Learning to Walk

An essay by Matthew Grant, as provided by J. J. Green
Art by Leigh Legler


Trace human ancestry back far enough and eventually you’ll encounter a creature that could prick its ears. Why it did this, whether it was prey or predator, we’ll never know for sure. But we know it existed because people today still have the muscle for that movement, and if you know about that muscle, and practice flexing it, you can move your ears independently.

It’s not that hard. But if you didn’t know about that muscle you couldn’t ever do it.

Maybe you already know this.

It’s the same when infants learn to walk. They learn by watching first. If they never saw another human walking, if they didn’t know it was possible, they’d never try, and they’d never learn to walk.

It’s all to do with imagination, being able to think outside the known world, and believing in unknown possibilities. That’s what Daniel was trying to explain to me that day he first talked about his theory.

#

“T-t-t-t-t …”

“Time travel,” I said. It was his favorite topic.

He gave me a hard look but didn’t say anything. I was his only friend on campus, his only friend ever from what I could make out. I noted the stutter. He didn’t usually do that around me, just everywhere–and I mean everywhere–else.

“Did you know experiments have shown that nerves signal to perform an action before any conscious decision is made?” he said. “The intention shows up in the brain a few milliseconds before we even know what we’re going to do. That’s been known for years now, but it just hit me a few months ago, what that really means.”

I must’ve looked puzzled.

“It isn’t in my control whether I pick up that pen or not. I’ve formed the intention beforehand, before I’m conscious of it. Somewhere deep in our brains we’re acting according to our blueprint of the physical world, without even having to think about it. Our actions are only possible because we believe they’re possible, on a deeper-than-conscious level.”

I was used to this kind of thing from him. Daniel was, put simply, brilliant. You couldn’t spend more than a minute in his company without feeling like a Neanderthal. Which, I guess, is why he didn’t have any friends. That and the fact that being brilliant apparently means that you don’t remember to cut your hair, shave, or even, sometimes, wash. How he ended up at a middle range Bible-belt college, I’ll never know.

“What if the only thing that stops us from being able to travel through time is our disbelief?” he continued. “It’s beyond our experience, so we don’t believe it’s possible. Our deeper consciousness can’t form the intention for the action because it’s entirely outside of its experience and knowledge. But if you could somehow alter your subconscious blueprint of the physical world … What if … what if traveling through time was as easy as a baby taking its first step?”

He paused and looked at me ruminatively.

“Could I have a smoke of that?”

I was surprised. I’d offered plenty of times before, but this was the first he’d shown an interest.

“Sure. This one’s nearly done,” I said, and rolled another joint. “So, what would you do? Where would you go? Rome? The dinosaurs?” I asked. He shook his head.

“I’m more interested in the future. Space travel. We aren’t likely to leave the Solar System in my lifetime. But we will one day, I’m sure of it. If we don’t kill ourselves, that is. All you’d have to do would be to keep stepping forward through time until you hit on the right era …”

Daniel was lost in his thoughts. I waited for him, knowing he wouldn’t hear whatever I had to say anyway.

“… But it would be extremely dangerous,” he continued, as if the last minute’s silence hadn’t occurred, “especially at first, when you don’t know what you’re doing. Who knows what’s going to be there when you step through? Could be a wall, a lake, a person …” We shuddered.

“If you manage it, make sure you come to our 20 year college reunion,” I joked.

Daniel’s first experience of weed didn’t end well. After puking up in my bathroom he left. But he seemed kinda satisfied anyway.

Learning to Walk


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


Matthew Grant is in his senior year in college, majoring in biology. His high school claim to fame was skateboard dancing at the prom. Voted Most Likely to Be Abducted By Aliens, Mr. Grant’s year book comments include: “Man, you know like, man, just – wow!” and “I can’t believe I still like you after you dumped me, twice.”


Attracted to the weird and fantastic since childhood, J. J. Green feeds her addiction by writing about the frontiers of scientific exploration and beyond. Her work has been published in SFGate, Opposing Views, Global Science, Synonym.com, Seattle P-I, Modern Mom, Dark Tide Writers’ Magazine, Metro Moms, Piker Press, and other publications. Living in Taiwan has also given her endless opportunities to amuse the locals by attempting to learn Chinese. Check out her meanderings at http://infinitebook.wordpress.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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That Man Behind the Curtain: May 2014

This has been an unusual month, so let’s see what the numbers look like.

The Money Aspect

Amounts in parentheses are losses/expenses.

Hosting: ($17.06)
Stories: ($498.00)
Art: ($313.93)
Advertising: ($52.00)
Paypal Fees: ($0.43)
Donations: $40.00
Ad Revenue: $1.14
Book Sales: $14.19
Total: ($826.09)
QTD: ($1,168.21)
YTD: $858.29
All Time: ($6,654.28)

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.

One of the interesting things for this month is that we did a crossover thing with Kerberos Productions. They were Kickstarting their new game, Kaiju-a-Gogo. We’re always excited when someone seeks us out to participate with something fun. In the interest of full disclosure: they offered to pay us, but we declined. It was something we would have done for free anyway, so it felt weird asking for money. One of the producers ended up donating money to us anyway. I’m not too proud to accept it.

Submissions

In May, we received 27 regular submissions, 8 of which are exclusives for the special call. Since the submission period hasn’t ended for the special call, I won’t include that in this month’s percentages. Of the 19 regular submissions, we accepted 8 (42%). It appears that as we’ve gotten more visibility, we’ve ended up with more submissions, but less submissions that we accept. Our all-time acceptance rate is now at 53.76%.

This gives us enough content for the site through early March 2015.

Social Media/Mailing List

I thought I’d include a new section this month. We have a lot of avenues where we try to make news of new stories available, and it’s always a little exciting to see them grow. Here are the numbers as of May 31st.

Facebook: 826
Twitter: 271
Google+: 37
Tumblr: 21
Mailing List: 18

The big takeaway is that it is stupid easy to advertise on Facebook. Twitter is finally catching up. The rest I haven’t taken the time to figure out.

Traffic

We’ve had an interesting increase in traffic. With the Kickstarter done, I figured that our traffic would actually drop. I’m guessing the money spent on advertising through Twitter has paid off. We had a total of 1,888 visits. Our traffic consisted of 1,222 users and 3,552 page views. Our highest daily traffic was 151.

Also, the changing terminology that Google Analytics uses kinda drives me nuts.

May’s search engine phrase of the month is “strategy of avoidance.” It’s a useful skill for mad scientists.

That’s all for this month.

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Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2014 Now Available!

MSJ Spring 2014We’re happy to announce that our Spring 2014 collection is now available. There were snags with the Smashwords distribution, so it hasn’t appeared at a few stores yet. But it is available on AmazonSmashwordsBarnes & NobleiBookstoreVersantInkteraScribd!

We hope you enjoy this collection.

(Edited post to add a markets.)

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The Sight

An essay by Barney Whelan, as told to Maureen Bowden, for the ESP and  Clairvoyance Investigation Registry
Art by Katie Nyborg


It was 1957 and my thirty-sixth birthday when I met John, and saw his death in his eyes. I’d been busking outside the Liverpool Empire that morning and I’d done okay: made enough for a packet of Woodbines, and a plate of egg ‘n’ chips in Lime Street Station café. He caught me staring at him, stared back, and headed over to my table with a bottle of coca cola and a bacon butty.

“Mind if I sit here, mate?”

“Free country, son.” The place was half empty. He could have sat anywhere, but from the way he looked at me I could tell he knew I had the Sight. He had a touch of it himself.

“I’m John.” He dumped his coke and his butty on the table.

“Barney,” I said. “Barney Whelan.”

He screwed up his straw, took a slurp straight out of the bottle, and glanced at the clarinet case lying on the floor alongside my crutch. “I’ve seen you buskin’ in town. You’re good.”

“Thanks.”

He was about seventeen; blue jeans, black tee-shirt under an open-necked red checked shirt, with the collar turned up; Teddy-boy haircut: like a million other kids, trying to be different, all looking the same. I dunked a chip in my egg-yolk, trying not to look in his eyes. It hurt too much.

The Sight


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


Reference:

‘Stardust’ (1927), Hoagy Carmichael / Mitchell Parish, Gennet Records, Richmond, Indiana, USA.


Barnie Whelan was a Liverpudlian and a World War II veteran. Since his childhood he had the ability to see a person’s future in their eyes. He spent the last twenty years of his life, courtesy of an anonymous donor, in Springfield Private Nursing Home, Liverpool. It was there that Maureen Bowden interviewed him in March 2013.

Barnie died on December 8, 2013, three months after his ninety-third birthday.


Maureen Bowden is an ex-patriate Liverpudlian living with her musician husband on the island of Anglesey, off the coast of North Wales, where they try in vain to evade the onslaught of their children and grandchildren. She writes for fun and she has had several poems and short stories published. She also writes song lyrics, mostly comic political satire, set to traditional melodies. Her husband has performed these in Folk clubs throughout England and Wales.

She loves her family and friends, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Shakespeare, and cats.


Katie Nyborg’s art, plus information regarding hiring her, can be found at http://katiedoesartthings.tumblr.com/


This story originally appeared in Flash Fiction World in July 2012.

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Ten Days Left for Submissions

Just a friendly reminder that on June 20th, our special call for submissions ends. It is also when we will close to all submissions for over a month. If you’d like to submit, now is a great time. Check out our Submissions page for more details!

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Incident at the Faerie Festival

An essay by Mel Dickson, as provided by Pathos
Art by Luke Spooner


I was surprisingly calm the morning before the incident. One would assume that on the eve of assisting in such an insidious plot, one would feel butterflies, but actually I was relatively tranquil. It was almost as if my brain had shut off my adrenal gland as an extreme coping mechanism to save me the anxiety of participating in acts of questionable legality.

The only reason I was even working for Professor Gibbs as a “live-in” was because I was still on probation for cannabis abuse as well as driving under the influence of an inebriating substance. And now that I was eighteen, it was either the streets, a halfway house full of smelly, greasy, unsavory ex-cons, or an arrangement such as this.

I got dressed without even considering using my upstairs shower. Professor Gibbs was obsessed, currently, with creating aerosol sprays or completely vaporizing liquids into gas. Yesterday’s shower had yielded an unexpected encounter with the former, where instead of hot water I was greeted with a putrid mixture of phenol and ethanol, which hissed from the shower head like cyanide from a Nazi gas chamber. The professor informed me that he was testing a solution that would make the process of showering faster and more efficient by combining a germicide with a fast drying sterilizing agent, therefore providing a thorough cleansing and negating the necessity of towels. I had informed him he was full of crap, and he even admitted his own failure to take hair and shampoo into consideration. I didn’t want to see if he’d enhanced the formula to accommodate the oversight.

I always find it funny how human beings are so often contradictions of themselves. Take Anthony Gibbs for example: he had an IQ that was through the roof, but resorted to using it for extremely petty purposes, so immature they even made me blush. Most recently he’d tried to vaporize a strain of Hepatitis B in a high school locker room right before a football game. Fortunately the project had mostly failed. The only consequence was that the teenager accused of setting off the explosion was now doing five to eight years at a juvenile detention facility. While Gibbs claimed he was doing a “sting” to show the media that the Hepatitis B vaccine given to teenagers was ineffective, the true reason, I believe, was his anger at the team’s defense employing an eleven man rush against teams with below average quarterbacks. The pre-game incident had cost them a shot at the state championship, because they had to forfeit the game that they would have needed to win to get there.

Then there was the time Gibbs had lost fifty dollars to a man because the guy completed a course of Frisbee Golf under par throwing the Frisbee overhand, a feat that the professor claimed “defied the laws of classical physics.” Gibbs had paid up, but less than a week later, the man was hospitalized because he had mysteriously contracted anthrax. I include these incidents solely as documentation that what happened at the Faerie Festival was no isolated incident.

The method to enter behind the false wall into the secret underground basement that Gibbs himself had constructed was appropriately absurd. First you had to remove the book, “Quantum Mechanics for Dummies,” from the bookshelf, then press and hold middle C on the nearby grand piano while simultaneously flicking the hall light switch nine times. Then you had to give the round table a quarter turn, adjust the painting of Nolan Bushnell, and return the book to its proper place in the bookshelf. Finally the wall panel would slide out, and it would close automatically upon descending the staircase leading to the basement. The method for re-entering the house was equally elaborate.

As my shoes landed against the concrete stairs that led down a narrow corridor into Gibbs’s scientific hideout, the echoes of my footfalls bouncing through the winding stairwell were soon drowned out by a grandiose symphony presumably emanating from Gibbs’s second grand piano downstairs. The melody banged with urgent fervor, then softened into a delicate whimsy. The professor never missed a note.

He rose from his seat as he perceived my approach. He had a lurking, rigid posture, where his tall, thin frame seemed to stiffen like a telephone pole, often with his hands interlocked behind his back. He looked at me above his reading glasses, which were expertly balanced at the tip of his hawk-like nose. This manner I always considered condescending. It often made me want to break something valuable. He smiled in a very forced, calculated way.

“Good morning, Mel,” he greeted me. “We have a lot of preparations to do, as I am sure you are aware.”

Of course I was aware. Stupid jerk always feigning cordiality.

“By the way, that was a new composition I just was practicing. Mozart. What do you think?”

“Nobody tickles the ivories like you, sir.” I met him with a wide grin.

Our current “plot”–well, according to Gibbs it was an experiment–was to see if sound amplifiers could vaporize a liquid into a gas. Tomorrow was the last day of the Faerie Festival, and Gibbs had chosen the grand finale, a concert by the festival’s marquee band that would be attended by hundreds, as the venue to test his hypothesis. His claim was that he was attempting to make the fairgrounds smell like horseradish with his formula. I had figured out weeks ago that, as usual, there was a more diabolical scheme twisted within the nefarious cortex of the man.

I became suspicious when Professor Gibbs had pitched the idea, because he always had some ulterior motive. My suspicions were validated when I realized that the network of fans and tubes he would have to run through the sound amplifier rendered the amplifier itself pretty much useless in causing his formula to vaporize. In fact, the schematic he drew up almost made it look like we were bypassing the amplifiers completely, relying on more proven methods of ventilating fumes. So then what was the true purpose of making almost an acre of land reek of horseradish?

Incident at the Faerie Festival


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


Mel Dickson (b. Melchezedik Edwardus Gibbs, Oct. 2, 1994) is currently living with Sheriff Frank Miller in Bend, Oregon. He is a student at a junior college, and is majoring in biologically hazardous waste production and distribution.


Pathos is a shadow.  He has had stories previously published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine and on yesteryearfiction.com.


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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Green Revolution: an interview with Lillian Belladonna

An interview with Lillian Belladonna from Evil Science Quarterly: The Leader in Mad Science News and Trends, as provided by Arinn Dembo


Lillian Belladonna ESQ: Doctor Belladonna, thank you for joining us! Never have we had such an aptly named guest.

LB: Excuse me?

ESQ: Your name is Italian, isn’t it? I thought it meant “beautiful lady.”

LB: No, no, no. I didn’t mean “excuse me, I don’t understand the words coming out of your face.” I meant “Excuse me, are you seriously objectifying me as a woman before this interview even begins.”

Now let’s try again. Keeping in mind that I have sole control of a giant plant monster.

“Excuse me?”

ESQ: Excuse you? On the contrary, Doctor. Please excuse us. We meant no offense.

LB: You’re learning already.

Evil Science QuarterlyESQ: We’re completely trainable!

LB: That remains to be seen. I gather you had some real questions? Perhaps about my work. OR MY GIANT PLANT MONSTER.

ESQ: Yes. Let’s talk Shrubby! That’s what you call the creature?

LB: Yes. She responds well to gestures of affection. “Shrubby” is her nickname.

ESQ: What was the full name?

LB: Shrub-Ziggurath. After the famous goddess of Nature and fertility in literature. Shrubby is the harbinger of a Green Revolution–I thought she should have a name that fit the job at hand.

ESQ: So the Kaiju is definitely female?

LB: Not in the scientific sense. Shrubby is a monoecious hermaphrodite. The female and male reproductive structures are on the same plant, as in most of its smaller cousins from the genus Dionaea. I gather you don’t specialize in Mad Botany?

ESQ: We are eager to learn more, Doctor.

LB: Yes, I imagine everyone will be showing a little more respect for Nature for at least a few more years.

PosterESQ: You say that you created Shrubby to lead a Green Revolution. Can you explain for our readers what your agenda (and demands) might be?

LB: Oh, it’s very simple. I intend to save this planet from its human infestation.

ESQ: Human … infestation?

LB: Clear-cutting, slash-and-burn agriculture, chemical defoliants, destruction of wetlands and habitats? Yes. I think the devastation of this ecosphere warrants harsh language. I view the current power structure of our species as a forestry problem. I intend to solve it.

ESQ: By crushing cities?

LB: Yes. Sometimes you have to burn down the dead trees and re-plant in the ashes, when a forest is sick. When I rebuild the new Eden, there will be more Paradise. Fewer parking lots.

ESQ: Are you sure you’re an EVIL Scientist, Doctor? That sounds almost … messianic of you.

LB: There’s nothing worse than salvation.


Arinn Dembo is a multi-genre author and the Lead Writer of Kerberos Productions, a computer game development studio in Vancouver, BC. Her prize-winning short stories and poetry have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Weird Tales, Lamp Light Magazine, H.P. Lovecraft’s Magazine of Horror, and several anthologies. Although she is best known for the games and novels set in the Sword of the Stars universe that she created for Kerberos Productions, her guest post today is for a new game, Kaiju-a-Gogo.

To learn more about ruling the world with super-science and giant remote-controlled monsters, see the Kickstarter campaign for the game at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kerberosproductions/kaiju-a-gogo.

Kaiju-a-Gogo Logo

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Sweet Sand Fleas

An essay by C. R. Anderson, as provided by Steve Zisson
Art by Leigh Legler


“Get your hands off me,” that’s what I hear him say. So clearly now. “Please don’t pick me up. I don’t want to go back in the cold, suffocating water again. We’ve been there too long. Way too long. We weren’t made for it.”

He’s a big male, the leader of the pod. Maybe a dozen feet long and a couple of tons. His blackness now shrouded by light colored, drying sand sticking to him. His sounds come out all shrill and plaintive.

The rescuers can’t hear him. They hear only whistles and pulsed sounds. They are too busy anyway, there are so many whales to save. They ignore his sounds, they can only guess what he means. But I know what he is saying.

I know what they’re saying, these stranded pilot whales. I’m a cross-species linguist and I come to these strandings to understand them. Strandings of 100 or more are becoming quite common. Some blame a new disease, toxic pollution, a parasite, a change in magnetism. Maybe it is the noise pollution from boats and sonar. They’re wrong.

Cape Cod Bay is a favorite spot for strandings of dolphins, sea turtles, and the most prolific stranders of all, pilot whales, the largest of the dolphins. Luckily, I live in Brewster on the bay side of the Cape. And I am tapped into the strander network so I often am among the first to arrive to capture the last words of so many expiring whales who want to live. They don’t seem to mind me. They know that I sympathize, that I understand. They don’t like the rescuers at all. They call them anti-evolutionists. The pilot whales’ words, not mine.

I wear my translation headset, a prototype I’ve developed. They look like ordinary headphones to the casual observer.

An out-of-breath rescuer runs up to me and shouts, “Help us. Help us lift the big whale back into the water.”

I shake my head, point to my headset, and then throw up my arms. The bearded rescuer becomes enraged, his face goes red and he jabs a finger in my face. “How can you be so heartless? You’re listening to your music there while all the whales die. Help save them!”

I turn and walk away when I think he’s going to hit me.

I can hear him shouting at me through the squeals and whines of the big male struggling in my headset.

“We are as smart as you think we are. Give us some credit. We know what we want. Please don’t put us back in the ocean! We were on the land, the sweet land, long before you were.”

A dozen rescuers squat and grab the big male and begin to lift. “All of your hands, abrasive, so dry and cracked, let go. Your foreign bacteria and viruses from your dirty fingers will infect me, kill me like the others who stranded in earlier days when you returned them infected to the sea. The weight of my body crushes from gravity, but it feels like home. The land is home.”

Sweet Sand Fleas


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


C. R. Anderson was first a PhD toxicologist who once taught at New University, where she then pursued a second PhD as a cross-species linguist. She lives on the bay side of Cape Cod, Massachusetts where she only haunts the beaches during off season.


Steve Zisson began his writing career as a journalist and now writes speculative fiction from a town north of Boston. He finds most journalism these days to be highly speculative. His day job now is running a medical education publishing company. He likes to write in approximately 1,500-word bursts and has another similar length story forthcoming in Daily 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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An interview with Norman E. Farious

An interview with Norman E. Farious from Evil Science Quarterly: The Leader in Mad Science News and Trends, as provided by Arinn Dembo


Doctor Norman FariousESQ: Thank you for joining us! Yours is an illustrious name in Mad Science. And an illustrious set of initials! You are the son of Nigel Elmore Farious, are you not?

N.E.F.: Doctor Nigel Farious, yes. And the grandson of Nestor Edgar Farious. The nephew of Nancy Egan Farious, as well.

ESQ: And you are Norman Erasmus Farious yourself, according to your recent Manifesto. How does it feel to be the latest Doctor N. E. Farious?

N.E.F.: It can be a burden at times, I must admit. As a boy I wanted to be a dentist, for example, but my parents forbade it–I was their only child, and there simply was no room in the family castle for a Farious D.D.S.

Eventually I became reconciled to the burden of greatness, of course. Our family name has a long and vivid history, and now that I’ve assumed the mantle, I shall be the best Doctor N. E. Farious I can.

ESQ: You’re certainly off to a roaring start. Ginormasaurus is … an impressive contribution. May we ask how long the Great Machine took to build?

N.E.F.: A lifetime, really. I was working on the first prototypes and schematics when I was seven. The vision of a mechanical, city-destroying dinosaur has always delighted me.

ESQ: Can you tell us anything about the construction and design of the robot? Without revealing any trade secrets, of course.

Evil Science Second IssueN.E.F.: Well, anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of mechanical engineering will see the most obvious things. Every piece of the robot’s internal structure is made of cast titanium, for example. Light, durable, resistant to corrosion, and less stiff than steel …

ESQ: I imagine that’s useful in the legs and tail sections?

N.E.F.: Indubitably.

ESQ: Is there any truth to the rumor that you’ve built an atomic forge on the Moon?

N.E.F.: No, that’s nonsense. Not every vacuum forge capable of reaching temperatures of 1650 degrees Celsius is on the bloody Moon.

ESQ: On a related topic … rumor has it that the Great Machine is fueled by a Purpletonium Reactor. Is this correct?

N.E.F.: I see no reason to deny it. Purpletonium is wonderful stuff.

ESQ: Is there any truth to the rumor that you actually gave Purpletonium its … unusual name?

N.E.F.: Yes and no. I was indirectly responsible for that unfortunate sobriquet. In fact, it was my young ward Nicky who had the honour. She found the first meteoric fragment when we were searching the Siberian crater, and thereby earned the right to name the stuff.

Unfortunate, but nothing to be done. A gentleman does not renege upon a friendly wager with an eight-year-old orphan. Nor upon a Pinky Swear.

Kaiju-a-Gogo poster GINORMASAURUSESQ: Out of curiosity, what had you originally intended the name of the mystery element to be?

N.E.F.: You have to ask? “Nefarium,” of course.

ESQ: Speaking of Nefarious deeds … have you given any thought to your next target, Doctor?

N.E.F.: I have.

ESQ: Can you tell us whether we’re in the line of fire?

N.E.F.: Of course you are. This is about world domination! You cannot make an omelet the size of a planet without cracking a few heads.

ESQ: Can you promise to spare our home offices?

N.E.F.: I could, if I was so inclined.

ESQ: Would you pinky swear?

N.E.F.: Never again!


Arinn Dembo is a multi-genre author and the Lead Writer of Kerberos Productions, a computer game development studio in Vancouver, BC. Her prize-winning short stories and poetry have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Weird Tales, Lamp Light Magazine, H.P. Lovecraft’s Magazine of Horror, and several anthologies. Although she is best known for the games and novels set in the Sword of the Stars universe that she created for Kerberos Productions, her guest post today is for a new game, Kaiju-a-Gogo.

To learn more about ruling the world with super-science and giant remote-controlled monsters, see the Kickstarter campaign for the game at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kerberosproductions/kaiju-a-gogo.

Kaiju-a-Gogo Logo

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One scientist’s struggle against federal cloning regulations: A case study

Dr. Jasmine A. Connell1,2 and Dr. Diana Rohlman3

1Department of Nephrology, Groom Lake Laboratories; 2Center for Ethical Cloning, Groom Lake Medical Center; 3Groom Lake Publishing Services, Groom Lake, Nevada, United States of America

Corresponding author: Jasmine A. Connell, connellj@groomlakelab.edu

Art by Scarlett O’Hairdye


Jasmine A. Connell received her Bachelors of Science degree in 1975 at Oregon State University. She received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a PhD at University of Massachusetts in comparative anatomy. She continued at the University of Massachusetts with a three-year post-doctoral position in the laboratory of Dr. D. Parson, who pioneered early organ cloning techniques using human cells. Dr. Connell created the first successful human kidney using intestinal cells from a human donor. The following case study is published as presented by the underwriting author, Diana Rohlman (Groom Lake Publishing Services).

#

I arrived at the Center for Ethical Cloning filled with excitement and trepidation. I didn’t know what to expect. Despite my medical degree, I had spent minimal time with patients. The last ten years had been spent in a lab, logging hours at microscopes and flow cytometers and any number of highly technical instruments to create a medical miracle. I suppose it should not have been a surprise that I entered a medical facility, rather than the drab laboratory I would have expected, but it was.

A large printer next to the closest nurse’s desk spewed forth color pictures: A thin brunette, her skin sallow, lay asleep on a hospital bed, hooked up to a dialysis machine. Her picture was captioned in stark, uncaring terms: 32-year-old female, Caucasian, Kidney. A small boy, scars bisecting his chest numerous times, his lips tinged blue; 8-year-old male, Hispanic, Heart. A portly man, jaundiced, broken veins in his nose attesting to a love of the drink, sat limply; 53-year-old male, Caucasian, Liver, poor candidate.

I stepped up to the information desk tentatively. I could smell the disinfectant. Suddenly I began to wonder if I was ready for this job.

Before I could turn around, give in to my nerves, and discreetly sneak out the front door, a nurse in an impeccable white medical jacket saw me and strode over.

“Welcome to Dr. Jorgen’s office,” she said briskly, “Please fill out those forms.” With an air of practiced efficiency she took a slim stack of printouts, slid them onto a clipboard, and affixed a pen. She handed the entire package over, looking up only when I declined the offering. This time, she saw the small nameplate affixed to my blazer. The nice guard had given it to me when I entered the facility. He had even wished me good luck with the new job. Her eyes widened.

“Oh, I’m sorry …” She cleared her throat, dropped the clipboard behind the desk. “You’re Dr. Connell … I–”

I smiled, trying to ignore the butterflies in my stomach. “I always wanted to make an impression,” I joked.

The nurse–her nameplate identified her as Kathy–laughed gratefully.

“Then I am glad I could help fulfill your wishes! You don’t have to fill out any forms, but would you like a quick tour before you meet Dr. Jorgen?”

I had been looking around curiously. At first glance, the medical facility seemed like any other sterile facility, complete with white walls, blue and beige accents, and an easy to clean, nondescript floor. The ceilings were too high though, the doors too wide. Everything seemed just slightly off-kilter, as though a medical facility had been superimposed onto an existing structure.

Kathy must have been used to the disorienting sensation, because she laughed again, this time in sympathy, and launched into a quick explanation.

“The Center used to be an old factory, to tell the truth. However, Dr. Jorgen completely refitted it with new, state-of-the art equipment, the highest technology, and a security system that the Department of Defense envies.”

I raised my eyebrows. “That’s quite impressive.”

Kathy nodded, and I could tell she thought quite highly of the work Dr. Jorgen had done.

“Then let’s start with a tour.” She stepped out from behind the desk, setting down a stack of papers.

One scientist's struggle against federal cloning regulations: A case study


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


Diana lives in the Pacific Northwest, invariably spending the rainy days inside, writing, with a glass of wine nearby, and her dog offering helpful critiques. Her website is https://sites.google.com/site/rohlmandiana or check her out on Amazon (amazon.com/author/dianarohlman).


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

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