Accelerating Universe

A log by cryotechnician Coadyl Rassin. Here, transcribed by Dennis Staples
Art by Justine McGreevy

My shift begins an hour after I wake up, whatever time that is. I don’t really know. I haven’t gotten used to reading the ship’s clocks. The alarms are set up by the computer techs though, so I never have to worry about my schedule.

I wake up this morning to some trouble.

Ever since the ship left Za’ira I’ve been tired. Today the alarm just wasn’t powerful enough, and I slept through the loud annoying bell. The touch screen didn’t get my fingerprint confirmation since I didn’t get out of bed. That’s what alerted the captain.

Captain Otheo himself marches to my bedroom and yells me out of bed. I’m standing half-naked and getting scolded by a man in a suit. It was just like childhood nightmares about school, I swear.

“Do you realize hundreds of lives are at stake, Coadyl Rassin? Each more important than you getting a few more minutes in,” the captain yells.

“I know, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. Just get your lazy ass dressed and to your department. And fucking shave, pretty boy.”

I almost wanted to laugh at how his voice is so rigid, so practiced, but being scolded in my underwear makes everything lose its humor.

In the small bathroom in my quarters, I look at my face in the mirror. Aside from the red-streaked eyes, I don’t think I look that bad. My beard isn’t that long, and it’s the only thing that makes me look older than eighteen. I shave quickly and rush to the cryo-hangar.


Accelerating Universe

“This is Captain Otheo. Unfortunately, I must announce that our telescopes have confirmed the total destruction of Za’ira. As a precaution, we will be traveling at a faster speed to prevent any possible collision with debris from the planet. All crew will report to the flight deck to assure safety.”
I turn away from 13-471 and walk slowly out of the cryo-hangar. I think I can feel my heart through my entire body, my ears, and my head. It won’t stop.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2014 collection.

Coadyl Rassin was born on the planet Za’ira. He attended the Guild’s Initiative College with a degree in cryogenics. Shortly after graduation, he was selected to be a crew member on the Guild’s exodus to the planet Ersepha. After the landing, he was part of the successful first settlement on Ersepha. He enjoys drawing and spending time with his wife.

Dennis Staples was born in 1992 in Minnesota. He is currently an undergraduate student at Bemidji State University with a major in creative and professional writing. He enjoys writing fantasy, science fiction, and creative nonfiction. His work has appeared in the BSU literary magazine,

Justine McGreevy is a slowly recovering perfectionist, writer, and artist. She creates realities to make our own seem slightly less terrifying. Her work can be viewed at and you can follow her on Twitter @Fickle_Muse.

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That Man Behind the Curtain: September 2014

In September, we had the last of our Kickstarter costs, so we dumped out a whole lot of money. Plus we spent money on classified ads for the next couple quarterlies, which was another chunk of costs.

The Money Aspect

Amounts in parentheses are losses/expenses.
Hosting: ($17.06)
Domain Name Renewal: ($60.72)
Stories: ($130)
Art: ($334.40)
Advertising: ($100.00)
Shipping: ($474.63)
Payment Processing Fees: ($14.34)
Donations: $51.00
Ad Revenue: $0.91
Book Sales: $124.66
Total: ($954.58)
QTD: ($2,831.79)
YTD: ($2,265.46)
All Time: ($9,778.03)

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.

We had additional That Ain’t Right expenses, mainly in the form of shipping ALL THE BOOKS. On the bright side, we made record sales for books–five times our previous high point.


We received 35 stories in September, 14 of which were classified ads. (Most from new authors!!) We accepted all of the classifieds and 10 of the other submissions. So 47.62% acceptance for the general submissions, 68.57% for the month as a whole. This puts us at 54.94% for all time. We have sufficient content to last us until early September 2015. Because our contract stipulates that we have to publish the story within a year of signing the contract, that’s really almost all we can accept. So we’re closed for submissions for the remainder of the year.


Facebook: 855 (+10)
Twitter: 338 (+15)
Google+: 43 (+0)
Tumblr: 38 (+8)
Mailing List: 21 (+3)
Patreon: 6 (+0)


September was a bit up from August. We had a total of 1,377 visits. Our traffic consisted of 848 users and 2,782 page views. Our highest daily traffic was 81.

This month’s search engine term is “glow in the dark ghost from chicken wire”. Because we take things back to basics.

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New Work from Dusty Wallace

People Eating PeopleMad Scientist Journal alumnus Dusty Wallace has some exciting news in the hopper!

First, his story “Shaundra the Watcher” will be in ARES Magazine Issue #2.  The magazine will be available in print or ebook at the end of this month. You can check out a sample of the story at

Second, he edited an anthology titled People Eating People – A Cannibal Anthology. It’s a collection of stories from multiple genres, avoiding tropes like zombies and hillbillies. From the back:

“Come feast on a buffet of fiction. In these pages you’ll find superheroes, fantasy, steampunk, corporate whistle-blowing, and a grandma passing down her ‘secret family recipe.’ Learn how to survive a famine. Haggle your way to better meat prices. ‘People Eating People’ will satisfy any reader’s most ravenous fiction hunger.”

If your appetite is piqued, you can check out the book on Amazon.

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New Books by Mad Scientists

Two of the Mad Scientist family have new books available for your reading enjoyment.

First, Nathan Crowder returns to his Cobalt City setting with his new book, Cobalt City: Los Muertos.

Cobalt City: Los Muertos

Then co-editor Dawn Vogel shares a tale of Greek gods in the wild west in The Big Adios Western Digest (Fall 2014).

The Big Adios

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Harnessing Hotters

A speech by Professor Wilbur Wilkinson-Grauss, as provided by George Nikolopoulos
Art by Leigh Legler

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely wish to thank you for inviting me to speak here at the Royal Geographical Society.

I am going to speak to you about Hotters, the astounding minuscule creatures that provide us with heat. As you are undoubtedly aware of, Professor Eric Higgsbaum-Straddle and my humble self first predicted the existence of these elusive entities eight years ago, and we have since been trying to discover conclusive evidence of their existence. A few months ago, with the invaluable help of Dr. Richard Bottom-Wiggins’ remarkable new invention, the minutoscope, which, as you probably know, is a device that enables the human eye to observe minute creatures, we were able, for the first time in the history of humanity, to see the Hotters.

To be precise, Sir, we did not actually see individual Hotters, as the creatures are so tiny that they can not even be seen with the aid of the minutoscope–which can magnify the image of an object by up to 500 times–but we were able to perceive large clusters of Hotters on the surface of an iron alloy that we heated to 1,000 degrees in the absolute scale. As Professor Higgsbaum-Straddle and I have explained in our paper that was published in the Journal of the New Victorian Society, the attribute that we call “heat” is in fact generated by Hotters. The greater the concentration of Hotters in an object, the hotter the object becomes. According to our theory, Hotters are born in fire, and as the alloy was put through the fire, the Hotters leaped upon it.

I do not wish to tire you, Sir, with scientific details and calculations, which you will be able to peruse at your leisure in our paper in the Journal, but I am certainly obliged to mention that the concentration of Hotters in a substance is directly proportional to its absolute temperature, multiplied by a constant number, which we have named H, and is equal to 8.353 X 1023. It was proposed by our esteemed colleague, Professor Januarius Finnegan-Smythe, that this number be called the Higgsbaum-Straddle-Wilkinson-Grauss Constant.

To go on with my narrative, then, Sir, exactly as we had predicted, the concentration of Hotters on the alloy was great enough to allow us to observe clusters of Hotters on its surface. As you may have been informed of, Dr. Bottom-Wiggins and the New Lowland Laboratories are presently working on a new improved model of the minutoscope which will be able to magnify images by up to 2,000 times. Magnification on this scale will most probably be adequate for us to observe concentrations of Hotters on objects less than 300 degrees hot. If the illustrious Doctor continues to improve his minutoscope at such a rate, I believe I can safely predict that it will not be very long before we can actually observe individual Hotters.

Harnessing Hotters

We now recognize for a fact, Sir, that Hotters love the Sun, that they would rather reside near the equator, and that they migrate to the southern hemisphere in the winter. I have been asked by skeptics why Hotters eschew the Arctic Circle. Well, I replied, would you live in such a bleak and barren place? Hotters are very social creatures, and they prefer to reside where there is a congregation of Hotters already.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2014 collection.

Professor Wilbur Wilkinson-Grauss, OBE, first became known to the general public when he proposed the theory of Hotters, together with his less charismatic colleague, Professor Eric Higgsbaum-Straddle. Derided at first, the theory of Hotters soon became widely accepted by the scientific community and Prof. Wilkinson-Grauss is today hailed as the Father of Modern Heating.

George Nikolopoulos is a much ­published writer, poet, anthology editor, and sometimes actor from Greece. He is currently in search of an international career as a writer.

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

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Inside Job

An essay by Azazel, as provided by Nick Nafpliotis
Art by Luke Spooner

Shhhh …

If you’re going to sit here, then you’ll have to be quieter than that. We are in a church, after all.

Oh sure, I know it seems more than a little strange for me to be in a place designed for worshipping The Oppressor. I am an agent of Lucifer, after all. But what most folks don’t realize is that this is where some of the best stuff happens.

Yes, the hymns and praise band music proclaiming the “greatness” of The Oppressor and his son make my skin crawl. And yes, the parts where they quote out of that ridiculous book make me want to scream. But ignore all of that for a minute and look around you. Check out all that rock n’ roll stage lighting, the elaborate lobbies … I mean seriously, there’s even a freaking coffee shop! Do you know how much of the money they poured into all could have been used to help the poor and the sick?

“But Azazel,” you’ll say, “by growing their church, they can reach more of those people.”

It’s a nice thought, but it’s also a complete load of shit. This church didn’t build those things to reach out to the poor, the tired, and the hungry. They wanted to seem “cool” or “important” just so they could feel better about not being those things.

Inside Job

That’s why this place is so wonderful, by the way. It’s practically doing all of the work for us, especially with regards to the younger generations. The youth groups are ruled by cliques even more brutal and heartless than the ones we’ve worked so hard to build in the secular schools. Unless you’re a hot ass chick, a really douchey looking jock, or a quadriplegic burn victim, no one honestly gives two shits about you.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2014 collection.

Azazel has been a demon in service of the Dark Lord’s for many thousands of years. He favorite show is Entourage and his favorite band is Nickelback. He proudly claims partial and sometimes full responsibility for the suffering of countless beings through strife, bigotry, and callousness. When morphed into his human form, he can often be found exclusively wearing clothing by Ed Hardy.

Nick Nafpliotis is a music teacher and writer from Charleston, South Carolina. During the day, he instructs students from the ages of 11-14 on how to play band instruments. At night, he writes about weird crime, bizarre history, pop culture, and humorous classroom experiences on his blog, He is also a television, novel, and comic book reviewer for

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

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Mad Scientist Audiobook!

Erick Mertz’s “The Measurable Blood” originally appeared in Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2014. Now it is available as a stand-alone audiobook, which you can obtain via Audible. Give it a listen, and let us know what you think!

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Vestes Uncus, a New Species Found in Several Closets With Some Observations on Mating Habits, Sexual Reproduction and a Call to Action

An essay by R. W. Thorsley,  as edited and provided by M. Kelly Peach

[Editor’s Note: The following is the first and only draft for a planned article for the American Journal of Biology, written in apparent haste as opposed to his typically methodical, scientifically rigorous style, by Richard Walter Thorsley (B.S. Biology, Lake Superior State University; M.S. Biopsychology, University of Michigan; PhD. Zoology, Michigan State University). After the disappearance and assumed tragic death of Dr. Thorsley, it was discovered by his confidante and closest friend M. Kelly Peach upon examination and organization of the papers and journals (occupying no less than five overflowing four-drawer file cabinets) in Thorsley’s study. Journal entries pertinent to each section of the proposed paper were discovered and appended by Mr. Peach to provide the reader further insight into Dr. Thorsley’s state of mind while preparing his report and greater understanding of the highly controversial subject matter herein. Also included are enlightening excerpts from a lengthy interview Mr. Peach had with Mrs. Thorsley on January 28, 2013, recorded with her permission.]



Clothes hangers, as evidenced by their proliferation in clothes closets, are a previously unidentified species cleverly disguised as inanimate objects. Their uncontrolled procreation is a threat to all mankind and can no longer be ignored.

Journals, Vol XIX, p.34:

4/10/2013 – … observed the following new Vestes uncus in the master bedroom closet this morning: 3 regular weight gray wires, 1 heavy weight brass wire, 4 light weight white wires, a white plastic, a rare wood with wire for suit coat and pants, and a never before seen powder blue plastic! … Now is the time to finally begin the long delayed experiment that will prove to the world the existence of Vestes uncus. My skeptical cohorts, with their rational thinking, may scoff but rational thought has never been a hindrance to my genius!



The great mysteries of life for citizens in 21st century Western civilization abound. Perhaps the greatest of these enigmas is: Why are there so many clothes hangers in my closet? This is an issue so deeply perplexing and overwhelmingly thorny that no great thinker of the past has been willing to contemplate its answer and put forward an explanation. Philosophers such as Whitehead, Russell, Sartre, and Santayana avoided it in favor of trifling matters like existentialism or process philosophy; scientists like Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Schrödinger, and Heisenberg found it easier, I can say with absolute uncertainty, dealing with quantum theory rather than wrestling with this conundrum; writers like Hemingway, Camus, Mann, and Solzhenitsyn eschew any references to the topic. Now is the time for one man–steadfast in the breach, brilliant and farseeing (if only from having stood upon the shoulders of the aforementioned giants)–to finally, and for all time, answer the burning question: How did I get so many hangers?


Appendix A

Diagram 1 Anatomy of Vestes Uncus


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2014 collection.

Although his colleagues might demur, Richard Walter Thorsley thinks of himself as a research scientist and professor. He studied Biology at Lake Superior State University, the Harvard of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and received a Masters in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Zoology from Michigan State University. He is the world’s foremost expert on obliviosity and is famed for his development of the formula for calculating Range of Memory. An avid outdoorsman and Eagle Scout, he is a lifelong resident of Michigan who enjoys hiking, camping, hunting and fishing. He is married to Gretel Thorsley, Physician’s Assistant, and is currently between jobs.

M. Kelly Peach is married and the father of four children. A recovering addict/alcoholic with over twenty-three years clean and sober, he lives in northern Michigan and enjoys hunting, camping, fishing, and walking in the woods. He is, however, a hardcore bibliophile, who has no plans to do anything about his addiction to reading and collecting books and writing speculative fiction. He has work published or appearing in Punchnels, Alternate Hilarities, and Alternate Hilarities 2: Vampires Suck and can be followed on Tumblr at

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Mad Science in San Francisco!

Alumnus Cliff Winnig will be at Convolution this weekend! Tonight, September 25th, Cliff will be hosting the SF in SF event. He’ll be moderating the Q&A session for convention Author Guests of Honor, Michael A. Stackpole and Tanya Huff! Cargo Cult Books will be there selling books, including copies That Ain’t Right: Historical Accounts of the Miskatonic Valley!

If you are not able to catch Cliff tonight, he’ll be doing panels and readings over the course of the Convolution weekend!

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That Ain’t Right is Now Available!

That Ain't Right
Now that we’ve got almost all of our backer copies shipped out to our backers, we feel more comfortable announcing: YOU CAN BUY OUR BOOK! It’s available not just as an ebook, but this is our first print book. 

The ebook is available through the usual purveyors of ebooks: Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes &  Noble, iBookstore, Versent, Inktera, Scribd, and Kobo!

The physical book is primarily available at Amazon, but you might be able to special order it through places like Barnes and Noble and Powell’s Books!

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