“Minotaur China Shop”: Raised in Captivity

A review of the casual webgame on Blurst.com, and a preview of the stories in this issue.

Angel Dust, by Jaine Fenn

In Isha’s neighborhood water is scarce, gangs are everywhere, and the ground is a luxury no one can afford.

I wasn’t scared so much as angry now. My plans for yesterday had included a trip to Dirla’s. We were going to try on some prime topsider cast-offs she’d acquired and altered fit. Her brother had said he’d drop in. He was a flesher, Kera’s old trade, more used to sewing people than clothes; I reckoned it was me, not his sister’s needlework, he was interested in. Only I’d blown them out for a pleasant day of cleaning water-traps, boiling piss and haggling with strangers. And now someone was raiding my home. City’s sake, I deserved a break.

Norma and the Fiddler of Gurg, by T. M. Crone

Sure, any 1960s burnout would love to get timewarped into an intergalactic zoo exhibit with a beautiful woman. But how does the beautiful woman feel about it?

Harvey had made an understatement when he said the Gurgians weren’t pretty. When Norma neared the house, there they were, their bulbous, gray bodies pressed against the clear divider, peering at her with huge, ghostly eyes. They had three arms jutting from their centers, each with numerous tentacle-like fingers that slithered across the window like spider legs. Rope-like hair, in the most bizarre shades of the rainbow, extended from the top of their head, down their back, to the floor—one heck of a mohawk.

She screamed.

“I-i-i-i-it’s show time!” said Harvey, doing a floppy-legged jig past her.

Micronations; or, How We Became the Mole People, by Timothy Mudie

Levi and Ruslan liked their vacuum-sealed totalitarian nation-state so much, they decided to build another one!

Levi knew it was coming, inevitable really, but hearing Ruslan lay out the plan still shocked him. Generations had lived in the Habitats peacefully, raising crops and herds, maintaining the technology they understood less every day, trying to remember what things used to be like. What Ruslan was proposing—what they had already agreed to—could only be called one of two things: mutiny or revolution.

The Last Stranger, by Kristine Ong Muslim

After a world tour of genre fiction publications, this pantheon of foreboding juggernauts returns to Labyrinth Inhabitant.