Pixel Scroll 7/28/16 How Many Files Must A Pixel Scroll Down

(1) OLD PROSE, YOUNG EYEBALLS. This time James Davis Nicoll set the table at Young People Read Old SF with Lawrence O’Donnell’s “Vintage Season” – O’Donnell being a pseudonym used by both C.L. Moore and her husband, Henry Kuttner, though this particular story is believed to be the work of Moore.

I knew Moore would be featured in this series. I just was not sure which Moore story to pick. One of her stories about Jirel, indomitable French swordswoman? Or perhaps Shambleau, which introduced her magnificently useless (but handsome!) adventurer Northwest Smith, who never encountered a deadly trap from which someone else could not rescue him (to their detriment). In the end, I went with Vintage Season, mainly because people often falsely attribute it (in part or whole) to her husband. That made me suspect that the attributors consider it the most significant of her stories. It has been adapted both to film (under the title Grand Tour: Disaster in Time) and to radio and was selected for inclusion in The Best of C.L. Moore . This, I think, is the right Moore.

Reader Lisa had this to say:

Lawrence O’Donnell used a technique that, while transparent, kept me interested enough in this story to keep me reading. (Well, the technique and the fact that I’m part of this project kept me reading.) He tells the story from the perspective of a partly-informed outsider who doesn’t have enough information about the other characters, but notices that something is up with them. (Though he, and the readers, have no idea what.) By continuing to drop treats here and there for the readers, he manages to keep them intrigued.

(2) MILD MELD MOVES. Shana DuBois curates a new Mind Meld, now hosted on the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.

For years, the essential sci-fi blog SF Signal published Mind Meld, a regular column that featured a monthly roundtable discussion of the tropes, themes, politics, and future of genre fiction. On the sad occasion of the closure of that site, we were happy to offer the feature a new home. Future installments of Mind Meld will appear monthly on the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.

The series resumes with answers from Usman Malik, Zachary Jernigan, Delilah S. Dawson, Django Wexler, Yoon Ha Lee, Caroline M. Yoachim, Haralambi Markov, and Lee Kelly to this question —

Q: How do you see the boundaries between literary and genre fiction adapting as we move forward?

(3) REVIEW SITE ADJUSTS SCOPE. The stress of a young child’s medical problems is contributing to Bookworm Blues policy change because lately the blogger is reading —

Urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

Yes, folks, I’ve been reading an absolute metric ton of UF and PNR recently, which is something I never in a million years thought I’d say, but it’s true. I’m reading it, mostly because I really, really need happy endings, fuzzy feelings, and lighter mental distractions right now. I’m having a shockingly hard time getting into anything else at the moment. I am positive that once my life, and my chaotic emotions settle a little, I will get back to my usual stuff. I also think it is incredibly unfair for me to not mention the authors and books I am reading because I’m afraid to do so for various arbitrary reasons that really don’t matter a fig to a soul.

And, the more I read these types of books, the more I’m kind of amazed at the amount of skill it takes to sell me on a happily ever after, and the books and authors that manage it deserve recognition for their skills.

So as of today, you will officially see the occasional urban fantasy and paranormal romance book reviews on here, and yes, I will open my doors to accept those books to review.

(4) PERSISTENCE. Kameron Hurley on “The Wisdom of the Grind: It’s Always Darkest Before a Breakthrough”.

Lately I’ve been in one of those rough periods where I just want to quit for six months or a year and travel around the world and refill my creative bucket. Cause right now all I can see down there are beer dregs. The truth is that every profession will try and squeeze out of you as much as it can get. While I’d like to be mindful of how much I give it, I also recognize that in order to get to where I want to be, I’m going to have to give it everything. This is a marathon, yeah, but I don’t indeed to have anything left for the way back. This is it. The older I get, the rougher than knowledge is, though: knowing I have saved nothing for the way back. There is only forward.

When it gets dark like this as I sweat over the next book and start putting together ideas for pitching a new series, I remind myself that sometimes it’s the very bleakest right before a major breakthrough. These are the long plateaus in skill and ability that we have to push through to level up. Once you get to the pro level at anything, your effort/skill ratio flips. You no longer see huge gains with minimal effort. There’s a reason you can get 2 years of skill leveling up out of 6 weeks of Clarion. You tend to be newer to the craft. You’ve got more to learn.

My next big level up is taking a lot longer to get to – several books, many stories….

(5) BEER NUMBER FIVE. Narragansett Beer introduces another Lovecraftian brew. Andrew Porter sent a comment with the link, “I had a lidless eye once, but I could never go swimming….”

IPA

Introducing the 5th installment and 4th chapter of our award winning Lovecraft series: The White Ship White IPA. H.P. Lovecraft’s, The White Ship, tells a story of a lighthouse keeper’s adventure aboard a mysterious ship where his curiosity and greed win out over his better judgment.

The label, designed by local Rhode Island artist Pete McPhee from Swamp Yankee, features an image of the story’s grey lighthouse as the north point of a compass rose and represents the narrator’s trip to the other world and back.

White Ship White IPA is a Belgian style IPA is brewed with 4 types of Belgian and American malts and creamy Belgian yeast to create a crisp, delicious beer that blurs style guidelines. We use El Dorado and Mandarina Bavarian hops to give the beer the slight tangerine notes. We then dry hop this adventurous brew with El Dorado hops to enhance the mild citrus aromatics….

(6) MONSTROUSLY GOOD. Petréa Mitchell’s Anime Roundup for July 28 has posted at Amazing Stories.

Re: ZERO – Starting Life In Another World #17

No matter how bad things get for Subaru, it is always possible that they could get worse. And, lately, they do.

The monster that showed up at the end of last episode is a flying leviathan, kind of a cross between Monstro, Jaws, and a plane full of jet engines, which is known as Moby-Dick. Well, okay, it’s called the Hakugei (White Whale), but that happens to be the Japanese title of Moby-Dick, and I do believe it’s a deliberate reference….

(7) DIAL FIVE SEVEN FIVE. Anna Wing summarized both The Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings in this haiku:

It is rarely wise
To attach such importance
To your jewellery.

(8) NATURE. “Game of Ants: two new species named after Daenerys Targaryens’s dragons”The Guardian has the story.

They reminded scientists of dragons so much, they named them after two of the fire-breathing beasts from the Game of Thrones.

The two new ant species from Papua New Guinea, named Pheidole drogon and Pheidole viserion, have spiny barbs along their backs and shoulders with an unusual set of muscles beneath them.

George R.R. Martin responded with in a post.

I suspect there are dragon ants in my world as well… maybe out on the Dothraki sea…

(9) TRIP REPORT. Marko Kloos was in New Mexico for Wild Cards events.

On Monday, I went to a Wild Cards author party thrown by KayMcCauley at Meow Wolf, an art venue in Santa Fe that is pretty spectacular. I had a chance to meet Wild Cards writers and reconnect with those I’ve met before. I also got to meet Thomas Olde Heuvelt, who was whisked into the event by George R.R. Martin after his own signing in town the same evening. (He’s in the US on a book tour for the English version of HEX, his best-selling debut novel.) It was a fun event, and I had a good time, even though I still feel like the new kid in high school among so many well-known high-caliber writers.

(10) JERRY DOYLE OBIT. Actor Jerry Doyle, from Babylon 5, was found unresponsive at his home last night and later declared dead. The family made an announcement through his Twitter account:

Michi Trota posted a spot-on tribute:

(11) EXOTIC RECIPE. Fran Wilde has released her newest Cooking the Books Podcast.

cooking the books

This month’s Cooking the Books Podcast, #025: Space Weevils – Cooking the Books with David D. Levine contains:

  • 100% less gravity
  • Space weevils (you were warned, they get big in a vacuum)
  • Hardtack
  • Lime juice
  • no powdered sugar
  • A Baggywrinkles shout out!
  • Napoleons in Spaaaaace (not the general)
  • Soup
  • a big ball of boiling water

(12) DIABOLICAL PLOTS. Congratulations to David Steffen on this announcement by SFWA

Diabolical Plots, self-described as “a Sci-fi/Fantasy zine that covers virtually every media related to the genre from books to movies to video games” is now a SFWA Qualified market. Payment: Eight cents per word, on publication.

Connect here — http://www.diabolicalplots.com/

(13) RAISE YOUR RIGHT HOOF. Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas take another swing at telling the whole truth – “A Space Unicorn Tale: The REAL Story Behind the Creation of Uncanny Magazine at Tor.com.

The Space Unicorn mascot is real. Not only are they real, they edit and publish every single issue of Uncanny Magazine by utilizing their abilities to travel through a series of portals to infinite points in spacetime. You probably suspected this from the beginning.

And congratulations to them, too, because the Uncanny Magazine Year Three Kickstarter hit its goal today!

(14) CROWDSOURCED WEB SERIES WITH TREK ALUMNI. The makers of Regegades hit the $60,000 goal of their Indiegogo appeal and are looking for more.

Renegades is an original, independently fan-funded sci-fi web series, executive produced by Sky Conway, and starring Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Tim Russ, Adrienne Wilkinson, Terry Farrell, Robert Beltran, Gary Graham, Cirroc Lofton, Aron Eisenberg, Manu Intiraymi, Hana Hatae, Bruce Young, and many more. We are currently finishing production on “The Requiem” parts I and II and are now in need of funding for post-production – editing, sound, visual effects, etc…

(15) SCI-FI SAVIORS.

(16) CAST YOUR VOTE. Whether or not the Hugos have been “saved” to your satisfaction, George R.R. Martin urged all eligible voters to get their 2016 Hugo Ballot in by the July 31 deadline.

The Hugo is science fiction’s oldest and most prestigious award. These past few years, however, the awards have been under siege, and that’s true this year as well.

Nonetheless, there are some worthy books and stories up for this year’s rockets, along with some reprehensible shit. I will leave it to your own judgements as to which is which.

Vote your own taste.

Vote your own conscience.

But vote. Every ballot counts.

(17) TENTACLE PARTY. Cthulhu For President, the game, has got a facelift for the US election. Can be bought in PDF here.

Don’t settle for the lesser evil! Heed the call of Cthulhu! Get ready for muck-raking, magic, and mayhem (with a little help from the world of H. P. Lovecraft.)

The Stars Are Right!

In Cthulhu For President, you become an Elder Party staffer tasked with serving the Great Old Ones during their eternal struggle for domination. Cross wits with the other political parties, manipulate voters using non-Euclidian geometry, swear on the Necronomicon, and sacrifice your co-workers to the Elder Gods. Politics has always been evil, but destroying the world has never been so much fun!

CHA0091_-_Cthulhu_for_President_Front_Cover__54717_1468239059_500_659

(18) WHAT WERE THEY TRYING TO KEEP OUT? The Great Wall of China was designed to protect against monsters, according to a new Matt Damon movie.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Dawn Incognito, Hampus Eckerman, Soon Lee, John King Tarpinian, and Steven H Silver for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA and Anthony.]

123 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/28/16 How Many Files Must A Pixel Scroll Down

  1. Best Editor Short Form question: Can anyone recommend any stories I should read from Lightspeed? Sheila Williams gives us one issue, Neil Clarke usefully points out some award nominees and similar, Ellen Datlow has a shorter list, and in any case I found I had already read some of them, but John Joseph Adams just gives us all the fiction they published during the year, which is very fair, no doubt, but daunting.

  2. Brian Niemeier has a bunch of articles up at superduperversivesf.

    Everything I’ve ever read from that site is stunningly stupid.

    I lost interest at the words “moral failure of Ghostbusters 2016”

    Seriously? Oh, and he used the word ‘shills’ in reference to the movie. That’s become one of my shrug-and-quit-reading words.

    He was a history/theology major apparently. It may explain a lot.

  3. Brian Niemeier @BrianNiemeier
    @monsterhunter45 founded #SadPuppies to uncover bias in the #HugoAwards.

    While they were at it, they ended up saving science fiction.

    “Saving science fiction”?!?
    Has this guy actually LOOKED at the garbage that the Puppies gamed onto the Hugo ballots?
    Does he understand that it got “No Award-ed” because most fans thought it was terrible?
    And has he looked at the better stuff that those assholes crowded off the ballot?

  4. (14) CROWDSOURCED WEB SERIES WITH TREK ALUMNI. The makers of Regegades
    -> Renegades.

    I have already appertained myself a beverage.

    (16)

    Vote your own taste.

    Vote your own conscience.

    But vote. Every ballot counts.

    A reminder also I think, for my American friends in November.

  5. To be charitable, maybe Niemeier means “saving science fiction” in the sense of

    “The Puppies galvanized several thousand fans to join WorldCon specifically to defend the Hugo Awards from being gamed by narrow-minded assholes who have terrible taste in SF.”

  6. ‘AsYouKnow’ Bob on July 29, 2016 at 10:43 am said:

    “Saving science fiction”?!?
    Has this guy actually LOOKED at the garbage that the Puppies gamed onto the Hugo ballots?
    Does he understand that it got “No Award-ed” because most fans thought it was terrible?
    And has he looked at the better stuff that those assholes crowded off the ballot?

    He’s maybe not meaning in terms of quality but in terms of sales, the only metric that matters. He knows that Correia sells some books and obviously his enemies in the genre don’t sell any books, because nobody actually buys that SJW rubbish, right? So finally there was some recognition (although nobody cares about those stupid awards anyway) for the only authors who sell books.

  7. @Andrew M: My favorite 2015 stories from Lightspeed and its sister magazines Nightmare and Fantasy were:

    “And the Winners Will Be Swept Out to Sea” – Maria Dahvana Headley; Lightspeed, February
    “And This Is the Song It Sings” – Megan Arkenberg; Nightmare, August
    “Bucket List Found in the Locker of Maddie Price, Age 14, Written Two Weeks Before the Great Uplifting of All Mankind” – Erica L. Satifka; Lightspeed, June
    “The Cellar Dweller” – Maria Dahvana Headley; Nightmare, June
    “Dispatches from a Hole in the World” – Sunny Moraine; Nightmare, October
    “Documentary” – Vajra Chandrasekera; Lightspeed, March
    “Ghosts of Home” – Sam J. Miller; Lightspeed, August
    “Given the Advantage of the Blade” – Genevieve Valentine; Lightspeed, August
    “Kaiju maximus®: ‘So Various, So Beautiful, So New’” – Kai Ashante Wilson; Fantasy Magazine, Queers Destroy Fantasy!, December
    “Life-pod” – Vandana Singh; Lightspeed, August
    “The Lily and the Horn” – Catherynne M. Valente; Fantasy Magazine, Queers Destroy Fantasy!, December
    “Madeleine” – Amal El-Mohtar; Lightspeed, June
    “Please, Momma” – Chesya Burke; Nightmare, March
    “Saltwater Railroad” – Andrea Hairston; Lightspeed, July & August
    “Ten Things to Know About the Ten Questions” – Gwendolyn Kiste; Nightmare, September
    “Things You Can Buy for a Penny” – Will Kaufman; Lightspeed, February
    “Tomorrow When We See the Sun” – A. Merc Rustad; Lightspeed, December
    “The Universe, Sung in Stars” – Kat Howard; Lightspeed, April
    “When We Were Giants” – Helena Bell; Lightspeed, November

  8. @nickpheas–

    Gives Brian Niemeier a chance. Is page 9 too soon to give up?

    I think that’s being far too patient with him.

    OTOH…

    I’ve been dutifully going through the packet, and today I hit Alyssa Wong.

    Oh my God.

    Alyssa Wong.

    I don’t even like the kind of stuff she writes, so it’s utterly ridiculous that I am utterly gleeful about her contribution to the packet, right?

  9. Alyssa Wong’s Hugo packet was so compelling that I read the pdf on my Kobo, which is so very much NOT optimized for PDF reading. (You can load a pdf, and you can rotate it 90°. and I found a way to zoom a little bit, but I couldn’t find a way to zoom big enough and the page margins were huge, so the text was tiny and my eyes are old….)

    Given that I had to overcome significant obstacles to read it and I *still wanted to*, I put Wong at the top of my Campbell ballot.

  10. I think a good plan if doubtful about Niemeier is to read the glossary. That tells you quite effectively what kind of book it is (which is not quite the kind of book it first appears to be).

  11. Pretty much everything I would suggest for Lightspeed is already on Vasha’s list. I’d pick out And The Winners…, Bucket List, and Given The Advantage… as particular favorites. I’d add Time Bomb Time by CC Finley to the bottom of the list even though it was really just a very clever joke.

  12. So finally there was some recognition (although nobody cares about those stupid awards anyway) for the only authors who sell books.

    But if these authors sell books (and it’s true, of course, that at least some of them do), doesn’t that confirm that science fiction, as opposed to a set of stupid awards, doesn’t need saving?

  13. What’s all this I hear about shaving sinus friction? Our sinuses are very delicate, and messing with a shaver is just asking for trouble, especially if there’s already friction in these sensitive tissues. It just doesn’t make sense!

  14. I remember that we’ve had some discussion of the wackyness of the Sovereign Citizen movement here in the past, The latest bit of entertainment is Ryan Bundy demanding to be paid $100 million to stand trial (but he would be the judge or baliff for only 1 million.) No mention on how much he plans to charge for having his rope braiding practice interrupted.

  15. I read Neimeier’s short story in the Campbell anthology and it was an okay version of “Groundhog 30 minutes” with a bit of rough characterisation. I started the novel sample and found it badly overblown, so I stopped.

  16. Thanks, Mark. That gives me quite enough to work with (though I see that Lightspeed stories tend to be short).

  17. 15) Niemeier is right. Since Correia started this whole Puppy nonsense, science fiction has become more diverse by the day.

    Thanks, Puppies! 🙂 🙂

  18. @Lis Carey

    Oh my God.

    Alyssa Wong.

    I don’t even like the kind of stuff she writes, so it’s utterly ridiculous that I am utterly gleeful about her contribution to the packet, right?

    Same here! Perfect example, for me, of why one needs to at least try to read every finalist.

  19. If you combine shills with sheeple, you get the rather evocative sheephills.

    Er, carry on.

  20. Nigel on July 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm said:
    If you combine shills with sheeple, you get the rather evocative sheephills.

    Wake up, sheephills.

  21. rob_matic said:

    Wake up, sheephills.

    When they do, will they be alive with the sound of sheep music?

  22. “Saving science fiction”?!?
    He’s maybe not meaning in terms of quality but in terms of sales, the only metric that matters.

    You have to remember that SF stories are a matter of taste. The Sad/Rabid Puppies have definitely shifted the awards toward a different taste in the last couple of award cycles. You or I may not especially like mil fic, for example, but then, I don’t personally care for the cloying sentimental stories that have won in the last few years, either. The Hugo’s are a popularity award, so you can’t really complain about what wins. It’s determined by who votes.

  23. Re Alyssa Wong: holy crap she’s just amazing right? Thoroughly deserves her nominations and wins for awards this year, imo. Whatever she puts out, I’ll be reading.

  24. Second (or third) the appreciation of Alyssa Wong. She should have also been on the short story ballot, but didn’t get the votes needed there, although she might be right behind “Cat Pictures, Please”, so could end up with an Alfie from George. She did get the Nebula award (and was pretty much in shock when she was announced). I do think she will wear the Campbell tiara proudly.

  25. Petréa Mitchell on July 29, 2016 at 3:15 pm said:
    In crucial last-minute Worldcon voting news AND Pokemon Go news, New Orleans in 2018 has published a map of Pokestops and gyms near its proposed facility. (San Jose in 2018 has mentioned Pokestops nearby but only vaguely.)

    Seizing the zeitgeist!

  26. Sometimes my brain scares me, but this is not one of those times. Keep it up with the sheephills, people, because I’m getting some lovely visuals.

    I think Alyssa Wong is amazing. Until I got the packet, I had only read Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers, which I thought was amazing, but not exactly enjoyable (see: Sometimes my brain scares me). The breadth and depth of talent displayed in the stuff she submitted blew me away, though, and immediately rocketed her to the top of my list.

    I read half of Brian Niemeier’s novel and thought it had definite promise for storytelling ability, if not for any sort of thoughtful depth, although I didn’t care enough to stick it out to the end. Fortunately for him, I don’t require that my entertainment be provided by people whose opinions I respect, so I’ll probably eventually read more of what he writes.

  27. Alyssa Wong wowed me and went first. I liked Weir. The puppychow went to its usual place.

  28. Alyssa Wong wowed me and went first. I liked Weir. The puppychow went to its usual place.

    Its like you have read my ballot.

  29. (17) I think I’m remembering Cthulhu campaign buttons from the ’84 Worldcon in LA, and certainly plenty of “lesser of two evils” buttons from 1988. It did seem a logical evolution from Campus Crusade buttons (One of the problems of getting older — not only does your memory start to go, but after the 3rd or 4th Worldcon you’ve been to in the same facility, things blur).

    Larry and Palmerston look almost exactly alike! Another instance of the inbred boys’ club of the English ruling classes! At least Gladstone isn’t from the same gene pool. Why, just look at that recent study that shows English bulldogs are too inbred to save at this point. Someone needs to bring this up at PMQ.

    @Andrew M: Vasha’s list is a very fine one. You’d do well with it.

    @nickpheas: I don’t know. If you have a wheelbarrow full of manure in front of you, is stopping after one spoonful too soon?

    Alyssa Wong went to #1 for me immediately. Like Lis, I don’t even like the kind of stuff she writes and yet I love hers. THAT is talent. Poor widdle Brian can blame my childhood use of Ouija boards for me leaving him off the ballot entirely, not even mentioned after No Award. Like TYP and Aaron.
    (Seriously, what IS “due influence” over preternatural/imaginary beings?)

    @Kip W’s next line: “Oh, that’s different. Never mind.”

  30. Why, just look at that recent study that shows English bulldogs are too inbred to save at this point. Someone needs to bring this up at PMQ

    This is why beagles should have been the symbolic dog of England.

  31. 17) My partner saw a cartoon featuring Cthulhu in a business suit, campaign posters on the wall behind his desk, roaring into a telephone: “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I’m the LESSER evil?!!”

    @ JJ: There will be cake for anyone who manages to get the secret from him.
    The cake is a lie!

    Re C.L. Moore and the Grandmaster Award: That doesn’t sound kosher to me; there are certainly ways that this could have been worked around if hubby had wanted to do so. I think someone was upset about his wife getting more recognition than he had.

    @ Bonnie: From Those People, of course!

    @ IanP: Don’t you mean the Fifth Third Kind?

  32. Harkening back to the discussion of Western novels, lo, those many scrolls ago, I just stumbled across the listing for a Tor omnibus of JOURNAL OF THE GUN YEARS and THE GUN FIGHT by Richard Matheson, due out in April 2017.

    (Obligatory typo correction this time was for “Western noels”, tho’ come to think of it, an anthology of Western Christmas stories has potential. Look at the zillion or so Regency Christmas anthologies. Sure, something like that, only everyone is packing six-shooters to the town Christmas dance. Lots more exciting than the Regency versions!)

  33. I asked San Jose in 2018 about Pokemon and here’s what they said:

    “We’ve got the Ingress intel maps for both Downtown San Jose and the New Orleans Central Business District. They’re not even close.”

    As one would expect, Silicon Valley has a lot more Pokemon than other places. Plus, no humidity or bugs while you walk around trying to catch them.

    (BTW their reply took 10 minutes.)?

  34. Bruce Arthurs on July 29, 2016 at 5:33 pm said:

    Obligatory typo correction this time was for “Western noels”, tho’ come to think of it, an anthology of Western Christmas stories has potential

    It was the night the stranger came into town.
    “Hey old timer,” said the town drunk as he stumbled out of the saloon, “those are mighty funny horses you’ve got tied to that cart with no wheels.”
    The man in red just narrowed his eyes and said “yup.” He then hauled a large bag over his shoulder and set off down the street.
    “Hey!” called out the town drunk to the departing figure, “What do they call you?”
    “They call me Klaus. And I’ve come with a message for the sheriff. He’s made it onto my naughty list. Let him know: Santa Klaus is coming to town.”

  35. @ObvTroll above- now we have MILSF like this clogging up the ballot:

    “The ZZ9 missile, latest and most powerful of its sub-type, was jettisoned from its constraining launcher, slamming headlong into the void as it eagerly tracked its target. The pale blue exhaust of its new microgranulated propellant was visible as a harbinger of the destruction that nestled within the extruded titanium nosecone, which was expanded from the body diameter to contain the puissant force within. The Weapons Officers eyes followed the remote viewing screen, a green track showing the trajectory as it headed towards the opening petals of the nuclear blasts ahead of it. The heat radiated into the vacuum of space threatened to detonate the missile prematurely, and the Weapons Officer pensively bit her lip as the friction heated the body of the rocket, making the tip glow red hot. She could feel the tension in her body as it flew straight and true towards the Laziname’s flagship, deploying decoys from the globe-shaped dispensers surrounding its base, laser blasts reaching out like a gentle caress but with more violence as the decoys were one by one destroyed. The ZZ9 continued on its lonely path, only it was worthy. She watched as it made its way through the myriad flechette rounds that sought to prevent it reaching its rightful resting place, and it finally rammed home, its explosion mirroring her relief as the missile spent its warhead against the sleek hull of the enemy vessel…..

    Oops, may have crossed the Flashpoint Titan/What Price Humanity and SRBI streams a bit too much

  36. Ralph Phillips, the Fastest Shot in the West, smiled coolly to himself from his place of concealment as Deadeye Dick, still thinking himself unobserved, snuck noisily to where he believed Ralph lay sleeping. Ralph’s fingers lightly brushed the oiled steel polish of a black gun barrel, slightly redolent of Hoppe’s Number 9, tapped confidently at the side of the 50-shot reservoir. As Deadeye Dick pulled out his knife, Ralphie calmly stepped out and drawled, “That’s jest about fur enough, pardner!”

    “Ralph Phillips!” Deadeye gasped, hastily returning the guilty knife to a capacious sleeve of his serape, “I was jest… jest lookin’ ta see if you was…”

    “If I was all right?” said Ralph. “You’d better think about your own soul, Mister. Your chickens are coming home to roost.”

    Deadeye dropped, speechless, to his knees. Ralph glanced at the compass on the stock for bearings, then raised the coiled steel beauty to his shoulder, feeling the stock—firm, balanced, yet light and responsive—snug against his vest, so richly inlaid with scenes from the life and struggles of Tom Mix, and reinforced with plates of real metal in the critical spots. “Say your prayers, Dick!”

    Ralph pulled back the bolt, feeling the machined parts inside sliding into place, cradling a ball of shot, roughly a millimeter in diameter and made of a cupronickel alloy, ready to carry out its deadly mission. He fired, sending spherical death at his quivering foe. He pulled back again, fired again, with a monotonous rhythm of death: ta-pocketa, ta-pocketa…

  37. Chris S., is it me, or is that passage engorged and throbbing with sexual innuendo?

    I think I want to hear Mary Robinette Kowal read that in her Sexy Narrator voice. Or maybe not.

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