When we put out the call for stories, I had no idea that so many of our authors would respond immediately. With a little more than three months left in the submission window, we’ve already had ten stories come in. I wanted to give you a little taste of some of what we’ve had so far. Please bear in mind that these are early drafts, so there may be some changes when we actually publish these stories, but they’re definitely representative of what we’re getting. But I do hope they get you excited!
From “The Winter Hungers” by Adam Gottfried:
Academically, 20 below zero is cold and wind-chill makes it colder, bottoming out at around 40 below zero. You can comprehend this, even to some degree prepare for it, but to actually experience it…to feel your skin recoil, even under layers of protection, to see your breathy exhalation of 98.6 degrees freeze to microscopic ice crystals the moment it ceases to be a part of you, to have your nose hairs freeze solid inside of ten seconds and to feel the tears well to keep your eyes from freezing open….
It is a kind of madness, being outside when it is this cold. Your mind reels as your external senses beg for mercy—trying to think of anything and everything that isn’t how cold it is and invariably returning to: Why the Hell do I live here?
From “Que Deja Deja” by Michael Budd:
A much older man, with just a scraggly horseshoe of silver hair left on his head. He walked with a limp as he entered, probably from a war wound. As old as he was, it might have been received in one of the many wars the old regime waged B.R. That same feeling crept up Warren’s brain stem again as he watched the senior take a seat across from him and rub his left knee through faded jeans. He was about tell Warren not to ever–
“Don’t ever get old, boy,” the old man ordered Warren. “It’s just the same shit on a different day, with more aches, pains, and required medications.”
Warren wasn’t sure whether to laugh or panic.
From “New Year, New Trouble” by Dawn Wattler:
“Mind if I turn on the TV?” she asked, peeking into the cockpit, which was decorated with a combination of grinning family portraits, live plants under a purplish light—including a tiny rose bush—and religious paraphernalia; statues of Jesus and Mary and even a tiny plastic manger set covered her dash; there were even fake candles. She didn’t know much about the religion, but she imagined that like the little garden, it must have some use for Marie when she spent weeks on end in space alone.
“Go ahead. I’ll want to watch the SSBC at 2300 hours though. Their New Year’s Eve program is always the best.”
Susan’s eyes widened.
“New Year’s? It can’t be.”