District of WondersTales To TerrifyStarShipSofaFar Fetched Fables

Laurel Winter

Far Fetched Fables No 17 Laurel Winter, Ellen Klages, and Michael Haynes

First Story: “The Flying Woman” by Laurel Winter

The boats rested uneasily on the surface of the sea, waiting to leave. Chief Loah gripped Raff’s shoulder in one hand and tilted Dannilla’s face up with the other. “Swear you will not use your unnatural power to leave this island,” he said. “Swear on your father’s life.”

His fingers squeezed Dannilla’s chin. Their father sat in one of the boats, his face shiny with tears. “I swear,” she said. “I swear. Please don’t hurt him.”

Raff held silent, and then he gasped as the leader’s hand closed on his arm. “I swear.”

The leader pushed him, hard, and let go of Dannilla. Her eyes blurred and she fell to her knees in the sea.

Laurel Winter grew up in the mountains of Montana and attended a one-room country grade school with 12 to 25 students in grades 1 through 8. She then went 30 miles one way on the bus to Absarokee High School, where there were 33 in her graduating class. Since then she’s acquired an eclectic education, including credits in English, physics, and psychology from Montana State and numerous writing and art classes. A number of high school literature textbooks contain “egg horror poem” and she’s hoping her novel Growing Wings gets a baby sister this year. Her current passion is playing poker.

 

Second story: “Intelligent Design” by Ellen Klages

God cocked his thumb and aimed his index finger at the firmament.

Ka-pow! Pow! Pow! A line of three perfect glowing pinpoints of light appeared in the black void. He squeezed his eyes almost shut and let off a single shot. Ping! The pinprick of light at the far edge of the firmament, just where it touched the rim of the earth, glowed faintly red.

God got bored. Ratatatatatatatat! He peppered one corner of the sky with tiny specks of light clustered tight together. Each one glowed steadily. God lay down on his back and looked up at what he’d created. It was okay.

Ellen Klages’ short fiction has appeared in science fiction and fantasy anthologies and magazines, both online and in print, including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Black Gate, Eclipse, and Firebirds Rising. Her story, “Basement Magic,” won the Best Novelette Nebula Award in 2005. Several of her other stories have been on the final ballot for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Hugo Awards, and have been reprinted in various Year’s Best volumes.

She was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, and is a graduate of the Clarion South writing workshop.

In addition to her writing, she serves on the Motherboard of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, and is somewhat notorious as the auctioneer/entertainment for the Tiptree auctions at Wiscon.

Ellen was born in Ohio, and now lives in San Francisco. You can read more at http://ellenklages.com/index.html

 

Flash Fiction: “Act of Penance” by Michael Haynes

You created me. An act which I suspect that even you now know was your greatest sin.  Even as I stand here, naked, hunched in upon myself through habit against a winter’s chill I no longer feel, I smell the megahounds and hear the distant footfalls of the mercenaries who follow those beasts’ lead. They’ve hunted me down, back almost to the place of my birth, your home. They think they will capture me, their perfect soldier, their perfect weapon. Capture me and return me to the work for which I have been crafted, the skulking and the stealing and the killing. The killing, the killing… They will be too late.

Michael Haynes lives in Central Ohio where he helps keep IT systems running for a large corporation during the day and puts his characters through the wringer by night. An ardent short story reader and writer, Michael has had over 20 stories accepted for publication during 2012 by venues such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, and Daily Science Fiction. When he’s not reading or writing he enjoys watching movies, going to hockey games, cooking, and taking photographs. You can visit http://michael-haynes.blogspot.com/ for more info.

About the Narrators:

Sarah Frederickson 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.

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…..

Marvin Münstermann is an actor, musician and all-round interesting person, living in Germany while he figures out the rest of things.  He has a day-job which provides him with amusing anecdotes to share in his free time and he plays guitar for a rocking band, Schwarzlicht, who are going to be huge one day, really soon!

Far Fetched Fables No 9 Jeffrey Ford, Tony Ballantyne, and Laurel Winter

First Story: “A Night in the Tropics” by Jeffrey Ford

The first bar I ever went to was The Tropics. It was and still is situated between the grocery store and the bank along Higbee Lane in West Islip. I was around five or six, and my old man would take me with him when he went there to watch the Giant games on Sunday afternoon. While the men were all at the bar, drinking, talking, giving Y.A. Tittle a piece of their minds, I’d roll the balls on the pool table or sit in one of the booths in the back and color. The juke box always seemed to be playing “Somewhere, Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin while I searched for figures, the way people do with clouds, in the swirling cigar and cigarette smoke.

Jeffrey Ford is an American writer in the fantastic genre tradition, although his works have spanned genres including fantasy, science fiction and mystery. His work is characterized by a sweeping imaginative power, humour, literary allusion, and a fascination with tales told within tales. He is a graduate of Binghamton University, where he studied with the novelist John Gardner. He lives in southern New Jersey and teaches writing and literature at Brookdale Community College in Monmouth County. He has also taught at the summer Clarion Workshop for science fiction and fantasy writers in Michigan. He has contributed stories, essays and interviews to various magazines and e-magazines including MSS, Puerto Del Sol, Northwest Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Argosy, Event Horizon, Infinity Plus, Black Gate and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

You can see more at http://www.well-builtcity.com/

 

Second story: “The Blue Magnolia” by Tony Ballantyne

Bogart stands before the bar, Hepburn is serving drinks. Cary Grant sits in a chair nearby.

“You’ve got to choose.” says Grant, his eyes hard.

“I can’t! Not now!” says Hepburn, shaking her head in despair. Bogart lifts the shot glass to his lips and knocks his whisky back in one. You can tell by his stance that he resigned himself to this moment long ago. He pulls back his sleeve as if to look at his watch, but his eyes never leave Hepburn’s. Hepburn’s dark, wide eyes, filling with tears.

“Hell. Is that the time?” he murmurs. “I’ve got to catch my plane.”

He turns to leave.

Tony Ballantyne is the author of the Penrose and Recursion series of novels as well as many acclaimed short stories that have appeared in magazines and anthologies around the world. He has been nominated for the BSFA and Philip K Dick awards. His latest novel, Dream London, was published in October 2013 and was described by the Financial Times as “… as strange and unclassifiable a novel as it’s possible to imagine, and a marvelous achievement.”
Tony is currently working on the follow up, Dream Paris, due to be published in September 2015. Due to popular demand, he has also recently begun working on a series of short stories set in the Recursion universe. You can find his website at www.tonyballantyne.com.

Third story: “Tomorrow Tea” by Laurel Winter

Anzy woke me. “Try this,” she said, putting a cup to my mouth just as I exhaled a dream breath. Too hot, but my mouth barely noticed. Summer, I tasted. Being young. One of the wild cousins of mint. Sun filtered through green leaves.

“Oh, yes,” I said, gulping down as much as I could before she took the cup away. She never let me have a whole cup of any tea. Just tastes, so I would never be satisfied. A good taster is never satisfied.

Laurel Winter grew up in the mountains of Montana and attended a one-room country grade school with 12 to 25 students in grades 1 through 8. She then went 30 miles one way on the bus to Absarokee High School, where there were 33 in her graduating class. Since then she’s acquired an eclectic education, including credits in English, physics, and psychology from Montana State and numerous writing and art classes. A number of high school literature textbooks contain “egg horror poem” and she’s hoping her novel Growing Wings gets a baby sister this year. Her current passion is playing poker. You can visit her blog at laurelwinter.blogspot.com

 

About the Narrators:

Pete Nixon is a full time mailman, father, and husband. He edited, produced, and (partially) narrated “Green Eggs And Horror”, which is a horror short story anthology inspired by Dr. Seuss stories that can be found at GreenEggsAndHorror.com

Anthony Babington 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.

With a background in theater and an English degree that didn’t lead to teaching or full-time novel writing, Kim Mintz turned to the persuasive arts known as sales and heard multiple clients say, “You have a great voice. I would listen to you all day!” Finally, she decided to marry these skills together and enter the world of professional voice acting. Employing a wide range of voices and expressions in commercial and narrative work, she contributed to the financial, travel, and health insurance industries, utilizing clear, direct articulation. She is currently expanding her repertoire with audio book passages by exhibiting a range of emotions, including warm, sultry, cheerful, sarcastic, and many others. She is also working on scripts with her writing partner for animated projects to which she hopes to give a voice. For more information, please visit her website at kimmintzvoiceactor.com.