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Posts Tagged ‘Short Story’

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.
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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 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 »

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

First ISF short story – Liviu Radu (Romania)

In Short Story on May 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm

The International Speculative Fiction is proud to present “Digits are Cold, Numbers are Warm”, a short story by one of the best Romanian speculative fiction writers, Liviu Radu.

Liviu Radu has recently been distinguished with the “2012 Galileo Award for lifetime work achievment”, for the “extraordinary stories that he gave and still gives us…”

“Galileo Awards” Link

I would like to thank Liviu for his contribution to ISF, and Cristian Tamas for all his hard work promoting Romanian Speculative Fiction.

Roberto Mendes

ISF Editor in Chief

Liviu Radu

(Romania)

Digits are cold, numbers are warm

 

English translation by

Loredana Frăţilă-Cristescu

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE AUTHOR

 

Of course, they’re all saying Teddy was a good man. He was. They don’t even know how good he was, and how much it had cost him to be a good man. What an ordeal his goodness meant to me. Yet I’m really afraid those guys are only saying nice things about him because one does not say anything else in times like this…

They are all in a hurry. Nobody is really grieving. I’m trying to restrain myself, to not show the despair that is slowly, slowly getting to me. What am I going to do without Teddy? The burden will be too heavy for me to carry alone. It brought him down, the kindest and most responsible of us all. I only made it this far through his support. How am I going to cope now?

My face is twisting; I am about to cry with self-pity. However, I catch the unforgiving look of young Joshua and realise his sarcastic expression is yelling: What has got into this crone? She’d better spare us with her hysterical fits! Young people are dying, people that had the entire life before them! That decrepit husband of hers should be glad he was put out of his misery, that the Lord took pity on him and took him to the land of light! If only she would rush to follow him so that we could be rid of the old hag once and for all!

The Lord is kind; he will take pity on me and let me follow my mate. He knows I’ve earned my right to rest and He has punished me enough for what I did. Yet who will take care of these insolent young people? Who will bring them the light, who will prepare their rest?

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ISF – Short Story – Liviu Radu

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