Winter 2015 is Now Available!

Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2015

Our newest quarterly is now available via Amazon and Smashwords! It features exclusive content from Deborah Walker, Diana Parparita, and MJ Gardner, advice from Dr. “Oort” Cloud, and Horrorscopes!

You can also buy it and the other 11 issues of Mad Scientist Journal as an add-on reward in our Kickstarter for only $15!

In time, the book will be available through other ebook retailers, but that has been delayed by some problems with Smashwords.

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In the Defense of Mummies

An essay by Dr. Genocide, as provided by J. M. Perkins
Art by Katie Nyborg


(This article first appeared in the December 2375 issue of Mad Science Monthly and is reprinted with permission. Mad Science Monthly accepts no liabilities for any hypertime anomalies arising from any person or persons acting with foreknowledge to as yet unoccured events.)

As I’ve discussed in previous columns, the options available for today’s up and coming Scientist of Non-Plebeian Intellect regarding hench-entity selection and utilization are seemingly without limit. I’ve spent precious space in this monthly feature weighing some of the advantages and disadvantages of zombies, common street thugs equipped with quantum weaponry, and the ever popular mutant mole people of the third earth’s secret cities. However, I’d like to turn your attention to a type of minion that many dismiss as nothing more than a has-been anachronism, suitable only for kitschy Halloween decorations and terrorizing some manner of hapless, bumbling comedic duo.

I’m speaking, of course, of the humble, much maligned Mummy.

If your “science” is so limited that it can only encompass orbiting death rays and beam weaponry enabled Chondrichthyes then by all means, mock me. Laugh, laugh like they all laugh and keep laughing until the day comes for you to rue all your laughing laughter! However, if you in fact possess a true scientific mind that pierces into the darkest forms of “magic” (the secret sciences) of the ancient masters, then by all means read on and learn what may well grant you the final edge necessary for you to finally take over the world. (I jest of course; the world shall be mine and mine alone.)

I can hear you now, trying to shout down the voices in my head: “But Dr. Genocide, no one has dispatched Mummies in two hundred years! They’re a laughing stock. Why, the last time anyone tried utilizing the things, they barely seized half a city block and a child’s lemon-aid stand.” True, though in defense of the late, great Colonel Catastrophe, that did turn out to be a troublingly well-defended dispensary of sugar and citrus. Be that as it may, whereas you see this litany of ridicule and failure not worthy of serious consideration, my own fractal genius sees this pathetic reputation and scorn to be the boon it is.

The sad fact of the matter is, every day the mainstay henches of yesteryear lose more and more of their effectiveness. Whether through overuse, development of countermeasures, or other myriad factors, the truth is that one simply does not get as much “punch” from the traditional hench-entities. Allow me to illustrate:

In the Defense of Mummies

The sad fact of the matter is, every day the mainstay henches of yesteryear lose more and more of their effectiveness. Whether through overuse, development of countermeasures, or other myriad factors, the truth is that one simply does not get as much “punch” from the traditional hench-entities.


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2015 collection.


Dr. Genocide is a regular contributor to Mad Science Monthly. He is listed as one of the Galactapol’s Most Wanted for over a decade, and his schemes have nearly granted him total control of reality no less than seven times. He currently lives in a undisclosed Orbiting Death Station with his three cats: Blargat the Eater of Space, Felinitus, and Mr. Meow-Meow.


J. M. Perkins is a San Diego based genre fiction writer and former survivalist with over a dozen of his short stories sold, published, printed and adapted: on the web, in print anthologies, and on Public Radio International. He used a successful Kickstarter campaign to publish his first novel, and cohosts the podcast ‘John vs Patrick.’


Based in Seattle, Katie Nyborg is a writer, illustrator, and fairy tale collector. She’s composed primarily of ghosts, peppermint patties, and an overactive imagination. More of her work and worlds can be found at katiedoesartthings.tumblr.com.


This story originally appeared in A Method to the Madness: A Guide to the Super Evil.

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A Preview of Our Next Kickstarter!

We’re going to be doing another Kickstarter in February, and this is it:

Selfies Art plus text

This year, we are bringing you tales from the end times in Selfies from the End of the World: Historical Accounts of the Apocalypse. Survivors of zombie plagues, nuclear holocausts, the Rapture, or the inevitable death of the universe will share their tales of their experiences. Or, at least, several authors will write stories from the point of view of these people.

We won’t know the exact contents until we open up our call for submissions, but the sort of stories we have in mind might include:

  • A report from an angel harvesting the faithful at the Rapture and running into trouble.
  • A man trying to apologize to his boyfriend in the brief span of time available before the bombs hit.
    Zombie outbreaks in the heart of Tokyo.
  • The narrative of a survivor of a breach in space and time, recounting her life in the a shattered world where time is meaningless.
  • A war reporter on the front lines of Ragnarok.

This will be the second book of this type that we have done. Last year we Kickstarted That Ain’t Right, a book of stories from the world of Lovecraft’s Miskatonic Valley. How did it go? Readers seem to have enjoyed it so far.

  • “Every single story in this collection is wonderfully creepy and totally engaging.”
  • “I enjoyed it from cover to cover, and would recommend it to my friends.”
  • “Consistently superior writing coupled with outstanding editing. A worthy introduction to many new talented mythos writers.”
  • “I enjoyed every one of the tales in this book both as stories and as tributes to Lovecraft.”

We can’t pay our contributors what they’re worth, without you. That Ain’t Right turned out to be a great anthology, and we hope you’ll help this one hit that mark too.

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The Story of Jesse’s Heart Trouble

As told by Tommy to Marla L. Anderson
Art by Scarlett O’Hairdye


The trouble with Jesse all started when his girlfriend went and had a change of heart. Wouldn’t have been no big deal if Jesse hadn’t decided to keep her old one.

I was standing in Jesse’s living room, staring at the dark reddish blob floating inside a lit up fish tank. Tubes and electrical stuff curled from the tank to a motor Jesse said would keep the heart alive. I heard a deep rumbling in the distance. There was a storm coming. They’d said so on the radio.

“Check this out,” Jesse said and pressed a remote.

Hard rock kicked in with amplified heartbeats, “bebump, bepumb.” It made the wood floor vibrate and my chest felt as if it was being taken over.

“So what do you think?” he asked.

I felt my mouth go dry and my palms go wet. I wiped my hands across the rough fabric of my jeans. “Gee, I don’t know. It’s pretty weird.”

“Weird is good. People like weird.” Jesse grinned and slapped me on the back. He was always inventing stuff–stuff that never quite caught on. That’s why Tina broke off their engagement. Said so right in the recovery room.

“Sorry, Jesse,” she’d said, “but it’s just not working out. This surgery has made me rethink things. I guess it’s not the only change of heart I’ve had.”

Now as I watched him staring at her old one, I thought his blue eyes looked way too bright and wide, like he was on something. Except I knew he wouldn’t be. Jesse never touched nothing that could mess up his mind–made sure I didn’t either. Jesse was too smart for that.


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2015 collection.


Tom (last name withheld) spent his early years on his family’s farm before moving to Los Angeles where he met his best friend, Jesse. Tom currently lives in northern California where he is happily employed as a farm hand and his most trusted friends are of the bovine persuasion. He never wants to live in a big city again.


Marla Anderson loves to read and write science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mainstream. She has authored four science fiction novels and a collection of short stories in a wide range of genres. She currently lives on a hill overlooking the Cleveland National Forest with her husband, her mother, two dogs, and a cat.


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


This story originally appeared in Electric Wine in 2001.

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Mad Scientist Jeannie Warner Offers Advice for Young Explorers

2015 Young Explorer's Adventure GuideMad Scientist Journal alumnus Jeannie Warner has a new story in the 2015 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide from Dreaming Robot Press. This anthology collects twenty tales of science fiction targeted toward middle grade readers.

You can also check out her story in Rom Zom Com: A Romantic Zombie Comedy Anthology, which came out last year.

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That Man Behind the Curtain: December 2014

It’s time once again for me to pull back the curtain and show you the numbers of our little zine!

The Money Aspect

Amounts in parentheses are losses/expenses.

For the month of December:

Hosting: ($17.06)
Stories: ($80.00)
Art: ($199.56)
Advertising: ($115.00)
Payment Processing Fees: ($9.36)
Donations: $93.00
Ad Revenue: $0.60
Book Sales: $170.41
Total: ($210.74)
QTD: ($454.52)
YTD: ($2,913.66)
All Time: ($10,426.43)

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. I also cover Paypal expenses when paying authors and artists.

That Ain’t Right continues to sell like gangbusters. I’m going to assume that it’s due in large part to it being Cthulhu related.

Submissions

We were closed to submissions in December, so we remain at at 54.94% for all time.

Followers

Facebook: 893 (+17)
Twitter: 335 (-2)
Google+: 42 (-2)
Tumblr: 50 (+0)
Mailing List: 36 (+5)
Patreon: 8 (+2)

Traffic

The site experienced an increase in overall traffic for the month. We had a total of 1,339 visits. Our traffic consisted of 841 users and 2,396 page views. This traffic was spread out over the month more evenly, so our highest day of traffic was only 71 instead of 90+.

Despite Google Analytics making it increasingly difficult to find this part of the report, I was still able to find the search terms from our  organic traffic. This month’s search engine term is “method of family management.” I’m not sure why they thought we would be a good source, but I won’t turn it down.

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The Birds of Ecthalion

An essay by Noscanaran’e’Prelapsis, as provided by Jaime Babb
Art by Leigh Legler


Excerpt from “A Survey History of the Human Worlds”, c. 70 500 A.I., compiled by Noscanaran of Taxekentak:

The planet 47 Ursa Majoris-3, locally known as Ecthalion, is home to a small population of Orange Three-Toed Humans, thought to be offshoots of the Human population of the nearby Pi-2 Ursa Majoris System. Although no known record of a colony survives, it is believed (due to linguistic similarities) that the original Human settlement was established by Chaos-worshipping religious pilgrims during π2 UMa’s 27th Imperial Dynasty, approximately two thousand standard years before present (Terrestrial frame). The planet was only inhabitable through the use of arcologies at the time of settlement, although terraforming during the intervening centuries has rendered the planetary surface habitable by most land-going Human subspecies. Nevertheless, the legacy of arcological modes of living has left an indelible mark upon the local culture and political institutions, in a manner similar to that seen on other worlds similarly settled. Ecthalion’s society tends to be highly structured and circularly-hierarchical, with a complex system of noblesse oblige constraining the behaviour of the Upper Classes, though it is reported that certain aristocrats, freed from the constraints of arcological living, have taken to shunning their sense of obligation. It is therefore expected that class strife will take place within the coming centuries.

The planet itself possesses an inactive core; the planetary magnetic field is rather generated by a network of artificial satellites, putatively put in place by the planet’s original settlers, though the details of its origin are shrouded in legend.

On the whole, Ecthalion is largely unremarkable, and would be similar to the point of interchangeability to any number of other planets inhabited by Human subspecies, were it not for a certain unconfirmed rumour: namely, it is popularly believed by the inhabitants of Ecthalion that their system is home to a cosmic string fragment, or other topological defect, and that this defect has subtly altered the laws of physics throughout the region. While no reputable scientific survey of the volume of space immediately surrounding 47 Ursa Majoris appears to have been undertaken–and the claim has therefore never been either confirmed or falsified–the legend appears to be well enough known on nearby worlds that Ecthalion is subject to a steady influx of private “treasure hunters.” For several centuries, these Hunters have constituted Ecthalion’s primary economic driver and revenue source–as such, the Ecthalion state has been largely configured around this industry, and external scholars should therefore be inclined to view indigenously-produced scientific surveys with skepticism, as it is likely that the government may be falsifying reports in order to keep the hunt going.

The Birds of Ecthalion

Scientists, clerics, and philosophers have debated the nature of these strange birds for centuries, but some insight may be provided by those rare occasions upon which the different species have been witnessed together at the same time and place.

In particular, several reports make a number of highly exotic claims about divergences in the local laws of physics (supposedly caused by the elusive topological defect) but fail to give adequate details concerning research methodology. Surveys by external research agencies are seldom made, as the local government tends to severely restrict their activities, but the few such studies available to the author seem to debunk most of the more sensational rumours. For example, gravitation in the system appears to obey the typical inverse-square power law, rather than the inverse 2.01 power law frequently claimed, and there does not appear to be a single independently corroborated case of the local laws of statistical mechanics deforming themselves in order to produce an individual’s Heart’s Desire out of thin air. Unsuccessful Hunters leaving the system appear to be inclined to believe that the legends are true, but in the author’s opinion, they are probably filtering observed coincidences through the lens of their own cognitive biases.

There does, however, appear to be at least one well-corroborated natural phenomenon in the 47 Ursa Majoris system which has so far defied attempt at explanation. This phenomenon is popularly referred to as “the Birds of Ecthalion,” and will be described below.


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2015 collection.


Noscanaran’e’Prelapsis (usually called Noscanaran of Taxekentak) was a notable Icthyohuman historian, archivist, and polymath of the 70th millennium AI. Even as a tadpole in the sub-glacial seas of GJ-1002-6-5 (known as Taxekentak), Noscanaran demonstrated tremendous curiosity and a keen intellect, and so became a scholar at Taxekentak’s prestigious Basin of Wisdom by the age of 15. There, he completed his seminal work, “A Survey History of the Human Inhabited Worlds,” the most extensive almanac of its day. Following a scandal, Noscanaran was forced into exile, where he perished while trying to study a gamma ray burst first hand.


Terminally indecisive, Jaime Babb could never decide whether she wanted to be a physicist, an historian, or a writer, so she simply became all three. She currently lives in Winnipeg, Canada, where she makes her living editing scientific manuscripts and tutoring mathematics. You can read her thoughts about writing, science, transgender issues, and whatever else occurs to her on her blog at voxcorvegis.wordpress.com. Jaime also volunteers as editor of the popular science blog, theamateurrealist.com.


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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Recalibrating Archaeological Time Scales

An essay by T. Rashman and O. L. Geezer, as provided by E. B. Fischadler
Art by Luke Spooner


It has come to our attention that there is considerable debate regarding the age of the earth. Having heard this, we began considering archaeological time scales and the benchmarks used to establish them. We introduce a new benchmark below, which we believe is more readily accessible and understandable than the benchmarks currently used in archaeology. This benchmark also provides a new age for the earth, as well as new dates for some historic milestones, which we believe will reconcile the debate between the scientific community’s estimates for the age of the earth and the age of the earth as determined by religious fanatics from their literal reading of the Bible.

The Problem, and a possible solution

Currently, the dating of archaeological finds relies on arcane methods such as carbon dating, epigraphy, amino acid dating, and other methods that require a PhD to understand and a lot of money invested in fancy equipment to employ. We sought an alternative method that was more readily accessible to the armchair historian and backyard archaeologist.

More accessible methods, such as stratigraphy (dating by depth of the find), result in ages inconsistent with Biblical scholarship. For example, the age of the dinosaurs has been placed ca 300 million BC to 150 million BC. A literal interpretation of the Bible has been used to obtain an age for the earth of approximately 6,600 years.

We realized that someone has to be wrong, and sought an independent methodology for dating archaeological artifacts. Just such a scheme came to us one night, as we learned that a winning lottery ticket was sold at our local package store. We found the ticket, dated 6 January, in the kitchen trash on top of a copy of the National Enquirer, with the same date on its banner. We realized that the deeper we dug down in the trash the earlier the dates on items we uncovered. This suggested a key relation:

 

Age of find = constant * depth of find      eq. 1

 

That is, the age of something in the trash increases the farther down you dig. If this relationship holds, and we could identify the value of the constant, this may represent a new method for calibration of the archeological record.

Recalibrating Archaelogical Time Scales

More accessible methods, such as stratigraphy (dating by depth of the find), result in ages inconsistent with Biblical scholarship.


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2015 collection.


T. Rashman, a former employee of Barone Sanitation, currently works as a “freestyle sanitation engineer.”


O. L. Geezer is an expert in scatology, and has recently expanded the scope of his research to include Garbology. Though accused of archaeological dating, it has been established that he never dated anyone more than 10 years older than himself.


E. B Fischadler has been writing short stories for several years, and has recently begun publishing. When he is not writing, he pursues a career in engineering and serves his community as an EMT. Mr. Fischadler’s technical works have been published in several refereed journals and a book. Fischadler continues to write short stories and is working on a novel about a naval surgeon.


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.

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Notes on the Genetics and a Hypothesis on the Hybridization Life Cycle of Homo sapiens and Homo aquatium

Research by: Dr. Herbert K. Bloch, Chief Physician, Shikellamy Asylum, Dellville, PA
Transcribed and submitted by: Fred S. Lubnow, Ph.D.
Illustration by: Steve Maschuck


This short paper provides the results of hopefully the first in a series of investigations into the hybridization of humans (Homo sapiens) and deep ones (Homo aquatium). While this unique type of hybridization has been documented on an individual and, on a more limited extent, population level, little is known of it on the genetic level. As the author of this paper, I have had the opportunity to collect biological samples from a number of residents of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, at various stages of the hybridization process, which is more aptly defined as a form of complete metamorphosis (see below).

Hybridization of distinct species is not unique in Terran animal life. An aquatic example of hybridization is the hybrid striped bass, which is typically produced by fertilizing eggs from white bass (Morone chrysops) with sperm from striped bass (Morone saxatilis). While the hybrid of these two species is sterile, which is very typical of hybrids, it tends to be very aggressive in its feeding habits, making it a desirable gamefish. In addition, the hybrid striped bass is also prized for its tasty flesh and is frequently commercially raised and sold to restaurants. What is unique relative to the human-deep one hybrid (see attached illustration) is that the offspring are presumed to be fertile and can produce progeny after the metamorphosis is complete. Thus, this unique inter-species crossing may not be appropriately defined as an inter-species hybridization.

As previously noted, I intentionally place the deep ones in the same genus as humans (Homo) but as a distinct species. This is in sharp contrast to the Wilmarth Foundation’s previous taxonomic description, where the deep ones were placed in an entirely different genus, family, order, and even class relative to humans. This revision that I propose is due to the recent genetic comparisons and analyses I have conducted using standard DNA to DNA hybridization methodology. Specifically, based on this methodology, the genetic difference between humans and the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) is less than 2%. However, using the same methodology, I have determined that the genetic difference between humans and deep ones is less than 1%. In other words, humans are more closely related to deep ones from an evolutionary perspective than they are to chimps.

What is even more startling is that both humans and deep ones each have twenty-three pairs of chromosomes, while chimpanzees have twenty-four pairs. In addition, the human and deep one chromosome pairs are very similar in arrangement, size, and structure. Thus, while not directly observed, such an arrangement must make meiosis and subsequent fusion of sexual gametes (i.e., sperm and egg) between a human and a deep one a frequently successful process, at least from a physiological perspective.

From the available information, the resulting “hybrid” from a human and deep one union appears human with certain unique characteristics or traits such as large bulging eyes with rudimentary eyelids, slight webbing between the digits, bulbous lips, and slightly grey to green mottled skin. Some also show evidence of precursors to gill slits along the neck. Typically, these traits are anecdotally called the “Innsmouth Look”; they are minimal when the hybrid is born and slowly manifest themselves more and more as the hybrid ages. While there is some variability among individuals, it appears that approximately ten to twelve years after human puberty, the metamorphosis from a human with the Innsmouth Look to full deep one occurs at an extremely accelerated rate. The primary genetic mechanism I hypothesize that oversees this metamorphosis is proposed to involve an elaborate sub-cellular timing of “on and off” switching of oncogenes throughout the individual’s genome; however, such speculation requires additional observations and experiments. Additionally, I know from personal experience, which will be explained in more detail in a subsequent paper, that the “hybrid” is typically not fertile until the full metamorphosis to a deep one is complete.

Through some of the observational experiments I have implemented, I have documented that the actual full metamorphosis occurs within a span of three to five weeks, depending on the individual. Once the metamorphosis from Homo sapiens to Homo aquatium is complete, the individual typically leaves the land-based existence for one almost entirely in the sea. While deep ones are known to live for extended periods of time out of the sea, it is not known how long an individual can live on land before suffering irrevocable physiological damage. I was coerced to release the individuals I had for my observational experiments to the sea five days after their metamorphosis was complete. I can report that no physiological impacts or damage were documented after five days; however, individuals exerted behavioral changes such as increased aggression.

What information is largely absent from my studies regarding the metamorphosis from human “hybrid” to deep one includes a study on the life cycle after the full metamorphosis is complete, as well as the embryological development of a fertilized egg to birth. In addition, it is not known if the post-metamorphosed deep one truly represents the population of deep ones throughout the world’s oceans or if the “hybridized human–deep one” is a distinctly different species or sub-species from non-hybridized, formal Deep One. In other words, what else is down there in the depths of the sea?

Notes on the Genetics and a Hypothesis on the Hybridization Life Cycle of Homo sapiens and Homo aquatium

If a distinct, fully oceanic species of deep ones exists, how is the sexual fusion between humans and deep ones possible? By “polluting” the deep ones’ gene pool with human genes, doesn’t this impact future generations of deep ones?


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2015 collection.


Herbert Bloch received two Bachelor degrees, one in Biology and the other in Ancient Cultures / Arts from Seattle University, WA. He also received his Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Maine and his Doctorate in Medicine from Harvard. He served as a full resident for two years at the Cambridge Hospital Campus before becoming the Director and Chief Physician at Shikellamy Asylum in PA. He has a patent on four psychotropic drugs and frequently collaborates with the Innsmouth Foundation, MA, in various research projects to better humanity.


Fred Lubnow received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from Susquehanna University, PA (1988), his Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences (1992), and his Ph.D. in Limnology (1994) from the University of California Davis, CA. During his day job, he is the Director of the Aquatic Programs at Princeton Hydro, LLC, specializing in managing lakes. Late into the evening, he enjoys reading and writing horror fiction, particularly Lovecraftian fiction. He gave a talk at the 2013 Necronomicon conference on the Biology and Evolution of the Old Ones. In addition, he hosts a blog site on Lovecraft and science located at www.lovecraftianscience.wordpress.com.

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Happy New Year! Submissions are Open!

After a three month hiatus, we’re opening the new year by re-opening submissions. Not only are we back to accepting regular stories, but for the month of January we’re also accepting submissions exclusive to our quarterly magazine. This includes flash and short fiction of any sort (500-2000 words for flash, 2000-8000 words for short), and fictional classifieds (100-500 words). Check out our Submissions page for instructions.

(Please do NOT send us email or comment on this post or anything weird like that. We’re serious. This is our serious face.)

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