A Webzine of Astonishing Tales
Issue #13. Spring, 2012

Albrecht, Ashby, Cha, Deitch, Garcia, Garrison, Hayes, Highsmith, Rucker, Quaglia, Salinas, Watson, What, Worrad!

Issue #13 Online:

[ Or See Ebook Version ]

Rudy Rucker
Jane and the Roadspider
James Worrad
Eye-High
Seth Kallan Deitch
The Gaon of Chozzerai
Leslie What
Counter
William Highsmith
Journey to the Center of the Flat Earth
Ian Watson & Roberto Quaglia
The Invention of Beloved Money
Madeline Ashby
Give Granny a Kiss
Martin Hayes
A Bigger Piece of Nothing
A. S. Salinas
Lohengrin & Tanhauser 
Wongoon Cha
Procrastination
Andy Albrecht
Sea Change
Rudy Ch. Garcia
Last Call for Ice Cream
Brian Garrison
Five Poems
Cumulative Contents for All Issues
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From the Editor

March 27, 2012

Yeah, baby! With much programming and sweat, I've turned Flurb #13 into an ebook that can be read on any ereading device---Kindles, iPhones, Androids, NOOKs, Windows laptops, iPads, whatever.

Mobi (for Kindle) and Epub (for the others) now available for free download at http://www.flurb.net/ebook/

Who knows where this may lead...

March 23, 2012

We've got thirteen pieces for the thirteenth issue of Flurb.  This was an especially enjoyable issue for me, and it might be the best issue yet.  I received a number of excellent stories from beginning writers, and they were eager to work with me on amping their stories to a very high level.

My story, “Jane and the Roadspider,” is a love story set in that transitional time—around the end of this century—when we’ll be replacing most of our machines with biotweaked plants and animals.  I enjoyed placing the story in Louisville, Kentucky, where I grew up, and where my brother still lives.

James Worrad’s “Eye-High,” is a high-speed freaks-meet-aliens blast, with a cyberpunk flavor, and a delicious twist at the end.  The story is shimmery and it glows.

Seth Deitch brings in a solid Golden-Age-style tale, “The Gaon of Chozzerai.”  This is the kind of story that drew me into SF in the first place.  Initially I’d thought the title was in some warped language—I thought of the classic tale title, “The Oofth of Ifth.”  The actual explanation is funnier.  Deitch comes up with a great science twist for his sense-of-wonder tale, and a haunting evocation of the ultimate library and museum complex that one dreams of.

Leslie What is back in Flurb, with “Counter.”  It’s not science-fiction or fantasy, but it’s a disorienting glimpse into an off-kilter mind.  Very evocative and moving.  I thought about it for days after I read it.

When I saw the title of William Highsmith’s “Journey to the Center of the Flat Earth,” I pretty much knew I’d want to run it.  Highsmith lives up to the title’s promise, and brings off a strong riff on Jules Verne’s classic novel, with intriguing metadisorientation at the end.

Yes, Ian Watson and Roberto Quaglia are nasty old men.  But funny ones.  I suffered through some airport security procedures last week, and it cheered me to chuckle (inwardly) about Watson and Quaglia’s conceit that the airport check-in ordeal may soon include a stop at an enema hut.  Their story’s ruminations on the nature of money are clever and thought-provoking—despite the fact that, being far-out writers, these transgressive sages have little direct experience with cash.

Madeline Ashby makes her fourth appearance in Flurb, sharing the prologue of her forthcoming novel vN.  “vN” stands for von Neumann, and the stand-alone “Give Granny a Kiss” is about androids living as people.  It’s a familiar theme, but Ashby makes it intense and emotionally real.  She piles on an escalating series of shocks, and after the tale’s frenzied denouement, I felt a little afraid of Madeline’s seemingly agreeable photo at the end.

Martin Hayes, a Flurb third-timer, treats us to an evocative and archetypal UFO tale.  Are the saucers really coming?  Enter “A Bigger Piece of Nothing” and see the big aha.

The redoubtable A. S. Salinas returns to Flurb with “Lohengrin & Tanhauser,” another of his Flash-Gordon-meets-William-Burroughs extravaganzas, overflowing with eyeball kicks, gently psychedelic, and gilded with touches of Futurama fun.

The new writer Wongoon Cha mixes visions of Oakland and Seoul to cook up “Procrastination,” a great adventure in a city infested by giant beetles.  Are they evil invaders, huntable game, or cosmic mentors?  Do your homework.

Andy Albrecht, another beginning writer, has written a gripping story about a pair of Beavis-and-Butthead-type no-goods who get mixed up with a by-no-means benevolent alien.  To kick his story up a notch, Albrecht uses the cool pomo move of sampling in material from a mass-market tale of alien terror.  A heady mix.

Rudy Garcia’s “Last Call for Ice Cream” is a hypnotic stew of spanglo slanguage, wry and funny, with a special surprise in every sentence, and a renegade view of life in these United States.

We close with SFnal poet Brian Garrison’s return to Flurb.  Lovely stuff, Brian.  Pure energy for the mainbrain.

***

I’ve loved putting together these thirteen issues of Flurb. Getting my pro friends to unveil their more outré works is a kick, and working with new writers enlivens the field.  Flurb’s been well received, and like to think it’s had a good effect on the on-going evolution of modern speculative fiction.

As I mentioned above, I feel like issue #13 is a high point, an apotheosis for Flurb, and I'm not sure I can do a better one. Having reached this point, and with publishing in such a state of change, I’m not sure what form the next issue might take.

When I have a clearer idea about Flurb’s future, I’ll post the info on this page.  And if you haven't heard anything by fall, 2012, you might direct Flurb inquiries to editor at flurb dot net.

***

Be that as it may, if you enjoy the pieces in our current issue #13, please favor us with a friendly remark at the comments link.  Our authors need and deserve your praise.

—Rudy Rucker               

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All Issues:

http://www.flurb.net/1/index1.html
Issue #1, Fall, 2006
http://www.flurb.net/2/index2.html
Issue #2, Winter, 2006
http://www.flurb.net/3/index3.html
Issue #3, Spring, 2007

Issue #4, Fall, 2007

Issue #5, Spring, 2008

Issue #6, Fall, 2008

Issue #7, Spring, 2009

Issue #8, Fall, 2009

Issue #9, Spring, 2010

Issue #10, Fall, 2010

Issue #11, Spring, 2011

Issue #12, Fall, 2011

Issue #13, Spring, 2012

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