Millie, the librarian, and the employee who is seeking mythical Sheridarp have been debating whether it can be found on the rooftop of their Dreamwalk Library. Part 1 is here.
Certainty’s uncertain, I’m almost sure.
Lesser libraries might be networked to the greater,
according to the principle of megawasps,
and Dreamwalk might be part of Sonandinho.
So please, dear Millie, my librarian, my master,
might we go together to the rooftop?
From perilous dreams, the horse king
rose, so sure he’d be remembered
in the daylight.
He declared that everything was
indeterminate, unnecessary or incomplete,
and with batteries, many A’s,
he asserted iron-clad existence.
The once and never horse, ambivalence
on a bike, mentioned in a margin
for his bravery, and in a footnote,
impartially decapitated by a jury
of his peers.
where the dream fish leap
A traveler seeking enlightenment has finally reached his destination: Port Botany. Part one is here.
Port Botany was a failure:
answers, answers, everywhere,
to questions no-one asked
and not a drop of coffee.
The voice inside my head was silent now,
my ambition was ambitionless,
and my quest would lie forgotten
in my diary if I had one.
Isabela, leader of the infernal army from Omégaville and winner of the Succubus of the Year Award, has been interviewed by a panel of celebrities, and now she’s having a little ‘me’ time. Part one is here.
Another bar, on a rooftop
far beneath the overworld,
another tissue paper town,
another rooster tail or two.
Isabela was staring down the unrepentant butterfly,
while I was writing up her interview.
In Omégaville, humans and other lifeforms are misbehaving. Instead of chasing each other or watching tv, they’re climbing upward as best they can and occasionally howling at the moon. The local government representative advised that action (unspecified) would be taken. The first part is here.
A committee in the hollow halls of government
met in secret and agreed in unanimity
that every living creature in Omégaville
was unnatural, illegal,*
and with surprising prescience,
most likely dangerous.
Chalcedony, a distant and unfriendly planet,
orbits an old-fashioned chartreuse sun
in an unsociable spiral galaxy.
It’s a centimeter or two away from earth
on a standard map of the universe,
In a café on the planet’s surface,
it’s Monday morning, neither late nor early,
and Manique, of humanoid appearance,
is sipping a humanoid coffee.
This is what Jandira told me—
The invisibilities will ascend from ground and green,
from fields of stubbled corn and furrowed dirt,
from the Amazonic jungle
through the tree lines to the turbulence above.
Now I’m perched in a jacaranda,
and set to fade like Carroll’s cat, the great auk and the dodo,
with my telescope trained on the far horizon
where the welded night’s creation is rising with the dawn.
Second part, first part here.
The trains came and went,
and in less than a month
the suspicious complaining began—
The wet tourists bring nothing
and they ruin our roads
The trains are a threat,
the sea can’t be trusted
They’re all non-believers
with no passports or papers
It was a king tide morning on a
beach south of Rio when the very
first train came out of the sea.
Isabel saw it from a swing in the
playground, and she told the
teacher, but no-one believed her
till the train reached the freeway
and the eight am rush.
When it rains on the water moon, I sip my aqua vitae and watch the droplets trickle down the acrylic. Sometimes I wonder what the wood ducks are up to, or whether I should feed the cat, or whether anything exists at all beyond the plastic.
If not, the tins of salmon in the pantry must be for me.
Marginally more seriously, Charles Payseur of Quick Sip Reviews fame writes shortish reviews of speculative fiction short stories. They’re very handy for busy humans and water fowl, like the wood ducks and I, and he’s just done Fantasy Scroll Magazine Issue 11 including a review of my story The Water Moon.
Issue 11 of Fantasy Scroll Magazine with my totally non-apocalyptic story The Water Moon is now freely available online. Just like water crackers, the moon isn’t made of water, plus it isn’t made of cheese either. But water crackers and cheese go very well with Pinot Grigio, which I may have been drinking when I wrote this piece and which might explain why it isn’t apocalyptic.
The Water Moon appeared in Fantasy Scroll Magazine. FSM started in 2014 with the aim of publishing thought-provoking fantasy and sci fi, and since then they’ve gone from strength to strength. In 2015 they published a paperback anthology of their 2014 stories featuring a number of big name authors, and they produce a podcast of one story each week as well as the bimonthly magazine.
‘The Water Moon’ is in part based on my experiences in South America, and I’d like to think the piece says a little about belief systems and the violent acts that can arise from them. Continue reading
‘The Medusa’ appeared in the Canadian In Places Between 2013 collection of short stories from the finalists in the Robyn Herrington Memorial Speculative Fiction Contest. The story took first place in the competition. The contest is run by the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association, who very generously help new writers by providing brief critiques of the submitted stories.
One source for ‘The Medusa’ was the curious myth of the headless mule. Continue reading
Jacyuaruá, the Moon Mirror Lake, is part of the mythology of the Tupi-Guarani people of the Amazon, and it features in various legends. In one, female warriors dived into the deep lake and retrieved pieces of jade to carve into Muiraquitã amulets with supernatural powers that they gave to their lovers. While the women did the diving, the men drank fermented cassava juice and watched the football (probably). Continue reading
The slightly eponymous ‘Inconstant Light’ appeared in the August 2013 issue of Plasma Frequency Magazine; it was published by Plasma Spyglass Press and was freely available online.
The magazine aimed to publish stories which resonate, but probably not at an actual plasma frequency, which would be many megahertz and would require ionized gas rather than paper. The story is set in an alternate world where things are a bit different, and there are some mythical aspects to do with the hard-to-pronounce and mysterious Jacyuaruá, the Moon Mirror Lake.