Blog Archives

Edition 9: Trophy by Jason Lairamore

flag USWilbur isn’t exactly a nice guy, and you could possibly excuse him because of the sexual politics mentality of the early 20th Century. Possibly. Sometimes, however, fate plays an off-beat game, and unexpected results ensue. GH

I arrived at the bank early, as usual. My driver opened the door to my new 1927 Packard as I checked my pocket watch. 6:00 a.m. I’ve got a good driver in, whatever his name is.

“A fine morning, Sir,” the doorman said.

I ignored him and rushed into the foyer, past the teller stations, up the stairs, and into the office where my desk waited loaded with ‘real’ work.

I worked for a while then lit one of my Cubans. I took one good puff and my young wife stepped into my office, unannounced and as bold as you please. Her presence made me cough on the fine smoke.

“Wilbur!” She shifted weight right then left then back again. With every movement her exquisite muscles played on her long legs. The dress she wore, though long enough to cover her proper was too tight by half. My heart skipped a beat and I almost dropped my cigar.

“Priscilla whatever are you doing here?”

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Edition 9: Cattails by A. P. Sessler

flag USThe speculative fiction market, including SQ Mag, doesn’t publish enough pieces that have humorous bents, or are light but twisted. Not easy to execute well in my estimation. A P Sessler’s ‘Cattails’ fits the bill perfectly. We have a story that opens almost like a Stephen King meets Brothers Grimm, but read on, and it becomes something so much more… GH

'The Duende's Garden' © A P Sessler

‘The Duende’s Garden’ © A P Sessler

The stiff, wide-eyed opossum traversed the rugged rows of severed wheat stalks that remained of the early September harvest. With flashing teeth and swiping claws frozen in time, the critter’s gray body glided across the harsh grooves of furrowed earth much like a snake would, only one without a limber bone in its body.

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Edition 9: Book Review: Skies of Fire by Zoe Archer

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 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


Cover Skies of Fire

In choosing a book to review for this issue of SQ Mag, I confess a hidden agenda. I’ve taken an interest in steampunk, particularly that of the romantic variety and want to read as many as I can to research those elements for my own fiction writing. I’m happy to report that this book served both purposes well. For the sake of our magazine, I’ll stick to a simple review.

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Edition 9: Born Again by Nu Yang

flag USHorror is about making the reader uncomfortable, very uncomfortable, whether it is with the sledgehammer of shock, or the subtle descriptive form that creeps the reader out as the narrative progresses. Nu Yang does the latter very well indeed, and we are pleased to have her return to SQ Mag in this story about a supernatural event that is closely tied with one of the most tumultuous events in US history in this century. GH

The note came on a Monday.

Dear Mr. Fisher,
I would like to meet with you sometime this week to discuss Maribel’s behavior in class. Please contact me at the school at your earliest convenience.
Sincerely, Mrs. Allen

When Ryan asked his daughter what her fifth grade teacher wanted to speak about, Maribel shrugged. “I think it might be about this history report I did.” She was huddled over her homework at the dining table. “She told me to see her after class when I turned it in.”

“What did she tell you?” Ryan asked.

“Just that she didn’t like what I wrote.” Maribel chewed on her bottom lip. Her green eyes stayed downcast.

Ryan leaned against the kitchen counter. “Do you have the report with you?”

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Edition 9: Book Review: The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith


Cover The Long Earth

Parallel worlds and the travelling thereto are nothing new in speculative fiction, however The Long Earth is noteworthy even before you open it as it is the first collaboration between two stalwarts of speculative fiction: Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.

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Edition 9: Blockbuster by Rik Hoskin

flag UKI’m sure all of us, at one time or another, have considered the permeating influence of the film industry on our world, beyond entertainment. We usually conclude that it is profound, and as far back as the great propaganda machines of the ‘inter-war’ years in the last century. Rik Hoskin provides us with a fresh insight. GH

The sky was a rainbow mosaic above the two combatants. It shimmered with the haze of oily pollutants as thick, black smoke belched from the numerous, anthill-like structures that dotted the barren landscape. They faced each other across the chasm between two of the pollution-spewing towers, their energy lances engaged, their force shields powered up. The fate of the very galaxy depended, Matt knew, on the outcome of this, their final battle. The greatest warriors of the two most powerful religions would clash for one last, decisive time, and finally Matt would learn which philosophy would govern forevermore: the White Path of morality, or the sinister Black Path, with its evil ways of destruction and oppression.

With a swelling of sound and fury, the skies broke with flashes of light, the deep rumbling of thunder shaking the witnesses to the depths of their stomachs. The two combatants leapt, inhumanly high, lances raised. And, in mid-air, ball lightning electrifying the atmosphere around them, they met.

And the screen went black and the spell was broken as the lights slowly came back up in the screening room of the Howard Studios ranch. Several members of the press who had been invited to this conference broke into a smattering of applause. At the front of the room, director Benjamin Howard offered an embarrassed smile.

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Edition 9: Better Than Everything by Malon Edwards

flag USThe technology of the future can realize the dreams of today, but we have to be careful that we don’t mistake them for nightmares. In this story Malon Edwards paints a vivid future where a form of immortality has been achieved, but it comes at a terrible price in the face of one of humanity’s most fundamental emotions, love. GH

“So, I’ve been thinking,” I start, and then stop because this is the conversation we’ve been avoiding most of her life.

But Jae Lyn doesn’t miss a beat. “You keep doing that, and you’re going to break something.”

She smiles and that dimple at the left corner of her mouth on her chin peeks out at me. More than anything, I’ll miss kissing it.

No. I can’t think like that.

I take a carton of apple-cranberry juice out of the refrigerator, pour us both a glass, and proceed to wipe that smile right off her face.

“You can’t die.”


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Edition 9: Notes From the Editor

For this addition, Sophie Yorkston, the Editor-in-Chief of SQ Mag, is on a well-deserved break, soaking in the many enjoyable things that Canada has to offer. I am the publisher of the zine, but for Edition 9 I have the privilege of filling in for her as well.

It’s been a great two months.

SQ Mag staff are still glowing with pride with our eighth issue, Special Edition: Women in Speculative Fiction. Our website was hit with unprecedented numbers and rates, so much so that we have officially ratcheted up our market status to ‘Token’. This means we are now a paying market—somewhat low on the ladder, but we are definitely climbing. We still can’t get over the quality of the material that we published in that edition, and we are certainly considering publishing a special edition on an annual basis—we are still in discussion, but it harbingers great possibilities.

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Edition 9: Serial Fiction: Intangible (Part 4 of 6) by A. A. Garrison


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Hack’s machinations continue to influence Jeannie’s life. She seeks to help her mother’s failing health with her radio prize money. As an aside, we follow the strange existence of a Utah penny… GDH

Man – Energy Body – Aura (Copyright Deosum |

VII. January, 1990

The hospital was in Pemberton, Ford’s sister town. The doctor dimpled in smile, and shook Jeannie’s hand.

“I’m Doctor Mills. How do you do, Miss Tuttle?” he asked robotically. He was middle-aged and small—not so much short, just insubstantial. Like a sandwich missing the meat, Jeannie thought.

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Edition 9

COVER SQ Mag Issue 9

Cover illustration © 2013 Tais Teng (‘After The Rains’). Perpetual use by SQ Mag granted.