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Archive for the ‘Short Story’ Category

ISF #5 – FREE DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE

In Article, Editorial, Short Story on January 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm

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Dear Readers,

ISF#5 IS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR FREE DOWNLOAD!

DOWNLOAD IT HERE:

International_Speculative_Fiction 5 execution version

Epub Version

Mobi Version

You can download today the PDF file. Tomorrow you will also have access to the mobi and the epub files for free!

We are really proud to publish this issue with fiction by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Netherlands), Francesco Verso (Italy) and Manual Alves (Portugal), news (the new Around the World Column with an  ISF Alumni department by Nas Hedron), interviews (At Home in the Wasteland: The Art of Sergi Brosa  by Saul Bottcher), reviews (The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005-2010 by Sean Wright) and articles (Social Science Fiction by Hunter Liguore)!

Please download it and let us know what you think of this issue!

Good readings!

Roberto Mendes

Editor in Chief

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THE RETURN OF ALFRED BESTER By Lou Antonelli

In Short Story on April 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm

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The ISF Magazine is proud to present a short story by Lou Antonelli!

Lou published is first short story in 2003 when he was 46. Since then he has had 77 short stories published in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, in venues such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Jim Baen’s Universe, Dark Recesses, Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), and Daily Science Fiction, among many others. He has received eleven honorable mentions in the annual anthology “The Year’s Best Science Fiction” edited by Gardner Dozois and published by St. Martin’s Press for 2010, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

 His steampunk short story, “A Rocket for the Republic”, was the last story accepted by Dozois before he retired as editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction after 19 years. It was published in Asimov’s in September 2005 and placed third in the annual Readers’ Poll.
ISF_Logo_White in Black

THE RETURN OF ALFRED BESTER

By Lou Antonelli

“That’s strange, I thought the nickname ‘Pops’ was used by Americans for an elderly man,” said the Captain.  “You don’t look very old at all.”

“Physically, I’m only 35, although chronologically I’m 837,” said Pops. “That’s not where I got the nickname.  It comes from an old American frozen treat, the popsicle.”

The Captain stiffened.  “I didn’t know you had been resuscitated.”

“That’s okay, I’m glad to be alive,” said Pops.  “Of all the ‘criminals’ who were frozen by the American People’s Republic, I was one of the guiltiest.  I wasn’t a businessman, I was a traitor.”

“That explains your accent,” said the Captain.  “The Texas War.”

“That explains why they stuck me here in this grunt job entering records for my rehabilitation,” said Pops.  “You said you could use my help.  How could I possibly help you?”

The Captain sat down and laid his cap on the table.  “You probably know the Aryan Nation in Idaho is the area most culturally similar to the old United States.”

“Yes, from what I’ve heard, they haven’t learned a thing.”

“They haven’t forgotten a thing, either,” said the Captain.  “Have you heard of Doctor Gul-Branson?”

“Yes, the anthropologist at the university in Sallake City,” said Pops.  “He comes by headquarters often, although I haven’t seen him in a few months.”

“That’s because he’s in Idaho right now and he’s not an anthropologist, he’s an ethnographer,” said the Captain.  “He went into the mountains to do some field research and study their isolated culture.”

“Not to be rude, but what has this got to do with me?”

“The Aryans opened up a little with Dr. Gul-Branson because his specialty is American culture.  They seemed to have some sympathy for him, because he knows about their origins.  But communications have gotten spotty, and we’re worried about him.  His most recent message seemed very stiff and stilted.  He won’t set a date to leave.”

“You think he might be under some kind of duress?” Read the rest of this entry »

ISF FICTION – João Ventura (Portugal)

In Short Story on February 11, 2013 at 6:08 pm

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The ISF team is proud to present a short story by João Ventura, a Portuguese writer.

Crop Circle Formation:
A (Super)Natural Theory[1]

João Ventura

Michael, who was an archangel, slowly drifting on a warm sunny day above the Earth, saw Tommy playing by the side of a pond. The little boy was throwing small pebbles into the water, producing ripples which spread in wider and wider circles from the point of impact. Being of an aesthetical mind, Michael was impressed by the simplicity and beauty of the wave patterns.

Sometimes Tommy would manage to make a pebble bounce once or twice on the water surface, causing very interesting interference patterns to appear. Michael would like to be able to do it himself, but, being a pure spirit, he couldn’t hold anything, including stones. And he went back to Heaven, slightly disappointed. (This “went back” should of course be read as a metaphorical mode of expression). This happened about the time William Shakespeare was writing his plays.

Emmanuel was an angel, therefore one step below Michael in the celestial hierarchy, but they were good friends. After learning from Michael the contents of the previous paragraph, he thought and thought about it. Being more scientifically inclined, he soon devised a satisfactory alternative to the “pebble throwing into the water” game.

It just happens that these creatures’ halos are very strong energy reservoirs. Emmanuel also preferred permanent to transient art forms, and about three centuries later (time is not that important in angelic matters), after doing some experiments on his own, he approached Michael for a demonstration of his “halo throwing into the field” game.

Emmanuel had tried several types of fields; but he had found wheat fields to be the most appropriate, because individual plants possessed a very strong angelic susceptibility. So he and Michael would throw their halos to the wheat field (again “throw” shouldn’t be taken too literally) and, although in the beginning they could only produce circles, with a bit of practice, varying the way the halos were projected (spinning, tumbling, rolling…) other kinds of formations started to be generated and wonderful patterns were formed on the field. One of the properties of the halos being their boomerangness, they would bounce back to the owner and the game could go on. Read the rest of this entry »

Zombie Lenin by Ekaterina Sedia

In Short Story on January 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm

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Dear readers, in association with Apex Publications, please find below the short story “Zombie Lenin” by Ekaterina Sedia, first published in Fantasy Sampler and republished in The Apex Book of World SF 2

STAY TUNED FOR THE BOOK GIVEAWAY – WE WILL SOON BE OFFERING ONE PAPERBACK OF THE APEX BOOK OF WORLD SF AND THE APEX BOOK OF WORLD SF 2

Roberto Mendes

ISF Editor in Chief

Zombie Lenin

Ekaterina Sedia

“Zombie Lenin” @ Ekaterina Sedia 2007. First published in Fantasy Sampler.

Republished from the Apex Book of World SF 2

1.

It all started when I was eight years old, on a school trip to the Mausoleum. My mum was there to chaperon my class, and it was nice because she held me when I got nauseous on the bus. I remember the cotton tights all the girls wore, and how they bunched on our knees and slid down so that we had to hike them up as discreetly as eight year olds could. It was October, and my coat was too short; Mum said it was fine even though the belt came disconcertingly close to my underarms, and the coat didn’t even cover my butt. I didn’t believe her; I frowned at the photographer as he aligned his camera, pinning my mum and me against the backdrop of St Basil’s Cathedral. “Smile,” Mum whispered. We watched the change of guard in front of the Mausoleum. Read the rest of this entry »

ISF N.º 0 – Free Download

In Article, Editorial, Ilustration, Interview, News, Short Story on June 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Dear ISF readers: you are now free to download our “baby” ;)

Thats right, we achieved our goal to publish the first number (number zero actually) in June. This means we had to work really hard in order to do so! But hey, we have done it! And I am proud to say it!

Now we will wait peacefully  for you to tell us what do you think of the magazine, what is great about it, what is not so great and what we really need to change! So, without further ado, download the Pdf. version (e-book version will be available in two weeks counting from today) and read it! Then get back here and leave your comments!

One thing is certain: International Speculative Fiction is here to stay!

whooooahh!

DOWNLOAD ISF MAGAZINE´

ISF_issue_june_2012

 

Roberto Mendes

Editor in Chief

30 June 2012

ISF Sixth Short Story – Attila Sümegi (Hungary)

In Short Story on June 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

The ISF is proud to present a great Science Fiction short story by Hungarian author Attila Sümegi.

Before reading this short story, ask yourself:  would you prefer the reality, even a reality without colors, or the color of the virtual world? Where does the man stop and begins the monster?

Do you have your answer?

Roberto Mendes

Editor in Chief

Dad Bought a Teleport Device

Attila Sümegi

Frank stood at the HomeTech companies Easyport 2100 teleport device wearing a palm patterned short, a T-shirt, a flip flop and a straw. He was thinking.  Should he put the sunglasses on before entering the glowing gate? His wife’s crying from the bedroom had stopped; probably Ann had taken all the tranquilizer capsules and was now lying in bed with a pair of hung up eyes and, most probably, the sheet was sucking her saliva.

He turned back to say goodbye but the children still stood next to the lamp stiffly, stock-still, like the furniture around them. Even their eyes had not move for two days. But when Ann gave them food, their reflexes worked and they swallowed it. Of course, it was the teleport device’s fault, as everything else in the last few days.

It had started two months ago. Frank carried home the box under his arm, containing the Easyport 2100, and of course, Ann started to row immediately: what was it for? Surely it was not tested properly… it was dangerous to the children and so on Frank asserted in vain that nobody should set back the progress because this is the future and soon nobody will use vehicles.

He was right. At first, they implemented teleports only in the main squares and shopping quarters of the town, but the number of receiving stations increased from week to week. Ann did not let the children use the device to teleport to school, but the boys made hissy more and more due to their classmate’s laughs. Their colleagues were mocking them because they still went to school by bus and that is never a good thing for the children.

Frank was already familiar with that new world. At the company where he worked they linked the production lines installed in different countries with teleport devices half a year ago in order to save transport time and cost. This led to the rioting: the police fought every day with the strikers of the forwarder companies and transportation corporations.

This is the future! Frank smiled every morning when saying goodbye to his children standing front of the teleport device.

He also used the teleport more and more times, even though is job did not required him to do so.

He dreamed the first time when he tried the machine (right after its assembly) and he teleported himself to the shopping quarter to buy some beer for the England-Hungary match. That was the first football match where not only the players but the ball arrived to the pitch by teleport device. Read the rest of this entry »

ISF Fifth Short Story – Judit Lörinczy (Hungary)

In Short Story on June 1, 2012 at 9:32 am

Welcome to the first day of June, the Children’s Day in 27 Country’s around the World. Here in Portugal the sun is blessing us with warm days and our streets and cost line’s are  full of people!  For me it is always a pronounce of a great day, when the sun shines like this, reveling all the beautiful colors our Universe as to offer! The first short story of the month is called “Colors of Creation” and was written by Hungarian writer and painter, Judit Lörinczy. It  is all about the Sun and the colors… presented as a story teller would do to their grandchildren or to the grandchildren’s of others! And today, as the sun shines on me, I just want to feel like a small child, reading a beautiful fantasy story. Care to join me?

Roberto Mendes

Editor In Chief

The colors of Creation 

Judit Lőrinczy 

Translated by Ágnes Körmendi and Judit Lőrinczy

Our eyes were created to be like God’s and God said, ‘Let the light come from your eyes, let it shine upon the world, let it dye the grass Green, the sea Blue, let the colors calm your senses. Shine, with Red light upon the blood as a warning, and also upon the twilight sky, to show when my Eye, the Sun, falls under the horizon of my lid.’

Our eyes opened and the world was filled with colors. Let the leaves be green, and they became Green, let the sand be yellow, and it became Yellow. Our skin was sweet Brown on sheets of Lilac and Purple.

We named the world with colors and gained knowledge of everything, and God shone upon us with His Lightning Eye, that it was good.

‘These are all God’s colors. What are yours?’ asked the Voice and it scared us. Our light could not see its source.

Yet the challenge had to be answered.

‘Green! Blue! Red! Their sweet children Yellow, Lilac…’

‘Sea is not blue, grass is not green,’ replied the Voice. ‘You are not only brown, either.’

‘The sea is Blue, the grass is Green!’ echoed our choir. Read the rest of this entry »

Fourth ISF Short Story – Aliette de Bodard

In Short Story on May 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm

The ISF is proud to present a short story by Aliette de Bodard. “Butterfly, Falling at Dawn” is a breathtaking story, first published in Interzone and reprinted in Year’s Best Science Fiction. Now this beautiful story is published for free reading, available for everybody.

Roberto Mendes

Editor in Chief

“BUTTERFLY, FALLING AT DAWN”

Aliette de Bodard

Originally published in Interzone 219, November 2008

Reprinted in Year’s Best Science Fiction, July 2009

Republished by permission of the author

Even seen from afar, the Mexica District in Fenliu was distinctive: tall, white-washed buildings clashing with the glass-and-metal architecture of the other skyscrapers. A banner featuring Huitzilpochtli, protector god of Greater Mexica, flapped in the wind as my aircar passed under the security gates. The god’s face was painted as dark as blood.

A familiar sight, even though I’d turned my back on the religion of my forefathers a lifetime ago. I sighed, and tried to focus on the case ahead. Zhu Bao, the magistrate in charge of the district, had talked me into taking on this murder investigation because he thought I would handle the situation better than him, being Mexica-born.

I wasn’t quite so sure.

The crime scene was a wide, well-lit dome room on the last floor of3454 Hummingbird avenue, with the highest ceiling I had ever seen. The floor was strewn with hologram pedestals, though the holograms were all turned off.

A helical stair led up to a mezzanine dazzlingly high, somewhere near the top of the dome. At the bottom of those stairs, an area had been cordoned off. Within lay the body of a woman, utterly naked. She was Mexica, and about thirty years old–she could have been my older sister. Morbidly fascinated, I let my eyes take in everything: the fine dust that covered the body, the yellow makeup she’d spread all over herself, the soft swell of her breasts, the unseeing eyes still staring upwards.

I looked up at the railing high above. I guessed she’d fallen down. Broken neck, probably–though I’d have to wait for the lab people to be sure.

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ISF Short Story – Aliette de Bodard

Third ISF Short Story – Regina Catarino (Portugal)

In Short Story on May 14, 2012 at 8:48 am

The first piece of fiction presented today is “Space Oddity” featuring Portuguese short fiction writer Regina Catarino. “Space Oddity” was first published in Portuguese in the first number of a magazine that I edited called “Conto Fantástico” and was a success in the opinion of Portuguese readers and reviewers of the magazine. As the title already reveals, it is a story influenced by David Bowie’s music.

I really like Regina’s ability to tell great stories using only a  small amount of words.

Today we will also publish a short story  by Aliette de Bodard, another one of my favorite writers of the moment!

The Editor In Chief:

Roberto Mendes

SPACE ODDITY

Regina Catarino (Portugal)

The countdown begins.

I am strapped to my seat, waiting for lift-off. I wonder what you’re doing now?

A few seconds later, the brutal acceleration smashes me against my seat. How many G’s? I really don’t know.

I’m leaving without knowing very well if or how will I return. This is an old ship, repaired at the last minute for this urgent mission with isolating panels, fixed way too quick and carelessly. I would almost bet they used staples and duct tape instead of the proper titanium alloy rivets that were supposed to – that would have taken a lot more hours than those actually spent.

I wasn’t supposed to be here. My shift had already ended but the other pilot had the flu. For once, they really needed me. And I could never say no to a request for help.

–§–

Time slides silently. I hum a song which name I cannot remember while I perform routine tasks. All seems to be going well. For now, at least.

–§–

I’ve dropped the satellite in the right orbit and I’m now delivering the supplies to the Space Station. Those folks sound really anxious for whatever I’m bringing. They seemed very happy to see me arriving at the docking station.

–§–

Hmm.  An alarm on the console. I was expecting that… I turn off the audio and nothing’s left but an orange light blinking sadly, in an almost frustrated manner.

–§–

Finished unloading. The space station astronauts hugged me gratefully and rushed in to open the containers. I wonder what was in it? Food? Books? Music? I have no idea. Time to go back, now.

–§–

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3rd Short Story – Regina Catarino

Second ISF Short Story – Lavie Tidhar (Israel)

In Short Story on May 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm

 

The International Speculative Fiction is proud to present its second short story. After Liviu Radu from Romania, we now offer you a beautiful short piece of fiction by Lavie Tidhar from Israel, one of the most important authors’s when it comes to international speculative fiction.

I believe you will find this short story to really suit the spirit of ISF!

Roberto Mendes

ISF Editor in Chief

Lavie Tidhar (Israel)

Aliens

When the aliens come you are watching television in a bar in a South Pacific island and it’s hot outside; it’s sweltering. There is a whole delegation of different aliens and you watch them as they meet the Chinese president inBeijing. Al-Jazeera cuts to shots of the American president looking kind of lost on his own inCamp David. A commentator says, cheerfully, that at least now the president can work on his golf swing.

The aliens are obviously of different species. One looks like a classic alien, big eyes like a cat and an elongated face and no ears and his skin is grey. Another one has tentacles. One alien is entirely enclosed in something metallic the commentator says is an exo-skeleton. You order another beer.

(…)

All rights reserved by the author.

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ISF – Short Story – Lavie Tidhar

“Osama” Cover Art: Pedro Piedade Marques
http://pedromarquesdg.wordpress.com/myportfolio/

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