I once dreamt that I was gunned down. My hands, poor shields, tore open without a sound. My right cheek and right row of teeth were shattered, sprayed off. I could only crawl, and crawling, only feebly hide from my exterminator. The exterminator walked up, took his time, aimed, andContinue Reading

The Portland Pessimist Society was founded in 1984 by Felicia Gay, Rose Brightwell, Gladys Hope, and Joy S. Young. The PPS credo is a four-point “Litany of Grievances”: (1) Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is the worst person to have ever lived.(2) Be disheartened.(3) Sunshine on the shoulder may lead to skinContinue Reading

Part I: A severed head with its eyelids cut off.  The floating mass, rounded by gravity, orbiting a star, hosted billions of little organisms that named themselves human. They received our gift. Part II: Pandemic From onset to death, it requires one to five days. The average time is threeContinue Reading

For our setting, your setting: your smoothie-purple mouth, your shoelaces, every refracted ray of light, all the shifting corners along your walk (and all parenthetically interesting details). The setting, in other words, is your every sense upon every facet, layer, and opening. The setting flows—it is there and gone, thereContinue Reading

Joymax was an experiment, an Adonis, a demigod. Eugene, Joymax’s father, was wealthy, so Joymax, Eugene’s only child, was wealthy. And Eugene’s wealth he consecrated to the perfection of his son, as a herald of human perfections to come. Joymax would be raised like John Stuart Mill and Montaigne—by aContinue Reading

“Vincere,” she says, “or die.”—her first words to me (and her last to me, as I die on my beloved Anacapa Island). In her grass crown, her red-feather ruff (to match her scarlet teeth), and necklaced with the heads of Dodo, Laughing Owl, and Great Auk, she dances, dances, dances.Continue Reading

“Droggoth, droggoth, feer’in spew, hrottest feeri’n spew thote burn allyn sins awayn. Droggoth, droggoth, kommen hir to burn awoth allyn mine payn.” These lines from Altholm’s Morica attest to the existence of the droggoth, whose habitation, though unknown today, is likeliest deep beneath the boreal forests of Medgidia in south-easternContinue Reading

Alice found a white satin ring box, designed like a tiny treasure chest. She could not open the ring box, despite the serious effort she expended. “Inside this box,” murmured a newly appearing shadow, “is my shadow zoo. And it is beyond dazzling! Shadow-seahorses swimming shadow-seas, and shadow-silkworms spinning shadow-silk,Continue Reading

Hello, likely investors, my informal and non-numerical name is Rilbon Ril Bob Bon, and I will be your happiest guide to the next earth half hour of insert positive emotion. A little-known truth is this: is this: Excelleq Time, Inc. owns every antiquity in Sol-Sys. “Owns” is a green simplificationContinue Reading

Planet 7Y7H is an undead world. The native  human-like species called themselves “Ijj”–origin and meaning unknown. And they called their planet, “Ijjadyn”. History: Thousands of years ago on Ijjadyn, in the period known as “Thrithu-Jish” [“Thrithu-Jish”, transl. “After the Fall of Jish”; “Jish” unknown], a period we have classified asContinue Reading