May-June 2014’s ebook issue has 6 new stories. Authors: Neil Williamson – who is interviewed and has his new novel reviewed, Katharine E.K. Duckett, Val Nolan, Oliver Buckram, Claire Humphrey, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam. Readers’ poll results for our 2013 British Fantasy Award winning year are included among the regular features. Art from Wayne Haag, Richard Wagner, Martin Hanford, Warwick Fraser-Coombe.
The Posset Pot by Neil Williamson
illustrated by Richard Wagner
The day I found the posset pot was the last time I got myself into serious bubble trouble. Scared me shitless at the time, letting my guard slip like that and I admit it put me on the downer that, ultimately, sealed poor Ettrick’s fate. I’m not writing this as a confession, but he deserves a record. I miss the old bastard more than I would have thought possible. Every day I wish he’d not been so stupid, but even I can’t shoulder the responsibility for what happened to him. Some things just happen.
The Mortuaries by Katharine E.K. Duckett
illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe
Tem loved the mortuaries, though no one he knew was dead. Still he would beg to go, to grasp the hand of any adult willing to wind down those plush-carpeted stairways, past the sleek vaults, inviting and bright.
Diving Into The Wreck by Val Nolan
illustrated by Wayne Haag
Noon in La Jolla, on Voigt Drive, the university blistering beneath a July sun and the curled cinders of a thousand eucalyptus leaves crushed and crinkled underfoot. Overhead, Marine Corp F-22s stab at the sky in echelons and arrowheads. Students drift around the restaurant at Canyon Vista while high school kids in bright singlets troop in from the soccer camp on the arid fields beyond. The air is still and dry, thick like hot glass and an ever-present weight.
Two Truths And A Lie by Oliver Buckram
Girl Meets Boy
The midnight ocean was as black and enigmatic as an unlabeled videocassette. You swam ashore and stumbled over jagged rocks towards my fire. I fed you marshmallows and dabbed ineffectually at your bloody feet with paper towels.
(1) Two truths and a lie is a fun getting-to-know-you game, perfect for breaking the ice at corporate mixers.
(2) I make three statements and you guess which one is false.
(3) I love playing it.
A Brief Light by Claire Humphrey
illustrated by Richard Wagner
Richard woke me by leaning across to shut the window over the bed. “Why the hell did you open that?” he said. “It’s freezing in here.”
I blinked my eyes open against the cashmere of his coat. “Wasn’t me. Maybe it was Benjamin Livingston.”
He shifted back, his tie trailing past my cheek. “Benjamin Livingston doesn’t open windows.”
“Does now,” I mumbled, closing my eyes again.
Sleepers by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
illustrated by Martin Hanford
The newscasters say that the sleepers came without warning, that one day they weren’t here and the next, they were. I don’t believe them. There must have been signs we were too wrapped up in our busy lives to see.
Polls and Awards: Inclusivity and the Trap of Silence
Ansible Link by David Langford
News and obituaries
2013 Readers’ Poll by Martin McGrath
Results and comments
Book Zone by Andy Hedgecock, Jo L. Walton, Paul F. Cockburn, Paul Kincaid, Duncan Lunan, Simon Marshall-Jones, Stephen Theaker, Matthew S. Dent, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Jack Deighton, Barbara Melville, Lawrence Osborn, Peter Tennant, Jonathan McCalmont
Book reviews including The Moon King by Neil Williamson (with author interview conducted by Andy Hedgecock), Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher, Descent by Ken MacLeod, Tesseracts 17 edited by Colleen Anderson & Steve Vernon, The Three by Sarah Lotz, Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor, The Boy with the Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick, Astra by Naomi Foyle, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson, Son of the Morning by Mark Alder, Famadihana on Fomalhaut IV by Eric Brown, We Three Kids by Margo Lanagan, plus Jonathan McCalmont’s Future Interrupted column
Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe
Cinema releases including The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Legend of Hercules, Noah, Snowpiercer, Divergent, The Double, Under the Skin, The Last Days on Mars, The Machine, Escape from Planet Earth, The Zero Theorem
Laser Fodder by Tony Lee
DVD and Blu-ray reviews including Sparks, Scopers, The Last Keepers, Astronaut, Ice Soldiers, RoboCop