The wedding guests fill the house and spill out into the courtyard, bright splashes of colour against the sun baked ground. Aisha’s uncle glances up, spotting the inevitable watching presence hovering above the courtyard. “Hurry, hurry,” he urges. He is too late. The Reaper drone strikes bringing the wedding to …

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  Leeza, an old woman is talking to CoraLee, her great niece. Leeza: …I saw his face again last night. He was terrified. Terrified of what he was about to do and terrified that he might not have the courage to do it. Always unsure of himself, that was my …

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1. EXT. BACKYARD – DAY A hand GENTLY LIFTS a few GREEN LEAVES. Pull back and it is a white male, aged 22, INSPECTING a small OLIVE TREE in the backyard. This is SIMON PHIFER. Behind him is the HOUSE and a seated young woman, same age and hair color, …

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With red-rimmed eyes, Leeza stood by the mantle looking at a picture of herself and her brother Simon as children. It was taken the Halloween they’d dressed as The Wonder Twins, going from door to door, saying, “Form of…a trick!”, “Shape of…a treat!” It was stupid, and didn’t even make …

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George Bernard Shaw said: “The Golden rule is there are no rules.” And it seems the judges agreed. After tallying all the points from our international panel of experts it was clear there could only be one winner. Congratulations to Amber McGlothlin! Amber has become a regular feature at Needle …

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  From the highest of the retro-deco corporate towers, to the slums of the forgotten sewer cities, citizens and aliens of old earth tune their radios to the frequency of the Needle. Breathlessly, they await the announcement. Somewhere star ward, a merchant fleets twinkles in orbit. Congratulations to our Winner: …

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“Are you sure you want to do that?” Michael blurted out to himself. It wasn’t a question but he knew it was always wise to word complaints and protests in the form of questions, especially to one’s manager. “It’s no problem, don’t worry,” he replayed in a whiny voice. “There …

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It’s an interesting experience, riding in one of the old combustion engine automobiles, the kind that were all over the place back in the days before the Celerity Rails got so cheap and easy to use, back when petroleum was king.  This one isn’t an antique, though. It’s a reproduction.  …

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The office was silent, still, and dark except for the shaft of light from the open door that fell across the corpse. I blew out cigar smoke and stared down at High Senator Gunnar Hagrim’s body. His eyes were wide, but rolled back in his head so just the whites …

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When men rushed to mine the asteroids, the corporation built a network of space stations to process the ore and to provide respite for the miners. But the miners proved unruly, needing a guiding mind to keep the peace and ensure that the ore continued to flow in… Backlit by …

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Some mornin’s you wake up on top. Some mornin’s… well, you just don’t. She could smell it in the damp air before she’d even opened her pounding eyes. That burnt, chalky tang stuck in the back of her dry throat. Stupid bastard’s been on the pipe again. The stench of …

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After much collaboration and consternation amongst our judges, a winner has emerged. Congratulations to Amber McGlothlin. Amber just edged out the victory in a tightly contested award. If you read both submissions this week you would know there wasn’t much between them. Two talented writers giving it their best. We’re keeping a …

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“Here’s your room-card, sir. I trust you will enjoy your night.  If there are any problems at all, do not hesitate to call us here in the office. Oh, and one last thing,” The proprietor smiled, a little too widely for my liking, his beady green eyes twinkling beneath a …

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This week’s short list sees two high quality submissions go head to head for the CROMULENT Award. Newcomer Amber McGlothlin takes on last week’s prize winner, Ashleigh Mounser. We sat down with both authors for a chat… …Ok we emailed them. Enjoy! NITH: How long have you each been writing? …

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I suppose you want to hear a story. Everyone always does. I’m very busy, you know. I have things to do. You wouldn’t understand. When you’re as old as I am doing laundry and making yourself a bowl of high-fiber cereal can take all day. So you see I really don’t have time. …

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  Part of the pressure of running a site like this is keeping all the threads together. Keeping the awards ticking over, making sure all the submissions get a fair read, that the short list is representative not only of personal taste but of the broader fiction scene. Getting all …

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