available in all major eBook formats in 2016:
• “Trade Surplus” A cheap source of durable goods is a real boon in this global market— unless there are hidden costs.
We threw it all out. The streets were littered with indestructible, immaculately wrought objects generating overlapping fields of complementary and increasingly deadly ‘unexpected functional anomalies.’ The goods did not rot or rust or fade, and no one collected them. The sanitation workers had been issued the new cell phones.
We learned to hit the dirt at the sound of that cutesy warbling ringtone.
• “The Delinquent” Juvenile curfew sweeps bring in such strange children that even the caseworkers would be lucky to get out of this police station alive. Lucky lucky lucky …
• “Box Girl” A beautiful ghost is trapped in a glass box, and only one man can release her: the failed actor suspected of causing her suicide.
• “Next to Dogliness” You’d think lycanthropy would be a werewolf’s biggest problem.
Never again, I told myself. Never in the daytime. You’ll do your shopping a week in advance, always at late-night pharmacies, always with the junkies and weirdos. That’s where you belong. You’ll never get your supplies in the daytime again.
I walked down the street in broad daylight for the first time in weeks, trying not to cry. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to turn. I did what they say in the support group.
I went to my happy place.
She was there waiting for me.
• “The Professor Gets Lucky” There’s nothing like a young woman’s scorn to stir an old academic to action, and this nasty old emeritus takes nothing for granted.
His odor, it appeared, was not at issue.
He was almost ready.
• “Yet Another Modest Proposal” Ol’ Uncle Zagnut pitches his solution to the pesky zombie apocalypse. Bring your own hot sauce.
I’m sure that you do.
Not that anyone is answering my email suggestions, or certainly not in what I would call a friendly and civilized fashion. We all have our own struggles in these uncertain times, and we all get tense, what with hordes of the infected shambling after us every time we go foraging for a Slim Jim or a can of tuna. I sympathize, but don’t go snapping at me when I suggest a solution.
• “Tracy-Baby Tells a Ghost Story” Jersey girl meets phantom suicide in old Kyoto, and every word of it is true.
I snickered, because I thought it was other travelers getting it on. Probably the French guys. But here’s the deal. It wasn’t a human voice. At the end of one long moan, the sound turned into a rush of air, like when you pull the stem off a bicycle tire. We froze. My eyes were bugging out, trying to see what the hell was out there. When the moaning began again, I knew it wasn’t a human voice. It sounded like a trick with a saxophone or a bagpipe or something. I got goosebumps, and not the good ones.
• “In The Red” A prudish minister follows a road winding through the unseen world of dark worship, taking him on a descent into madness that leads from the Chattahoochee River valley to Damacus to Carcosa itself.
• “The Moon-calf” Just when a Victorian country gentleman thinks he has bred monstrosity out of his cattle, he finds that his own offspring are tainted with the curse of the Outer Darkness.
• “Blind Spot” In the far future, an ancient warrior is estranged from her companion, a mighty sentient spacecraft, but she realizes that something more sinister than simple distrust has come between them as the ship slowly transforms into a habitat for creatures from the Outer Darkness. New for this collection.
• “The Man Who Murdered Poetry” Reading grandfather’s twisted rhymes doesn’t just ruin appreciation of fine verse. It ruins your life.
• “Dry Wash” A young man goes to the desert to hide family secrets, and he finds that no amount of clean-up can erase the stain from his own heart.
The door came off the hinges so easily I almost lost my balance as it cartwheeled past, and I stood staring in. Swirling motes rode the afternoon sun blazing in through the northwest window. Beyond, a jagged green-and-gray horizon divided desert from sky. Below, the table was set just as we had left it: a chewed, rotted bridle, a child’s double handful of arrowheads (left in the desert by Apache, Maricopa, or others, I’ll never know), a tin plate of dust that may have been piñole, a half-flattened mini ball, two rifle slugs, a white porcelain pitcher, scattered Mexican coppers, Uncle’s rum distilled to a black ring at the bottom of the bottle, and the skull staring past me shocked and cheekless at the land that had stripped it of flesh.
Most still life compositions evoke the unseen hands that left the objects and will take them up again, like the fat, red hands of the scullery maid who’s laid aside fruit and fowl while she kneads dough, or like the blue-veined hands of the maestro who’ll come along presently, collect his scattered sheet music, and pack away his violin. This was a different sort of still life altogether, a surreal arrangement of apocalyptic portent. There was no imagining human hands placing these things there, even though I had put half of them on the table myself. These objects were charged and luminous, as if they had gathered there under their own power.
AND MUCH, MUCH MORE…
…including poetry, flash and micro interstitial pieces, and selected essays.
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