Joanna, and How I know That You Murdered Her and Don’t Say That it Wasn’t You Because We Both Know That it Was

An essay by an unnamed narrator, as provided by Edward Palumbo
Art by Scarlett O’Hairdye


The person who donated her eyes to my Joanna will not miss them. She died a long while back from an overdose of acetaminophen, as complicated by her being struck by a train. I found little of Rebecca Simpkins, save for the eyes, but no matter, her eyes were all I sought. The orbs were as blue as robin’s eggs and perfect, and I longed for the day when coming home from my lab would mean having those eyes smile upon me, but that will not be possible, not now, for my love, Joanna, is dead. A modern day Frankenstein, they called me, those drama queens and drama kings, if the latter even exists. But I have created no monster, just a beauty formed of the most wonderful elements of many women I have known. But my dream lies dead, not eight feet from my desk, lying prone, a half-eaten dish of cheesecake beside her, a dessert laced with poison, poison you supplied, dear reader, and I certainly hope you are proud of yourself.

Joanna, and How I know That You Murdered Her and Don't Say That it Wasn't You Because We Both Know That it Was

But my dream lies dead, not eight feet from my desk, lying prone, a half-eaten dish of cheesecake beside her, a dessert laced with poison, poison you supplied, dear reader, and I certainly hope you are proud of yourself.


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2016 collection.


The narrator is a man of science. He is a misunderstood man of 50 years and at least that many months. He seeks the love of a good woman, or several good women, or varying components of several good women comprised to form one good woman–anyway, he seeks love–and that inspires him and in inspiration there is danger. (Not always, but it is a good line.)


Edward Palumbo is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island (1982). His fiction, poems, shorts, and journalism have appeared in numerous periodicals, journals, e-journals and anthologies including Rough Places Plain, Flush Fiction, Tertulia Magazine, Epiphany, The Poet’s Page, Reader’s Digest, Baseball BardDark Matter, and poemkingdom.com. Ed’s literary credo is: if you fall off the horse, get right back on the bicycle.


Scarlett O’Hairdye is a burlesque performer, producer and artist. To learn more, visit her site at www.scarlettohairdye.com.

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That Man Behind the Curtain: January 2016

Dawn at the Frankenstein Pub in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Dawn at the Frankenstein Pub in Edinburgh, Scotland.

February was intense between our Kickstarter and our two week trip to Europe. Which means things like this fell through the cracks. With many apologies, I offer you: THE NUMBERS.

The Money Aspect

Amounts in parentheses are losses/expenses.

Hosting: ($17.06)
Stories: ($35.00)
Art: ($260.00)
Advertising: ($160.00)
Processing Fees: ($13.71)
Printing: ($6.13)
Conventions: ($130.00)
Donations: $22.71
Ad Revenue: $0.69
Online Book Sales: $79.09
Total: ($519.69)
QTD: ($519.69)
YTD: ($519.69)
All Time: ($14,663.73)

As per usual, I try to list costs for art and stories under the month that the stories run on the site rather than when I pay them. (This does not apply to special content which does not have a specific month associated with it.) Sales are for sales when they take place, not when it’s actually paid out to me. I also cover Paypal expenses when paying authors and artists as best I can. Paypal has made it more difficult, so I’m not as capable of covering international fees.

Since we’re starting to sell books at conventions, there will be entries for convention registration fees as well as income made from our sales. This does not cover incidental costs of attending conventions like meals, hotel rooms, parking, etc.

Submissions

We reopened to submissions in January and received 81 submissions! This broke down into 25 quarterly-only submissions and 56 regular submissions. Of those we accepted 24 submissions (29.6%), 8 quarterly-only (32%) and 16 regular submissions (28.6%). All time acceptance rate is now 46.92%.

Followers

Number of followers in social media as of the end of last month. Again, in order to better promote backing us through Patreon, we created a new Mad-Scientist-Journal-only Patreon.

Facebook: 1,247 (+194)
Twitter: 425 (+9)
Google+: 60 (+1)
Tumblr: 128 (+9)
Mailing List: 58 (+12)
Patreon: 12 (+6)

Traffic

Our traffic shot up in January, probably because of the start of our Kickstarter. We had a total of 1,790 visits. Our traffic consisted of 1,115 users and 3,470 page views. Our highest day of traffic was 112.

This month’s search engine term “were homo saipens ever asexual?”.

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Alone

An essay by William Considine, as provided by Thomas Canfield
Art by Errow Collins


The month Liam entered the fourth grade, I got called into a parents-teacher conference at the school. I pretty much knew what to expect by then. Liam’s teachers attributed his problems to some sort of learning disability, which was natural enough. They hadn’t encountered anything like it before, and the deeper they looked into the matter, the more perplexed they became.

I had my suspicions even then of course, even at the very outset. But I kept them to myself. The potential ramifications, should I prove to be right, were staggering. They extended far beyond the trials of one small child. Issues of biology and genetics and corporate grant money all converged to produce a tangle of conflicting interests, an ethical morass that offered no easy way out. So I said nothing.

The teacher, a Mr. Braeburn, was a decent enough fellow–well meaning, sincere, committed to the welfare of his students. But no one was going to accuse him of possessing any great intellect. He was a typical product of the public school system: bland and unimaginative. I sat in the office across the table from him, alone. I hadn’t told my wife about the conference. She was worked up over the issue as it was. I didn’t want to add to her distress.

Braeburn had a folder in front of him containing paperwork relating to Liam’s academic progress. He wore a jacket but no tie–his idea of a compromise between strict professionalism and a casual, folksy approach, which invited my confidence. Already I had taken a dislike to him and to the mediocrity which he represented.

“Liam really is an engaging child,” he began by saying. “Intelligent, gets along with others. His social skills are quite advanced for someone his age.” Liam was ten. I didn’t entirely understand what the phrase “quite advanced” meant and doubted that Braeburn did either. It was merely his way of sugarcoating the pill, of smoothing the approach to the “But,” which must inevitably follow. “I enjoy having him in my class and consider him one of my most promising pupils.” Braeburn glanced down at the folder. “But …”

I made an involuntary noise of disgust. I couldn’t help myself. The man was so obvious. His mind plodded along at a crawl. It was difficult to throttle back my own thoughts to a speed where I could match him. Braeburn looked startled. His mouth formed a perfect O. Then he made the best of the situation by attributing my indiscretion to a cause which was more nearly palatable.

“I understand your concern, Dr. Considine,” he assured me. Which wasn’t true. He had no idea in which direction my concern actually lay. “You feel Liam’s chances at academic success are jeopardized. That isn’t the case at all. As I said before, Liam is very intelligent and scores at the high end of all of the standardized testing. The problem–and you have no doubt observed incidents of this yourself–is this sort of mathematical anomaly. Liam has problems working with, and visualizing, the concept of ‘one’.

“He tries, I’m absolutely certain of that. It’s not for want of effort. But he possesses an innate resistance, almost a hostility, to its use and to its various applications.” Braeburn shot a nervous glance at me. Plainly he expected some sort of reaction.

Alone

You have bear, single, and you have bears, plural. Confronted by this, Liam wrestles with and, ultimately, rejects the concept of bear. He is quite at ease with bears, with more than one. Bear however, the single, isolated animal, presents some sort of challenge. Almost, I should say, a threat. The same with cats and dogs and what have you.


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2016 collection.


FBI File #2275:

The suspect, Dr. William Considine, remains under surveillance. A convincing case has been compiled against him already. However, criminal proceedings are not to be instituted unless and until they receive personal approval by the Director himself

The boy, Liam, currently a ward under government care, is being subjected to a battery of tests to determine whether his state and condition offer promise for Psy-Ops or other intelligence work. He would seem to be an asset with great future potential. I and my colleagues concur that no public disclosure should be made regarding his status and, indeed, that all reference of and to him should be stricken from the public record. Effectively, he will become a non-person.

Agent James Kilpatrick


Canfield aspires to worry less, for which purpose he has taken up the study of children, and to laugh more, for which purpose he has taken up the study of politicians.


Errow is a comic artist and illustrator focused on narrative work themed around worlds not quite like our own. She spends her time working with her partner on The Kinsey House webcomic and developing other comic projects when she’s not playing tag with her bear of a cat. More of her work can be found at errowcollins.wix.com/portfolio.

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Sol Invictus

An essay by Dr. Ogden “Professor Omicron” O’Hare, as provided by Matt Largo
Art by Luke Spooner


Fellow members of the scientific community,

I realize even by drawing that association, I will surely raise more than a few eyebrows. Perhaps some of you have already stopped reading. Perhaps some of you stopped at my name. It is an understandable impulse. I hope, however, for those of you that remain, my own not-inconsiderable accomplishments, as well as respect for the advancement of scientific inquiry and human progress, will suffice to hold your attention past any old and lingering prejudices.

The scientific community has made numerous attempts to reverse-engineer the many items of alien origin that have fallen to Earth since the first beings revealed themselves back in 1938. All have failed. There is something ineffable about this technology, about beings from outer space, perhaps no better exemplified by the Sunbird himself. Immortal. Indestructible. Able to fly of his own power. Able to harness terrible destructive energies. I was there when he first arrived. I worked as a junior researcher at Alamogordo. I saw the ship crash to Earth, first hand. I saw what we would later all witness on television: his incredible and dangerous power.

So began one of the longest and bloodiest rivalries in American history. I do not seek here to redeem myself or to apologize for my own actions. I seek instead to explain myself. For you see, far from the blood-soaked antagonism of jealousy and prejudice the media would have you believe, my motives were always those of scientific inquiry. Every incident that I precipitated was done with the express intent of gauging the alien’s power and its origins. Think of it: an average person burns 150 calories running a mile. Perhaps 200 for a half-hour of vigorous exercise. Compare then these humble numbers with what the alien displays: countering a fleet of heat-seeking missiles (guilty) trained on the city, the busload of kidnapped school children (also me) lifted to safety, the joules produced to melt an army of killer robots (mine again). All of these feats done with frequent and insouciant disregard for the laws of gravity and inertia. He was, quite simply, the most powerful being on the planet.

It may surprise you to know I personally applaud the good that the Sunbird has done for the world at large. I am not so blinded by my own prejudices and my own hubris that I should fail to see the unambiguous good in acts such as earthquake relief, the dismantling of terrorist networks, and the de-escalation of nuclear brinksmanship. But when we hand our affairs, our future, to the care of an unaccountable alien, are we truly better off? I submit to you that the reins of human destiny must be retaken by human beings. It is this belief for which I have fought my entire life.

I return you then to the question of where the Sunbird gets his incredible power, and to another question you must surely be asking yourselves following the Siege of Los Angeles: where is he?

Sol Invictus

My friends, it was staring us in the face all the time: the Sunbird is solar powered. Through biology or through a technological meddling in genes so old and so advanced it is indistinguishable from the hand of God, the Sunbird is a living solar battery whose efficiency is so close to 100%, its falling short of that mark can be dismissed as a mere rounding error. Which leads us, finally, to the question of the Sunbird’s location and his ultimate fate.


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2016 collection.


Professor Ogden O’Hare graduated with a PhD in Applied Physics from MIT in 1952. Prior to this he worked as a researcher at the Edwards Air Force Base facility in Groom Lake, New Mexico. He is perhaps best known for his decades­long feud with the undocumented alien vigilante Sunbird. His numerous conditions to the field of scientific inquiry include the discoveries of Omicron radiation and its effects on human tissue, the Lost Kingdom of Lemuria, the Antelucan Oculus, and the invention of Gargantuo, considered the world’s first artificial intelligence, and certainly the tallest.


Matt Largo studied literature at Arizona State University. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife and three cats. He blogs occasionally at strontiumlullaby.blogspot.com, and can be found in person by whispering his name three times in front of a mirror in the dark. On second thought, no. Don’t do that.


Luke Spooner a.k.a. ‘Carrion House’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at www.carrionhouse.com.


“Sol Invictus” is © 2015 Matt Largo
Art accompanying story is © 2015 Luke Spooner

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Primus v. Secundus

An account by Dr. Sanjay Bose, as provided by Dr. K. Kitts
Art by Leigh Legler


LEFT

Grabbing Paul by the collar, I screamed in his face. “It’s me! I’m the original! You’ve got to help me prove it.”

The security guard yanked the back of my shirt, forcing me into a seat at the table in Conference Room A. He leaned in and spoke quietly into my ear. “Dr. Bose, please stay seated. You’re freaking out Dr. Winn.”

He was right. Paul had pressed himself as far back into the stackable conference chair as he could, his eyes wide. Holding up my hands in surrender, the guard released me. I pressed my palms onto the top of the table, examining the black letter “L” drawn on the back of my hand. A rivulet of sweat ran over my ribs. The small meeting room tended to be freezing in the summer with no way to control the AC, but now it felt oppressive.

“Please, Paul. Just get my wife down here. She’ll be able to tell us apart. She’ll know it’s me.”

Paul snapped out of his dazed expression. Frowning, he said, “I’ve got a call in to Dr. Sanders. She’s evaluating the situation. There might be some danger. She wants to wait before contacting your wife.”

“You ran the counter over me. I’m not radioactive. The beam’s shut down.”

“Yeah, well the beam was shut down before you got …” He flicked his fingers. “Duplicated.”

RIGHT

An hour ago, something went wrong, and the electrical system on one of the large bending magnets blew. The beam destabilized and the synchrotron dumped, all at the speed of light. Control rack number two overloaded. I ran toward the unit with a chemical extinguisher, anticipating an electrical fire.

As I approached the rack, the air grew heavier and colder, like a slap from an open freezer door. It disoriented me, and I collided with someone. Looking up I saw my face, on my body, holding an identical extinguisher.

The rack sparked. Simultaneously, we hit it with a burst of chemicals, the white clouds mixing and coating both of us. In unison, we set down our canisters and pulled the rack out and away, disconnecting it.

Paul sat there at the control computer, gaping. His grad student Dianne paused for a split second and then grabbed a Sharpie. She dashed up to me and scrawled an “R” on my hand and an “L” on my copy. Only then did the fire alarm sound.

LEFT

Dianne passed me the inkpad. I pressed my thumb onto the pad and then against the paper under the letter “L.” My duplicate had already left his print under the “R.”

They were the same.

She handed me a tissue. “Well, he isn’t your mirror image.”

I wiped the remaining ink from my thumb and asked, “What do you think happened?”

She shook her head. “Hell, if I know. I can’t imagine how you could’ve been duplicated, but neither can I understand how it’s possible to snag your counterpart from a parallel universe. The beam was barely in the TeV range when it dumped. It makes no sense.”

She excused herself to go show my print to the duplicate and check on Sanders’ ETA. The boss was downtown at corporate to report on the latest upgrades. A semi had jackknifed on the highway, delaying her arrival.

The guard stood outside the door. Was it to keep me in or gawkers out? Word had spread about some sort of accident at Hutch Fourteen. When the beam dumps, everyone gets pissed, their experiments jeopardized or ruined. People want to know who screwed up.

Primus v. Secundus

She meant it as a joke, but it wasn’t funny. How could I prove I was the original if my duplicate always reacted exactly as I did? What makes a man an individual? His deeds? His memories? His thoughts? His emotions? We held all these in common. Then, perhaps his family?


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2016 collection.


RE: Your Request for Information on Dr. S. Bose: The Human Resources Department only verifies dates of employment and job title. We will provide no further information.


Dr. K. Kitts is a retired geology professor who lives in the high desert of New Mexico. She served as a science team member on the NASA Genesis Mission and worked with both Apollo lunar samples and meteorites. She no longer wishes to talk about “what is” but rather “what if.” She is currently writing both short and novel-length science fiction.


Leigh’s professional title is “illustrator,” but that’s just a nice word for “monster-maker,” in this case. More information about them can be found at http://leighlegler.carbonmade.com/.

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Belcher’s Sailor: A Remarkable Adaptation to Life on Gas Giants

An account by Dmitri Witles Belcher [1], [2], brought to our attention by E. B. Fischadler
Art by America Jones


The search for extraterrestrial life has focused primarily on rocky planets similar to Earth, notably Mars. Several probes have sought to discover current or past life on Mars with no success. Significant effort has also been expended in detecting planets in the “goldilocks zone,” regions around stars where temperatures allow the existence of liquid water, in the hope of finding a suitable habitat for life. Such searches were premised on the notion that life requires a planet with liquid water and a hard surface. The recent discovery of subsurface oceans on moons of Jupiter and Saturn and the discovery of life in earthly habitats previously thought inhospitable opened the search for life to other planets which do not meet the conventional criteria. We are honored to be the first to announce the existence of life on Jupiter, and name the first species discovered there Velificator Belcherus (Belcher’s sailor). In the following we shall describe this new species, discuss its functioning, possible connections to terrestrial life forms, and its great benefit to mankind.

Discovery

V. Belcherus was a serendipitous discovery of the LETO mission.[3] This mission to Jupiter, launched during the Second International Space Sciences Year, returned samples of Jupiter’s atmosphere seven years later. Contained in one sample was a clump of particles that were later found to be cells of V. Belcherus. We chose to keep these cells within their container because a bunch of SISSY scientists feared exposure to an extraterrestrial pathogen. This sample was later moved to the Space Pathogen Isolation Tank and Orbiting Observation Node (SPITOON) to ensure complete isolation from the human species. At first remotely monitored, the clump was found to be growing from its initial 2.4 cm radius at a rate approaching .1 cm/week. Concerned that it would quickly outgrow its present container, we transferred it to a 3 cubic m vessel in our laboratory, in which we created a model of the Jovian atmosphere. It is in this vessel that all subsequent discovery, reported below, has occurred.

Morphology

V. Belcherus has apparently stabilized at 0.5 m diameter. We later learned that this was an adaptation to its containment vessel. Subsequent missions to Jupiter have found examples of V. Belcherus ranging in size up to 7 m radius. V. Belcherus appears to be an ectomorph; it has no specific shape, rather its shape is determined by environmental influences. The majority of examples observed in situ are roughly spherical, with a tendency toward ellipsoidal shape. V. Belcherus is highly porous, the pores penetrating completely through the body. Other than some gill-like appendages, described below, V. Belcherus appears not to have differentiated organs. At least five functional cell types have been identified. With the exception of one family, these cells are distributed throughout the organism. Nervous, digestive, respiratory, and mobility cells all seem intermixed throughout the body of V. Belcherus.

Mobility

The most distinctive cell family of V. Belcherus are the “gill cell” structures. These appear as fan like appendages distributed about one hemisphere of the main body. These structures have some muscular cells, but repeated imaging of V. Belcherus in situ shows little motion of these appendages. We also see minimal motion of these appendages in the laboratory. The asymmetric distribution of these appendages suggests an aerodynamic function, and indeed field studies have shown this to be the case. Jupiter’s atmosphere is in constant motion, generally travelling along lines of longitude, following the familiar belts. We found that V. Belcherus drifts with these belts, oriented such that the appendages are always upstream. These appendages should normally act like the feathers on an arrow, tending to orient V. Belcherus with the appendages downstream. It appears likely that V. Belcherus somehow uses these appendages to actively orient itself. One possibility is that the appendages serve as “trim tabs,” altering the balance of aerodynamic forces to reorient the body. We have since observed that V. Belcherus could “reach,” that is sail cross wind, by minute adjustment of these appendages. We suspect these adjustments also allow for vertical displacement, as V. Belcherus has been found over a wide range of depths in the Jovian atmosphere. The utility of lateral motion is to allow V. Belcherus to travel along lines of latitude. As different belts travel at different speeds, this provides some means of speed control as well as motion in the north-south directions. Vertical motion also provides speed control, as wind speed decreases with depth in the atmosphere.

Belcher's Sailor: A Remarkable Adaptation to Life on Gas Giants

The recent discovery of subsurface oceans on moons of Jupiter and Saturn and the discovery of life in earthly habitats previously thought inhospitable opened the search for life to other planets which do not meet the conventional criteria. We are honored to be the first to announce the existence of life on Jupiter, and name the first species discovered there Velificator Belcherus (Belcher’s sailor).


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2016 collection.


E. B Fischadler has been writing short stories for several years, and has recently begun publishing. His stories have appeared in Mad Scientist Journal, Bewildering Stories, eFiction, and Beyond Science Fiction.

In addition to fiction, Fischadler has published over 30 papers in refereed scientific journals, as well as a chapter of a textbook on satellite engineering.

When he is not writing, he pursues a career in engineering and serves his community as an EMT.

Fischadler continues to write short stories and is working on a novel about a naval surgeon.

You can learn more about Fischadler and access his other publications at: https://ebfischadler.wordpress.com/


AJ is an illustrator and comic artist with a passion for neon colors and queer culture. Catch them being antisocial on social media @thehauntedboy.

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A Piece of My Mind

An essay by Dr. David Jackson, as provided by Tom Howard
Art by Errow Collins


I woke up smelling ripe strawberries, then antiseptic and bleach. Small machines whirred and pumped around me, sounding familiar. I was afraid to open my eyes.

A series of beeps from a nearby machine betrayed my wakefulness. My blood pressure and breathing must have changed as I woke. Someone approached, the sound of the wearer’s fabric brushing against itself so loudly that I opened my eyes.

I tried to speak, but the intubation tube in my throat prevented me. I struggled to free myself from the restraints at my wrists and ankles. The bright lights, loud machines, and confining straps frightened me. My arms hurt, and I couldn’t feel my legs. Something stabbed the back of my head when I moved.

“Doctor!” shouted a nurse, moving to press my head back onto the pillow. At first, I assumed she called someone for help, but as she stared at me with concern and recognition, I realized she was addressing me.

“It’s going to be okay,” she promised, pressing a button above my bed. “Just try to relax, Dr. Jackson. You’re going to be fine.”

Somehow I knew she said that to all the patients, but I stopped struggling and tried to suppress my gag reflex. This tube had to come out. How did patients bear it?

Could I be Dr. Jackson? Looking down, I could see a slender man’s body dressed in a hospital gown under a thin blanket. I stared down at my unfamiliar arms, thin and pale. My legs, as much strangers to me as my arms, didn’t move when I ordered them to.

“David,” said a smiling man as he rushed into the room. He wore a white lab coat and a stethoscope around his neck. Balding and round, he looked at me with the same friendly familiarity as the nurse. He glanced at the machine registering my vitals and smiled again. “Don’t try to talk. Just lay back, and we’ll get that tube out.”

Without waiting for me to respond, he nodded to the nurse and reached for the plastic tube in my mouth. “You know the drill, David. Tilt your head back and relax your throat.”

I didn’t recall the drill but followed orders. The procedure didn’t go smoothly, but soon he’d removed the tube, and I coughed and retched. The nurse gave me a few sips of water and shut off some of the more urgent sounding machines.

“Dr. Logan? Roberto?” I asked, uncertain of where I’d gotten the man’s name. My voice cracked. A half dozen people–doctors, nurses, and administrators–had entered the room. “What’s going on?” I asked, trying not to panic.

Roberto put a beefy hand on my shoulder and squeezed.

“I’ll tell you all about it,” he promised, turning to the crowd. “Let’s let him get some rest, folks. He’ll be able to have visitors tomorrow.”

“How long have I been out?” I croaked, watching the people file out. Several of them waved at me.

“Six months,” replied Roberto. “I’m glad I haven’t forgotten how to remove a tube.” In a flash, I recalled he was a research scientist and not a regular MD. Why was he at my bedside instead of dissecting brains in his laboratory?  As memories cascaded, I remembered he worked in our laboratory. He and I worked together on trying to understand the human brain. What the hell had happened to me?

“Do you know who you are?” he asked.

“Dr. David Lee Jackson,” I said. “You and I work together. What the hell happened, Roberto?” I lifted my head and an alarm went off. The nurse quickly silenced it and placed three cool fingers on my forehead to make me lie back. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a bundle of wires running from the back of my head to several machines.

Roberto looked relieved at my answer. “Why don’t you tell me the last thing you remember?”

Silently, I tried to pull that memory out of the appropriate file cabinet in my mind. Not only couldn’t I find the folder, I couldn’t locate the damn cabinet. “It seems patchy.”

He nodded. “That’s to be expected. I’m amazed you can recall your name. Who’s the president?”

“Grover Cleveland, of course,” I said and chuckled when I saw his eyes widen. “Why is memory loss to be expected?  What happened to me?”

Before he could respond, a young woman entered the room. She pushed Roberto aside and hugged me tightly.

“David, you’re awake!” she exclaimed. “They said not to get my hopes up, but I knew you’d come back to me.” I looked imploringly at Roberto over the top of her head when the hugs resumed, but he gave me a weak smile and shrugged.

Who the hell was she?

A Piece of My Mind

Suddenly I stood in an alley, a dark corridor that smelled like rotting garbage and urine. Someone faced me, a tall man, shouting. An explosion rang out, and the flash blinded me. I smelled hot blood and ran out of the alley, the man still screaming behind me. I heard the sound of squealing brakes.


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2016 collection.


Dr. David Jackson is a research scientist in Chicago, Illinois. He specializes in neurology, using technology to augment damaged brain tissue. He’s dedicated, friendly, and realizes he spends too much time in the lab. He’s afraid he’ll wake up one day and realize he should have stuck his head out the window occasionally.


Tom Howard is a fantasy and short story writer in Little Rock, Arkansas, who is currently working for a bank’s IT department in the Philippines. He doesn’t own any cats, but thanks his children for their inspiration and the Central Arkansas Speculative Fiction Writers’ Group for their perspiration.


Errow is a comic artist and illustrator focused on narrative work themed around worlds not quite like our own. She spends her time working with her partner on The Kinsey House webcomic and developing other comic projects when she’s not playing tag with her bear of a cat. More of her work can be found at errowcollins.wix.com/portfolio.

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New Book by Mad Scientist

Pixels: The Cause and the Cloud CuckooPerry McDaid, one of our MSJ alumni, has a new book out titled Pixels: The Cause and the Cloud Cuckoo. It’s a non-SF book about life in Northern Ireland, about a man facing a psychiatric tribunal due to the trauma he’s experienced. You can learn more by checking it out on Amazon!

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Traditional Fairy Dust: A Recipe

A recipe by Franklin A. Evenson, M.D., as provided by Dusty Wallace
Art by Ariel Alian Wilson


Ingredients

10 South woods fairies, fresh and intact
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon baking soda

Utensils

1 small cookpot
mortar and pestle

First, a note on the fairies: when using fairies in any recipe, I strongly advise against purchasing them from vendors. Using the wrong fairies in a recipe can lead to extreme illness. North woods fairies should not be used as a substitute in this recipe.

Traditional Fairy Dust: A Recipe

The first thing you do with fairies is rip off their wings. Otherwise they’ll fly right out of the jar. If the cries of pain bother you, it may be prudent to stuff your ears with cotton.

For freshness, it’s best to harvest your own fairies. With some honey-sweetened milk, the fairies will come right to you. All you have to do is put them in a jar (poke some holes in the lid so they can breathe). Try not to engage them in meaningful conversation, as it can lead to unwanted emotional confusion.


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2016 collection.


Franklin A. Evenson, M.D., gave himself an honorary medical license when he turned eighteen. In the two years since, he’s risen to become the premiere (and only) physician in all of Great Woods. Most of his techniques were developed through the time-tested practice of trial and error.


Dusty Wallace lives in the Appalachians of Virginia with his wife and two sons. He enjoys reading, writing, and the occasional fine cigar. Find him on Twitter: @CosmicDustMite


Ariel Alian Wilson is a few things: artist, writer, gamer, and role-player. Having dabbled in a few different art mediums, Ariel has been drawing since she was small, having always held a passion for it. She’s always juggling numerous projects. Currently lives in Seattle with her two cats, Zippy and Persephone. You can find doodles, sketches, and more at her blog www.winndycakesart.tumblr.com.


“Traditional Fairy Dust: A Recipe” is © 2015 Dusty Wallace
Art accompanying story is © 2015 Ariel Alian Wilson

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A Boardgame for Evil Geniuses!

Ultimate SchemeWe know that our readers are interested in the latest in mad scientist gear, and we’ve found a Kickstarter that you may appreciate: Ultimate Scheme: A Boardgame for Evil Geniuses! Here’s their pitch:

Ultimate Scheme is a brand-new, high-quality boardgame for 2 to 5 players that combines resource management, worker placement, and a not terribly serious theme.

In Ultimate Scheme, you are an evil genius or criminal mastermind, taking on the role of a faction such as the Dark Masters of Darkness, Professor Roboto, or the Cult of Tentacly Doom. You direct your minions across the globe to gather resources and complete nefarious schemes such as Build a Freeze Ray or Market Evil Soda. Each scheme earns you progress toward your Ultimate Scheme, your secret victory condition for the game. When you’ve completed your secret Ultimate Scheme, you win the game!

Click here to check out this Kickstarter!

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