“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ”
Thumbwood: “While the tale itself is fictional, the structure and language of the document are lifted directly from a genuine British Ministry of Defence report I was able to get my hands on.”
Final Corrections, Pittsburgh Times-Dispatch: “I’m quite fond of Pittsburgh, and selected it as the scene of this story only for its interesting geography.”
by Davin Ireland
c) The kitchen is surprisingly modern given the setting, and contains many of the domestic appliances one might expect from an equivalent family home. Dishwasher, microwave, fridge-freezer and designer espresso machine are all in evidence. In an alcove by the back door, Sisyphus struggles valiantly to push a large granite sphere up a craggy mountainside. Oblivious to our operative’s presence, the former Corinthian king puffs and strains in order to achieve his goal, jaw clenched, diminutive biceps popping beneath the fabric of his flimsy cotton tunic. The task is a thankless one.
Final Corrections, Pittsburgh Times-Dispatch
by M. Bennardo
In several items yesterday, the Visitor was variously described as having six legs, eight legs, or “an unholy agglomeration of writhing, thrashing appendages, unable to be counted”. The correct number of legs is eight.
N0072-JK1: Study of Synaptic Response of the Organism to Spontaneous Stimulation of Vulnerability Zones. Photographic Analysis
by Adam Corbin Fusco
Reaction to the ‘primal face’ is correlative to reaction to the ‘laughter response face.’ Subjects were shown a photograph of a theater audience. They were told the audience was viewing a comedic film and were asked to rate the comedic value of the film on the one to five Tortelli scale based on the audience’s facial reaction. Seventy-nine percent of males and seventy-two percent of females rated the comedic value at a four or greater. The fact that the audience was not watching a comedic film at all maintains the consistency of the study. (Note photographic archive of Nazi ‘Laughter Cabaret’ wherein each seat delivered mid-level electrical shock via anal probes during strategic ‘punchlines.’)
About the Authors
M. BENNARDO is the writer of over 40 published short stories. He is also co-editor of the MACHINE OF DEATH series of anthologies (along with David Malki and Ryan North). The most recent volume in the series, “THIS IS HOW YOU DIE”, was published by Grand Central Press in July 2013, and was named by the Onion AV Club as one of their favorite books of the year. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio and his personal website is M. Bennardo.
DAVIN IRELAND was born and raised in the south of England, but currently resides in the Netherlands. His fiction credits include stories published in over sixty print magazines and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, including Aeon, Underworlds, The Horror Express, Zahir, Comets & Criminals, Rogue Worlds, Storyteller Magazine and Something Wicked. He blogs at Davin Ireland.
About the Narrators
Eric Luke is the screenwriter of the Joe Dante film EXPLORERS, which is currently in development as a remake, the comic books GHOST and WONDER WOMAN, and wrote and directed the NOT QUITE HUMAN films for Disney TV. His current project INTERFERENCE, a meta horror audiobook about an audiobook… that kills, is now a Best Seller on Audible.com. His website for creative projects is Quillhammer.com.
Voiced by John Bell, a former radio guy who has extensive experience in writing/voicing/producing commercials, audiobooks, video game characters, and so on. Currently, he writes/voices/produces the comedy podcast, “Bell’s in the Batfry“, available at iTunes, various other sources, and at http://thebatfry.com.
Alasdair Stuart is a professional enthusiast, pop culture analyst, and writer. He is a Hugo Finalist in multiple categories including Best Fan Writer, and a British Fantasy Society Best Non-fiction finalist for his weekly pop culture newsletter The Full Lid.
His nonfiction can be found at numerous genre and pop culture venues, including regular columns at the Hugo Award-winning Ditch Diggers and Fox Spirit Books. His game writing includes ENie-nominated work on the Doctor Who RPG and After The War from Genesis of Legend.
He co-owns Escape Artists and hosts their horror podcast, PseudoPod, along with the Hugo Award nominated science fiction podcast, Escape Pod. He is a frequent guest and presenter on podcasts, with voice acting credits including winning the 2020 Audioverse Award for his work on the The Magnus Archives.
His second collection of expanded essays from PseudoPod, The PseudoPod Tapes Volume 2: Approach with Caution, is available from Fox Spirit Books.