Cover Art by Vincent SammyFiction by:
Abi Godsell (5th of July)
Michael Bailey (12th of July)
Michael John Grist (19th of July)
Paul Marlowe (26th of July)

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by Joe Vaz

We start the issue off with “The Silver City and The Green Place”, by Abi Godsell, which tells the tale of a breakthrough scientific experiment in artificial intelligence. Next up is “Unstitched Love” by Michael Bailey, which is all about a little girl making a teddy bear for her rather annoying sister, needless to say things don’t quite turn out as planned. “Sky Painter”, by Michael John Grist is an epic fable about a fallen king and the love he left behind, and we close of the issue with a virtual reality noir murder mystery entitled Alpha & Omega by “Paul Marlowe”. Our feature interview for this month is with SL Grey, who is actually the pseudonym of Louis Greenberg and Sarah Lotz (remember Sarah? She won our debut issue Short Story Competition). Cover Art by Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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Cover Art by Vincent Sammy

Vincent Sammy

Creating a cover-piece usually depends on whether I have a story to work from, or whether I am given free reign in deciding what content can go on the cover. Both are challenging in there own way as the one limits you to the subject matter and you need to try an establish the best possible visual angle from the story, while the other has the challenge of trying to come up with an image that is as new and fresh as possible.

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by Abi Godsell

The doctor is small and grey-haired. He talks rapidly and jumps between subjects. It's hard to believe that this abrupt little man headed up the team that implanted the world's most advanced artificial intelligence into the body of a brain-dead teenager.

My editor is going to have a field day.

"It worked out well though. Her parents had given up, they were looking for a reason to pull the plug. Donating the body to science must have seemed easier.".

Cover Art by Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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interview by Joe Vaz

The ideas were something that I’d been wondering about for a while and then we were required to write a short sci-fi piece for university. I hit on the sentence “I dreamed of a green place where I could no longer go” and the story grew naturally around that.The ideas were something that I’d been wondering about for a while and then we were required to write a short sci-fi piece for university. I hit on the sentence “I dreamed of a green place where I could no longer go” and the story grew naturally around that.

Cover Art by 

Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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by Ivor Hartmann

IN TODAY'S MODERN SOCIETY, Artificial Intelligences are nearly all-pervasive. The odds are that you personally interact daily with some form of AI, be it a call centre program, automatic car transmission, video game, Google search, email spam filter, or a computer of any type - are pretty high. However, the realisation of a true AI, in terms of matching, and exceeding, human intelligence and characteristics such as emotion, creativity, and social intelligence, etc., would seem to be as far away as we are to living on another planet.

Cover Art by 

Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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by Michael Bailey

She had saved his eyes for last. A glimpse of their emptiness before inverting the skin, filling his insides, and stitching together the open gap between his legs. As if confused about why Sally insisted on poking a needle through his hollow head, the incomplete stuffed bear twisted in her hands. Aren’t you finished with me yet? Sunlight from the morning sky beamed through the blinds in parallel rays; dancing life reflected on its button eyes.

Cover Art by 

Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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interview by Joe Vaz

Writing starts with a thought, and this particular thought was a recollection of making stuffed bears when I was a kid. My mother used to sew, and my sister, brother and I would take scraps and make bears to play with in forts we’d create around the house. It was sort of like the Care Bears, but we’d come up with designs using various materials, and we’d draw pictures on their stomachs and give them unique names.

Cover Art by 

Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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Mark Sykes's Sixth Sense Of Humour

THE THING ABOUT BLOOD-spattered machetes and rusty straight razors is, at least they’re unambiguous. You know they’re bad, bad things, and you know it’s not personal. But the distinction between friendly things and evil things isn’t always that neat. It’s pretty safe to assume that the guy with the hockey mask and the machete is probably not chasing you down for a romantic sushi dinner, but you’re safe with that cuddly little teddy bear with the cute little button eyes. He’s your bestest bedtime buddy. Right?.

Cover Art by 

Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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by Michael John Grist

The Sky Painter lived on the mountain and painted the sky. He painted it blue for blue skies, and white and grey for clouds. At night he painted it black, with white for all the stars. When the sun rose he dashed its arcing yellow lines across the heavens, and as it sank he brushed it orange and gold over the horizon.

Cover Art by 

Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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interview by Joe Vaz

I've written about 8 short stories set in that world, which is really a medieval, zoomorphized (I borrowed that word from a critic), slightly steam-punkish fantasy city. There's not exactly magic in play, but there are plenty of surreal things going on, lots of dark and chaotic mystery, with deep and vast undercurrents of mythic legend bubbling underneath.

Cover Art by 

Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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interview by Joe Vaz

We didn't really know each other, we're completely different people. So we thought we'd do a zombie versus vampire book. And then [Louis] took me to this mall and I was just so scared, it was horrible, I had a panic attack, and we thought fuck the zombies and the vampires, lets set it in a shopping mall.

Cover Art by 

Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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by Paul Marlowe

“May cause disorientation and transient emotional anomalies… do not use in combination with other nanopharmaceuticals… consult a physician before use…. Harmless, was that what she called this stuff?”

McHaffey sighed and tilted back his head. He hated putting things into his eyes, but there didn’t seem to be any choice.

Cover Art by 

Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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interview by Joe Vaz

I was interested in the idea of making a murder mystery that crossed the boundary between physical reality and virtual reality, and came up with the plot of "Alpha & Omega". The title, I hope, works in a number of different ways. McHaffey being a priest as well as a policeman, there are some obvious religious connotations.

Cover Art by 

Vincent Sammy From Issue 11 (July 2011)
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