A Webzine of Astonishing Tales

Issue #8, Fall-Winter, 2009

Anders, Benford, Byrne, Di Filippo, Hagelslag, Hayes, Hellerstein, Hendrix, Landis, Roche, Rucker, Scholz, Skaftun, Vining!



Issue #8 Contents:

Emily C. Skaftun
My Only Sunshine
Gregory Benford
Paradise Afternoon
Charlie Anders
Henry's Penis
Rudy Rucker
Bad Ideas
Peter Hagelslag
The Cog in God's Wheels
Tamara Vining
Songwriter to the Stars
Howard V. Hendrix
Interrogations in a Holographic Observatory
Nathaniel Hellerstein
The Retrodictions of Sumadastron the Time-Lost
Paul Di Filippo
John Roche
Three Poems
Martin Hayes
In The Beginning There Was The Machine
Brendan Byrne
There Is No Comte de St. Germain For I Am He
Brian Landis
Cosmic Samba
Carter Scholz
Bad Pennies

Cumulative Contents for all issues.
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From the Editor

September 7, 2009

We have a lot of great stuff in Flurb #8. A big thanks to all the writers!

This summer I taught a writing workshop at Clarion West in Seattle, and one of favorite stories I saw there was "My Only Sunshine," by the new writer Emily C. Skaftun. It has a mythic feel and a nice twist at the end.

The old pro Gregory Benford brings us a short and snappy piece, "Paradise Afternoon," about longevity.

Wonderfully weird Charlie Jane Anders is back for another Flurb appearance, with "Henry's Penis," a rather touching coming of age story, complete with hardcore nanotech.

I recently read J. G. Ballard’s autobiography, Miracles of Life, in which he stresses that SF is the best way to write about the present. For my story, "Bad Ideas," I took Ballard's dictum to heart, and came up with some gnarly SF images of advertising and of feeling conflicted.

New writer Peter Hagelslag mailed me "The Cog in God's Wheels," the greatest monkeys-on-typewriters story I've ever seen, and with a very beautiful closing sentence.

In Seattle, I met another emerging writer, Tamara Vining, and she brings us "Songwriter to the Stars," a fresh look at the notion that cosmic rays are a form of music---written from the point of a view of a visionary, burnt-out rocker.

The Rochester-area writer John Roche brings us three SFictional poems, one of them a kind of elegy for a certain public figure's recent death.

Nathaniel Hellerstein makes his second appearance in Flurb, with a very witty piece in the form of rhymed prophecies by a medieval sage who envisioned our present times. By the way, the title, "The Retrodictions of Sumadastron the Time-Lost," is explained by an editor's note at the end. It's all true.

As a holiday from his Stakhanovite short-story production, Paul Di Filippo shares "Futurized," which is one of the unwholesome SFictional collages that he creates from the flesh of decaying old magazines in his Providence, Rhode Island, attic.

Howard Hendrix contributes a brilliant story, "Interrogations in a Holographic Observatory," about a topic that's irresistible for some of us---the mathematical constant, π.

Martin Hayes, another writer new to me, contributes "In the Beginning There Was the Machine," a compelling and fast-paced tale that centers on a classic SF theme.

As a very pleasing modernist SF poem, we have Brian Landis's "Cosmic Samba," with its airy feel and tropical flavors.

Emerging writer Brendan Byrne returns to Flurb with a richly written urban fantasy, "There Is No Comte de St. Germain For I Am He." Kill 'em, Brendan!

And SF-escapee Carter Scholz weighs in with "Bad Pennies," a true and hilarious account of what's going on in the world financial markets.

Thanks again, gang.


Looking ahead, Flurb #9 is scheduled for March, 2010. If you want to submit a piece for Flurb #9 , send it as an .rtf or .docx file attached to an email to me with "Flurb #9" in the subject line, and please send it only during the time period February 15 - 28, 2010. I'm generally looking for literary short stories of length one to five thousand words, with a strong SF or fantasy element, with realistic characters, and with a clear story arc.


And, don't forget---if you enjoy issue #8, please favor us with a friendly note at the comments link.

                      ---Rudy Rucker


Back 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

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