DayBreak Magazine 2

January 8, 2010

DayBreak Magazine 2—Original Art

Filed under: Art — Tags: — shineanthology @ 11:48 pm

Original Artwork, in the same vein as the Shine artwork, by Vincent Chong.

March 19, 2010

DayBreak Fiction: “The Rules of Utopia”, v2

Filed under: Fiction — Tags: — shineanthology @ 9:56 pm

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The Rules Of Utopia

James Bloomer

While James Bloomer is a staunch supporter for optimistic science fiction, he also does not shy away from telling when a DayBreak story didn’t work for him, sometimes remarking that the ‘feel-good’ factor was tuned too low for his liking (or even missing). Make no mistake: I welcome comments and critiques, both positive and negative.

Nevertheless, I think every magazine needs variety: also one dedicated to upbeat SF. So sometimes progress will be a small step, incredibly hardfought. Sometimes progress in one area comes together with decline in another. Sometimes the road ahead is harder than we expected, but sometimes it’s easier than we feared. And sometimes, yes, there will be unmitigated Utopia.

To paraphrase a world famous poem:

Idyllic Utopia, shining bright
In SF’s dystopian night
What immoral hand or eye
Dare propose thy fearless lullaby?

Kidding aside, even James Bloomer’s “The Rules of Utopia” does not come without its price. But yeah, does it shine bright, eventually…

1. No One Is Lonely

The evening sun was still high and golden, yet the light had a thicker consistency than earlier on in the day. The pub had a large front garden, dotted with wooden picnic tables, some with umbrellas, some without. People were everywhere: old, young, parents, single, kids, dogs. Local. Meaning from within the area. It wasn’t a special holiday or a weekend, it was just a sunny evening with blue sky and warm air, and like every other day you could always find someone to talk to. No one was lonely.

And on other nights there was not just people to meet but things to do: make, do, learn, volunteer. Providing people joy and purpose. There was a church for those who believed, a shop to post notices in the window and a cricket pitch around which to gather on match days.

Lucas stood on the edge of the social fray, alone and intimidated, feeling lonely and a little scared. He had moved into one of the old terraced cottages on main street a week ago, after returning from three years working in Switzerland. After his life had collapsed around him. (more…)

DayBreak Fiction: “The Rules of Utopia”

Filed under: Fiction — Tags: — shineanthology @ 9:46 pm

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The Rules Of Utopia

James Bloomer

While James Bloomer is a staunch supporter for optimistic science fiction, he also does not shy away from telling when a DayBreak story didn’t work for him, sometimes remarking that the ‘feel-good’ factor was tuned too low for his liking (or even missing). Make no mistake: I welcome comments and critiques, both positive and negative.

Nevertheless, I think every magazine needs variety: also one dedicated to upbeat SF. So sometimes progress will be a small step, incredibly hardfought. Sometimes progress in one area comes together with decline in another. Sometimes the road ahead is harder than we expected, but sometimes it’s easier than we feared. And sometimes, yes, there will be unmitigated Utopia.

To paraphrase a world famous poem:

Idyllic Utopia, shining bright
In SF’s dystopian night
What immoral hand or eye
Dare propose thy fearless lullaby?

Kidding aside, even James Bloomer’s “The Rules of Utopia” does not come without its price. But yeah, does it shine bright, eventually…

1. No One Is Lonely

The evening sun was still high and golden, yet the light had a thicker consistency than earlier on in the day. The pub had a large front garden, dotted with wooden picnic tables, some with umbrellas, some without. People were everywhere: old, young, parents, single, kids, dogs. Local. Meaning from within the area. It wasn’t a special holiday or a weekend, it was just a sunny evening with blue sky and warm air, and like every other day you could always find someone to talk to. No one was lonely.

And on other nights there was not just people to meet but things to do: make, do, learn, volunteer. Providing people joy and purpose. There was a church for those who believed, a shop to post notices in the window and a cricket pitch around which to gather on match days.

Lucas stood on the edge of the social fray, alone and intimidated, feeling lonely and a little scared. He had moved into one of the old terraced cottages on main street a week ago, after returning from three years working in Switzerland. After his life had collapsed around him. (more…)

March 12, 2010

SHINE excerpt: “Scheherazade Cast in Starlight”

Filed under: SHINE excerpts — Tags: — shineanthology @ 8:11 pm

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Every first and third Friday of the month there will be two story excerpts from the Shine anthology. This is the twelfth one: “Sheherazade Cast in Starlight” by Jason Andrew:

The Qur’an says that all people are a single nation. Though we failed that day, we were shown the way by the will of Allah. Globalization has been a dirty word for oppressive governments. They want to keep their borders clearly defined with walls of stone and barbed wire and land mines. They want their citizens to think only of what happens in their lands, to their familes. They want us to forget that we all are one family.

Technology blurs those borders. It allows information to flow freely. It is the bane of any oppressive government. There were no more barriers to hide us away from the rest of the world. No firewalls that could keep out our stories. The world hungered for reality entertainment. When I was ready, I stepped into the starlight.

My v-casts are circulated around the world. Every action recorded and captured in amber for the world to study. Anyone in the world can watch me. I am Scheherazade cast in starlight, telling a story each night to keep my head. I competed against drunken bears roaming free in Butte, Montana. I told the world of the food shortages, the war, tragedies, and love against the tale of seven strangers trapped in a house forced to live together. I battled against Big Brother by showing stories about all of our brothers and sisters. We showed the world that the greatest stories come not from forced drama, but from life and living despite the darkness.

Each night before I slept, I checked my ranking. I was safe as long I had eyes upon me. Or so I believed. I am shamed to admit that I was drunk with my new celebrity. I had messages from foreign leaders, proud mothers, and little girls seeking a role-model. I thought that I had made a difference.

Picture Credits:

Jason Andrew lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife Lisa. By day, he works as a mild-mannered technical writer. By night, he writes stories of the fantastic and occasionally fights crime. As a child, Jason spent his Saturdays watching the Creature Feature classics and furiously scribbling down stories; his first short story, written at age six, titled ‘The Wolfman Eats Perry Mason,’ was rejected and caused his Grandmother to watch him very closely for a few years.

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US:Buy SHINE at Amazon.com! Buy SHINE at Barnes & Noble! Buy SHINE at Borders!Buy SHINE at Powell's Books!

UK:Buy SHINE at Amazon UK! Buy SHINE at WH Smith!Buy SHINE at Waterstone's! Buy SHINE at the Book Depository!

Independents:Buy SHINE at the IndieBound!Buy SHINE at Books-A-Million!Order SHINE via Goodreads!

Finally, also an interactive Google Map of story locations from the SHINE anthology:

SHINE excerpts: “Sarging Rasmussen: A Report by Organic”

Filed under: SHINE excerpts — Tags: — shineanthology @ 8:00 pm

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Every first and third Friday of the month there will be two story excerpts from the Shine anthology. This is the tenth one: “Sarging Rasmussen: A Report by Organic” by Gord Sellar:

We started out as far from idealists, of course. As my teacher, Praxis, said when he met me: “Environmentalist? Ha, you know who gets laid less than a green radical?”

“Nobody?” I said, wishing I’d mentioned my day job as a lab tech instead of how I spent my weekends.

It was true, though. Women had seen fit to chain themselves to trees beside me, and join me in hijacking oil tankers on highways, and march arm in arm with me in the streets of a dozen countries by my side. But I’d gotten precisely one girl out of a bra in my life, and that had lasted just five weeks. 37 days, to be precise. And that had been four years before.

“‘xactly,” Praxis said with a sneer. “Nobody. But we’re gonna change all that. You’re gonna,” he said, on day one.

That was back in the days when fellas like Praxis were called mPUAs. Guys like him made a living running “boot camps” for AFCs, the Average Frustrated Chumps. Guys who didn’t know how to talk to women and were willing to spend a thousand bucks for a weekend of being coached on how talk to women.

Guys like me.

Mostly, they learned by being forced to go sarging—approaching thousands of women in a row, until they stopped pissing themselves with fear and grew a backbone. And Praxis was right: during that weekend, he changed my life… or, well, really, I did. He’d taken me and the other AFCs—a hardware engineer who called himself Axiomatic, a lonely high school teacher we dubbed Homework, a recently-divorced cop called Slammer, and some Japanese poet or something—and baptized us by fire. We went out sarging all weekend—chatting up hot women in bars and bookstores and coffeeshops, coming onto them and hassling them, teasing and rubbing shoulders and even scoring some phone numbers.

That weekend was the first time I ever wore leather. Tight leather. Peacocky leather. Praxis taught us routines, taught us cocky-funny, taught us rules of thumb and dozens of techniques, and by the end of it, every one of us had learned the secret: there wasn’t one. Getting a woman’s phone number—or anything else, for that matter—didn’t require magic, or an eleven-inch cock, or perfect white teeth. All it took was asking for it in the right way, once she was ready to give it… once you’d helped her become ready. Pretty soon, we were having the time of our lives with the kind of babes who’d terrified us just months before. I was no longer Andrew Dalton: I had become Organic, and now I was swimming in women. Tall women, short women, dark and pale, funny and serious, wild and schoolmarmish alike. I tasted every flavour there was. I’d learned techniques for getting them to come home with me in less than thirty minutes of first contact. For engineering a threesome. For getting them to give me a sponge bath dressed in nurse uniforms, while speaking in fake Polish. (Look, everyone has his kinks, and whoever claims otherwise is lying.) For the first time in my life, I was getting laid like a truckload of linoleum. And it was the part of me that was really, really enjoying all that sex that spoke first when Katana had laid out his plan.

That was the part of me that had stopped caring about how many trees got cut down at Clayoquot sound, and didn’t give a shit about the coral reefs and strip mining in the Northwest Territories. They say that a sense of impending death makes people have more sex—it’s a mammalian instinct. Well, the first year the icecaps melted completely in summer? I made that work for me, and worked out my own mammalian panic all at once. From there, I hadn’t looked back, not once, at the dying Earth.

Not till that day. And it hurt to look again at what I’d once cared about—which I think is why I yelped, “That’s fucking crazy, Katana! The tools we have… they’re for pickup. For getting laid. Not for… saving the world.”

“Yeah, man,” Biosfear said, nodding his head. “What d’ya wanna do, seduce the sun into shining less brightly? Sarge lumberjacks? Toss a few negs at metacorporations and hope that they go sweet on us?”

Biosfear laughed at the absurdity of it. We all did.

“You’re not listening, bros,” Katana said, his hands parallel in front of him like some kind of loony Japanese evangelical minister. His eyes shone with some kind of insane, holy-fire light. “You can’t seduce the sun, but you don’t need to. The environment? The ecology? It’s people. I’ve been rereading Dawkins and Page…”

We all groaned.

“…and there’s something to this extended phenotype thing,” Katana went on. “The world is what we make it. What governments decide. How giant companies decide to behave. But governments and companies, what are they?”

“People,” Biosfear said. “They’re just people, and so they can be seduced…”

“Wrong,” said Katana, flicking at the wall with his keychain remote. The smartwall flickered, and images from satellites flooded it at high speed, corporate logos and national flags flashing superimposed onto creeping desertification, megastorms, and black-smoke flashes of brief, vicious water wars. “They’re persons, legally and functionally. They’re the ultimate amogs. And they can be amogged too.”

Someone who hadn’t known us would have taken one look around the room at us in our freaky peacocky clothing—Homeboyostasis’ purple fur vest, my depilated scalp, Biosfear’s animated Magic Eight Ball T-shirt cycling through its advice—No Way!… Yes Way!… Maybe!… Go Fuck Yourself!—and declared Katana’s attempt to sway us a complete, hopeless failure.

Goes to show you what total strangers know about anything.

Picture credits:

Gord Sellar was born in Malawi, grew up in Saskatchewan, and currently lives and works as a professor of English Language & Culture in South Korea. Since attending Clarion West in 2006, his work has appeared in Asimov’s SF, Interzone, Clarkesworld, Subterranean, and The Year’s Best SF Vol. 26, among other venues, and in 2009 he was a nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. This story is dedicated to his buddies named Mike—in Jeonju, Utah, and Toronto alike, for being very different kinds of men, each excellent in his own way.

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US:Buy SHINE at Amazon.com! Buy SHINE at Barnes & Noble! Buy SHINE at Borders!Buy SHINE at Powell's Books!

UK:Buy SHINE at Amazon UK! Buy SHINE at WH Smith!Buy SHINE at Waterstone's! Buy SHINE at the Book Depository!

Independents:Buy SHINE at the IndieBound!Buy SHINE at Books-A-Million!Order SHINE via Goodreads!

Finally, also an interactive Google Map of story locations from the SHINE anthology:

March 6, 2010

DayBreak Fiction: “The Notebook of My Favourite Skin-Trees”, v2

Filed under: Fiction — Tags: — shineanthology @ 11:55 pm

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The Notebook of my Favourite Skin-Trees

Alex Dally MacFarlane

Alex Dally MacFarlane is — as far as I can see — on a rather extended wanderjahr. My sister did something similar more than a decade ago, and eventually she wound up (via East Asia and Japan) in Australia, where she basically hasn’t returned from (apart from several family visits): she’s an Australian citizen now. I don’t know if Alex will return to her native England, but she sure seems to have fun travelling, and if that leads to stories like “The Notebook of My Favourite Skin-Trees”, then we all are all the richer for it.

Also, while my original intent with my Twitterzine @outshine was mainly to promote the SHINE anthology, I was (and am) happily surprised by the way it attracted talented writers and interesting pieces that were — as I found out later — hypercondensed forms of a short story. One of these was a tweet from Eric Gregory that was directly related to “The Earth of Yunhe” — his SHINE story — and another was a tweet from Alex Dally MacFarlane (published on Wednesday July 15, last year, which I’ll display below) that was directly related to “The Notebook of My Favourite Skin-Trees”.

A woman grafts a miniature, nano-engineered breed of fruit to people’s skin. Orchards travel the world and seed onto garbage heaps.

The actual story, as you can read below, goes quite a bit further, though…

BANANA

The best part of these are the fruits, growing on their fat stem, dangling down the person’s back or from their arm. I always bow and smile, asking, “Can I taste one of your fruits? Bananas from a skin-tree are so sweet.”

So sweet and so small, a single mouthful.

I also enjoy the place where banana tree meets flesh, roots curving over and into the person’s limb — pressing my lips there, my tongue — and the small shade cast by the leaves. (more…)

DayBreak Fiction: “The Notebook of My Favourite Skin-Trees”

Filed under: Fiction — Tags: — shineanthology @ 11:49 pm

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The Notebook of my Favourite Skin-Trees

Alex Dally MacFarlane

Alex Dally MacFarlane is — as far as I can see — on a rather extended wanderjahr. My sister did something similar more than a decade ago, and eventually she wound up (via East Asia and Japan) in Australia, where she basically hasn’t returned from (apart from several family visits): she’s an Australian citizen now. I don’t know if Alex will return to her native England, but she sure seems to have fun travelling, and if that leads to stories like “The Notebook of My Favourite Skin-Trees”, then we all are all the richer for it.

Also, while my original intent with my Twitterzine @outshine was mainly to promote the SHINE anthology, I was (and am) happily surprised by the way it attracted talented writers and interesting pieces that were — as I found out later — hypercondensed forms of a short story. One of these was a tweet from Eric Gregory that was directly related to “The Earth of Yunhe” — his SHINE story — and another was a tweet from Alex Dally MacFarlane (published on Wednesday July 15, last year, which I’ll display below) that was directly related to “The Notebook of My Favourite Skin-Trees”.

A woman grafts a miniature, nano-engineered breed of fruit to people’s skin. Orchards travel the world and seed onto garbage heaps.

The actual story, as you can read below, goes quite a bit further, though…

BANANA

The best part of these are the fruits, growing on their fat stem, dangling down the person’s back or from their arm. I always bow and smile, asking, “Can I taste one of your fruits? Bananas from a skin-tree are so sweet.”

So sweet and so small, a single mouthful.

I also enjoy the place where banana tree meets flesh, roots curving over and into the person’s limb — pressing my lips there, my tongue — and the small shade cast by the leaves. (more…)

December @outshine Prose Poems—humourous

Filed under: humourous, Outshine — Tags: , — shineanthology @ 12:07 am

December 5:

Sick of my ZiPod bleating
with all its texts and tweeting
I spin wild and free
On the windmills by the sea.

[Bio] Eva Chapman loves to have fun. www.is.gd.fTIP .

December 12:

When AI was incorporated into the surveillance cameras, they became more interested in watching each other. They left the rest of us alone.

[Bio] Jonathan Pinnock ( @jonpinnock, http://www.jonathanpinnock.com/ ) is. For the time being, at any rate.

December 19:

Alas! Mine heart doth beateth no more.
Yea, I liveth on, thy grateful cyborg.

[Bio] Beth Katte @bethblackbird fancies futuristic antiquities. http://www.bethkatte.com/ .

December 26:

While Owen’s back was turned, Zoe clicked the ArouzalCard into the port behind her left ear. Why wouldn’t I be in the mood tonight, my love?

[Bio] Bobbie Laughman lives, writes and feigns normalcy in Gettysburg, PA http://tinyurl.com/ydztbnd .

March 4, 2010

SHINE excerpts: “At Budokan”

Filed under: SHINE excerpts — Tags: — shineanthology @ 4:44 pm

Every first and third Friday of the month there will be two story excerpts from the Shine anthology. This is the tenth one: “At Budokan” by Alastair Reynolds:

I’m somewhere over the Sea of Okhotsk when the nightmare hits again. It’s five years ago and I’m on the run after the machines went beserk. Only this time they’re not just enacting wanton, random mayhem, following the scrambled choreography of a corrupted performance program. This time they’re coming after me, all four of them, stomping their way down an ever-narrowing back alley as I try to get away, the machines too big to fit in that alley, but in the malleable logic of dreams somehow not too big, swinging axes and sticks rather than demolition balls, massive, indestructible guitars and drumsticks. I reach the end of the alley and start climbing up a metal ladder, a ladder that morphs into a steep metal staircase, but my limbs feel like they’re moving through sludge. Then one of them has me, plucking me off the staircase with steel fingers big enough to bend girders, and I’m lifted through the air and turned around, crushed but somehow not crushed, until I’m face to face with James Hetfield out of Metallica.

“You let us down, Fox,” James says, his voice a vast seismic rumble, animatronic face wide enough to headbutt a skyscraper into rubble. “You let us down, you let the fans down, and most of all you let yourself down. Hope you feel ashamed of yourself, buddy.”

“I didn’t mean…” I plead, pityingly, because I don’t want to be crushed to death by a massive robot version of James Hetfield.

“Buddy.” He starts shaking me, holding me in his metal fist like a limp rag doll.

“I’m sorry man. This wasn’t how it was meant…”

“Buddy.”

But it’s not James Hetfield shaking me to death. It’s Jake, my partner in Morbid Management. He’s standing over my seat, JD bottle in one hand, shaking me awake with the other. Looking down at the pathetic, whimpering spectacle before him.

“Having it again, right?”

“You figured.”

“Buddy, it’s time to let go. You fucked up big time. But no one died and no one wants to kill you about it now. Here.” And he passes me the bottle, letting me take a swig of JD to settle my nerves. Doesn’t help that I don’t like flying much. The flashbacks usually happen in the Antonov, when there’s nowhere else to run.

“Where are we?” I ask groggily.

“About three hours out.”

I perk up. “From landing?”

“From departure. Got another eight, nine in the air, depending on head-winds.”

I hand him back the bottle. “And you woke me up for that?”

“Couldn’t stand to see you suffering like that. Who was it this time? Lars?”

“James.”

Jake gives this a moment’s consideration. “Figures. James is probably not the one you want to piss off. Even now.”

“Thanks.”

“You need to chill. I was talking to them last week.” Jake gave me a friendly punch on the shoulder. “They’re cool with you, buddy. Bygones be bygones. They were even talking about getting some comp seats for the next stateside show, provided we can arrange wheelchair access. Guys are keen to meet Derek. But then who isn’t?”

I think back to the previous evening’s show. The last night of a month-long residency at Tokyo’s Budokan. Rock history. And we pulled it off. Derek and the band packed every seat in the venue, for four straight weeks. We could have stayed on another month if we didn’t have bookings lined up in Europe and America.

“I guess it’s working out after all,” I say.

“You sound surprised.”

“I had my doubts. From a musical standpoint? You had me convinced from the moment I met Derek. But turning this into a show? The logistics, the sponsorship, the legal angles? Keeping the rights activists off our back? Actually making this thing turn a profit? That I wasn’t so certain about.”

“Reason I had to have you onboard again, buddy. You’re the numbers man, the guy with the eye for detail. And you came through.”

“I guess.” I stir in my seat, feeling the need to stretch my legs. “You—um—checked on Derek since the show?”

Jake shoots me a too-quick nod. “Derek’s fine. Hit all his marks tonight.”

Something’s off, and I’m not sure what. It’s been like this since we boarded the Antonov. As if something’s bugging Jake and he won’t come out with whatever it was.

“Killer show, by all accounts,” I say.

“Best of all the whole residency. Everything went like clockwork. The lights, the back projection…”

“Not just the technical side. One of the roadies reckoned Extinction Event was amazing.”

Jake nods enthusiastically. “As amazing as it ever is.”

“No, he meant exceptionally amazing. As in, above and beyond the performance at any previous show.”

Jake’s face tightens at the corners. “I heard it too, buddy. It was fine. On the nail. The way we like it.”

“I got the impression it was something more than…” But I trail off, and I’m not sure why. “You sure there’s nothing we need to talk about?”

“Nothing at all.”

“Fine.” I give an easy smile, but there’s still something unresolved, something in the air between us. “Then I guess I’ll go see how the big guy’s doing.”

“You do that, buddy.”

 
Picture credits:

Alastair Reynolds was born in 1966. His first short fiction sale appeared in 1990, and he began publishing novels ten years later. Chasm City, his second novel, won the British Science Fiction award in 2002. His ninth novel, Terminal World, is due imminently. He is about to embark on an ambitious and broadly optimistic trilogy documenting the expansion of the human species into solar and then galactic space over the next 11,000 years. A former scientist, Reynolds worked for the European Space Agency until 2004, when he turned full-time writer. He is married and lives in Wales, not too far from his place of birth.

US:Buy SHINE at Amazon.com! Buy SHINE at Barnes & Noble! Buy SHINE at Borders!Buy SHINE at Powell's Books!

UK:Buy SHINE at Amazon UK! Buy SHINE at WH Smith!Buy SHINE at Waterstone's! Buy SHINE at the Book Depository!

Independents:Buy SHINE at the IndieBound!Buy SHINE at Books-A-Million!Order SHINE via Goodreads!

Finally, also an interactive Google Map of story locations from the SHINE anthology:

SHINE excerpt: “Seeds”

Filed under: SHINE excerpts — Tags: — shineanthology @ 3:52 pm

Every first and third Friday of the month there will be two story excerpts from the Shine anthology. This is the ninth one: “Seeds” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia:

Two teenagers bolted past him, running so fast James almost lost his balance and dropped his multi-text device, which would have been a major problem because he had no idea how to get back to the main road. The paths had twisted and turned a dozen times before he had finally parked his car close to the town square with its double arcades.

James glared at the teenagers but they kept running. He was sure they had bumped into him on purpose. They probably recognize the logo on his suitcase.

He didn’t get it. Just on Sunday he watched a group of UNAM students parading around the Angel of Independence, wearing black and white Zapata t-shirts and yelling “maiz y libertad.” Like a perfect seed and a perfect crop was somehow wrong and Germingen was the devil. It all sounded suspiciously anarchistic to him.

Fine, it was copyrighted technology and the seeds were sterile unless they were treated with Germingen’s very own Germingrow. If the user agreement was not followed exactly as intended, Germingen would trigger the Trojan Horse built into the genetic map of the seed, but so what? You got large, perfect crops in return. In the end, they were doing these people a favor.

James shook his head, straightened his clothes and kept on walking until he reached the fountain in the middle of the plaza. Without people wearing a geo-location unit, all he could do was squint and wait under the harsh sun for his contact to arrive, guessing, rather than knowing, if any of the townsfolk headed his way were Mr. Totol.

The wind blew a cloud of dust in James face and he sputtered and swore. His suit was nano-treated, but the dirt was probably pullulating with dog faeces and some nasty germs.

When the cloud dissipated a man wearing white linen pants, a matching shirt and hat approached him and extended his hand.

“I’m Alejandro Totol,” he said. “You’ve got to be from Germingen.”

James had all of his data on the multi-text but it was going to do no good if Mr. Totol did not carry his own multi-text. By the looks of it, all the farmer had with him was a crude knapsack. He would have to introduce himself the old-fashioned way.

“James Clark, Customer Satisfaction and Services Representative, Germingen, Mexico and Caribbean division. At Germingen we develop the most resistant, innovative crops to supply the farms of tomorrow—”

“That’s nice,” said Mr. Totol, interrupting James before he could finish his speech.

“Bigger, better, stronger crops make a bigger, better, stronger world,” James ran his thumb across his multi-text device. “It says here, Mr. Totol, that you are one of our silver maize seed users. Ten-year contract, eight percent copyright and user fee and insured GM seeds, right?”

“It’s not my contract.”

“Pardon?”

“It’s not my contract. The governor got the contract for the whole state and we have to use the seeds. Everyone in Oaxaca has to do it. They have this state levy on us for the stuff.”

Picture credits:

Silvia Moreno-Garcia was born in the north of Mexico and moved to Canada several years ago. She lives in beautiful, rainy British Columbia with her husband, children and two cats. She writes fantasy, magic realism and Science Fiction. Her short stories have appeared in Fantasy Magazine, Futurismic, Shimmer and Tesseracts Thirteen. With the help of editor Paula R. Stiles and a band of eldritch writers she publishes the online zine Innsmouth Free Press. Silvia is also working on her first novel and be found online at http://www.silviamoreno-garcia.com/.

US:Buy SHINE at Amazon.com! Buy SHINE at Barnes & Noble! Buy SHINE at Borders!Buy SHINE at Powell's Books!

UK:Buy SHINE at Amazon UK! Buy SHINE at WH Smith!Buy SHINE at Waterstone's! Buy SHINE at the Book Depository!

Independents:Buy SHINE at the IndieBound!Buy SHINE at Books-A-Million!Order SHINE via Goodreads!

February 27, 2010

DayBreak Fiction: “A Thousand Trains Out of Here”, v2

Filed under: Fiction — Tags: — shineanthology @ 6:42 pm

Download files of the story:Download PDF version of the story!Download WORD version of the story!

A Thousand Trains Out of Here

Paul Evanby

Hey: I’m both happy and proud to present a Dutch writer — a compatriot — on this (supposedly) international stage. I think it’s healthy that English-language SF is increasingly (even if still somewhat slowly) opening up to non-Anglophone writers. In general, I think greater diversity is a good thing.

Atypically, Paul is not among the modern creed of speculative fiction writers who keep the day job for financial security and write for pleasure or for the soul (or both) in their spare time: no, he quit his job to get more writing done. Then — as he told me at the last semi-irregular meet-ups we have with Jurgen Snoeren and Floris Kleijne — his previous employer(s) kept bothering him with requests to work on several IT projects (obviously, his expertise is in demand, and I’m trying to use it for make an iPhone app. of his own story).

No rest for the wicked, as the saying goes.

A saying that is perfectly applicable to “A Thousand Trains Out of Here”, where Jaouad — the main character — tries, very hard, to get at least one certain aspect of his overworked (yet fairly exciting) life in order. To use another saying: should you ‘be careful what you wish for’, or not?

A saying that is perfectly applicable to “A Thousand Trains Out of Here”, where Jaouad — the main character — tries, very hard, to get at least one certain aspect of his overworked (yet fairly exciting) life in order. To use another saying: should you ‘be careful what you wish for’, or not?

There was always the sudden brightness in their eyes: the lighting up of their faces which was actually, Jaouad thought, a kind of hidden, inverted form of racism. Racism, and thus self-hatred. But they were never aware. How could they be? Moroccan-targeted xenophobia was simply not done. Not in the Netherlands: one does not, after all, bite the hand that feeds.

The blonde girl behind the counter smiled at him as he waved his hand in front of the credit reader. No careful positioning of his fingers over the sensor for him: his implants were always first-class, and registered immediately.

The girl noticed it too, of course, and her starry-eyed “Enjoy your lunch” sounded that much more breathless for it. (more…)

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