From my Butt
Recently I listened to the album ‘Another Day on Earth’ by Brian Eno. It is his first ‘vocal’ album in ages and follows on in part from his classic ‘Another Green World’ album. I found the album on YouTube but was not able to find it on iTunes or Spotify, despite there being plenty of Eno Albums on those two sites. I found the CD version available from Amazon for over $100, but was not prepared to pay that amount. I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t find a suitable source for the album (I did find it on Spotify, but then it wasn’t available so I guess there are licensing restrictions) and stated that the search would continue.
Then I found a place to buy the CD or digital album at a reasonable price. It was on Brian Eno’s website. I felt like an idiot but at least now I know that websites are still useful. I bring all of this up simply because I had a reply to my last editorial regarding disappearing Classic speculative fiction. Darren Nash worked at Gollancz focussing on their Masterworks series, but he was also instrumental in creating their sfgateway site. Here you can buy all sorts of good stuff. You can find it all at www.sfgateway.com/ and you should know that Darren is very proud of this site and I have looked there and he has reason to be proud. Darren in back in Australia now and we are hoping to coax some stories from his time at Gollancz soon.
I guess the point I was trying to make with my last editorial was that although the good old stuff is out there, it is becoming harder to find simply because the shiny new stuff can be distracting. It is good to know that it is all still there, and sometimes you just have to look at the most obvious places.
Speaking of which, every so often I delve into the back issues of Aurealis and I’d just like to remind everyone that there is a ton of very good stuff still available in both our digital issues and in our (getting hard to find) print issues. Have a look at the Aurealis website to see what is available.
All the best from my butt.
From Getting Home by P.K. Torrens:
The day has come. I get into my scrubs and pin my ‘Chief Surgeon Valeria Spencer’ badge above my left breast. The mood had been electric all morning with the suspense of what we’d find. What I’d find. But H-hour comes and suddenly you could hear a fly fart. The two hundred staff all glued to screens set up around the desolated base so everyone can watch the first vivisection of a Eulipot.
I don’t make the bastards wait. For too long.
I wash with iodine in the pseudo scrub-bay, take a couple of deep breaths, and make my way to the pseudo operating room.
The alien lies sprawled out and unconscious, but alive, on the operating table. Eulipots are an interesting lot. The species have no facial features, just smooth and continuous hair from the scalp down to the rest of the body—a surreal version of a primate.
From Serine by Shane Drury:
Unnamed, it emerged slowly, pale hued and banded by light brown stripes. Serine sat still and alone in the darkened cockpit, studying the planet as it slid across the window. It rose on the right, traversed as the ship turned, and set again on the left. Seline always left her relative axes free after an unknown system jump, engines powered down, tumbling like a piece of junk. Who knew what lurked out there, five light years from the closest drinking hole.
From Tigers of Mars by Conor DiViesti:
I sat on the Martian plain with one hand against the sun and the other in the tiger’s fur. The cat purred low and deeply, breathing in peace. Of all the things I could’ve asked the nano-machines to conjure as they poked at my brain, an animal I had never seen before was an odd thing to land on. But it was the only thing that put me at ease.
I was looking into its eyes when the tiger raised its head to the horizon. A figure walked toward us, alone and dark against the sunrise. A terrible growl rumbled through the beast’s throat.
‘Shit,’ I said.