Online Fiction

The Death of Christopher Marlowe

They had been walking London all day and Marlowe’s feet were killing him. The other three men were used to gravity but Kit had been away a great deal recently, and the long stints in space had begun to tell on his joints and muscles. Each return was harder than the last. He recalled what it had been like to see the globe of Earth “above” and then to rise into that pit of gravity, ascent becoming descent, as what had looked like heaven turned into hell. He swore to himself that he had taken that plunge for the last time. One more journey outward, at the completion of his current mission, and then no earthly power could draw him back again. Read More

Good ‘n’ Evil, or, The Once and Future Thing

This is my confession.

On this 13th day of the Third Moontide of the Smoldering Beagle Year, at the urging of both Professor Tadmonicker and my own troubled conscience, I, Maven Minkwhistle, set pen to paper. Never again will I type a single character; the mere sight of the clumsy old Underwood fills me with self-loathing for the misdeeds I have done, the falsities I have perpetuated in this already too-false world. I pray that this manuscript will not meet with incredulity in a public that has learned to doubt my word—indeed, my very name. It is not an apology, for I know that society finds such fawning to be more offensive than any crime. Nor is it an eleventh-minute attempt to polish my reputation with further pleas of innocence. I am more concerned for my father—dear Father! I never wanted it to end like this. Read More

Rattleground

Crawling down the fire-scarred steel corridors of the enemy’s lair, he says to himself, So,evil dogs … I see you quake in dread at the mere thought of my arrival! Read More

Dollchurch

Kirkendale stands at the back of a church, the grey aisles before him draped in dust and shadow. Tonight he is to speak. Tall side windows frame slats of pallid light. The pews are ancient and smeared, populated raggedly. He sees only the backs of worshipers’ heads; they nod sluggishly, tilting, as if on snapped necks. Their faces are not visible. Read More

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Encounter on a Lonely Mountain Website

–Well, well, what have we here? Looks like one a them mainstream writers done gone and wrote himself a fantasy novel! What do you think about that, Clem?

–I think we’re gonna have some fun with this one.

–Boy, I believe you’re right. Jest lookit him. Does he look ascared to you? A mite…apprehensive? Well you done strayed right into genre territory, feller. And we don’t take lightly to you literrary types a-poachin in our woods.

–That’s right, we don’t. The last one we found in our traps, we learned him real good. He ain’t never coming out of Conjunctions again if he knows what good fer him.

–What’s wrong, feller? Science fiction too rigger-us, so you figger you’ll tackle something where nobody can call you on your horseshit? But that’s what they got them there post-apocalypse novels for, don’t they? So you can jest write your reglar stories you were gonna write, except no cars or telephones? So what is it I wonder makes you think you can come in here with your big words and your psychological realism and not knowin nothing about fantasy except that Lev Grossman wrote some and didn’t get kicked outta Time?

–You know, I think I seen this feller before…

–Why Clemuel, I believe you’re right. I seem to recall quite a few denigrating comments about Dungeons and Dragons emanating from the vicinity of his piehole, back in the ol’ halls of Ackadeem! Remember that, Clem? And here he is now, all fancied up with a sword and a wand and a hand-drawn map. Thinks he’s gonna show us how it’s done. Well let me tell you something, feller. The word “twee” still means something round these parts. And them lady elves, I can assure you they don’t warm to no antiheroes with erectile dysfunction, if you catch my drift.

–And speaking of the ladies, don’t be castin looks over at our fans now…they aren’t gonna be giving YOU any loving. Fact, if we were to throw you to em, there wouldn’t be enough of you left to throw in a remainder bin…nothing but maybe just a scrawny old spine…

–Watch it, he’s nearly bit through his foot! Settle back there, you.

–Why, don’t tell me you’re wanting to be away already? But you were so eager to be here! Not quite what you expected, hm?  Well, I sure hope you’re good with them there social networks, cause you’re gonna need em if you ever get out of here…and there’s no point calling for help cuz nobody can hear you except the New York Times. And I don’t need to tell you, feller, you’re a long way from New York now.

–That’s right…and you’re about to get a whole lot longer.

–Clem, damn it! Oh my gawd…why’d you go and say that fer?

–What? What’d I do?

–You went and gave him a sequel! You gave him an out! He’s got clean clear of us now.

–Well, won’t nothing come of it. He won’t have a clue what to do with a sequel. Weren’t never a literry writer worth his salt ever wrote a one o them.