bingo parlor), and a crushed hat with a feather gliding out of the top that would catch the kitchen light and shiver silvery, like a fish leaping out of water tickled by the sun.

Matthew is author of four chapbooks: Escapologies (Red Bird), Infinity’s Jukebox (Passenger Side Books), Book of If&Ever (Red Bird), and the forthcoming Ritual Hauntings (Patasola Press). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, The Los Angeles Review, Ninth Letter, kill author, PANK, Gargoyle, Pear Noir!, NAP, and others. He attends the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where he teaches and studies fiction. He is currently hard at work on a YA series. He was born and is originally from Texas. He’s really into Choose Your Own Adventure books and have set out to collect them all. One of his favorite books ever is The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. He loves stories with a sense of irresolution; he finds them more true to life. He has a half dachshund half chihuahua named Tinna (short for tintinnabulation) and currently lives in Iowa with his girlfriend, Heather, where he teaches Creative Writing and New Media. He’s fascinated by internet culture and anything interactive when it comes to literature. Visit www.MatthewBurnsideisawriter.tumblr.com for more info.

Flash Fiction: “Cloud Eating” by Tricia Glock

Tricia hides behind her writing the way a film star hides behind the camera – it should work, but it doesn’t.  She has family and pets, but doesn’t think it relevant to mention them.  She hopes you enjoy the story.

About the Narrators:

Colin Clews is a musician and writer, living in the UK. He loves music, reading and movies. Although he’s British, he grew up in Africa and still hasn’t managed to do anything cooler than that – despite studying philosophy and learning to play electric guitar.

Tim Maroney has an endless fascination with ideas, and invention; the things that keep life spicy and interesting! He believes everyone’s got a tale to tell and enjoys “Talking Story!” He enjoys playing music, mostly on guitar. He’s even been the opening act for a 10 band rock concert. Learning new things, like podcasting, excites him. He’s been on 4 of the 7 continents and has seen some of the wonders of our Earth. While in the Navy he earned the rare and coveted dual Snake Plisskin Award- he escaped from New York AND LA -same as Snake; though they were 2 of the 5 submarines he served on. Not too bad for a guy from a small town in North-Central Florida!

Nicola Seaton-Clark is well-known to all fans of Far-Fetched Fables.  If not, simply look back through our archives to read about her, or go to the Staff page and try there.