Etherea Magazine #14

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Etherea Magazine #14

Etherea Magazine, September 2022. A collection of wonderful speculative fiction, from authors around the globe.

The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler is reviewed by Katie McIvor

The Stories:

In that world, a giant, shining dirigible hovered above the pier, casting a long shadow over those below. In that world, cogworks grinned and waved, hawking their wares and distractions and false promises. Well, she supposed they were cogworks, with their inflection perfect chants ringing out over the heads of the milling, eager crowd… – The Cogwork Mermaid, by Matt Tighe

I sighed, trying to tune out the growing number of voices, and sat down on the cold, empty bench.  Did the city planners know they built the park and the bus stop right over an ancient cult burial ground?  Bet they didn’t.  They probably weren’t cursed to hear voices wherever they went… – Sight of Soul, by Zachary Stvan

After she’s tested the VR food sample, she’ll remove the headset and gloves, and compare with a sample of the real thing. VR food tester is a highly sought-after job, and thus, a systemically underpaid one. Today has been a good day: sweets, only one retest of blood-in-the-mouth for verisimilitude in combat games, and now, something new… – Jelly, by C.H. Pearce

Dirty  clouds  of  thick  fog  menaced  the  lower  limbs  of  dying  trees.  There  was  a  noticeable  absence  of  people  here  too.  This  spot  on  the  river  was  notorious. Locals knew  to  avoid  it. It  was  said  to  be  Tapu… The Unfortunate Fisherman, by Donna Faulkner née Miller

The absolute best song for chasing away monsters is Für Elise. They can’t run away fast enough. And the quicker I play, the faster they run. Of course, I’ve gotten good at playing it; my fingers snap over the piano keys—E, D#, E, D#, E, B, D, C, B… – Piano Lessons in the Dark, by Sam W Pisciotta

Tan shook his head. As a rule, he didn’t talk to the spirits. It was easy enough when they would taunt him about his damnation – as if he didn’t already know. Turning back to the path, Tan returned to the long trudge home. She would follow, they always did, so there was no point standing around for the night to fall even deeper… – The Path, by Aidan Wilson

The familiar smells of tiger balm, ginseng and his father’s laundry powder envelop him. He removes his shoes and places them neatly next to his father’s black sneakers. At a touch of the control panel, the lights shimmer into life… – Father’s House, by Grace Chan

She wanted to bang her fists against the screen, break through the 6-inch-thick window and reach her sister’s face, but she couldn’t move. Her body was failing her again. Anguish caught in her throat. Euryale put one hand on the glass in a gesture of farewell. It was the last thing Medusa saw before the emergency capsule catapulted her out of the Gorgon. She screamed… – Stardust, by Danai Christopoulou & Len Klapdor

He ran a hand over his coal dark face and hair, trying to gauge the damage before looking in the mirror. Not good. Hair: a flat mess. Beard: scraggly. No doubt his eyes were bloodshot too. Oh no, this would not do. He couldn’t meet his ex looking like a college student coming off a weekend bender… – Time and Again and Destiny Too, by Emily Randolph-Epstein

He raked his thin fingers through his hair, combing out the remaining metal flakes, and looked up to Mother. Her watchful eye was not in its socket, and at that, Kovak exhaled a sigh of relief. There’s time to get back, he thought, and hurried to the rail. Surely she knew he had left, she always knew, but he didn’t need to hear her lecture again… – A Place for Broken Parts, by Matt Bliss

Tungsten rolled his shoulders. “I’ll go first.” He exhaled, pushing past his doubts, then pressed his chest through the tree’s wounded trunk. His pack tugged, loaded with a caster’s chain and a lamp, but his strong calves sent him into the unknown. His shoulder guards wedged inside the tight cavity of wood and bark. His armor scraped. Bark clawed without leaving a mark… – Two Brothers, One Stone, by Anna Madden



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