Fireside Magazine

Fireside Magazine is a monthly digital magazine of short fiction. Subscribe today to recieve an ebook in your inbox every month. Individual back issues are also available for sale here.

Issue 81, July 2020

ebook cover

The Ransom of Miss Coraline Connelly,
a short story by Alix E. Harrow

An epistolary recounting of a kidnapping turned… sweet.

Issue 80, June 2020

How to Build a Unicorn,
a short story by AJ Fitzwater

A step-by-step guide to spitting cold vengeance upon the world.

The Liberation of Ghost City,
a short story by Elly Bangs

Those who would be liberated must free their minds before their worlds will follow.

On Lore,
a short story by Tamara Jerée

A tale of bargains and trade-offs at a restaurant with a unique menu that will have you salivating at the eyes.

Dog Years,
a short story by Ace Tilton Ratcliff

A heart-rending story of how far we will go for the ones we love.

Sun, Moon, and Wretched Star,
a short story by Ashley Deng; illustrated by Shaina Lu

A girl grapples with her family’s past through the haze of incense on her Pohpoh’s altar.

Issue 79, May 2020

The Last Librarian,
a short story by Trace Yulie

Guerilla archivists work to liberate culture from a corporate hegemony.

And For My Next Universe…,
a short story by Matthew Castleman

A tale of show business, and messing with quantum forces.

For Change is the Moon’s Domain, and Tonight She Watches,
a short story by Izzy Wasserstein

A tale of yearning, and of growing into your self.

Dirt Under the Nails,
a short story by Aaron Menzel; illustrated by David Plunkert

A farmer and his robot ruminate on life, craft, and the solitary nature of their work.

Issue 78, April 2020

Akhulume,
a short story by Larissa Irankunda

A space-faring Kosobé learns and unlearns the power of language and empire

Foie Gras,
a short story by Charles Payseur

How to handle an infestation of rogue AIs — all patterned after that one narcissistic French emperor.

The Intergalactic Shoemaker’s Revenge,
a short story by Jordan Rivet; illustrated by Erik Ly

A shoemaker discovers that the customer is not always right, especially when the customer is a very, very nasty space pirate.

Gender and Other Faulty Software,
a short story by John Wiswell

A sentient ship’s technician encounters a very nonbinary situation.

Issue 77, March 2020

Rotting Flowers,
a poem by nwaobiala

A heart-wrenching poem on motherhood and rage.

The Words I Starved For,
a short story by N.R. Lambert

A spectral story about bearing witness.

Mandragora,
a short story by Nibedita Sen

A woman receives a strange, crooning root as a parting gift from her dead mother.

Unmended,
a short story by Mike Loniewski; illustrated by Omar Gilani

A story of death-defying circus feats and the tolls they take on a boy and his family.

Rule of Thirds,
a short story by LH Moore

A scientist struggles to maintain her self-control in dark, flooded tunnels deep beneath the earth.

Issue 76, February 2020

Charlie Tries to Interview Her Nanny,
a short story by Michael Robertson; illustrated by Carlota Suárez

A little girl interviews the person she admires most: her Nanny helper bot.

How to Leave the Planet,
a poem by Hal Y. Zhang

A lyrical farewell to living things.

A Bitter Orange Perfume,
a short story by H. Pueyo

A perfumer’s three daughters engage with their mother’s legacy after her funeral.

Even Robots Can Cry,
a short story by Sam Kyung Yoo

An overwhelmed student desperately wishes he were a robot.

Issue 75, January 2020

The Imperishable Birds,
a short story by Vajra Chandrasekera

A quiet tale on filmmaking, where the symbol is the thing.

Watching Rome Burn,
a short story by Veronica Brush

A story about how we move forward once all we loved is lost.

Custom Options Available,
a short story by Amy Griswold

A retired mining bot makes its first purchase and bodily modification for the sheer pleasure of it.

Skyscraper,
a poem by Annika Barranti Klein

What if all we had was green, and everything worked to preserve it?

Green Tunnels,
a short story by Taimur Ahmad; illustrated by Kieu Vo

A little girl on a space station dreams of the green her family left behind.

Issue 74, December 2019

From Under the Peach Tree,
a short story by Kerry Truong

They came to her as a sparrow first and made their nest in the peach tree by her cliffside cottage.

Partially True (But Mostly Not),
a short story by Sherin Nicole

It didn’t hurt as badly as it used to. The idea that no one knew the difference between her and who they wanted her to be.

For Mrs. Q,
a poem by C. S. E. Cooney

I will tell her that she has a cardinal where her heart should be, beating its wings on the first day of spring

Where You Are Now Is Better than Where You Were Before,
a short story by Eliza Victoria

At her first job interview in Sydney for a copywriting job, the hiring manager asks, I don’t mean to offend, but where did you learn to speak English so well?

I Send My Tower Walking,
a short story by Amanda Helms

… my tower groans at this, and I weep, for it hurts it so to do this, but it loves me enough to do whatever I ask …

There Is No Beauty Without Resistance,
a short story by Dominica Phetteplace; illustrated by Stephanie Singleton

Don’t trust anyone who tries to filter you. Filter yourself. Apply the filter of your choice directly to your face.

Issue 73, November 2019

FEMALE COMPUTER WANTED, APPLY WITHIN,
a short story by Innocent Chizaram Ilo; illustrated by Reiko Murakami

No matter the number of robo-positive campaigns organized by Town Council, most humans cannot stop themselves from using Female Computer to refer to female robots.

The Boy on the Roof,
a short story by Francesca Forrest

“Did you marry the clouds too?” asked the boy.

who i am,
a poem by Amber Bird

with rocks from my bed
you lined your walls,
and now i am home.

Baterías,
un cuento corto por Patricia Coral

Recojo luz para ti. Recojo la ausencia de la oscuridad.

Personal Rakshasi,
a short story by Suzan Palumbo

She tries to push the words from her head but they stain her dreams - their bitterness coating her tongue when she wakes.

Issue 72, October 2019

What Cannot Follow,
a short story by Eugenia Triantafyllou

She is still waiting for the family who left her behind fifty years ago.

Radio Static,
a short story by Carolin Jansen

You don’t know that I am a ghost, so you sit at my bedside and cup my hand like a seashell in your palm.

After Living With Him,
a poem by Okwudili Nebeolisa

It was the question I had been dreading for a while, knowing that one day someone in the family would ask

On the Other Side of the Line,
a short story by A. T. Greenblatt; illustrated by Amanda Makepeace

I’ve never seen a complete message come through the Line. Only fragments.

The Haunting of 13 Olúwo Street,
a short story by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

But you don’t really know anything about being haunted, do you? You’re thinking about this all wrong.

Lost Girl,
a short story by Catherine Lundoff

I may or may not be a victim. I don’t remember how it happened.

Issue 71, September 2019

La caja,
un cuento corto por Iliana Vargas

… cuando entregás tarde el bichito este, aunque sea un minuto, se despierta y hace un caos con el envase y la caja hasta que se sale …

Questions to Grow Up On,
a poem by Ashley Deng

you call yourself caribbean?
your skin’s too light, your name too asian
you did not know the island life

Puebla de los ángeles,
un cuento corto por Libia Brenda

Si esa ciudad la van a construir los conquistadores, ¿quiere decir que ahora los ángeles trabajarán con el clero español y serán sus aliados?

Gallinas,
un cuento corto por Raquel Castro

Se empezó a correr el rumor de que doña Martha era un nahual: que había hecho un pacto con los coyotes del monte…

Shelter, Sustenance, Self,
a short story by Aimee Ogden

It’s all been leading to this. Learning to use this body of false flesh…

Issue 70, August 2019

For What Dignity Remains,
a short story by Michelle Muenzler

Dignity is important for the dead, so we are taught.

How to Spend Your Free Time,
a poem by Charles Payseur

First plan for your future save for cars children vacations houses

Signal,
a short story by L. D. Lewis

Someone, back when this all started, decided it would be the children who saved them, so children were bred for this work.

Fare,
a short story by Danny Lore; illustrated by Francesco Giani

He should have been at the kennel an hour ago, long before he started feeling the beast twist and slither under his skin…

Petals,
a short story by Joanne Rixon

From behind the prison walls, a shout turns into a scream turns into a screeching inhuman wail, rising and rising unbearably until it tears open the afternoon…

Issue 69, July 2019

The Brightest Lights of Heaven,
a short story by Maria Haskins

We knew that beneath the surface we were something else entirely — something hungry, something jagged…

The Staircase to the Moon,
a short story by M. K. Hutchins; illustrated by Mary Haasdyk

Earth goddesses always die for their people.

Three of Swords, King of Cups,
a poem by Ali Trotta

there’s nothing neat about what’s sacred, so I revel in the mess

Not All Caged Birds Sing,
a short story by Sheree Renée Thomas

The door I opened revealed a gaping hole in myself. Hunger filled me but I refused to eat.

Amanda Draws Crows,
a short story by José Pablo Iriarte

Sometimes she didn’t even see what she drew. Her hands took over and drew what they wanted, and everything else faded away.

Advice for Your First Time at the Faerie Market,
a short story by Nibedita Sen

Don’t meet the shopkeepers’ soot-black eyes. Don’t look at their pointed faces, their beautiful hair…

Issue 68, June 2019

Larga Distancia,
un cuento corto por Raquel Castro

Pero hay otras veces en que llama para quejarse: de mi ausencia, de su soledad, de lo frío que me he vuelto con ella…

Bubbles and His Biped,
a short story by Mary Berman

MacKenzie’s body had fought off the diseases, and she’d dodged the vines, and when roaches had invaded her dorm, Bubbles had killed them…

Five Stories in the Monsoon Night,
a short story by Nghi Vo; illustrated by Ora Xu

He paused slightly when he saw the worn sword at my side, but he did not ask for it, and I would not have given it to him in any case.

The Telegrapher,
a poem by Rešoketšwe Manenzhe

I never imagined him as a child:
proudly clutching the hem of his mother’s dress

Aging Elements,
a short story by Ben Francisco

It’s been years since I’ve flown. I’d forgotten how much the wings strain the muscles of your shoulders…

Issue 67, May 2019

All the Hometowns You Can't Stay Away From,
a short story by Izzy Wasserstein; illustrated by Matthew Davis

We all do what we must to survive returning home.

My Sister Is a House,
a short story by Zoë Medeiros

It would have shown in the Aptitudes. I learned that much later. But when we were children, our father never told us our results.

Chiripas,
a short story by José González Vargas

There are bugs everywhere. Most living organisms on Earth are bugs. It’s no big deal.

Mother Tongue,
a poem by Jessica Jo Horowitz

I can almost make out your shape locked inside the chambers of my heart

Your Inheritance Will Taste of Salt,
a short story by Karolina Fedyk

Stand on that dune and ask the sea to take you, but it won’t. You’ve tried, and so far you always had to go back.

Issue 66, April 2019

You Are Bleeding,
a short story by Alexandra Seidel

You must carry a handkerchief always in case you have to cover shame and tears and other imperfections, in case you are bleeding.

The Jubilee,
a short story by Sheree Renée Thomas

And some kept them old slavery time names, but not out of loyalty, no indeed.

How to Say I Love You with Wikipedia,
a short story by Beth Goder; illustrated by Cat O'Neil

It is important to be efficient because my crew is the best crew ever and I want to show them that I have feels.

Medusa,
a poem by Rose Lemberg

they said there’s no reason to be angry they said calm down it’s safe here

Poison,
a short story by Cyd Athens

Your first euphoric response is replaced by uneasiness that grows into irritation before becoming rage.

Balompié,
a short story by Ana Hurtado

It is the young adults who die during soccer games and after, because those who are above forty are immune to this kind of violence.

Issue 65, March 2019

Team Work,
a short story by A. T. Greenblatt

I’m not sorry. But after the incident at the museum, I have a feeling my teammates are going to reconsider my membership.

The Unseen,
a poem by Fran Wilde

The fog removes our familiar horizons with its pale hands and keeps coming.

Hands Made for Weaving, With Nails Sharp as Claws,
a short story by Eden Royce

It took some doing to convince the men to let Mami Wata’s gals go, but the world weaver mostly managed it without bloodshed.

The Blanched Bones, the Tyrant Wind,
a short story by Karen Osborne; illustrated by Bernard Lee

I hope I am so sticky and rangy that he cannot force the hate in my veins down his steel throat. I hope he chokes on my solid, frozen heart.

Parasitismo,
un cuento corto por Alberto Chimal

Pero así es como la verdad sobre las sirenas se ha ido olvidando, y hoy la saben y la conservan muy pocas personas.

Issue 64, February 2019

A Martian Woman's Guide to Surviving the Gravity Chamber,
a short story by Jennifer Stephan Kapral

Celebrate the small victories. Hooray, your radiation levels are at a record low! Yippee, you’re ovulating on schedule!

Due By the End of the Week,
a short story by Brandon O'Brien; illustrated by Ashanti Fortson

Twenty percent of my final grade. Wrapped up in a class presentation with a ditzy cheerleader who has been in class maybe five periods total.

Roots to Touch Sky,
a short story by Sheree Renée Thomas

Coal is made from the carbon of ancient trees that did not decay to powder

The Autumn of June,
a short story by Stu West

Few mortals could ever have used that shield. She is a very special woman, your grandmother.

Symphony for the Space Between the Stars,
a short story by Jenn Reese

Her systems will cease to function long before she arrives at her destination. But her protocol is clear. She will follow the last path set by her captain.

Issue 63, January 2019

By the Storytelling Fire,
a short story by Jaymee Goh

The fairy demanded that he kiss the princess, for the fairy had chosen him to break the enchantment on the land. But he refused…

Teeth,
a poem by Sabrina Vourvoulias

Their teeth are cut to the shape of our lives, of our terrors.

Lord Serpent,
a short story by Mary Soon Lee; illustrated by Galen Dara

The fourth demon took the form of a giant serpent, two hundred feet long and as wide in girth as a wagon.

Ten Utterances of the Vampire Word,
a short story by George Lockett

She turns to see two fearful, bloodshot eyes. They’re gone before she can speak. A cockroach itch wriggles under her tongue.

Beyond Comprehension,
a short story by Russell Nichols

He’d seen the ads: Happy kids with their headsets, uploading book after book from the VR library to their brains. Instantly. Click and done.

Guardian,
a short story by Shiv Ramdas

For all their flimsiness, littlings are dangerous parasites.

Issue 62, December 2018

Tablecloth,
a short story by Kathryn Kania

She does not own a cat. She has never even seen a cat near her building. But still, there it is, curled up into an almost perfect circle of black.

Choose Wisely,
a short story by Fran Wilde

The child is already at school, and didn’t forget her wand this time, so this is the perfect moment for dealing with the paperwork that sometimes comes with your latest medical adventure…

Cleaning Up,
a short story by Brian M. Milton; illustrated by Clare DeZutti

Mr. Bhansal had often remarked that it was a strange and very annoying quirk of magic that a circle of protection had to be smooth and unbroken, but the summoning pentagram could be scrappy and unconnected.

All the Time We've Left to Spend,
a short story by Alyssa Wong

No one in their right mind came to the Aidoru Hotel. But those who did always came for a very specific reason.

A Letter to My Sister,
a short story by Nilah Magruder

He is pretty, as knights go. You know how I loathe the pretty ones. Their bones are brittle and sharp, and crack unpleasantly when chewed.

Issue 61, November 2018

Rain and the Designs of Your Body,
a short story by J.M. Guzman

Julio slipped off his shirt and showed me a lake. It stirred, a puddle settling in the landmass that was once his back.

The New Heart,
a short story by Natalia Theodoridou

She makes sure to hold the chisel at a 45-degree angle; otherwise, the stone will bruise—and who wants a bruised heart?

And I Never Named Her,
a short story by Renee Christopher

We didn’t have tongues, not like our ancestors, but we adapted. Sign language, gestures, facial expressions.

Birch Daughter,
a short story by Sara Norja; illustrated by Satu Kettunen

My father told me that the spell was too strong to break, that I should never trust the forest-folk. But the thought of my mother trapped within a gnarled birch tree in the far north was too much for me to bear.

Issue 60, October 2018

Pendants of Precariousness,
a short story by D.A. Xiaolin Spires

I tell him that by courting danger I conquer danger. … I tell him that when the sharks come, they will see and they will be scared that I have their weapon.

Odontogenesis,
a short story by Nino Cipri

She ran her tongue over the porcelain crowns where her incisors had once been—a nervous habit she’d picked up ever since the dentist had planted them in her gums.

STET,
a short story by Sarah Gailey

Read: ‘Murder’. It was murder, the car had a choice, you can’t choose to kill someone and call it manslaughter.

Light and Death on the Indian Battle Station,
a short story by Keyan Bowes; illustrated by Saleha Chowdhury

Mom’s turquoise-blue saree morphed into her silver Battle Station uniform. … She’d be needed in the Situation Room with all the other Telepaths.

Inner Space,
a short story by Takim Williams

Dr. Williams has retreated to his inner space, where he has spent increasingly more time since his wife’s death in the office fire a year ago.

Issue 59, September 2018

The Ceremony,
a short story by Mari Ness

He is not exactly dead, of course—indeed, those who do touch him often say, later, that he’s rather unpleasantly warm.

How to Identify an Alien Shark,
a short story by Beth Goder

If a shark is speaking to you, that is a sign that it is an alien.

Friday Night Games,
a short story by Anne Dafeta

Ouija was not a game she ever expected to find in Lagos. Back in New York? Of course. … But Ouija, in a Nigerian store?

CARBORUNDORUM > /DEV/NULL,
a short story by Annalee Flower Horne; illustrated by Michelle Wong

So I have to live in The Handmaid’s Tale just because you’re scared of the dark? That’s sexist!

Issue 58, August 2018

A Taxonomy of Hurts,
a short story by Kate Dollarhyde; illustrated by Kevin Tong

They are his most hurtful memories, and if I touch them, I can recall them as if they are my own.

By Stone, by Sea, by Flower, by Thorn,
a short story by Sarah Goslee

Here, the folk are as bony as their land, clawing meager patches of barley and gnarled carrots from the thin ground.

Pigeons,
a short story by Nibedita Sen

Cil won’t like what she has to do next, but that’s okay. She always listened to Kat in the end, even when she still had the power not to.

The Unusual Customer,
a short story by Innocent Chizaram Ilo

The Invisible Customer is not really invisible-invisible. I can see him or, as he puts it, he has chosen me to see him, for now.

Issue 57, July 2018

Love in Every Stitch,
a short story by Alexandra Rowland

You’ll want soft, but you don’t always need soft, in your threads or in your heart.

The Story of a Young Woman,
a short story by Ose Utomi

This is a story of love. The young woman’s love for her people. Her love for her ancestors.

To This You Cling, With Jagged Fingernails,
a short story by Beth Cato

You should have talked to her about magic before she died, but you haven’t lived close to her in years.

A Post-Modern Oracle,
a short story by Courtney Floyd

Offer her worthy espresso, and she’ll read your future in the post-it notes scattered around her office like fallen leaves.

Rules for Communing with Spirits,
a short story by Christopher R. Alonso; illustrated by Charis Loke

My abuela told me that there was such a thing as being too chismosa, that I shouldn’t go looking for things that weren’t there. At the time, she didn’t know about what Caro and I did on our days off…

Issue 56, June 2018

Cast Off Tight,
a short story by Hal Y. Zhang; illustrated by Katie Chandler

He is falling again, drifting down an infinite spiral, the simultaneously squeezed and stretched feeling whenever he thinks too much about death.

Beast of Breath,
a short story by Gillian Daniels

“I think you’re being asked a question, my love. They have a right to an answer, even if it’s one they may not like.”

The Day After the Red Warlock of Skull Top Mountain Turned Everyone in Beane County into Pigs,
a short story by Susan Jane Bigelow

My phone was busted; I’d put a trotter right through it during the first few minutes.

Issue 55, May 2018

Now Watch My Rising,
a short story by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor

Stories filter down through moss and leaf, fed by the sun that hears all. Wolf listens, for there are many tales of other wolves like them.

The Finger,
a short story by April Grant

All you have to do is just go to the range, wrap your finger across the muzzle and pull the trigger. Bang. Your hand slipped, it was an accident, they call an ambulance, you’re done.

The Paladin Protocol,
a short story by Sydnee Thompson

Do NOT initiate contact with me, nor administer treatment, without my direction from now on. That is a strict order. Command: Affirm compliance.

A Promise of Flight,
a short story by Lee S. Bruce; illustrated by Maggie Chiang

I tried aerial classes, trapeze classes, acrobatic classes. They didn’t work. I bought a trampoline. It didn’t work either.

So It Was Foretold,
a short story by Mimi Mondal

We were so skilled at imbibing, my foremothers and I. We, who were nameless, unseen, erasing ourselves as we made our way through life.

Issue 54, April 2018

50 Ways to Leave Your Fairy Lover,
a short story by Aimee Picchi

You wrote that your fairy lover expects you to accompany him on wild hunts and to all-night dances, but he never wants to answer BuzzFeed quizzes or join your Ingress team.

One For Sorrow, Two For Joy,
a short story by LaShawn M. Wanak; illustrated by Dawid Planeta

People grieved over so many things, the Undertaker mused. A failed marriage. Loss of a job. But the loss of a child always hit the keenest.

Before the Burst,
a short story by D.A. Xiaolin Spires

She was radiant, whirlwinds of color on evanescent skin, doused in virtual ink. Her beady eyes darted, taking us in.

On Good Friday the Raven Washes Its Young,
a short story by A. A. McNamara

The family didn’t want a freak, so I came all the way here, to the planetfrontier.

Issue 53, March 2018

Iyanuoluwa-Mercy of God,
a short story by Jojo Bee

“When the blue-eyed devil first led me to the ship, I thought it was for a better life. The village chief told me it was an honor. He said it would be good for me to go and wouldn’t I like to explore?”

By the Mother’s Trunk,
a short story by Lisa M. Bradley

“Tillie received a bath earlier this morning, but the water droplets that caught in the coarse hairs on her head have already evaporated. She would like to dust herself but Governor says, ‘It’s SHOWTIME.’”

Object-Oriented,
a short story by Arkady Martine

“A long time ago I was an architect, and now I’m an evaluator for post-disaster safety. I specialize in earthquakes, but I see a lot of floods, too.”

Flow,
a short story by Marissa Lingen; illustrated by Galen Dara

Flow is how water moves, flow is how one river is not another, one brook, one pond. The shape of the currents. For us, that means how we walk. And I have always walked like my father.

Issue 52, February 2018

knick knack, knick knack,
a short story by Holly Lyn Walrath

Your mother’s house is a bit of a burden now, all rattletraps and dust, tucked between the oaks and Spanish moss. You are tasked with emptying out this old witch’s hut.

The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,
a short story by Phenderson Djèlí Clark; illustrated by A. A. McNamara

When he wore that tooth, George Washington complained of hearing the heavy fall of a hammer on an anvil day and night. He ordered all iron making stopped at Mount Vernon.

How I Got Published (12 Tips from a Bestselling Author),
a short story by Dominica Phetteplace

I was too stung by rejection to query this second novel. I could have tried self-publishing, but it was easier just to give up on humanity.

Dust to Dust,
a short story by Mary Robinette Kowal

Lloyd bent down and kissed her on the nape of her neck, smelling the cherry wood and bird-of-paradise dust he’d mixed for her. Her skin was warm and tender beneath his lips. All was well.

Issue 51, January 2018

Riddle,
a short story by Ogbewe Amadin

‘Idara, you are not a witch, okay?!’ Mama said. ‘You are a kind and sweet little girl and when I’m done with you, you will be a strong, independent woman,’ she told me.

A Legal Alien,
a short story by Maya Kanwal

“At first, we put on our best American accents and got neat haircuts. We stopped speeding and started weeding, our exemplary flowerbeds proving the model citizens we were. Still, one of us had to go.”

Hehua,
a short story by Millie Ho; illustrated by

Hehua was wholeheartedly herself, and I loved that about her—right up until she decided not to be.

Those We Feed,
a short story by Layla Al-Bedawi

You sound just like a six-year-old child when you tell me. I feel like I’m meant to ask what I did to deserve this. Whether a real child ever grew inside me. Whether you are a curse, and how I can lift it.

Two Years Dead,
a short story by Kathryn Kania

I used an old picture from my Facebook, one sort of buried, not my profile pic. Didn’t want anyone image searching me and finding a dead chick.

Issue 50, December 2017

A Rabbit Egg for Flora,
a short story by A. A. McNamara

Flora stares at the egg, her finger poised over the button that will initiate the hatching sequence. ‘It’s probably an elephant.’

The Gingerbread Pox,
a short story by A. A. McNamara

“I’m the Gingerbread Pox!” the cloud announced, all abuzz, as it hovered before its latest target. “You can’t avoid catching me!”

Rab the Giant versus the Witch of the Waterfall,
a short story by Brian M. Milton; illustrated by Marianne Khalil

The lady looked him up and down and then sagged against the doorjamb, a look of infinite tiredness washing across her face. ‘Are you the giant of Glasgow? I was expecting more and, with the way things have been going, I won’t be surprised if I’ve got the wrong place.’

Mirrors in the Valley,
a short story by Kendra Sims

‘Kali,’ he murmurs into the prototype’s ear, ‘remember when I almost went to prison? This nice woman wants us to tell your story.’

Issue 49, November 2017

Portrait of Skull with Man,
a short story by Vina Jie-Min Prasad

I‘m open to unusual and unconventional shoots, but I have to be depicted with the skull. This is ABSOLUTELY non-negotiable.

A Cure for Ghosts,
a short story by Eden Royce

You know better now, don’t ya? How do them ghosts smell? Like dirt and damp moss and dank places closed so tight no air ever enters. Like the end.

Caesura,
a short story by ; illustrated by Max Cole-Takanikos

Priya begins by striking the words love, hate, heart, and feel from the computer’s vocabulary, and blocks the internet.

The Scenarist,
a short story by Stu West

This is something that has caused problems in the past. New clinicians arrive from light years away, bringing impressive lists of publications and achievements—and staggering ignorance of the medical issues we face in this part of the galaxy.

Issue 48, October 2017

Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked,
a short story by Christa Carmen

“This should feel romantic, she thought wistfully as Luke pushed past her out the door. And anyway, it wasn’t my idea to spend the last hour going to the forest’s edge with such a heavy load.”

H&D Plumbing,
a short story by Courtney Floyd

“At H&D Plumbing, we specialize in fixing the unfixable. Call us 24-7!”

River Boy,
a short story by Innocent Chizaram Ilo; illustrated by Galen Dara

“The first thing a River Boy knows is that he does not know until he knows.”

Geppetto,
a short story by Carlos Hernández

“He and his wife had no children, and too late he realized that an unspoken reason to have children was so that someone would love you once you grew ugly.”

Banshee,
a short story by Cherrelle Shelton

“Gina did not go quietly. The commotion should have awakened the whole neighborhood, but no one opened their door to see what the noise was all about.”

Issue 47, September 2017

The Whale of Tikpiti’i,
a short story by A. A. McNamara

The legend says that your great grandfather, Uvuzwa – Whale of Tikpiti’i taught the seas to obey him. …Standing here, against the blue walls of your palace, I ask myself if the Whale of Tikpiti’i also used his influence to squash maggots like me.

Reaching Beyond,
a short story by Evelyn Wong; illustrated by Galen Dara

“A choked sob sounded before the person sucked in a hiccupping breath. “The Chans. They came for them at night… and they…” the voice broke down.”

If We Live to Be Giants,
a short story by Allison Mulder

“Grandpa measures our heights every day against the hallway markings. Rhiannon and I stand flat as we can, afraid even breathing will subtly lengthen our spines.”

Feeding Mr. Whiskers,
a short story by Dawn Bonanno

“Melanie entered the stairway, descended three stairs. Mr. Whiskers yowled. The nose twitching odor of dust overcame the cooking garlic and onions. She sniffled. Her legs wobbled and her stomach twisted into knots. Her feet wouldn’t move. The darkness wasn’t going away, and what hid there was waiting for her”

Issue 46, August 2017

Our Secrets, In Keys,
a short story by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

This used to open the door to the first room where we locked you up, before you stole a light and burnt it down.

Three Laws,
a short story by Andrea Phillips; illustrated by

“Doctor Susan Hobbes, the lead investigator for the Emergent Robotic Behaviors Division of American Robotics Corp., was deeply and profoundly annoyed.”

Junebug’s Magical Magnificent Mercurial Barbershop,
a short story by Malon Edwards

When Junebug’s clippers bit the nape of De’Vontay’s neck, my boy didn’t flinch.

Until the Day We Go Home,
a short story by Caroline M. Yoachim

I wait at the fence with the other kids, bare toes in the dry dirt. Someone spots Liana’s lavender wings in the distance and squeals.

A Silhouette Against Armageddon,
a short story by John Wiswell

Someone’s trying to get into my coffin.

Issue 45, July 2017

Intruder,
a short story by M. E. Owen; illustrated by Galen Dara

The inside door handle was loose. That should have been a clue. But Rebecca didn’t notice, just went on in, whistling, smacking the garage door button as she passed.

The Witch in the Tower,
a short story by Mari Ness

Only one girl at a time, of course. One girl. She regretted that she could not do more, but she was only one woman, and she had other responsibilities.

We Who Stay Behind,
a short story by Karl Dandenell

You are Explorers. You are First Contact. You go through the Portal. We do not. We are the ones who stay behind.

Queen Aster, Who Dances,
a short story by Tina Connolly

There are two of us, my twin and I, the two youngest princesses they never thought would rule. We found our own paths in life, I in dance and Gentian in song.

Issue 44, June 2017

Independent, Superior,
a short story by Chris Butera

There are twenty-seven synonyms for subservience.

Crow's Eye,
a short story by Sarah Hollowell; illustrated by Galen Dara

Ruby doesn’t like the lake. Everyone else likes it fine, including her sister, Dip. It’s her favorite part of their property.

How to Sync Your Spouse,
a short story by Russell Nichols

All over Ixesha, every tick-tocking soul says the motto of their great African nation in unison. Completely in sync. That is, except Menzi and Lindiwe.

Breathe,
a short story by R.D. Sullivan

There are worse ways to go. There’s that bullshit thought again, circling back around for another try. It’s not true anyway. There’s one much better way to go.

Issue 43, May 2017

Narrative Disorder,
a short story by Malka Older; illustrated by Galen Dara

Mishima was the youngest person ever to be diagnosed. Her third-year teacher became suspicious after overhearing her retell a five-minute trip to the bathroom as an epic saga with two subplots and an unexpected denouement (minor sink malfunction).

Friendly Emily,
a short story by Kevin Hearne

She heard my boots crunch around the bend in the trail, looked up, and gave a tiny smirk when she saw me stop in confusion. Instead of saying hello or asking for help, she tried to reassure me. “Don’t worry, Mister, I won’t eat you,” she said. “I’m not hungry right now.”

Snow White,
a short story by Mikki Kendall

It is a curious thing to live long enough to hear the story of your life go from a gossipy tale told by people on the periphery to a myth that frames you both as a victim and a villain.

Issue 42, April 2017

Bear Language,
a short story by Martin Cahill; illustrated by Galen Dara

Daddy says he can still hear it, but we can all still hear it, pawing at the bag of chips I left on the counter downstairs, snuffling into the salt. Do bears like chips?

Regarding Your Future With The Futures Planning Consortium,
a short story by Raq Winchester

Due to someone mistakenly scheduling the office party synchronously with the rollout of the 2016 local adjustment planning calendar upgrade to version 16.5, I think some apologies are in order. I am sure the responsible party or parties will want to make amends. As a result of this error, the rise of fascism in Europe has accelerated, the next global extinction launched without supervision, and the party caterers were sent to 1620 BCE.

Balance Point,
a short story by Sarah Goslee

Nik came here to learn magic, not to be ignored by everyone — even the teachers — except when it was time for tea.

The Hulder’s Husband Says Don’t,
a short story by Kate Lechler

The first word I learned that day was “perfect.” He repeated it, over and over, running hot fingers down the skin of my cheek and neck. His hands found the ragged wooden edges of the hole in my back, danced down to the base of my spine, stroked down the furred length of my tail.

It Happened To Me: I Was Brought Back to Avenge My Death, But Chose Justice Instead,
a short story by Nino Cipri

Dirty river water filling my mouth, the tastes of oil and mud and rust; plastic zip-ties cutting into the skin of my wrists; lights on the surface of the water receding away from me. That’s what I remember from before I died.

Issue 41, March 2017

The Praetorian Guard,
a short story by Lucas J. W. Johnson

Praetorian Marshal Lia Song strode through the door into the claustrophobic room, hailed by a gust of icy wind from outside.

Radio Werewolf,
a short story by Cassandra Khaw

“The Nazis’ broadcasts said they had guerrilla forces waiting, watching from the mouth of the pines. Werewolves. Ready to devour us whole.”

The Resurrectionists,
a short story by Alec Austin

They’d gone three days without seeing anything more than mesas and miles of bone-sand before Kade saw the newspaper.

It Happened To Me: I Melded My Consciousness With the Giant Alien Mushroom Floating Above Chicago,
a short story by Nino Cipri

I was twenty-three, and on my lunch break when the giant alien mushroom bloomed in the sky over Lake Michigan.

Issue 40, February 2017

The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike,
a short story by Andrea Phillips; illustrated by Galen Dara

“Consumers know it when they see bullshit. They’re not interested in empty words anymore. They’re not interested in garbage awareness campaigns that don’t solve anything, either. They want action.”

Issue 39, January 2017

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Black Like Them,
a short story by Troy L. Wiggins; illustrated by Galen Dara

According to the most recent census numbers, approximately twelve percent of Americans identify as African-American. Take a look around. Do you see any African-American people — black people — around you? We would urge you to look a bit closer. Perhaps they’re not as black as you think.

It Happened To Me: My Doppleganger Stole My Credit Card Info, and then My Life,
a short story by Nino Cipri

The Nono thing started when you were a toddler. Nono was your favorite word, and your father and I liked to say that it wasn’t you who’d pulled all of the dishtowels out of the drawer. It was Nono.

God Talk: Advice From A Deity in Distress,
a short story by Alexis A. Hunter

What makes a god a monster? What makes a monster a god? The answer to both questions is the same: power.

Issue 38, November 2016

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Dragon Soap,
a short story by M. K. Hutchins; illustrated by Galen Dara

Gran never did like it when I used the Winchester to deal with dragons — so I went and did a damn fool thing and set out to hunt them in the dead of night. It wasn’t hard to sneak by Gran. She snored twice as loud as she barked, which was saying something.

Sometimes the Crossroads Come to You,
a short story by Mikki Kendall

“If you’re darker than warm beige we don’t recommend using this unit to visit the past prior to 2150. Only go into the recent past, or into the future.”

Paperclips and Memories and Things That Won’t Be Missed,
a short story by Caroline M. Yoachim

The ghost in my attic is Margaret, but she lets me call her Margie. She was seventy-six years old when she died, and now that she’s a ghost she sits in her rocking chair day and night, holding a tiny baby in her arms. The baby rarely moves and almost never cries.

Issue 37, October 2016

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The Get-Get Man,
a short story by Melissa Moorer; illustrated by Galen Dara

The Get-Get Man travels at night, sharp as a scalpel, dark as soot. He cuts through the yards and streets, slicing and taking what doesn’t make way. They say you can only see him from the side.

Speak,
a short story by Cassandra Khaw

Pale skin, poreless. Plastic polymer. Eyes too big. Nose too straight. Black-wire lashes. Mouth like an open wound, boiling with insect larvae. She’s been dead for days.

Rabbit Heart,
a short story by Alyssa Wong

When the Xiongs’ only son died, instead of calling the crematorium and arranging for a funeral, the family came to me.

Issue 36, September 2016

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Emergency Management Protocol,
a short story by C. C. S. Ryan; illustrated by Galen Dara

You want to see a whole year into the future, kid?

Homesick,
a short story by Sarah Gailey

You want to see a whole year into the future, kid?

Delta Child,
a short story by Malon Edwards

As long as I eat, I heal. Today, it’s my rotted right arm that needs it.

Issue 35, August 2016

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In Memoriam: Lady Fantastic,
a short story by Lauren M. Roy

Lady Fantastic died yesterday. She was one of the classics, one of the first to don her cape and soar over the skyline, one of that golden generation who inspired every hero who came after.

Ariadne, Abandoned on Naxos,
a short story by S.M. Mack

You are six when your mother is cursed.

Your Body, By Default,
a short story by Alexis A. Hunter; illustrated by Galen Dara

The IED blew your body into pieces: bone and brain and blood, sprayed in the sand with the twisted shell of your tank

Issue 34, July 2016

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A Place Out Of Time,
a short story by Elsa Sjunneson

I must write a list for myself. A list of the times to which I cannot go.

Imagine a World So Forgiving,
a short story by Margaret Killjoy

It was a shitty fucking mission.

Iron Aria,
a short story by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor; illustrated by Galen Dara

The mountain is being devoured from the inside and it screams.

Issue 33, May 2016

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If X is a Real Number,
a short story by Sofie Bird

There is a number on my screen so small it’s just a line of zeroes too long for the ship’s console to display. It is our chances of survival.

The Forever Girl,
a short story by R.L. Thull

The girl shifted limply and moaned. Two sleepy words came out. “OK, promise.” That was when the trouble had started.

The Middle Child's Practical Guide to Surviving a Fairy Tale,
a short story by Mari Ness; illustrated by Galen Dara

It’s happened. Your worst nightmare. A younger, prettier, differently gendered, or completely simpleminded younger sibling has entered your life, right at the moment when it’s become increasingly clear that your mother is not long for this world and you will soon be facing an Evil Stepmother.

An Army of Bees,
a short story by Caroline M. Yoachim

Last winter, my veins held only blood and not an army of nanobots.

Sparrow,
a short story by Minerva Zimmerman

Display last known address for Daniel Alden.

Issue 32, April 2016

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Forever Now,
a short story by A. E. Decker; illustrated by Galen Dara

I’ve lost my parents, Rita told the man in the many-colored hat.

The Memory Who Became a Girl,
a short story by Jennifer Campbell-Hicks

At one time, people launched the ashes of their loved ones into space.

Red as Blood, White as Snow, Black as Ebony,
a short story by Jordan Taylor

After word of the Snow White incident got around the kingdom, someone made a killing off the invention of spring-loaded glass coffins.

Issue 31, March 2016

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Haunted,
a short story by Sarah Gailey; illustrated by Galen Dara

The children grab each other when they walk past me.

The Bird,
a short story by Edward Ashton

Spontaneous remission, the doctor says. The primary mass in your pancreas is gone.

The Kingfisher Manifesto,
a short story by Sarah Goslee

White wings flashing in the gloom. Kingfisher.

Issue 30, February 2016

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Fairy Tales are for White People,
a short story by Melissa Yuan-Innes; illustrated by Galen Dara

Climbing up the basement stairs with a duck carcass, holding the slippery neck far enough away from his body so that his knees didn’t clank into the dangling legs, Trenton Lo caught his first glimpse of the fairy godfather.

Re: Little Miss Apocalypse Playset,
a short story by Effie Seiberg

Hey folks, I know it’s a tight squeeze for the manufacturing deadline for the Little Miss Apocalypse playset, but we got new market research results on the pony names.

When First He Laid Eyes,
a short story by Rachael K. Jones

A girl’s first stalker is always a cause for celebration.

Issue 29, January 2016

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All That Holds Me Together,
a short story by A. K. Snyder

I want a wound, I say. The tattooist looks at me, his eyes clear of judgement. He waits.

This is Not a Wardrobe Door,
a short story by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor; illustrated by Galen Dara

Dear Gatekeeper, Hi my name is Ellie and I’m six years old and my closet door is broken.

Human Resources,
a short story by Erica L. Satifka

Even a half-brain like me can see that Celia misses the hell out of her left index finger.

Gold Farmer’s Daughter,
a short story by Aidan Doyle

Mei’s contract specified she would only get paid if both the bride and groom, along with at least fifty percent of the guests, survived the wedding.

Issue 28, October 2015

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Betty and the Squelchy Saurus,
a short story by Caroline M. Yoachim; illustrated by Galen Dara

Betty was hanging wet towels on the clothesline when a faded blue Plymouth Roadking came up the drive.

Temporary Saints,
a short story by JY Yang

I hate it when it’s kids.

Cupid and Psyche at the Caffé Sol Y Mar,
a short story by José Pablo Iriarte

Psyche has given up and signaled for the check by the time Cupid pulls up on his red scooter.

Issue 27, September 2015

ebook cover
serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 13

She Wolf and Cub: Coda

by lilith-saintcrow

They came from below.

serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 12

Who Owns You Now?

by lilith-saintcrow

Fading bitterness coating the tongue.

Take On Me: Chapters One-Five,
a short story by Minerva Zimmerman

The worst part is getting onto the train.

The Closest Thing to Animals,
a short story by Sofia Samatar; illustrated by Galen Dara

I have a habit of meeting people right before they get famous and don’t need me anymore.

Bones at the Door,
a short story by John Wiswell

There was a squirrel skeleton the morning before it really started.

Singing Wings,
a short story by Keffy R. M. Kehrli

When Aduaa and Lakeisha started dating, one of the first things they discussed was the difficulty of being together as human and as chrysilinid.

Issue 26, August 2015

ebook cover
serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 11

Black Hat Collective

by lilith-saintcrow

They came from below.

La Bestia,
a short story by Stephen Blackmoore; illustrated by Galen Dara

The worst part is getting onto the train.

He Who Watches,
a short story by Alex Shvartsman

On the twentieth anniversary of the end of the world, Andrew lit a candle.

Accidental Queen of the Spiders,
a short story by Zina Hutton

No one ever talks about how many spiders live on the island.

Issue 25, July 2015

ebook cover
serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 10

Non-Alliance

by lilith-saintcrow

The fourpad exploded, chunks of meat flying and a burst of hot blood.

Look Upon my Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair (In Three Months),
a short story by Helena Bell; illustrated by Galen Dara

Samantha believed she was not the last person left alive in the world, but she hadn’t seen anyone else since she had to kill her brother Oliver over Christmas.

A Clockwork Heart,
a short story by Lucas J. W. Johnson

Myss, the three-hundred-year old harpy, rarely cursed, but she did now.

The Eleventh Hour,
a short story by Lauren M. Roy

She gave me an hour to save the world.

Issue 24, June 2015

ebook cover
serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 9

I Think She's Serious

by lilith-saintcrow

During the day, the canopy turned everything below into aqueous green shimmer that didn’t raise blistering welts on Geoff’s skin.

If Wishes Were Obfuscation Codes,
a short story by Malon Edwards; illustrated by Galen Dara

Well, truth is, I’m in love with an obfuscation programme.

Fluffy Harbinger of Death,
a short story by Alex Hughes

Myss, the three-hundred-year old harpy, rarely cursed, but she did now.

All of Our Days,
a short story by Jeff Xilon

Kelee’s voice rouses him from his last dreams.

Issue 23, May 2015

ebook cover
serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 8

Agent Warfare

by lilith-saintcrow

Coming up from a numbpatch is always the same.

Children of Rouwen,
a short story by Andrea Phillips; illustrated by Galen Dara

The new house was too small for the three of them, really. Even so, it was more than she could strictly afford.

Nobody’s Goddess,
a short story by Amber D. Sistla

Benjamin scrolled through the Book’s table of contents; the little tablet contained every sanctioned story that had ever been recorded in the Zianon Empire.

Time Out,
a short story by Renee Elizabeths

There was a little girl dancing in the graveyard.

Issue 22, April 2015

ebook cover
serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 7

Myth

by lilith-saintcrow

I hadn’t laughed like that since… well, since far before I was implemented.

Revision: Chapters One-Three,
a short story by Andrea Phillips

In the case of a sudden dumping, there are certain expectations about how to proceed.

Stay,
a short story by Daniel José Older; illustrated by Galen Dara

They came in boats and airplanes, armed with false documents and holy terror and a cautious wariness of what they would find.

Sally the Psychic Alligator,
a short story by

Editor’s note: This story has been removed from our site.

Katabasis,
a short story by Jen R Albert

Resurrection just isn’t what it used to be.

Issue 21, March 2015

ebook cover
serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 6

He's Taken

by lilith-saintcrow

Carsona was a corporation town.

Zanders the Magnificent,
a short story by Annie Neugebauer; illustrated by Galen Dara

My handsome, darling boys, Mrs. Zander said, placing a hand on each of their shoulders. Which one of you wants to be alive today?

A Taste of Cinnamon,
a short story by Rebecca Birch

C’mon, Renny, Jesmin whispered from the far side of the internal bulkhead. Don’t get grav-feet now.

Pride and Profanity,
a short story by Aidan Doyle

Heavily armored punctuation guarded the palace gates. “Where’s your invitation?” a belligerent semicolon demanded.

Issue 20, February 2015

ebook cover
serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 5

Night Moves

by lilith-saintcrow

Stars, those faraway nuclear fires you never see through a city’s statveiling, glittered on velvet blackness.

To Fall, and Pause, and Fall,
a short story by Lisa Nohealani Morton; illustrated by Galen Dara

The club is brightly lit as the audience files in.

A Silly Love Story,
a short story by Nino Cipri

There is something haunting Jeremy’s closet.

Shoelace,
a short story by Laura Lovic-Lindsay

Having finished the rest of my shopping, I turned left by the bluejeans, walking slower now toward the back of the store and the shoes.

My Name is Ronald by the Way,
a short story by Thord D. Hedengren

Slippery. That was the feeling I couldn’t shake after speaking to the salesman.

Issue 19, January 2015

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Sam,
a short story by Lilith Saintcrow

He marched right up to the bar, a loose limber stride just a touch too long to be natural.

Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer,
a short story by Megan Grey; illustrated by Galen Dara

Molakesh the Destroyer moved into the house next door the summer I turned fifteen.

She Waits,
a short story by Laurel Halbany

Another cigarette? she asked.

Who We Once Were, Who We Will Never Be,
a short story by Brent Baldwin

Your dreams are my dreams, love, forever and always.

Issue 18, December 2014

ebook cover
serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 3

Township Vega

by lilith-saintcrow

At first, I thought the township was a worm.

All Manner of Men and Monsters,
a short story by Rebecca M. Latimer; illustrated by Galen Dara

I remember my father spitting lightning into sand, forming misshapen glass with which to decorate my mother’s tower.

Twenty Parsecs East of the Earth Bypass, Closed on Sundays,
a short story by Robert Lowell Russell

The bell on the door jangled and a pair of Korgalaths entered Samuel’s store.

Mr. Reilly’s Tattoo,
a short story by Hope Erica Schultz

Mr. Reilly was my first patient. I was the only male CNA in the nursing home, and the nurses warned me that some patients would have a problem with it.

Issue 17, November 2014

ebook cover
serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 2

Cannibal Warfare

by lilith-saintcrow

He didn’t complain, even when the sunlight worked through the wrappings and raised blistering weals on pale skin.

Better Girls From Broken Parts,
a short story by Nino Cipri; illustrated by Galen Dara

Rachel and Jasmine stared warily at each other while their mothers went through the long process of two grown-ups greeting each other.

The Boy,
a short story by Eric Francis

The sun is setting as I order the helmsman to bring the Jolly Roger down.

Death’s Garden,
a short story by Day Al-Mohamed

Far away, in a country on the other side of East, there is a garden filled with only red flowers.

Issue 16, October 2014

ebook cover
serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 1

Sealed Train

by lilith-saintcrow

I thought derailing — or just plain getting off — a sealed train in the middle of the Waste would be difficult, but not impossible.

serial: She Wolf and Cub, Chapter 0

She Wolf and Cub Prologue

by lilith-saintcrow

The bar was dim, full of fauxsmoke. Modern ersatz cigs don’t kill you like the old ones, and synthetic liquor doesn’t bite either.

Testimony,
a short story by Jennifer Mason-Black; illustrated by Galen Dara

They sleep. At least we assume they do. It’s been years, decades.

The Cutting Yield,
a short story by Hillary Jacques

Gramma Gershon taught me many things. When to pick berries to capture the brightest color and sweetest taste. Why to avoid wild mushrooms.

The Work,
a short story by Alexandre Stone

The rafters shook with each impact of the battering ram, sending cascades of dust drifting down over her schematics.

Issue 15, July 2014

ebook cover
serial: The Forever Endeavor, Chapter 12

Cosmic Forces at Your Local Waffle House

by chuck-wendig

It’s midnight and Dale stands on the beach in bare feet, wet sand sucking at his toes.

Sun Tea,
a short story by M. Bennardo; illustrated by Galen Dara

Cubby walked onto the front porch of the boarding house and blinked into the sun.

Reversal,
a short story by James Darrow

Opening my eyes, I saw a man in a gray business suit with slicked-back blond hair.

Missing,
a short story by Megan Grey

Imagine you’re six and a half years old. The extra half makes a big difference, because it means you’re that much closer to being one of the big kids.

Issue 14, June 2014

ebook cover
serial: The Forever Endeavor, Chapter 11

Mistakes Were Made

by

It’s midnight and Dale stands on the beach in bare feet, wet sand sucking at his toes.

Good Ghoul Gone Bad,
a short story by D.B. Starler; illustrated by Galen Dara

Things hadn’t really been working out for Lola since she died. Life, if she could even call it that anymore, had pretty much gone down the crapper.

Guard Post,
a short story by Paul O'Donohoe

It took a minute to notice over the constant sound of moving water in this place, but it was definitely snoring.

Silver Hill Hotel,
a short story by David Alex Shepherd

Silver Hill Hotel, Pine County, Nevada. Erected late 1800s, one of the oldest hotels operating in America.

Issue 13, May 2014

ebook cover
serial: The Forever Endeavor, Chapter 10

Undertow

by chuck-wendig

Dale presses the button.

Repossession,
a short story by Jonas David; illustrated by Galen Dara

The echo of Marco’s footsteps mixed with the pattering of the rain as he stepped off the main road and into the alleyway.

Vanilla,
a short story by Martin Cahill

The sky is gold, black, and red, ripe and flush with the end of the world. It is really happening this time.

Carver,
a short story by E.C. Ambrose

Hannah runs her hand over the row of long-handled chisels, darkened and smoothed by years of use.

Issue 12, April 2014

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Tangled Sheets,
a short story by Chuck Wendig

The sheets braid the space between their tangled legs.

Rocket Ship Nirvana,
a short story by Jason Ridler; illustrated by Galen Dara

Distorted guitars and a hissing snare drum snap invaded her brain through her earphones as Dad pulled into the driveway with a bump over the uneven road.

Not So Super,
a short story by Rob McMonigal

Reborn,
a short story by Katie Pugh

Tara always pulled her minivan into the section of the parking lot littered with chalk drawings.

Issue 11, March 2014

ebook cover
serial: The Forever Endeavor, Chapter 8

Feast and Famine

by chuck-wendig

Fireworks out over the cold ocean.

Four Tons Too Late,
a short story by K. C. Alexander; illustrated by Galen Dara

He wakes aching. He always wakes aching. Drugs don’t help. He kicked that habit a long time ago, before they’d take him into the program.

Shrugging Off the Weight of the World,
a short story by Dantzel Cherry

With each passing minute the sky dug a little harder onto Atlas’s shoulders.

Ask The Cats,
a short story by Stefon Mears

Did you finish off the graham crackers?

Issue 10, February 2014

ebook cover
serial: The Forever Endeavor, Chapter 7

Hot Dale-On-Dale Action

by chuck-wendig

Dale is shaking.

Just a Couple Modifications,
a short story by Kelly C. Stiles

The bone saw, please.

Hope for Enthos,
a short story by Addison Smith

The muted horns of passing cars drifted up to Enthos, where he sat on his ledge, peering over the street.

They Sent Runners Out,
a short story by Sarah Pinsker

My twin brother had been a dry-eyed baby, and he grew into a dry-eyed boy.

The Brutal and the Simple,
a short story by Adam P. Knave; illustrated by Galen Dara

I rode like hell down the shit and dirt we called a road. Head down, I pushed on, spurring the horse under me to just keep going.

Issue 9, January 2014

ebook cover
serial: , Chapter 6

A Plate Of Strange Meat

by chuck-wendig

Dale is shaking.

Maternal Type,
a short story by Lilith Saintcrow; illustrated by Galen Dara

Modern ersatz cigs don’t kill you like the old ones, and synthetic liquor doesn’t bite either. Cushioned, to keep warmbodies from hurting themselves.

A Trick of the Night,
a short story by Steven J. Dines; illustrated by Galen Dara

I met the devil in my dreams and he told me this would happen.

A Single, Stolen Night,
a short story by Memory Scarlett

Talia painted her lips blue and went down, down, down to the Market Level ball.

Ex Astris,
a short story by Lauren M. Roy

The first time he blacked out, Kevin saw stars. Not the tweety-bird kind, but actual galaxies spinning away in the dark.

Issue 8, December 2013

ebook cover
serial: The Forever Endeavor, Chapter 5

Murder-Suicide

by chuck-wendig

Dale is shaking.

The Gangs of Gnome Jersey,
a short story by A. E. Decker; illustrated by Galen Dara

Some of life’s moments should come attached to a warning label.

Elizabeth’s Pirate Army,
a short story by Caroline M. Yoachim

A kraken came to Edgewood Street on the first day of summer vacation.

First, Bite Just a Finger,
a short story by Johann Thorsson

Julia tried it for the first time in a party uptown.

Issue 7, November 2013

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serial: The Forever Endeavor, Chapter 4

The Bird And The Worm

by chuck-wendig

The big bastard is already at the table, drinking a Godawari Lager, greedily eating momo dumplings by hand.

Catch a Fallen Star,
a short story by A. A. McNamara; illustrated by Galen Dara

The kid was quick, darting ahead of Valentin around chunks of concrete and metal scraps that lay in the street like a giant child’s playthings.

Sure I am Metaphysically Sinking Into a More Terrifying Universe, but We All Have Our Things to Deal With,
a short story by Sam Gorenstein

Teeth are pulling me through an inter-dimensional window by my hair, but yes I’m fine.

The Last Good Day,
a short story by John F. Gardner

Steven rubbed his hand over the stent in his chest, and for the first time in a year felt he could get up and move. He knew it was time to die.

Issue 6, October 2013

ebook cover
serial: The Forever Endeavor, Chapter 3

Is Bliss

by chuck-wendig

Five days till Christmas, and three days after the event which shall not be acknowledged.

Downstairs, Upstairs,
a short story by Melissa Mead

Working for the Almighty is no piece of cake. Even the winged guys Upstairs have it tough, working 24/7 for Eternity.

Skinned Knees,
a short story by R.D. Sullivan

From a distance I have always watched them. Children are the culmination of somebody else’s hopes and dreams, kept warm under heat lamps of love and expectations.

Sell it Like Death,
a short story by A. A. McNamara; illustrated by Galen Dara

On her twelfth wedding anniversary, as she cleaned the house, Laurie came upon a leather-bound notebook in the nightstand drawer on her husband’s side of the bed.

Issue 5, September 2013

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The Last Job,
a short story by A. A. McNamara

Three minutes into the heist, Louie was dead.

serial: The Forever Endeavor, Chapter 2

Ham Salad

by chuck-wendig

Walter Bard comes in the door. Throws his keys down, his hat, his jacket—tries to shed his day along with it but the day’s like a second skin you can’t just peel off.

Looking for Bad Guys,
a short story by Jake Kerr

Carter’s mom pinned the cape around his shoulders, brushed out the folds, and then stood back. Carter glanced in the mirror and nodded. A superhero looked back at him.

Listening to it Rain,
a short story by A. A. McNamara

Alan found me at Cook Creek, near where it fed into the summer sludge of the North Raccoon River.

The Journal,
a short story by Ken Liu; illustrated by Galen Dara

On her twelfth wedding anniversary, as she cleaned the house, Laurie came upon a leather-bound notebook in the nightstand drawer on her husband’s side of the bed.

Issue 4, August 2013

ebook cover
serial: The Forever Endeavor, Chapter 1

Mistakes Were Made

by chuck-wendig

It’s midnight and Dale stands on the beach in bare feet, wet sand sucking at his toes.

Love Song of the Lizard Boy,
a short story by Delilah S. Dawson; illustrated by Galen Dara

The knotted tassel and last night’s full moon agreed: it was time for him to go.

The Filigreed Cage,
a short story by

For seven years they’d shared the room in her mother’s house, and in all those years he’d been a perfect Husband.

Mice,
a short story by Keffy R. M. Kehrli

Thomas had four older brothers and he didn’t like any of them. They always hid his books or made him eat the green paste that came with sushi or tickled him until he peed his pants.

Issue 3, Winter 2012

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The White Phoenix Feather,
a short story by Mary Robinette Kowal; illustrated by Galen Dara

When I said the ninjas were no match for us, I meant it. Joe will have the White Phoenix Feather by dessert.

John Fisher,
a short story by Daniel Abraham; illustrated by Galen Dara

I thought John Fisher was an awfully prosaic name for an imaginary friend. Looking back, maybe that should have been a clue, but I have a hard time faulting myself.

Famine's Shadow,
a comic by Rachel Deering

Remaker Remaker,
a short story by Lucas J. W. Johnson; illustrated by Galen Dara

Remaker, Remaker, make me a hand…

Form and Void,
a short story by Elizabeth Bear

Before she turned into a dragon, Kathy Cutter was Comanche Zariphes’ best friend.

Issue 2, Summer 2012

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Rhapsody in Blue Shift,
a short story by Stephen Blackmoore; illustrated by Galen Dara

When I met George Gershwin I was cleaning up D Deck. The gravitational retractors had gone offline, sending clothing, magazines, a thousand odds and ends into the air.

Scarred,
a short story by Damien Walters Grintalis; illustrated by Galen Dara

Her skin was riddled with scars, some barely visible, others dark and ruddy. The oldest, the first name, was on her right ankle, above the knobby bone.

An Honest Mistake,
a comic by Brian J. White

Perspective,
a short story by Jake Kerr; illustrated by Galen Dara

The worst part about picking my son up from the police station was the walk to get there. I hadn’t been outside in years, but it was still the same — black molecular paint permanently defacing an already wretched city.

The Heart of the Story,
a short story by Kat Howard; illustrated by Galen Dara

The world was created with a word. Or at least so we say, in the story we tell of it.

Issue 1, Spring 2012

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Snow Ninjas of the Hymalayas,
a comic by Adam P. Knave

Emerald Lakes,
a short story by Chuck Wendig; illustrated by Amy Houser

The name is a lie; no lake or lakes exist here.

Temperance,
a short story by Christie Yant; illustrated by Amy Houser

It wasn’t the worst bender of Anthony Cardno’s life, but it was the first that he had ended in a cemetery, vomiting into an open grave.

To the Moon,
a short story by Ken Liu

Long ago, when you were just a baby, we went to the Moon.

Press Enter to Execute,
a short story by Tobias S. Buckell; illustrated by Amy Houser

You want to see a whole year into the future, kid?