Main Story: “Clockwork Fairies” by Cat Rambo
Mary the Irish girl let me in when I knocked at the door in my Sunday best, smelling of incense and evening fog. Gaslight flickered over the narrow hall. The mahogany banister’s curve gleamed with beeswax polish, and a rosewood hat rack and umbrella stand squatted to my left.
I nodded to Mary, taking off my top hat. Snuff and baking butter mingled with my own pomade to battle the smell of steel and sulfur from below.
“Don’t be startled, Mr. Claude, sir.”
Before I could speak, a whir of creatures surrounded me.
At first I thought them hummingbirds or large dragonflies. One hung poised before my eyes in a flutter of metallic skin and isinglass wings. Delicate gears spun in the wrist of a pinioned hand holding a needle-sharp sword. Desiree had created another marvel, bee-winged, glittering like tinsel. Who would have dreamed such things, let alone made them real? Only Desiree.
Mary chattered, “They’re hers. They won’t harm ye. Only burglars and the like.”
Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 150-plus fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Tor.com. Her short story “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain,” from her story collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current vicepresident of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers or America. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction, see kittywumpus.net.
Flash Fiction: “When Robot Mermaids Attack” by Oliver Buckram
When robot mermaids attack, you should flee. Go inland.
When robot mermaids attack, don’t pause to wonder why they’re attacking. Don’t stand on the beach gawking, orange Popsicle melting in your hand, as the ocean roils with metal fins. Don’t ask who made the robot mermaids and why do they have stainless steel fangs and why are they decapitating that lifeguard? Just run.
Oliver Buckram, Ph.D., lives in the Boston area where (under an assumed name) he teaches social science to undergraduates. His work has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interzone, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF), among other places.
Find out more about him at oliverbuckram.com.
About the Narrators:
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. He can be found on Google Plus.
Chris Mack is an enigmatic actor, voice artist, acting coach, father, and a New Yorker-turned-Parisienne. His credits include the animated feature Persepolis and the best-selling videogame Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. Find out more at chrismack.net.