Author Archives: Smoph

SQ Mag’s future

At the end of December, SQ Mag’s publisher Gerry Huntman and I had a long discussion about SQ Mag and the direction to take in 2017.

We have some exciting changes coming to SQ Mag to tell you all about.

In this new year, SQ Mag will become a quarterly publication. We will publish 8 stories each edition. But best of all, we are now paying 1 cent per word, at a minimum of US $15 and a maximum of $75 (stories up to and over 7,500 words). We will apply this retroactively to the stories currently under consideration at SQ Mag.

Our new publication schedule will begin 1 February. We intend to retain our May edition for a special themed call out.

The entire team here at SQ Mag would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement of our ezine so far. We look forward to your continued involvement as we move forward into this wonderful new era.

Edition 19: Notes From the Editor

Welcome back to all our fans and friends.

I have to admit, this latest collection has overwhelmed me this month. There’s so much in here! Edition 19 has a bit of everything for everyone, from steampunk to science fiction, parents to teenagers. We’ve got Story Quest finalists, a returning author, an invited author and other great pieces we know you’re going to enjoy. Tais Teng is back as our graphic artist and the creator of this incredible cover; you might recognise his style from the beautiful piece on the cover of Edition 9, whose whimsical form is one of my favourites.

For the first time in quite a while, we’ve also got quite a spread of representation. Antipodean authors on either side of the Tasman, a representative of Europe and some also from the Americas. It’s so great to have interest from far-flung corners of the globe.

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Edition 19: Night Blooming by Jason Nahrung

A teenager in love with the darker side of life has disappeared. Detective Shane Hall, struggling with her personal demon, follows the trail to parts of Brisbane’s seedier side, The Valley. She must keep control to find the missing young woman, and for her own self-preservation. SY


Deborah Brown—Jazmine Nocturna to her friends—had it bad for the unliving. Shane stood in the teenager’s bedroom, taking in the nu-vamp celeb posters, the black lace, the incense.

The girl’s mother stood at the bedroom door. Ms Brown wore a pencil skirt and heels, a crisp white blouse, but stray hairs were pulling free from her tight bun, and the shadows under her eyes showed through her makeup. Early to mid-forties. Gym toned, suntanned, a gold cross above her modest cleavage. No wedding ring, but a pale line where one had been. She radiated anxiety.

Join the club, sister.

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Edition 19: Number Man by Sean Monaghan

Tommi’s fresh out of prison, looking for a clean break. But his brother Kevin sucks him back into that world, the only place an ex-con can catch a break. Tommi’s got some decisions to make, and his little girl is waiting for him to get it right. SY


Tommi rode the airboat from the prison gates right to Del’s house. He had sixteen dollars in his pocket, his old notebook and a freshly laundered collared shirt. It felt like it belonged on some guy who worked fifty stories up, pushing figures from one bank account to another. The screws had burned his old clothes.

Sixteen dollars wasn’t going to buy him much. Prices had changed in four years.

And he didn’t want to have to lift anything. He needed a day or two to gather his thoughts.

He wished that he could have at least stopped to get Del some flowers.

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Edition 19: Rainbows and Death Machines by JB Rockwell

Isolis might only be a small part in the plan of Star Revolution, but when the Core Alliance unexpectedly rolls into town with their weapons of war, it becomes more than an abstract concept for the locals. All Trebnor and his unit have to do is hold off the Alliance until their own weapon is ready. If they survive that long… SY


Isolis was a smallish planet—quiet, unassuming, of no particular strategic importance—so it was quite a surprise when the Dark Star Revolution showed up and started recruiting. Trebnor wasn’t particularly interested in their rebellion—no one on Isolis was—but the pay was good, and the uniforms snazzy, so he lined up with the others and signed on the dotted line.

That was two years ago, and it was only now, as he peered through his binoculars at the hulking, diesel-spewing monstrosity just appearing on the horizon that Trebnor realized what he’d gotten himself into.

“What is it, Treb?” Jenkins asked at his elbow.

Jenkins was nineteen and a hot-head—a young wolf among the middle-aged, down-on-their luck troop of shabby soldiers Trebnor had assembled. Most days he was all mouth off, macho posturing, but right now he just looked worried. They all did.

“Not sure,” Trebnor replied, fiddling with the binocular’s not-quite-autofocus.

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