Friday Free Fiction for 23rd May

Like a beachcomber, I’ve been plucking bits of genre fiction flotsam from the beach of the intarwebs …


A couple of old-school novels from

  • The Defiant Agents by Andre Norton (“Alien technology scavenged by U.S. and Russian scientists has started a race to colonize planets outside our solar system — and the U.S. scientists are losing! In a desperate move the U.S. government decides to use a group of Apache volunteers in an experimental attempt to colonize a primitive planet, but before they can even begin their spaceship crashes on the planet Topaz …”)
  • Black Oxen by Gertrude Atherton (According to the notes, “[t]his tale of scientific rejuvenation was the number one best seller of 1923.” Crikey!)


Here’s the fifth and final instalment of the WTFBBQ extras/teaser/supplementary gubbins from Shadow Unit:

Chaz craned his neck to peer over Brady’s shoulder at the kebabs. “Don’t leave them too long,” he said, because he knew it would be annoying.

Lau grinned at Chaz across the barbeque, and the heat in his face had nothing to do with the gas fire. “You have no sense of self-preservation.”

Less than a fortnight until the season finale, folks!


We’ll let the Subterranean gang speak for themselves:

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Subterranean Online. First up, we have Part One of a new novella by SubPress favorite Norman Partridge. Hit the pavement with “Road Dogs,” but be sure to pack the proper armament.

Meanwhile, Joe R. Lansdale’s Unchained again, this time on the subject of Henry Kuttner. If that’s not enough new material, take a quick look at Kealan Patrick Burke’s review of Thomas Ligotti’s worthy gathering of tales, Teatro Grottesco.


I got some email from Sam J Miller:

Two weeks ago, the new issue of the fabulous free online sci-fi magazine Atomjack went live and it includes my story “Monkey Heaven, narrated by a dissatisfied helper monkey. Hoped you might be able to include a link to it when you do this Friday’s fabulous free fiction lineup.

We’d have done it even without the flattery, Sam – thanks for the tip!


A couple of brief mentions cribbed from SF Signal (who in turn got them via Locus Online):


The unstoppable (and, sadly, still unlinkable) Cole Kitchen brings yet more additions and alterations to the Sidebar of Free Fictional Justice::

  • Flashquake – a paying online market for ‘flash literature’, no less
  • Goblin Fruit – a webzine devoted to “poetry of the fantastical”
  • COSMOS Magazine offers online fiction as well as pop science articles.
  • Apex Digest seems to have changed its name to Apex Online. Starting in the first week in June they plan to become a weekly publication.
  • Abyss & Apex (which is not the same as Apex Online). Their issue 26 is now up.

Thanks, Cole. I was pretty sure I had added Abyss & Apex before now, but it appears I hallucinated that particular episode. I think it’s time I cut down on the coffee and Red Bull …

CORRECTION: From Jason Sizemore (see comment below): “Apex Digest is still a print publication. Apex Online (which we’ve been doing for three years) is a separate entity. The change is that Apex Online will become weekly instead of monthly.” Sorry Jason – I’ll check my facts properly in future!


So, that brings us to the Friday Flash Fictioneers – let’s see who we have this week:

  • Greg O’Byrne missed the boat last week (sorry Greg) with this reworking of his earlier piece “Interstellar“.
  • Ian Hocking delivers his microscopic pieces (which he limits to a mere 100 words) in audio format (because, like most Mac users I know, he’s an insufferable show-off*); today’s offering is called “Rescue
  • Neil Beynon gets nostalgic when he thinks about “Mary“.
  • I’m not even going to ask Gareth L Powell about his “Brown Water“.
  • Clive Birnie aims to strike terror into the hearts of all web2.0 enthusiasts by explaining “How Twitter Stole His Life“.
  • Sarah Ellender examines some of the perils and pitfalls of urban living in “A Stupid Place To (Jurassic) Park“.
  • And in the midst of all this fictional frivolity, Greg O’Byrne returns to remind us “What Really Matters“.


That’s your lot, folks. Don’t forget to keep sending us your plugs and tip-offs … and there’s still time to apply to be a blogger here at Futurismic, too. Have a great weekend!

[* He’s a lovely man, really; I don’t hold the Mac stuff against him. Not much, anyway. 😉 ]

3 thoughts on “Friday Free Fiction for 23rd May”

  1. Pah! So what if I have a second pillow for my MacBook Pro just like Sledgehammer had one for his gun…

  2. …with apologies to the English language, which, though not murdered by the structure of my last comment, was roughed up somewhat. Time for bed.

  3. Apex Digest is still a print publication. Apex Online (which we’ve been doing for three years) is a separate entity. The change is that Apex Online will become weekly instead of monthly.

    Do you mind running a correction? I don’t want people to think we’ve ceased publishing Apex Digest in print when in fact that is not the case.

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