A Webzine of Astonishing Tales

Issue #5, Spring-Summer, 2008

Bisson, Byrne, Hardison, Hellerstein, Kadrey, Metzger, Rucker, Shirley, and Tidhar!



Issue #5 Contents:

Rudy Rucker
Tangier Routines

John Shirley
Black Glass Samples

Nathaniel Hellerstein
We're awake, let's talk.

Alex Hardison

Terry Bisson
Captain Ordinary

Lavie Tidhar

Th. Metzger
The Masonic Dream Engine

Richard Kadrey

Brendan Byrne
Donald Asshole and Los Elementos de Rock

Post a comment on this issue.


From the Editor

March 31 , 2008

Once again, Flurb squeezes the rubber chicken of Science Fiction to produce Art!

I'm happy to have written a for-Flurb-only-type story for the new issue: "Tangiers Routines." It's liberating to know that once in awhile I can write something as outrageous as I like --- and get it published the week I finish it. "Tangiers Routines" is a tale in the form of letters by William Burroughs describing a juicy and dangerous encounter with Alan Turing. No less an authority than Oliver Harris, who edited The Letters of William S. Burroughs 1945-1959, has given it the thumbs up: "No point kidding me this line that 'you' wrote these epistles - I recognise His Master's Voice when I hear it: where did you FIND them?"

Dark Lord of Cyberpunk John Shirley favors us with some excerpts of his forthcoming novel, Black Glass. Reading these passages I felt cool for knowing John at all. "This is a song about Johnny Rotten / The King is gone, but not forgotten." And, actually, he's not gone...and neither is cyberpunk.

Nathaniel Hellerstein is a fellow mathematical logician with a keen interest in strange ideas. He nails a classic SF power chord in his witty short-short "We're awake, let's talk." Plus he mentions Wolfram's complexity classes!

One of the other big payoffs in publishing a zine is that every now and then I get a submission that really flips my lid. "Cathedrals," is Alex Hardison's first publication, but I think he's to the purple born. Postcyberpunk!

I was vaguely annoyed by the Mundane SF movement last year --- to the point where I wrote a blog entry attacking it. But my fellow-Kentuckian Terry Bisson, always one for the main chance, went ahead and wrote a story "Captain Ordinary" that he thought might appear in Interzone's Mundane SF issue. But Terry's sense of humor is such that, from a sober-sided editor's point of view, it's as if he were to walk into the office, guffaw, pull down his zipper and piss on the desk. A wonderfully refreshing piece.

Lavie Tidhar brings us a Lovecraftian novella, "Uganda," featuring mysterious lifeforms and strange links to ancient (of future?) worlds on the high plains of Africa. This rich and beautifully written tale is drawn from Tidhar's new collection HebrewPunk.

Th. Metzger is a prophet and funkadelic dreamer I know from way back. "The Masonic Dream Engine" is his transreal meditation on historical researches into the Burnt Over District of upstate New York; some of this material has appeared in a pamphlet called Select Strange And Sacred Sites: The Ziggurat Guide To Western New York.

San Francisco Freestylist Richard Kadrey knifed in at the very last nanosecond with a spooky short-short about the "DMV" --- the Department of Meta-Virtuals.

Wrapping it up is a story I initially had my doubts about publishing---new writer Brendan Byrne's "Donald Asshole and Los Elementos de Rock." I hasten to assure you that there is a reason for the title, it's not just deliberately offensive random cursing. Donald Asshole is the nom de plume of a popular but tormented cartoonist, see, and he draws a Josie and the Pussycats or Love and Rockets type comic called Los Elementos de Rock. I love the story's restless energy and its surreal quality; Byrne is another new writer to watch.

If you enjoy the issue, please favor us with a friendly note at the comments link, which lives on Rudy's Blog.

Issue #6 is scheduled for fall, 2008.

                      ---Rudy Rucker


Back Issues:

Issue #4, Fall-Winter, 2007

Issue #3, Spring-Summer, 2007



Issue #2, Winter, 2006


Issue #1, Fall, 2006


Cumulative Contents

Flurb is Generously Hosted by...