A Blogging Hiatus

Right about now, I should be gearing up to post June’s speculative fiction prompt. I had a challenging image ready to go and couldn’t wait for the barrage of wonderful stories and poems.

But once again, my parents’ health challenges are requiring my undivided time.  Recent complications have meant I’m providing almost 24/7 care.  I’m just plain tuckered out, and though prompts and blogging are a major source of fun in my day, I need to step back until things stabilize. 

I have a few book reviews to share, and I will visit when I can, but I already know I’ll be scarce, at least for June.

On a lighter note, have a happy, peaceful, creative, and healthy month ahead! 

This pixabay image cracked me up. I couldn’t resist.

 

 

May Speculative Fiction Round-Up

Pixabay image by Brigitte Werner

Another month of great stories! Thank you to everyone who participated. And to those who stretched their imaginations, congratulations. Below is the round-up of all the May poems, flashes, short stories, and some artwork too! If I missed yours for some reason, please add a link in the comments and I’ll happily reblog. I invite everyone to enjoy some unique stories and meet some wonderful writers.

**

May Round-up

Pensivity – The Awakening

Cosistories – Different

The Dark Netizen – The Future Man

Steve Tanham – A Strong Right Arm

Thea by Me – Being Another You

(Note that Thea has a series of posts continuing the story. You can catch the links from the first one above.)

Trent McDonald – A Whir in my Ears

Robert Goldstein – Trina and the Android at Saks

Balroop Singh – In Love with Myself

Dorinda Duclos – Human Extraction

Robbie Cheadle – Extract from the diary of John Saunders

Sadje – The Tattoo Man

Jomz Ojeda – Reborn

Anita Dawes – Difference

Greg – Heartless Tin Man

Miriam Hurdle – One Hundred Million Dollar Man

C.E. Pereira – What I thought was perfection

Barbara – Frozen

Ritu Bathaul – Mechanical Tart

Len – Body-sculpture

Brad – Cyber Man

Helene Vaillant – Draft Model

Ethan Dale Edgar – Hunger (Part 2)

GM Cleary – Millefeuille

Geoff Le Pard – The Unfortunate Outcome of Gender Neutrality in Algorithm Design

Teagan Geneviene – Hidebound Hum Day: The Guardian

Sally Cronin – The Enhancement Project

Daisy Bala – In the Future

Hugh Roberts – Hot Dates (adult content)

Von Smith – Jules meets Hal (Chapter 1-10)

Jessica Bakkers – Homo Cerebrum

Jen Goldie – Metaman104

Betul Erbasi – The Robot in me

HRR Gorman – The Bone Forge

Sonia – Watch Shield

Deepa Kadavakat – Is This The Future?

Wilnako – A Changeling King

C.E. Pereira – Awake, Bronze Gladiator

Anneberly Andrews – Figment

Amanda Reilly – Empty Promises

Kerfe – are we not what we are

Jane Dougherty – Creation

Joanne – Cyborg Your Future!

Pamela Wight – The Bodyguard

D. Wallace Peach – Defining Human

Entangled Designs – The War Within

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

Diana’s May Story: Defining Human

Pixabay image by Brigitte Werner

Defining Human

by D. Wallace Peach

“I don’t know why you keep that decrepit thing around.” Delia sipped her iced tea and glanced out the window of her friend’s home. On the manicured lawn, Sherri’s cyborg pushed their children on side-by-side swings, a human arm heaving on one small back while a mechanical arm pressed on the other.

“His name is Carter, and he’s part of the family.” Sherri angled her head for a view of their laughing boys. Dainty sandwiches adorned a platter at her table’s center, and Delia nibbled though she wouldn’t feel hungry until noon. Sherri poured more tea. “I grew up with him, and he—”

“Saved your life.” Delia patted her friend’s hand in understanding, though honestly, she’d survive without hearing a repeat of the story.

The cyborg had pulled Sherri from a fire and sacrificed the flesh on half of his face and body. The repair costs for an archived model had been prohibitive, but rather than purchase updated technology, the family had elected to preserve the damaged thing. Out of gratefulness. As if it possessed human feelings. The mawkish sentimentality was disturbing, and the cyborg’s exposed gears hideous. “They’re wired to protect us, you know?”

“I know,” Sherri said. “But he’s generous with his time and kind-hearted, and he has a fun sense of humor. He’d do anything for us, and we love him.”

Delia rolled her eyes as she finished her tea.  Her internal clock struck noon, and she helped herself to another sandwich. Her friend’s affection for the machine irritated her, and as usual, any attempt at reason was an utter squandering of her time.

The cyborg ushered the breathless children in for lunch, and Delia was thankful for the distraction. Not long after the meal, she packed her dawdling son into their transport. “Home,” she instructed. The vehicle hummed into travel mode, and she reclined in her seat with an e-mag.

“I like Carter,” her son said while fiddling with his recliner’s buttons. “He plays with us, and he’s nice.”

“He’s a machine.”

“He acts like a human.”

“Well, he’s not. We are human, superior to him and all his kind.”

“What’s the difference?”

Delia huffed at the obvious. “Quiet now, I’m reading.”

The transport glided to their front door. Their arrival home was later than planned, but she’d anticipated the delay and programmed naptime for optimum flexibility. Why carry the child when his feet were perfectly capable of walking?

She escorted her son to his room, tucked him into bed, and plugged his link into his temple. After several software adjustments, she retreated to her suite and flung herself down on her bed. She needed to reconsider her relationship with Sherri’s family. Their beliefs were having a radical impact on her son, and his confusion about what defined a human being was troubling.

Stress had taken its toll, and Delia decided to nap as well.  She set the timer for forty-five minutes, chose a pleasant dream sequence, and inserted the interface into her port. Her eyes closed as the software began its upload.

**

Note: I’m on the road again, helping my parents. I won’t be able to respond to comments or return visits until the evenings. Please bear with me. ❤ 

Creation

Jane’s amazing response to the prompt. I hope you enjoy the read. 🙂

Jane Dougherty Writes

A quick-fire response to Diana’s May photo prompt. Steam punk isn’t my thing, so this is a first for me, and it isn’t even a story…

Pixabay image by Brigitte Werner

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 10.20.06

The world whispered and sighed to the sound of wheels turning, valves hissing and the soft clicking of gears. Horse hooves beat time, and the pistons of steam engines rattled louder than anything but thunder. Cities had risen and spread in a regular, ordered fashion and society acquiesced to a hierarchy that never changed. The secret lay in the great clock that ticked at the heart of the earth.

Time had ticked since the methodical unfurling of the first fern and the faint throb of bioluminescent proto-fish in the ocean depths. It ticked soft and gentle for millennia and millennia, regular and unfailing. Bird throats chirruped steadily; clip-clopping and pattering animals stepped in time to the universal dance…

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are we not what we are

Kerfe’s response to the prompt is a combination of artwork and poetry. Mesmerizing as always. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

method two madness

are we not what we are s

The deities do not really know
me, nor I them.
I understand not their reasoning.
I do not bow down
to their invisible forces.
My days do not depend on
meeting their needs–
they do not guide me
or light my path.

Chance made me,
chance and circumstances
beyond their control.

I do not look like them,
nor do I follow
their arbitrary whims.
Who I am is a mystery–
mine, not theirs.
When I cease to be
I will become
part of the mystery too.

are we not close up 4s

I will not join them
or serve them
or sing their praises.

I will sing the songs
of my people speaking
in the voices
of the ebb and flow
of our existence,
our beginnings and our ends.

The universe will continue
with or without me, or us,
or those calculations some may choose
to rest their hopes upon.

are we not close up 1s

Sorrow will someday
fill me, like…

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MYTHAXIS: A new concept online magazine

An opportunity for fantasy writers! Beetleypete was kind enough to share a publishing opportunity “from a reputable company that works hard to support new writers and bloggers.” It might be worth taking a peek to see what it’s all about. Thanks Pete. 😀

beetleypete

From Daniel Scott White, publisher of Longshot Island, Unreal, and Unfit, comes a new Fantasy Magazine project, Mythaxis.

This offers an exciting opportunity to bloggers and writers (including published authors) in the Fantasy genre. Daniel is looking for submissions to be included, and this explains how it works.

We want stories that are well written, intelligent, and enjoyable to read. We are looking for stories with metaphors and emotional ambiance and imaginative descriptive writing.

Getting Published Online

Submit your story using the form below. Just copy and paste it from your file into the content box in the form, where it says “Post Content”.

For your story to be published online, you must have a book that you’re selling. Include the link to your book in the form, where it says “Your URL”.

In exchange for your story, we’ll promote your book on this site (and elsewhere: newsletter, social media…

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Empty Promises

A story from Amanda that isn’t far from reality. I hope you enjoy the read. 😀

Painting Poetry in Motion

The following tale is my response to this month’s speculative fiction writing prompt posted by D. Wallace Peach. Link to her original post here.

Pixabay Image by Brigitte Werner

My quest for self improvement began with good intentions. But you know what they say about that. And they – whoever they are – were right, at least in my case.

The beginning was unremarkable, certainly not a decision with any associated labor. I saw the ad for the Promise, a new innovation in body art, and suddenly understood the answer to a question I hadn’t consciously asked. I’d been unhappy, but resigned. Until I saw myself in the Promise, the promise of how I could be.

Maybe it will sound strange to you. But when I saw the picture – the photo of who I could be – I filled with a previously unfamiliar sensation. My usually hollow emotional…

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Figment

A story with a twist from Anneberly. Happy Reading. 🙂

Anneberly Andrews

steampunk-1809590_960_720 Photo Credit: via Pixabay

My eyes fluttered, just as nausea rose up through my belly to the top of my tongue. Confusion devoured the little bit of awareness that was lurking in the shadows. As I attempted to flutter past the blurry darkness of unconsciousness, and come into some semblance of wakefulness, pressure built deep within my throat, pushing behind my teeth. Instinct forced my head to slightly turn to the left just as bile shoved passed my lips, spraying like a water hose that had just been turned on for the first time after being dormant during the cold and freezing months.

Consciousness gradually heightened as my eyes rapidly flickered. I could feel my extremities stretched out in the shape of a star. My body bound by unyielding restraints on my ankles and wrists, and a loose yet inflexible restraint hovering above my throat. While a flat, unforgiving, cold…

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Awake, Bronze Gladiator

Another dark poem about the future of man. Hopefully not a prophetic one. Enjoy. 🙂

HoneyGwhiz

img_0630Pixabay image by Brigitte Werner

He fought in battles.
Until lady luck lost.
Broken and battered.
They brought him in.

Fighting for his life.
Body parts to be replaced.
Drugged; then asleep.
His soul tormented.

From the melting furnace.
Liquid metal poured out.
Knitting flesh and metal.
A new dawn of Frankenstien.

The artist uses a scalpel.
The flesh endures pain.
Gears twined with muscles.
Perfection sought after.

The robotic hand, deadly.
Imagine the crushing of skulls.
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde enters.
But Frankenstien rules.

This human was tough.
But now, unstoppable.
Programmed with commands.
This one exceeds beyond.

Before me, he stands.
Polished bronze with gears.
And ripples of muscles.
This perfect bronze warrior.

Into the reality of dreamscape.
A future within a realm.
This vision before me.
Awake, Bronze Gladiator.

By C.E. Pereira
(19-5-2019)

This is written for May Speculative Fiction #Writingprompt hosted by D. Wallace Peach at…

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A Changeling King

A new version of the Minotaur story. I hope you enjoy the read.

World’s in the Making

I dream of the world outside, of trees.

People say they are green, some say they are brown.

I think they are both.

Like I, both human and a monster.

I live below the dungeons, below the royal kitchen and way below the throne. That is where my family sits. Ruling over a whole kingdom hiding a secret.

I am their secret.

A maze created explicitly for a beast like I. A monstrosity concocted by my own mother and father. An accident. From birth, I was raised to be better, to be faster to be the best. A son worthy of a King, a God but I was neither.

So here I sit on a wooden stool throne, a disfigured prince in the centre of a maze, alone.

A murderer.

Every first day of a new month. A new group of young men and women shall enter my maze and…

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