Skin

The bugs flow, green-blue, scratching beneath his skin.

Not hallucinating.

Each new egg bursts, exquisite agony, life-from-death.

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Like Claws

Her hands were like claws, tight and cold, still clenched into fists.

He lay on the floor, and the rust-red pool around his head thickened.

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These Hands

Sunday Sketch - Tezzabold

Sunday Sketch – Tezzabold

His fur was matted, with blood and flesh and gizzards.

What had he done?

The taste of it was in his mouth.

He wanted more.

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World’s End

There are so many ways

to destroy a world.

But in the end

his native violence took hold,

and he tore it apart,

to the screams

of millions.

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Ashcan Comics Needs Some Help!

So, Ashcan Comics (a Brisbane-based, independent comics publisher) needs your help.

They’ve got a huge backlog of comics, and need to free up some space in their warehouse.

And make some cash so they can keep printing cool comics, can buy tables at cons…all those sorts of things that I have no idea about when it comes to being a publisher.

My short story UTOPIA is illustrated in Issue 9. Is that a graphic short story? I don’t know.

Awesomely, they don’t just publish super-hero comics.

If they publish them at all. Mine’s sci-fi (surprise!)

Anyway, buy some. Help an indie publisher out!

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A BURNING DESIRE: The Culture of Censorship

A page from Maurice Sendak’s THE NIGHT KITCHEN, one of the most frequently challenged books in the United States (because it shows a penis!)

So, my latest article, A BURNING DESIRE: The Culture of Censorship, is up on the Kill Your Darlings website.

It focuses on literary censorship, especially the recent banning of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes in ALDI Supermarkets, and on censorship in general, particularly in Australia and the United States.

Let me know what you think!

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The Boys are Back in Town (part 4 of 4)

Image by Kessiye – via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

I can wait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Boys are Back in Town (part 3 of 4)

Stormtroopers Advancing Through Gas – Otto Dix, from his Der Krieg series

In flying drones

and limbless children.

In falling bombs

and chattering machine guns.

Beheaded men, stolen women.

In your talk of peace

I lurk.

Glory, honour, destruction.

I am in you.

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The Boys are Back in Town (Part 2/4)

Victims of the Great Famine, India, 1876-78

Distended, swollen bellies, meandering flies.

Scrape your plate clean. Throw it all away.

Thigh gaps and size 0’s.

You are not good enough.

You are not good enough.

You are not good enough.

Eat less. Waste more.

You are too fat.

Eat less. Consume more.

Forget about those hungry children.

They live so far away.

You are not good enough.

They don’t have enough.

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The Hidden World of Underground Cities

Derinkuyu Underground City in Cappadocia, Turkey (photograph by Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia)

My latest on Atlas Obscura -

From Defence to Desperation: Why There is a Hidden World of Underground Cities

The Boys Are Back in Town (Part 1 of 4)

Image by Roger McLassus, used under Creative Commons 3.0

 

 

Rust spreads at his touch,

in delicate filigrees,

erupting from his fingertips.

Corruption flows in his veins,

lifeless,

undeath.

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A Sort of Justice

Southwyck House, by Kibwe X-Kalibre Tavares

“Who in the name of Hell was that?” The gunshot echoed in the hallway, deafeningly loud – I lay face-down on the floor, counting the seconds, counting my blessings. A fist-shaped hole punched through the wall above my head. It bled slowly, trickling plaster down to cake in my hair. “I’m gonna need a bucket of tea after this.” It sounded like a whisper, even inside my head.

“Third Precinct,” the Boss said, “bastards. They’re trying to snatch the case.” He stood up, adding the roar-and-click, roar-and-click of his hand-cannon to the sound of shrieking civilians. The leaning walls of the capsule hotel were grimy, the rust-water pooling on the concrete floor. Shells hissed in protest as they hit the puddles. My own gun shook as I drew it, caressing the fingertip identifier. There was no way we were going to lose this case to a bunch of pricks like Third. We had only a glimpse of the corpse as it lay there on the cold floor – I had no fucking idea what was going on there.

And neither would Third, if I had anything to say about it.

The Boss flicked a flash grenade around the corner – visors down, we chased after it.

“Second Precinct!” I shouted. The Boss just shot one, clean through the top of her head.

“Looks like a double homicide, eh, Constable?”

“And it looks like we found our prime suspect, Boss.” I grinned beneath my helmet. All he could see were my teeth.

And my baton, as it swung down.

The first victim’s lower intestine was looped around his neck, and an ankle was missing. As well as a couple of his teeth.

This bastard from Third would pay for that.

The Boss would come up with his usual, intangible proof.

And the killer could keep us in a job.

Continue reading

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Another New Non-Fiction Piece

Photograph by Melissa Toh, reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Licence.

I’ve got an article up on The Lifted Brow (yikes!), a brief history of hacking:

What Colour is Your Hat? From Phone Phreaking to Political Hacktivism.

Check it out, let me know what you think!

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Speculative Fiction is World Literature

300px-War-of-the-worlds-tripod

Or at least that’s what I’m arguing over on Gate 37. Click the link, the more people that read it, the more I get paid! Tell your friends!

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Stronger

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” he wheezed, as they peeled him from the rack and swung the rusty gibbet closed.

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A Silver Chrysalis

Insekter

Alex raises insects. Well, not raises so much as breeds. Enables to live, feeds, encourages. Harvests.

It was not his habit, not to begin with. Not originally. His father raised insects. Alex just kind of fell into it. Whether it was Alex’s father (John) who started the family business, Alex isn’t sure. People are not too forthcoming, where his father is concerned. Not that there’s anyone, really, who he could ask, that he trusts well enough to answer those questions – there’s not really anyone who can answer any of his questions.

He has tried to ask his computer, laboriously punching down on each key – it lets him really think about each question as he asks it. But the answers it gives him are usually confusing, or contradictory, or both.

Alex doesn’t much like the computer.

He uses it, when he has to. To order food, both for his insects and for himself. He doesn’t like to leave the house. When the credit card declines, he can sell some of his beloved insects, and start again. He uses the computer to ask those questions that no-one seems to be able to answer, and to answer those questions that people ask him. He is never confusing or contradictory.

He is proud of that.

Continue reading

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Less than a Week to go!

Just a friendly reminder that the Lane of Unusual Traders is closing to submissions in less than a week! Get on it!

Seamstress - Inspiration from the Lane

Seamstress – Inspiration from the Lane

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Aeolian Harps

Ever heard an Aeolian Harp? They’re stringed instruments, played by the wind.

And they’re the subject of my latest Atlas Obscura article!

Eerie Instruments Played by the Wind

Uncertain Certainty

“Uncertainty is worse.”

That’s what the guard had said, shrugging his shoulders. The loose-fitting black hood was an attempt at anonymity. Even though the same three men had looked though the bars each day, eight hours apart. The certainty of uncertainty had been welcome, really. Knowing that today was not to be the day you died. The certainty was far worse.

The sunlight was like a slap to the face.

“You are all the same,” he said, his hand resting on my shaking shoulder. “You all think you are invincible, invisible. But we catch you in the end.”

The rope swung from the scaffold. They hadn’t bothered to clean the shit from the floorboards.

“Any last words?” His breath was hot on my neck.

“And so the flowers screamed.” A coded phrase, my final plea.

He laughed, a boyish tinkle, odd coming from such a large man.

“They do little one, they do.” His hands reached out to encompass the prison’s garden, the neat rows of borlotti beans and staked tomatoes, the sprawling pumpkins and regimented stands of silverbeet. The droning of bees filled the silence he seemed to encompass with his gesture.

“They scream for your blood. We gotta fertilise them somehow.”

 

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