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Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror - Outside: Speculative and Dark Fiction Magazine

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror
Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror
Outside: Speculative and Dark Fiction Magazine
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
A Production of Clocktower Fiction: Quality Fiction on the Web
[VOL.2 NO.1] ABOUT OUTSIDE:S&DF SUBMISSION GUIDELINES LETTERS AWARDS [APRIL]
Welcome to our April issue! Outside: Speculative & Dark Fiction is a Web-only magazine of short Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. This is our first monthly (vs. quarterly) issue and also our one year anniversary! Celebrate with us in a Sicilian paradise where vengeance is stronger than death—Pasta Reale by Vince Cusumano will chill you with its horror, as well as its beauty. This issue also features four new reviews from A.L. Sirois in Outside In: Review and a load of SF news in John Cullen's Transmission. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter, and get the thrills delivered to your inbox every month! - Brian

Outside In: Review - reviews of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror books and movies.
A.L. Sirois reviews Poul Anderson's Starfarers, The Y2K Citizen's Action Guide, and the recent films My Favorite Martian and Alice in Wonderland.

Transmission: Editorial - commentary on the state of Web-published fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, as well as news about the production of Outside:S&DF
John Cullen uncovers the newest news in the world of electronic publishing.

Departures: Links - Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror links - Resources for readers and writers of speculative and dark fiction
Step Outside Award: For Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror sites that transcend the boundariesIf you like Outside:S&DF, you'll love these sites we have selected for you. Whether you are a reader or writer of Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror, we have you covered. Also, see who has received our special "Step Outside" award for sites that really transcend the boundaries.

Signals from Outside: A Monthly SF/F/H Newsletter
Subscribe to "Signals from Outside", our monthly newsletter and stay informed about new developments at Outside:S&DF. Also, receive news about the world of Web-published SF/F/H and visit the most far-out Science Fiction, wildest Fantasy, and chilling Horror sites on the Web, as we announce our monthly winners of the "Step Outside" award. Enter your e-mail address below and click the Submit button. Go here for more info or to unsubscribe.

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Featured Fiction - NEW Speculative and Dark Fiction - explore our collection of fresh short SF, Dark Fantasy, and Horror.
published 04.05.1999
Pasta Reale by Vince Cusumano
The assassin Artie Renna travels to Sicily to reclaim his family home, where he finds that the lines of loyalty transcend not only the ties of blood, but also the boundaries of death. This is a chilling tale of mystery, horror, and great beauty from a newcomer in the field.
published 12.31.1998
Inertial Rangers by Steven M. Schmidt
The mysterious appearance of a severed hand in Link and Skyler's apartment is weird enough. Weirder still is the discovery that it is an exact replica of Link's own hand. The revelations that unfold, in this story by Steven M. Schmidt, take the reader on a journey of personal chaos through the emotions of loss and to the boundaries of Quantum physics.

Searcher by Andrew Vachss
"It's hard to travel so much without a horse. But I have to keep looking. And if I stop long enough to earn money for a horse, I could be too late." Andrew Vachss, author of Flood and Safe House, turns in a dark tale from the old West. It's a different setting for Vachss ... but it's his usual territory, and one he knows all too well.

Jumpers by Dennis Latham
Dennis Latham presents a chilling story that blurs the line between which is more dangerous to take the final leap, or one fateful step Outside.

Payday by Bryce Stevens
"It was Thursday so Fritch had every reason to feel scared...." It's payday in this tale by Bryce Stevens, which shreds the veil separating ordinary crime from the unimaginable in the shadows beyond good and evil.

More Fiction_

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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Outside In: Review by A.L. Sirois

Ygor's Dream

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(continued)

[WE HEAR THE CLINKING OF GLASS AND THE SOUND OF POURING LIQUID FOR A MINUTE]

It was in a public tavern located across from the medical college, where I first heard you, master: that voice, shrill, effeminate, rising over the snickering chorus of drunken students with its arrogant assertion:

"I can create life!"

I turned. And as the students sat, smirking into their cups; I listened. Not to the words, which I hadn't the ability to comprehend, but to the excitement, the thrill as you spewed forth streams of complicated jargon, waving your hands as if conducting an invisible orchestra. And I knew, almost instinctively, this was the man!

Only a man so insanely focused upon such a preposterous goal could cure me!

And immediately I realized something else:

He'd need bodies...

*****

[A FIVE MINUTE PAUSE; THEN VOICE CONTINUES, ACCENT SLIGHTLY THICKER]

"Ygor, you fool, dig faster! You clumsy imbecile, you'll damage the tissue!"

It was always flesh. The flesh I so patiently harvested from the graves, racing against the impatient dawn. Cold. Lifeless. Flesh.

Working. Never moving quickly enough, never learning fast enough! Is it any wonder that I hated the Creature, Master? That stitched atrocity continually held my future for ransom, constantly absorbing your obsessive attention!

But the original sin between us occurred during one particularly bad night. I had suffered a severe pelting by a gang of Tyrolean schoolboys and, that afternoon, as a palliative for my aching spine, drank heavily. Unfortunately, this was the night which you needed a special task from me. The brain.

There in the murky semidark, hung over, shaking with furtive haste, I dropped the specimen. What to do? Can you truly blame me, Master?

With your urging me to hurry, fearing your wrath, I did what any scolded toady would do: I took the other specimen and ignorantly prayed that you wouldn't notice. Horrifyingly stupid, eh?

And that's where it all began, I think, my bizarre sibling bond to the Creature, as well as my filial piety to the Family Frankenstein. Odd. It was as though each of us were always trying to create a family -- a galvanic family for this new modern age.

Of course, it ended, as all of those experiments did, with the mob and flames. And me, lumpen, living alone in the ruins and graveyards, stealing from herds and flocks. I did it for twenty-five years, caring for the Creature, awaiting your heirs, your son. Still, it wasn't an invaluable time of my life. I learned English from the wandering missionaries. I played my horn in valleys and caverns; I schemed and hunted, hated by the peasant-folk below; I plotted my revenge. I see now that those mobs were but a foretaste of the mobs to follow in Europe, eh? Countries of mobs ruled by angrier, more insidious men than the Inspector. Men capable of teaching them to march in rows and kill...

(You know. I see the Inspector and the burgomaster occasionally, Master. Old men, playing shuffleboard in the square conning drinks from English tourists. The Inspector has suffered a stroke and now he walks with a limp. Funny, isn't it?).

The end came just before the War, where so many dreams much greater than mine died hastily in bomb bursts. Having exhausted the Frankensteins and nearly having been killed in an ill-conceived experiment with telekinesis, predictably, I sought the nearest scientist. Kroger, his name was, a disgraced researcher. He actually began to perform surgery on me, first altering my appearance, then doing further surgeries to increase the comfort in my neck. I took on the name "Daniel," then, and, reflecting on it, Kroger treated me fairly well though he lacked your genius, Master. We traveled from town to town and worked the carnival shows. The final operation was to straighten my spine, but then he, as you, became embroiled in intrigues, in other experiments: the fate of the Creature, lycanthropy, and, of course, vampirism.

Ha! And I, I fell in love!

First, let it be said that she was unremarkable. That particular family of gypsies had bred like rabbits throughout the region and doubtless I'm certain I had seen that face before on a sister, cousin, mother, or aunt a dozen times already. Yes, she danced well enough, and sang, but no more pleasingly than any other peasant girl I'd seen. No, it wasn't that at all. Perhaps it was that she needed me, to escape the mob that one day, who can say?

In any case I, a hunchback, repulsed her, and my punishment for overreaching was to be left once more, rent and torn by mad Talbot. But again, somehow, bafflingly, alive!

[SPILLING OF GLASS AND GIGGLING ON TAPE CUTS OFF THREE MINUTES LATER]

You know, not too long ago, in New York I thought I saw her ghost.

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