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THE LAST FREE BEAR

THE LAST FREE BEAR, by J.S. Bangs: The white bear stalked Tupiak across the ice, just as Tupiak stalked the twisted men. He did not see the bear except once or twice, a long ways off, as an ivory‑colored shape in the snow. The path of the twisted men ran in a straight line to […]

SHATTERING THE SPEAR

SHATTERING THE SPEAR, by P. Djeli Clark: Msizi clutched the leather straps, holding on for life as the great umkhombe thundered across the plain. Its powerful hooves broke dry and cracked soil, sending up billows of red dust in its wake. Umkhombe were familiar in his homeland, quick to anger and always in a foul […]

HEART OF MAN

HEART OF MAN, by David Pilling: “Such was the murder of Evesham, for battle it was none.” The Chronicle of Robert of Gloucester, August 1265 AD   I, Roger Godberd, a humble farmer of no account, survived the murder of Evesham by hiding under a corpse in a ditch until the killing was done. When […]

THE SEA WASP

THE SEA WASP, by Robert Rhodes: An hour after sunset, I lingered by the ship’s rail.  The eastern sky had long since blackened, but in the distance, the King’s Lantern burned like a star trapped in mid-fall.  Tomorrow would bring us to the coast of Armitane and into Port Royal, the brightest and loudest of […]

ANCIENT SHADES

ANCIENT SHADES, by James Lecky: Although the admission pains me, I must confess that, under certain circumstances, I am a man for whom the goods of others become a temptation. Had I given myself more time to think – or if I had not foolishly accepted a pipe of kif from my gambling companion Abel […]

ALDROM

ALDROM, by Matthew Wuertz: The sun pulled away from me like a warm blanket as men led me up the wide steps.  Someone’s cough echoed in the vast interior of wherever we were, and though curious, I left my blindfold in place.  We walked a short distance and then descended a staircase that spiraled into […]

NO TWO STONES

NO TWO STONES, by Christopher Wood: 1. Now. Still I am the strongest! I am atop this hill on the Third Moon. Behind me, my soldiers struggle up the slope. I raise my iron sword over my head; it shines in the surreal light of the World blazing above us like a sun. I turn […]

LIVING TOTEM

LIVING TOTEM, by Vaughn Heppner: Kulik lifted his face into the blizzard, rose from his shivering crouch and kept staggering.  Icy particles beat at him.  Snow crunched under his moccasins.  His toes throbbed, but that was good because it meant they hadn’t frozen. He pulled his fur cape tighter.  Hoary frost coated his eyebrows and […]

DEATH’S LAST DAUGHTER

DEATH’S LAST DAUGHTER, by Jeff Crook: After many adventures, the mameluke warrior Jafar al-Tinnin is no closer to finding his lover, Leiley, or avenging himself against Imam Nuri — the Sufi sorcerer who kidnapped her. At a cursed well in the Libyan desert, Jafar and his friend Ketei seek the advice of a mad djinn, […]

THE LAST OF HIS KIND

THE LAST OF HIS KIND, by Bill Ward: Desert winds churned around Tanout, and sand wraiths struck him to the earth.  On hands and knees, half-buried, blind, he fumbled toward his dead camel. A wraith twisted near, raked his face with granular claws, and gyred back into the howling storm. Another tugged his arm, trying […]

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