A Webzine of Astonishing Tales

Issue #12

Fall-Winter, 2011

Byrne, Callaway, Di Filippo, Ellwood, Gunn, Hayes, Hogan, Moore, Rucker, Salinas, Shirley, Skaftun, Sterling, Tambour, Webb!


Issue #12 Contents:

Rudy Rucker and Paul Di Filippo
Bruce Sterling
The Onset of a Paranormal Romance
Emily C. Skaftun
The Curse of the Were-Penis
John Shirley
Everything Is Broken
Adam Callaway
Pulped And Bound Monsters
Anna Tambour
The Oyster and Alice O.
A. S. Salinas
The Robert Armstrong Syndicated Newspaper Strip
Justin Patrick Moore
Gertrude and Ludwig Spin A Web
Brendan Byrne
I Can’t Escape From You 
Ernest Hogan
Don Webb
Big Ripples Without a Splash
Martin Hayes
Concerning Tavia
Will Ellwood
Walls Between Worlds
Eileen Gunn
After the Thaw

Cumulative Contents for All Issues

From the Editor

September 6, 2011

Welcome to the fifth anniversary issue of Flurb!

I started this webzine of astonishing tales back in 2006 because I couldn't find a place for a strong but uncategorizable story, "Elves of the Subdimension," that I'd written with old pro Paul Di Filippo. Paul in fact inspired the title for my webzine by writing a line where one of our elves remarks: "Of flurbing they know not!"

Di Fi and I are still flurbing. "Fjaerland" is kind of fantasy, kind of SF, kind of horror, kind of funny, surprisingly unmarketable, and ideal for Flurb.

There really is a Norwegian fjord town called Fjaerland, by the way, and most of my illos for the stories are photos from there. Do spend a night at the lovely Hotel Mundal in Fjaerland...but stay out of the basement!

Fantasy seems to be eating SF's lunch these days, and even the high-tech cyberprophet Bruce Sterling is dabbling in the woo-woo. Check out his wonderfully written and cosmopolitan "The Onset of a Paranomal Romance."

The young writer Emily C. Skaftun is back with a funny, erotic and somewhat horrific tale: "The Curse of the Were-Penis." Only in Flurb do you find stories like this!

Fellow cyberveteran John Shirley directs his well-honed sense of paranoia towards the ecosphere in "Everything Is Broken" – an awesome tsunami tale with barbed political zingers.

Our house Surrealist Adam Callaway presents the droll "Pulped and Bound Monsters." Here he envisions what the world would be like if everything was about publishing. Not a pretty picture, but wildly engrossing.

Flurb newcomer Anna Tambour contributes "The Oyster and Alice O." It's a lapidary and Carrollian mother-of-pearl miniature in which our heroine takes up with an oyster. Tasty.

How deeply into the Golden Age of SF do you want to go? A. S. Salinas takes us back to the days of Flash Gordon with his meticulously Art Deco reconstruction of "The Robert Armstrong Syndicated Newspaper Strip." A hallucinatory delight.

Gertrude Stein is in fashion just now, but perhaps you didn't know of her marriage to Ludwig Wittgenstein.  Justin Patrick Moore's jeu d'esprit "Gertrude and Ludwig Spin A Web" reveals that the couple's arachnid offspring are even now preserving the basic fabric of daily reality.

Our warm-hearted, hard-driving Flurb regular Brendan Byrne is back, scourging us with his bleak vision of a future gulag. Byrne's wildly innovative prose style makes downers fun.

Ernest Hogan has a wicked sense of humor and keen sense of the Americas' ancient underpinnings. "Xuanito" features a character who's part Latino and part Godzilla. Gah-rooont!

Don Webb's "Big Ripples Without a Splash" comes up with a new take on the vintage SF theme of uploading one's mind into a robotic device. Webb's flawed and struggling protagonist brings us to new speculations about what it's like to be human---and whether it's worth all the trouble.

Next up, we have Martin Hayes with a sweet, poetic and lethal tale, "Concerning Tavia." The question on the table is this: If you make love to Gaia, what happens to you?

Will Ellwood is new to Flurb, and he brings us a multiversal cops and spies tale, "Walls Between Worlds." The story's emotional intensity makes its classic theme new.

Closing out this epic issue, we have Eileen Gunn with a playful and profound confection concerning a disembodied woman's brain driving a go-kart ... somewhere. As it happens, the non-disembodied Eileen is headed for Iceland soon. Skoal!

Heartfelt thanks to our wonderful authors.


If you want to submit a piece for Flurb #13, email it to Rudy as a spell-checked .DOC or .RTF file attachment. We're not set up for handling any submissions that are simply pasted into emails as text. Please submit stories only during the time period Feburary 1 - 28, 2012. We're looking for literary short stories of length one to six thousand words, although occasionally a longer story can be accepted. The story needs a strong SF or fantasy element, and quirkiness can be a plus. The piece must have (a) strong, individualized characters and (b) a clear story in which something happens. And please no parodistic pieces with the subtext, "Isn't science fiction silly!"

Flurb doesn't pay its authors, authors keep all rights, and Flurb leaves the stories online indefinitely, or until the author wants it taken down.


If you enjoy the stories in our current issue #12, please favor us with a friendly remark at the comments link. Our authors deserve support!

—Rudy Rucker                     

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All Issues:

Issue #1, Fall, 2006
Issue #2, Winter, 2006
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

Cumulative Contents for All Issues


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