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Angels Watching Over Me

May, 1637 Grantville “There’s no sense in blaming yourself for it, Ryan,” Dr. Jeff Adams said. “Meg has a congenital heart defect. Nobody is doing open-heart surgery down-time. Nobody will be for decades. That’s just the way it is.” “But if I hadn’t gotten her pregnant . . .” “If she had died a virgin, [...]
  

A Pilum for Your Sternum

They say that Scots are crazy. Now, many folk say that, but I have that on the best authority—my own mother. She would say it often, with a laugh or a grin, even though she herself was a Scot, from the Isle of Skye. Caitrion MacDonald—Ma—had the red hair and blue eyes of the MacDonald [...]
  

Vicious Practices

Jean-Baptiste de Sade, Seigneur de Sade, Seigneur de Saumane and Beauregarde, read again his copy of a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica entry. The one entry upon the Sade family. The disgraceful, embarrassing, demeaning, outrageous, degrading entry. The one stating Jean-Baptiste’s probable descendant Donatien Alphonse François was a ‘licentious writer’ known for ‘vicious practices’ and ‘obscene novels.’ [...]
  

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Photography in the 1632 Universe: Part 1, Silver Shadows 

Let there be light. For without light, there can be no photography. Photography is the art of capturing an image of a scene in such a manner that it can be viewed in the absence of that scene. The sine qua non is a visible light-sensitive material (call it “film” for now). In part 1 [...]
  

Notes from The Buffer Zone: Conventions

For me, moving to Las Vegas makes my life feel like a perpetual convention. Everyone comes to Las Vegas eventually, so I’m seeing a lot of friends I haven’t seen in years. Many people here wear costumes for their jobs, so I often see Spider-Man or that stupid IT clown walking down the street. The [...]
  

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The Blue Room, Said the Wishmaker

Run, whispered the monkey part of Andrew’s brain. Scramble back the way you came. His head only reached up to the djinn’s nipples, although the creature sat in a mockery of the Buddha pose: a mound of flesh rising in the warehouse’s center. Those sausage fingers, Andrew thought, could crush a spinal cord as easily [...]
  

The Ghost He Knew Best

The fortune teller smiled at Mak, his toothless betel-blackened gums barely visible in the pale light of dawn. Mak said, “It is a beautiful morning to see the sunrise, my friend.” The fortune teller shrugged. He was half-naked and dirty, and his leathery skin reminded Mak of a crocodile’s hide. Mak had no idea of [...]