First question: Who do you think you are? Why should we trust you to build and operate a Mormon speculative fiction e-collective?
“Earth is over there,” he said, pointing with his chin at a vague cluster of tiny, white smudges on the wall of the sky. The soughing of waves on sand beat like a crimp-stoned drummer, regular but slow. Feathery greenness swayed out of time overhead. Beach biters nipped at our feet. We brushed them off with gritty soles.
He looked at his watch. “Two more minutes.”
In the second of three guest posts leading up to the launch of a proposed website dedicated to displaying and developing talent in Mormon speculative fiction, project instigator Mark Penny waxes analytical over the role of speculative fiction writer as disciple of Christ in the community of Zion. To participate in a discussion of the project, click here.
An Inclusive Introduction
There were several more crystal bottles with different-colored contents on ledge ledge above the tub, which had tarnished iron dragons for legs. Shemona upended one of them entirely, spattering the cool porcelain with a glutinous crimson substance. She shivered, and turned the tap on full-blast.
The bubbles foamed up on the water immediately. Shemona slid into it, feeling the scalding liquid rise up on her body. By the time Thessaly stuck her head in again, the water was high in the tub, the bubbles up around Shemona’s neck. She quickly moved her left hand under the surface.
Dr. Mamund flips through the patient's chart while taking a drag from his Jasmine Light.
"You know," he comments, exhaling the blue smoke into the surgery, "It's a pity to destroy art like this."
His nurse seems distracted, likely watching something subjectively in his visual field from the net.
"Nurse! Can you join me for a moment?"
The Nurse snaps his attention back, "Sorry. Watching the match."
"Cameroon is going down to Japan 2 3. What we got?"
They rode down into the valley, passing clumps of pole-willows and aspen that clustered in the open space like bouquets. The air was sweet with the spicy scent of the little white flowers that starred the grass, which was tall enough to close over the shoulders of the burro and tickle Shemona’s elbows.
They rode toward the buildings. One open, rough-hewn structure was obviously a stable—Shemona heard the whuffling and neighing of horses.
Sione could tell the wind was blowing. Through his classroom window, he could see the thick band of vegetation marking the perimeter. The aspens, each exactly the same height, shape and shade, glittered and sent beads of light dancing along the manicured grass surrounding their trunks.
He slipped from the room, sliding his hand up under his shirt to detatch the tube from the medication shunt imbedded in his side between the bottom two ribs. Carefully he worked his way along the hall into the shadowy corner by the school’s sanitation facility.
The last thousand years had been pretty good. Those who'd been around for any of the previous thousand still harped on about what a relief it was to finally have a government that cared and knew how to. It was so nice, they intoned, not to go hungry unless you wanted to, not to get shot while out shopping, not to have to change channels mid-movie because the dominant aesthetic called for a salutary stirring of the baser passions.
Susan stood in her doorway and frowned down at the note, its handwriting all sharp, black spikes. She could read the words, “Dear Sister Marsh,” but everything after that was as unintelligible as Cyrillic. She glanced at the girl standing on her front porch, who shifted her weight from one skinny leg to the other.
“Tell me again who sent you here, honey?” Susan asked.
Each day at dusk, a pillar of fire erupted over the treetops and gyrated in the air above the ruined temple that James and his team of archeologists called the Temple of the Flame. And everyday, Rachael Murray stood outside and regarded the pillar the way a jealous lover might a rival, and wondered if James would come home for dinner.