Archive | Fiction

24 April 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Poetry Features on the Submission Grinder

The most often requested feature on the Submission Grinder since it’s launch more than four years ago has been support for poetry listings. This support has finally been published. Most importantly the poetry advanced search page you can use to find new poetry markets here.

You can use the site without registering and use the search to find markets. or look at individual markets. If you register you will be able to track your submissions and from market listings search for your poems that fit the requirements that you haven’t submitted to that market before, and so on.

Continue Reading

03 April 2017 ~ 3 Comments

DP Fiction #26A: “O Stone, Be Not So” by José Pablo Iriarte

We had no idea what to think the day Otto started living backward. We might have had a clue if we’d noticed he woke up all cranky and sleepy when he’d always been a morning person. It’s hard to spot subtle things like that, though, when your bright, happy ten-year-old wakes up unable to form a coherent sentence and unable to understand anything you say. I thought he was having a seizure, or had developed some god-awful disorder. I had Aidan call for an ambulance while I ran around the apartment like a madwoman: grabbing a change of clothes, our insurance cards, and a couple of Otto’s favorite toys.

The doctors could find no physical cause for his sudden incoherence and no indication his life was in danger, so they sent us to a local neurologist. I’m the one who actually figured out what was going on, though. Or really Otto did, but I helped him express it.

Continue Reading

31 March 2017 ~ Enter your password to view comments.

Protected: for newsletter subscribers

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Continue Reading

01 March 2017 ~ 2 Comments

DP Fiction #25: “Bloody Therapy” by Suzan Palumbo

I hugged my daughter, Ashley, when she returned home from school crying. She told me she was scared of going to the bathroom alone,because of Bloody Mary, and had wet her pants on the bus ride home. I wiped her eyes and kissed her forehead.

“The kids in my class said Bloody Mary would steal my soul if I said her name three times in the bathroom mirror,” she said rubbing her eyes.

“Bloody Mary doesn’t exist, Sweetheart. She’s a story people made up to scare each other.”

“But Mom, you said I would make friends with the kids here if I looked for the good in them. How can they be good if they try to scare me?” Her sobs receded into the focused expression of a child trying to make sense of the world.

“Trust me, Hon, everyone is capable of being good. Even not-real Bloody Mary could be nice if she wanted to be.”

Continue Reading

01 February 2017 ~ 1 Comment

DP Fiction #24: “The Avatar In Us All” by J.D. Carelli

For my 88th birthday, I celebrate with a bottle of bourbon. I fumble with the anti-intoxication meds my doctor insists I take, the dispenser flying out of my hands and across the kitchen table. “Goddammit!”

Chrissy walks in, putting her hands on her hips in disapproval. Her face is her mother’s, but when I look for my eyes, all I see are the blank, grey eyes of an android. Not my daughter, only her avatar.

“Is it so hard to ask for help?” she snaps. The avatar has a faux personality—based on Chrissy’s—but the motherly tone in her voice tells me my daughter is sitting halfway around the world, jacked-in.

“I’m an old man,” I say, reaching for the bourbon. “Why bother?”

She walks over to the table, deftly dispenses a tablet, and pops it into my mouth. Sitting down in a chair beside me, she pushes two glasses my way.

“Do you at least have a glass of something where you are?” I ask, filling both glasses.

She chuckles. “It’s morning over here, Dad. You know that.”

“I know,” I say, washing the pill down with the bourbon. “I was just testing you.”

“Sure you were.” She follows my lead, downing the glass.

I fill them both again. “You know I’m just going to empty your stomach reservoir and drink it, right?”

Continue Reading

02 January 2017 ~ 3 Comments

DP Fiction #23: “Curl Up and Dye” by Tina Gower

Amelia fingered an unruly hair into place, willing her locks to stay safely tucked under her scarf. She prayed the stylists cleansed the utensils between appointments. Last thing she wanted was to pick up another tangle. Although, Dye for a Change was the highest rated Psychosomatic Hair Syndrome recovery shop on Karma-Yelp.

The bell clinked against the metal door like wind chimes. Burnt hair mixed with the distinct chemical scents of nail polish, astringent, and hair spray assaulted her as she entered.

Continue Reading

02 December 2016 ~ 1 Comment

DP Fiction #22: “The Schismatic Element Aboard Continental Drift” by Lee Budar-Danoff

“Captain, we have a situation. I’ve been investigating a potential religious sect.”

Captain Madeleine Salim of the generation ship Continental Drift set down her vitamin soup bottle. Instead of spending the start of her shift in contemplation of the new planet below, part of the anti-agoraphobia program mandated by the ship-to-shore landing process, she faced the lieutenant. Ronald Chin resembled the noble eagle from their histories, with short wavy hair, sharp nose and piercing eyes. Salim returned his salute.

“Why wasn’t this brought to my attention immediately?”

Chin stiffened. “I couldn’t report gossip. Rumors of religion crop up during every new generation. In the past, they turned out to be student groups prepping for exams, or thought experiments. I had to rule out those possibilities.” His proper military posture tired Salim, who waved him to a seat.

Continue Reading

21 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: FIX by Ferrett Steinmetz

FIX is the third book in the ‘Mancy series by Ferrett Steinmetz. Before I go any further, if you haven’t read the previous two books, FLEX and THE FLUX, I would recommend stopping now and consider reading the earlier books (I reviewed them here and here respectively). There’s been enough backstory and worldbuilding in the first two books that I think starting with the 3rd book might not be the best way to read the series, and it will spoil a bunch of the major plot moments in the first books as well.

Continue Reading

07 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

TV REVIEW: Wayward Pines Season 2

Wayward Pines was a weird speculative mystery/thriller show that aired as ten episodes in the summer of 2015–see my review of that season here. At the time that it aired it was unclear whether it was going to be a standalone miniseries or whether there would be a second season–the ending wrapped up a lot of things but left a route to continue the story if it were desired. And, (obviously, given the title of the article) it did return for a second season in the summer of 2016.

Continue Reading

02 November 2016 ~ 5 Comments

DP Fiction #21: “The Banshee Behind Beamon’s Bakery” by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

Most nights the alley behind Beamon’s Bakery is just an alley.

The street lamp bleeds piss yellow light, casting jagged shadows around the overflowing dumpster and discarded boxes. The walls are tagged with gang signs, claiming territory that was never theirs, yardage, bodies, souls, rights.

Some nights a transient clears away the broken glass, the random detritus, to squat for the night. Setting up camp here has its own rewards. The warmth that seeps through the bakery walls and through brick facing chases away the chill, but not the ghosts. This is the drawback, you see. The alley is never as vacant as it may seem at first, never as lonely as one may wish. The price of physical warmth is the chilling of your soul.

Continue Reading