An essay by Lady Dr. Morag MacChruim, as provided by Zoe McAuley
Photo by Dawn Vogel
This treatise is intended to define a field of study which has long been the focus of my life: Experimental Eschatology. The term is my own and I define it as the study and analysis of potential means of ending the world. The world in question is somewhat cluttered with demented supervillains, rogue states, and states which do not consider themselves rogue but do like to throw their weight about in a rather uncouth manner. In times like these, Experimental Eschatology is vital, not to assist in the destruction of this poor planet, but to predict disasters and thereby be prepared to take countermeasures. The desire for such precautions is the primary motivation for my research, despite what certain small-minded elements of MI5 might think.
However, before we can properly explore the various potential apocali which might befall us, there must be an accurate and robust terminology in place to describe these threats. The modern media throw the term “End of The World” around with sloppy abandon, likewise “Collapse of Civilisation” and “Global Disaster.” Such confused language is beneath a true science such as Experimental Eschatology. Thus I will begin by dividing possible threats into a scale of disaster. I will also categorise these threats by source, for it is necessary to approach an alien invasion in a very different manner to a mega-volcanic eruption.
Thus, I present to you the MacChruim Armageddon Scale.
An essay by Frankenstein, as provided by Richard Zwicker
Art by Katie Nyborg
“Are you Frankenstein?”
The question was laughable. I was seven feet tall, with a head flatter than the Netherlands, and twin electrodes sticking out the sides of my neck. I was either Frankenstein or the latest in Halloween shoe trees. After returning to Geneva from a two-year exile on the North Pole–a hideout I’d recommend to anyone while the heat was on–I’d opened a detective agency. With some fanfare, I’d adopted the name of Frankenstein. Victor, being dead, didn’t need it anymore, it beat the hell out of “monster,” and it was what most people wanted to call me anyway.
A couple of our alumni have had some publishing successes I thought I’d share with you.
Eryk Pruitt originally appeared here with his tale of time travel gone wrong called “Coda.” He now has a story up at One Million Stories titled “Levee Camp Moan.”
Also, Django Mathijsen, who brought us a tale of robot-rights and terrorism titled “Robot Ethics and the Turkish Turtledove,” has a tale in the newest issue of Emerald Sky called “Fighting Memories.”
It’s a Friday. Treat yourself to some free online fiction!
An essay by Dr. W, as provided by Megan Vogel.
Photograph by Megan Vogel.
I gazed thoughtfully at the dark emerald beaker, turning its smooth surface in my gloved hands. The dim light in my laboratory gave it an eerie, dull glow. How important this simple tool would be in my plan–the results of today’s trials would be sealed inside, until I was ready to release its devastating tonic.
This last month saw a victory of sorts: I finally got Mad Scientist Journal up on Amazon. It’s a mixed blessing, as I’ll explain below. Otherwise it’s just another month in the word mines.
Once again, we are doing our special call for submissions. We are looking for:
- Flash and Short Fiction: This will be for the “fiction” section of our quarterly magazine. We have a bias towards speculative fiction, but will consider non-speculative pieces. Heck, it doesn’t even need to have mad scientists. We’re hoping to accept 6-8 pieces to be spread out between two quarterly anthologies.
- Fictional Classified Ads: We are again looking for people to submit classified ads appropriate to a mad scientist journal.
- Questions for Advice Column: We will again have our advice column and would love for people to submit mad scientist advice questions.
Please pop over to our Submissions page for details about how to submit things and what we pay.
Earlier this week, I received a link to an article on Slate entitled “Why Aren’t There More Woman Sci-Fi Writers?”
Here at Mad Scientist Journal we are certainly well-intentioned and try to evaluate each story on its own merits. We don’t actively try to get more submissions based off of gender or anything. So we were curious about how we were doing in terms of gender equality. We aren’t a strict sci-fi market. We publish a healthy dose of fantasy, with the occasional horror or other genre along the way.
So we dug through our submission logs to see who submitted to us and who we accepted. I thought I’d share the results.
From the unpublished field journal of James L. Goldstein, PhD, edited and With an Afterword By J. J. Roth
In the three years since I left New Earth to take my current post studying native avifauna on the planet Callentradia, I have yet to encounter a species that should charm me as much as falsus-cygnus tympanum, the creature commonly known as the snare.
Snares have none of the annoying habits that many other common birdlike species on Callentradia present. Billy-blues smell like cattle pens. Twee-ops follow whatever they see until another moving animal or object crosses their field of vision. I’ve picked up a small army of them while trying to band a single pale pink leg. Once twee-ops imprint, they’re not easy to shake, but I’ve come up with a method that succeeds 99.9% of the time.
After some technical delay, we finally have all four collections of Mad Scientist Journal available on Amazon! I’m hoping that breaking into the Amazon market will help offset the costs of operation. Even if you have no interest in buying it, please at least take some time to help improve visibility: write a review, add it to your wishlist, send friends links. Mad Scientist Journal is not the first thing to come up when you search for “Mad Scientist Journal”, so any help you can give would be much appreciated. Here are the links for the books:
For those curious why it’s taken so long, the short version is:
I went with Smashwords because it seemed easier to get the ebook together through their Meatgrinder. Especially since our ebooks required at least some graphics. And Smashwords says it distributes to a bunch of retailers, including Amazon.
But it turns out that distribution to Amazon has been on hold until Amazon sets up a bulk upload option for Smashwords. After a year, this has not happened. So I bit the bullet and figured out how to get this done.