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Etherea Magazine #9
Etherea Magazine, April 2022. A collection of excellent speculative fiction, from authors around the globe.
We sit down for an interview with Melissa Caruso, author of The Quicksilver Court.
A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark is reviewed by Katie McIvor
Ahead, dusty plains, dunes and valleys rolled on for what seemed like forever. Black, spiny obelisks jutted above the horizon, the skeletal remains of an old city. According to the AI, that was his destination – The Exonaut, by Dewi Hargreaves
“I’m sorry about Timmy. His sacrifice is noted,” Mr. Caleb calls to Mrs. Stamos, who sits with a face like crumpled paper. She looks at her lap and nods in acknowledgment of the applause. At least nobody whistled this year – Timmy Fell Down the Well, by M. Frei
The grasshopper quivered, its leaf-like wings shining translucent. She would not have seen it but for the desiccated stalks of wheat stubble stretching to the horizon; a sharp contrast to the lime-green body that had once provided camouflage – Grasshopper, by Mikhaeyla Kopievsky
I felt the end was near. After years of struggling against physical and emotional adversity, my body was finally giving up the fight. A malevolent intruder grew in my stomach, bringing a deep discomfort and pain that sapped my energy and forced me from time to time to stop all forms of activity, including – alas – composing – The Potion, by Matias Travieso-Diaz
My designation is 771. I am one of the elite from the Personal Protector Robot range. I was purchased to keep the King’s grandmother safe. My charge is designated Esme June of Brinhurst. It is not a taxing assignment. The Brinhurst grandparent spends most of her day sleeping, interrupted by short bursts of eating, walking and staring out over the grounds. I stand in her shadow. She does not speak to me. She does not acknowledge my presence. To her I am nothing more than a moveable sunshade – PPR-771, by Laurie Bell
On the day he was to ascend to the highest order of mages, my master quivered on the edge of madness so deep that I was summoned from my duties to help him dress in the ceremonial robes. The other apprentices watched as I rose to the tallest tower, their eyes hungry. They ached for even a drop of my master’s power, the power which drove him slowly insane, no matter what physiker or medicine woman attended him – My Master’s Robe, by Greta Hayer
‘Nope. Not this time. She’s dead, all right. As a dodo.’ Insight pauses, her head on one side. ‘Although I suppose that metaphor doesn’t work so well now, does it, since Resurrection brought them back? He makes a small fortune out of that farm, did you know that? Supplies all the top restaurants. But anyway, yes, the point is that you can rest easy. Surekill’s dead. As a doornail.’ – The Five Stages of Grief, by Michelle Ann King
Why? A question without answer. It’s hard to determine a cause of death when there are no bodies left to autopsy. Presumably there would be nobody to perform autopsies anyway, putting aside the unsettling possibility that a few hapless coroners have been stuck in a morgue all these months. At least they would have some pre-apocalyptic corpses to keep them company… – Tracking, by Jason P. Burnham
Genevieve sighed. In a bored sing-song, she recited, “Stealing from one’s social inferiors is a faux pas the well-bred lady scorns. That is the purpose of taxation. Stealing from one’s equals is a dull and plebian activity, of neither sport nor honor, and to be avoided except in the direst of circumstances. Stealing from one’s betters is a coup, though one must always take care to punctiliously return any items specifically requested.” – A Burglary, Addressed By A Young Lady, by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall
I hurry along the street, a blustery breeze gasping from the direction of the afternoon’s fading sun. I haven’t made it on time to rehearsals yet this year, and tonight’s the performance, and I promised, I promised I’d be there – Late, by S.F. Flanigan
“The commissioner says that a kidnapping has taken place. The victim’s SI was found in the habitat, lying on the floor. It reported that the security system did not detect the intruder, and it had no other useful information about the crime. He orders that you solve the case in a timely fashion to prevent panic,” Jake’s SI said – Social Interface, by Nestor Delfino