When a god shows up at your door, you can’t exactly turn him away. Phokus is recruited by none other than the big guy himself, and sent on a merry little chase. All in the name of a little warmth. SY
A knock at the door roused me from frigid dreams. This being Athens, it was likely a thief ready to slit my throat, so I was disinclined to answer. On the other hand, it could be a disguised god who’d reward my inhospitality by turning me into a chew bone for Cerberus. So, I roused myself out of bed and threw on a lion skin over the leopard and bear skins I already wore. I looked like a walking food chain, but cold beats style in my home.
I opened the door, and a blast of wind cold-cocked me. When my vision cleared, I saw a slouching, bearded old man. The rags he wore were so tattered I wouldn’t have used them to wipe my chariot, if I had a chariot.
“Can you spare some food for a stranger?” he asked, his voice a mix of sand and icicles. If this guy wasn’t Zeus, I was the Cock, the Dog, and the Fox.
Reviewed by Damien Smith
I came across Unidentified Funny Objects when the open call first went out. It caught my attention because for the life of me I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen a humourous speculative fiction anthology and, as the editor points out in his foreword, I’m not alone here. So it was with high hopes and a hint of nerves that I submitted a story of my own for scrutiny. Within 24 hours it had been received, read, evaluated and summarily (albeit rather kindly with a couple of encouraging words of advice) rejected.
The 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 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.
Reviewed by Damien Smith
For anyone carefully reading the heading up there it will come as no surprise that this is the second in a series of planned annual humorous speculative fiction anthologies. I would not normally review a subsequent anthology in a series; however, there is such a dearth of similar offerings around that I had to put it through its paces.