Other Agents

Mon 1 Nov 1999 - Filed under: Free Stuff to Read, Short Stories | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

LCRW 5“1985 sure is dark,” Nick said, and another 100 watt bulb popped gently in his hands. “It’s a good thing we have these protective gauntlets.” Nick waggled his hands and scattered shards of glass on the bedspread.

“These aren’t protective gauntlets,” the Assassin replied, “they’re rubber gloves we stole from the bathroom at the Burger King.” Except for the brownish-blue gloves, the Assassin was dressed in black from head to foot.

“I like to think that they were left there for us. We are on a mission, after all.”

The motel room was strung with cheap extension cords that fed a dozen utility lamps clamped to any available surface. The dingy bedspread, scattered with supplies, glowed in the center of the ring of lights. Between the two of them they’d already smashed five bulbs.

The Assassin carefully peeled off his gloves, pushed up his mirrored sunglasses, and rubbed his eyes. His hands shook. Nick started doing one-handed pushups on the carpet.

“I’m feeling much better now that we’ve got these lights up,” Nick said, gasping. “But I’m thirsty. Let’s get some beers. What’s the best beer in 1985?”

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Male Blonding

Mon 1 Nov 1999 - Filed under: Chuntering On, Free Stuff to Read | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Excerpts from an upcoming textbook to be published by the Northern Massachusetts University School of Industrial History.

From the Introductory Section:

Male Blonding is a modern movement that, however, has its basis in ancient times. Early Male blonds include Jesus of Nazereth who stood out very effectively from the generally dark Israeli crowds. Blonding was very popular in the highlands of Ethiopia where legends of an Aryan tribe grew up around a city where almost everyone blonded their hair. Leonardo da Vinci rediscovered Male Blonding in the Renaissance. It was a huge breakthrough when he announced that lemon juice was as effective if not more so than pigs urine. (He also drew a plan for the first machine to extract juice from lemons but was unable to construct a working model).

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Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 5

Mon 1 Nov 1999 - Filed under: LCRW | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

volume 3, number 2

Poetry, Fictions, Essays, Art and so on and so forth, the usual mix of eclectica.


In the underworld there are places that are dark, scary, some few resemble tales in this zine. None of them resemble Hiroshima or Nagasaki in August 1945. None of them are bright with the light of breaking atoms, light that lasts a thousand, a hundred thousand years and more. We hear that you want to ban the tests of nuclear weapons and we are glad. The rumble upsets our dillathropes, the animal we like the most. They allow us to ride on their backs if we read aloud as we go. But this is another story.

I must think more about this atom cracking you will not stop. It cannot be politics. Whenever we speak to you – many of us visit, you have such nice chocolate and where else can we get fresh tomatoes in winter?

Again, I digress. It is difficult to concentrate on such a thing. When I have spoken to you, more want to stop the tests than keep them going. Even those working in the field (or rather, the factory, the office). It cannot be politics, because it is a subversion of the will of the people of the republic, so how could a party of the republic play with the people’s will? I must needs step outside and think more on this. My head spins as it is.
Dreaming of green and peaceful lands, in the over and underworlds.

A Mad Tea Party – Chris Barzak
Other Agents – Richard Butner
The Dictator’s Wife – Kelly Link
Hydrophilia – Tim Emswiler
A Preference for Silence – Lucy Snyder

Genji – Margaret Muirhead
Lady Shonagon’s Hateful Things
Faust is Lounging Openly – Brian Morrison
The Amish Time Travellers
John Wayne, A Novel
Nadanadanada – Robert Frazier
Queen of the Lines
The Anorexic Observes the Hemophiliac

Y2K Wishlist
A Slow Way To Riches
Male Blonding
Book Reviews
Music Notes
Bob’s Big Boy Words

Classified Ad

Dangling Participants – Contributors

Christopher Barzak attended the Clarion Workshop last year. He lives in Michigan, but grew up in rural Ohio. Is he a villager? Ask him.

Richard Butner lives in a triangle in the path of hurricanes. He also plays music.

Tim Emswiler rides a bike, writes dark fiction and publishes Weird Times. Maybe in that order.

Robert Frazier lives on an island connected to us by a few bridges, some concrete, some words. His forthcoming collection The Daily Chernobyl and Other Poems won the 1999 Anamnesis Poetry Chapbook Award.

Gavin J. Grant would like his bike back.

Kelly Link‘s stories “Travels with the Snow Queen” and “The Specialist’s Hat” are nominees for the World Fantasy Award and were reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror. “The Girl Detective” can be read here.

Brian Morrison works in the best used book shop in Somerville: M&M. Not Murrie & Mars, but MacIntyre & Moore.

Margaret Muirhead‘s favorite word is daggy. She lives in a dry town.

Mark Rich has had stories in many magazines, but his cover art is his first appearance here. Maybe next time he’ll write a story for us.

Lucy Snyder runs the Dark Planet web site as well as writing in many genres.

The Death Penalty

Wed 21 Jul 1999 - Filed under: Chuntering On, Free Stuff to Read | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The death penalty is alive and well as Western calendars and Bill Gates’ computers nervously approach the year 2000. In the US alone at least 490 people have been executed since 1976. But, no matter how much the practice of state mandated killing is debated, we need to abolish it now.

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Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 4

Tue 1 Jun 1999 - Filed under: LCRW | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

volume 3, number 1

PoetryFictionsEssaysArt and so on and so forth, the usual mix of eclectica.

Introduction from this issue:

Welcome. This is the fourth in an occasional issuance from our palace here in the underworld. As you are,we seem to be having a series of computer problems. We have consulted with the appropriate icons and are switching from our mainframe system to a loose system that will float behind the speaker–if not the dictator. The switch over has been a little painful. We are almost ‘live’ with our new system but as yet our medics are unsure when the heart will actually start beating.

In the eternal summer of our secret world under your stairs we have little reason for war. We do not have a convention such as was issued from Geneva on the rights of prisoners–are we not all prisoners of the flesh? We have a United Nations where children copy your games. We had a World Trade Organization but we found you were unaware of us and eventually we gave up our attempts at trading with you. We do have a GATT; a General Agreement on Tea Time. After many discussions and much consideration 4 o’clock was decided on, with a clause for those who prefer three. Further discussion was postponed when tea was served on the patio.

We hope that you never run out of oil. If you do you may begin using solar power. Then you might notice how much energy goes unutilized every day (after all, does it matter if the rocks are heated? Ask a meteorologist–or anyone who has been struck by a meteor) and someone up there might wonder where the difference was going.

Enough. We appreciate the trade imbalance your purchase will give us. If you like to support lost worlds and causes please consider subscribing. Every twelfth subscriber wins a secret visit from the monster under your bed.


The Marraige Doll – Sten Westgard
Tan-Tan and Dry Bone – Nalo Hopkinson
The Second One – Rachel Roberts
Miss Kansas on Judgement Day – Kelly Link
One Forbidden Thing – Dora Knez

Lethe – Ian McDowell
mehitobel was queen of the night
An Old Woman Remembers – Margaret Muirhead
I am glad
Ride this one with me – Stuart Davies
Italy in the Morning – Georgia Ewing
Untitled – Cassandra Silvia
At Night

Essays, Letters, Diaries &c.
Three Essays – Naoko Takahashi
The Death Penalty
Japan Diary – George Fruechtenicht
Assumptions on the Readership
Travel Diary
The Lifeblood of Free Thought
An Open Letter – Margaret Muirhead
Zine Reviews
From the SFAC Campaign – David Findlay

lcrwAssumptions on the Readership of this ‘Luxury Product’:
You read.(1)

You read English.

You have a home.(2)

You are not chronically hungry.(2)

You will not Disappear. (2)(3)

You regard some part of your income as ‘disposable.’ (1)(2)(3)(4)

  1. And, oddly enough, you occasionally go beyond mass media products and read tiny magazines with great fiction, poetry and odd little ideas.
  2. Unless you found this in the trash.
  3. You need not fear for your life by reading or possessing this or any other text or idea, samizdat or other.
  4. You sometimes consider where the money you work for goes. You sometimes try economic support of ideas and ideologies. You don’t always fall for the hype. You shop as a pastime. You don’t always buy ‘brand’ names. This may be time-consuming and wear you out. In 5 years you will be going to the mall thinking of all the time this is saving you.

Dangling Participants – Contributors

Hillaire Belloc‘s acerbic comments would have gotten us sued.

Jack Cheng is working on a novel, a screenplay, a thesis, an album and a multi-media project of unknown dimensions. He sleeps on a desk-bed and would like to meet a woman who knpws how to play bridge.

Stuart Davies‘ poem from the last issue was read on Welsh radio. He was at the game where Wales beat England and gave Scotland the last Five Nations Championship of the century. Cheers.

Georgia Ewing: Lives in california. She has two daughters and two grandchildren. A surprising number of them are vegetarian.

David Findlay is politicized. he can be found designing at the Blissful Itch website if he is not writing, making music or videos. SFAC is real.

Gavin J. Grant drinks tea.

Nalo Hopkinson‘s second novel, Midnight Robber will be out in March 2000 from Warner. Her first novel Brown Girl in the Ring won the Warner Aspect First Novel Award. Her short fiction can he found in Northern Suns andSilver Birch, Blood Moon. She is the solo performer in “Indigo,” Sudharshan Duraiyappah’s work in the Toronto dance series, Waterworks.

Dora Knez attended the Clarion Workshop in 1995. Her poetry has also appeared in Tesseracts.

Kelly Link‘s stories can be read on Event Horizon and Dark Planet. Her book of stories will appear in the next thousand years. She produced the cats, keys, lizzards and other such decorations.

Ian McDowell is the author of Mordred’s Curse and Merlin’s Gift (Avon Books, 1997 and 1998). His short fiction has been much anthologized (Love in VeinThe Year’s Best Horror Stories, Borderlands 2 and the upcomingMondo Zombie). He lives in colorful Bohemain squalor in Greensboro, NC. His work has been banned in Canada and at K-Mart, but he is still welcome in most major hotels and restaurants.

Margaret Muirhead wore a tiara to our Oscar party. She has a husband, Peter, and two cats, Lucy and Zelda.

Rachel Roberts is a Melbourne gal who gets a thrill out of watching her garden grow, learning sexy new jazz chords on her ancient guitar and writing wacky prose about life as she knows it.

Cassandra Silvia‘s work appeared in our first issue. She once had a pet turkey, named Lurkey.

Sten Westgard‘s fiction has appeared in Tomorrow and The Third Alternative, a UK magazine. His story “The Dog Rose” appeared in the anthology Black Swan, White Raven.


p.36 www.avenuevictorhugobooks.com no longer hosts this page. Obvious non, mais oui?

p.41 I’m not winking at you – I developed a permanent facial tic from the psychiatric medications…

p.44 Dora Knez is well-versedly multilingual.

What else is there to say on a web page? The magazine keeps hitting high standards of quality, style, art, but sometimes lacks a decent recipe. I’ll try and correct that next time. Or you could.

Contents are © the authors, please do not reprint without permission. All rights reserved. Probably. Submissions of material and/or cash, chocolate, pizza (I suggest Bluestone Bistro here in Brighton, books, music, zines etc.) can be made to the above address, with an SAE if you want a reply. Remembering, of course, this isn’t known an an Occasional Outburst for nothing. Su-ure, we’re sticking to the May/November schedule (shed-ul).