Friday Free Fiction for 4th April

Free fiction fans should offer a moment’s praise for cloud computing and the wonders of Google Notebook … because thanks to a major hardware failure on my home computer, I’ve lost or misplaced a lot of things.

But not our FFF links, though – so read on for your weekly fix of free fiction!


First off we have a hefty selection form … I’ve started including some of the ledes and excerpt, because they are hilarious:

  • “Second Landing” by Floyd Wallace – (“A gentle fancy for the Christmas Season – an oft-told tale with a wistful twistful of Something that left the Earth with a wing and a prayer.” Smell the schmaltz!)
  • “Survival Tactics” by Al Sevcik – (“The robots were built to serve Man; to do his work, see to his comforts, make smooth his way. Then the robots figured out an additional service – putting Man out of his misery.” O NOES!!11)
  • “Man Made” by Albert Teichner – (“A story that comes to grips with an age-old question – what is soul? and where? – and postulates an age-new answer.”)
  • “A Matter of Magnitude” by Al Sevcik – (“When you’re commanding a spaceship over a mile long, and armed to the teeth, you don’t exactly expect to be told to get the hell out…”)
  • “Control Group” by Roger Dee – (“”Any problem posed by one group of human beings can be resolved by any other group.” That’s what the Handbook said. But did that include primitive humans? Or the Bees?”)
  • “The Outlaws of Mars” by Otis Adelbert Kline
  • “Longevity” by Therese Windser – (“A morality tale – 1960 style.”)
  • “The Deadly Daughters” by Winston K Marks – (“These gorgeous fanatics were equally at home with men, murder, or matrimony, and they used all three with amazing success.” LOL – paging Doctor Freud …)
  • “The Gift Bearer” by Charles Louis Fontenay – (“This could well have been Montcalm’s greatest opportunity; a chance to bring mankind priceless gifts from worlds beyond. But Montcalm was a solid family man – and what about that nude statue in the park?”)
  • “The Perfectionists” by Arnold Castle – (“Is there something wrong with you? Do you fail to fit in with your group? Nervous, anxious, ill-at-ease? Happy about it? Lucky you!”)
  • “The Sun King” by Gaston Derreaux – (“The people of Par’si’ya forgot their God, and worshipped only murder, and sin. But then the virgin Too-che gave birth to a male child …” Not quite the same as the song by The Cult, then.)
  • ***

    And one from Project Gutenberg:


    Lots of webzine news this week. Let’s see …

    Via regular correspondent Nancy Jane Moore:

    “You probably already know this, but just in case you missed it: The new issue (Vol. 2, No. 6 – titled Obscura) of Farrago’s Wainscot is up, with lots of nice stories.”

    Thanks, Nancy!


    As widely reported in all internet venues of good taste (but still worth noting in case you managed to miss it), Rudy Rucker announces the fifth issue of his irregular independent webzine Flurb:

    “This issue features a Beat SF story of mine in the form of letters from William Burroughs in Tangiers, excerpts of John Shirley’s lost cyberpunk novel Black Glass, Terry Bisson’s hilarious anti-mundane story “Captain Ordinary”, a Lovecraftian novella by Lavie Tidhar, a mystic travel guide to Upstate New York by Thom Metzger, and amazing pieces by new SF writers Alex Hardison, Brendan Byrne, and Nathaniel Hellerstein.”

    You can’t say fairer than that for free, can you?


    Nick Mamatas announces the latest edition of Clarkesworld Magazine in his inimitable manner:

    “You WILL believe a hippo and a panther have sex, in Jeff Ford‘s “After Moreau”! You MUST believe that you can never be too rich or too thin, in Jeremiah Sturgill’s “Flight“! CAN you believe that Tim Pratt and Heather Shaw‘s baby, so recently menaced by my jaws, sleeps through the night? Check out our feature commentary,”Not Now, Sweetie, Daddy’s Worldbuilding“.


    A new webzine discovery via the reviewers at The Fix Online has been added to the Sidebar Of Justice – AlienSkin:

    “Enter the world of Speculative Fiction. Journey through our virtual magazine and plunge into the strange and unusual. Inside you’ll find tales of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Leave your reality behind. Enter the realm of the unknown – where anything can happen.”

    Feel free to report back as to whether the fiction is less cliched than the intro! 😉


    Another email, this time from Will Hindmarch:

    Futurismic fan and freelance writer here selfishly bringing your attention to some sci-fi fiction in the inaugural fiction issue of The Escapist, including a new story of mine. It’s all free to read, and some of it seems right up your alley. Thanks very much!”

    This is quite a big deal in some ways – The Escapist is a gamer’s webzine, and it’s interesting to see them experimenting with fiction. They have the advantage of an established audience and (I assume) a good regular ad income already … is this a possible future for short fiction markets? Regardless of that, well done Will, and thanks for the tip!


    Are you ready for the fourth episode of Shadow Unit? “A Handful of Dust” is by Will Shetterly.


    Gwyneth Jones is releasing more fiction to the intertubes: “The Tomb Wife” (a ghost story set on a non-duration starship called the Pirate Jenny) and “Saving Tiamaat” (a difficult issue for the Diaspora Parliament).


    From Futurismic alumnus and all-road quality chap Tobias Buckell:

    “The online magazine Baen’s Universe has my short story “Manumission” featured this month. This story has been years in waiting to be published, but is one of my favorites.”


    From Gary Gibson, just back from a writing holiday in Taipei (lucky bugger):

    “This story is called “The Ranch“. It’s a vampire horror story, be warned, written a few days after making the statement at the Glasgow SF Writer’s Circle that I hated vampire stories and there was nothing new or genuinely interesting that could possibly be done with them. By writing the story I quite possibly hoisted myself with my own petard but, at the same time, you know, the story is about why I hate vampire stories. Plus, I get to do a cheap willy gag.”


    Via John Joseph Adams (wearing his F&SF hat):

    John Kessel has a number of podcasts available on his website for your listening pleasure. This includes the F&SF stories “Pride and Prometheus”, Part 1 & Part 2 and “Every Angel is Terrifying“, as well as others. His website also features some free fiction in HTML (prose) format, including the F&SF story “Herman Melville: Space Opera Virtuoso“.”


    Another teasing flashlet from Peter Watts – “Madonna and Child“:

    “This time I open my eyes to a familiar face I’ve never seen before: only a boy, early twenties perhaps, physiologically. His face is a little lopsided, the cheekbone flatter to the left than to right. His ears are too big. And while the eyes below his frown shine with their own bright intelligence, I know immediately that he is natural.”


    Nick Mamatas and Tim Pratt teamed up on a story that’s now live at Chizine: “The Dude Who Collected Lovecraft“:

    “I drove a brand-new rental car I couldn’t afford—next year’s model, so in a way it was a car from the future—from the Amherst Amtrak stop and into the Vermont countryside, which was just as picturesque as all the calendar photos had led me to expect.”


    Jayme Lynn Blaschke delivers a ninth fragment of Memory at No Fear Of The Future:

    “Parric wheeled away as the moironteau spilled out of the gap. There were to many to outrun to the next gap–not with two wings struggling to keep the voilently fighting Flavius wrapped up and safe. He’d have to wait them out inside a dimensional pocket.”


    Another item from Jay Lake (whose sheer productivity and output never ceases to amaze me) – “G.O.D.“:

    “Gods died. Everyone understood that. János just didn’t understand why it had to be his problem. They gave him ropes and tools and maps and told him to do the right thing. No one provided any details on how to choose a god.”


    Another missive from our correspondent in Denmark – Lise Andreasen has posted another chunk of story called “Control (IV 3)“.

    She says she’s fairly new to writing fiction, and would appreciate some feedback, so why not drop her a line if you read it?


    I’ve missed out on doing Friday Flash Fiction this week, as my piece disappeared with the rest of my HDD on Thursday morning and I’ve had no time to rewrite it. It looks like a lot of the gang have been otherwise occupied as well (though hopefully not for such a nasty reason).

    However, there’s still a few fictional fragments: the improbably-named Phred Serenissima took a crack at some flash last week in the form of “The Possibility Engine“; Shaun C Green wants to tell us about “My Mother The Robot“, while Neil Beynon is “Faraway“.


    And finally a non-fiction bonus, which was of great appeal to me because I am terrible at misplacing things. From the quintessential Lifehacker:

    “We’ve previously featured “Professor” Solomon’s free pages featuring his 12 Principles for finding what you’ve lost, but now the good man is offering up his entire 67-page book, “How to Find Lost Objects,” as a free PDF download. If you not only want to find a particular lost object but want to learn the habits and thinking that help you find things on a regular basis, head to Solomon’s site for your guide to “The Eureka Zone,” “Domestic Drift,” “Pocket Gobble,” and more.”


    And that’s your lot! As always, please drop us a line with your tip-offs and plugs – in the meantime, have a great weekend.

    2 thoughts on “Friday Free Fiction for 4th April”

    1. Note that the Spring issue of Helix went live this week (

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