Fiction Inferno: The literary magazine that burns you up

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Hey! Welcome to the Blog of Eternal Damnation! Here's where you will see all the latest crap about the Web's hottest Speculative Fiction ezine, Bambi's Eschatological Underpinnings. And every now and again, just for sport, we just might include a little bit about Fiction Inferno: the Literary Magazine that Burns You Up.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

SFFWorld has posted a story of mine, The Test of Time. This is one of my first attempts at publishable fiction, from somewhere back in the early 80s, and man, it is pretty "young." Jam over and read it, though, if you're in the mood, and don't forget to rate it!

Chapter Ten
In Which Things Go Terribly Awry

Wendy popped over the hill of detritus like a jackinthebox on speed. Vince came up behind her, though with a good deal more caution. None of this mattered, however. Not two hundred meters away, a brigade of elephants, replete with crossbow archers, stomped a clear path towards them.

"Crap," Vince mumbled. "I'm allergic to elephants."

Wendy pulled up short, and a wave of tension cascaded from the top of her head to the soles of her feet. "Yeah, and I'm allergic to dying." The lead packaderm rider pointed their direction and a few bolts loosed. "Move it!" she shouted, and slid back down the way they had just come.

"Are you sure you don't want to just head for the portal?" Vince swatted at a fly that buzzed his blood-crusted forehead. Then he answered himself. "No, of course not. Need to find Fuzzy." A half-dozen bolts rained over the hill and struck at random just beyond their position. The sound of many elephants screaming through their noses came crashing in behind them.

"Not a great day so far," Vince said. "Let's see if we can make it worse." He pulled a zippo lighter from a wrinkle in his breechcloth, and began kindling the broken cart.

"Okie dokey." Wendy grinned. "Let's have a barbeque!"

Chapter Eleven
In Which Things Just Go From Bad To Worse

posted by Max E. Keele 10:17 AM

Monday, July 29, 2002


The gravity in my general vicinity has increased, I'm pretty sure.

posted by Max E. Keele 10:06 AM

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Chapter Nine
In Which Nothing Happens Whatsoever

"So, there wasn't much else to do," he was saying. He lay, back against the broken wagon, while Wendy tied a strip of cloth acrossed a particularly nasty thigh wound that had reopened during the run. "The battle wasn't even fully engaged--just a calvary feint along the Eastern flank and some skirmishing in the South--and the Viscount starts stomping around like a big loser, shouting 'Where are my archers?' and 'I knew I shouldn't have worn mauve.'" Vince winced as she pulled the bandage tight. "To make a long story short, I cold-cocked the sonofabitch, and then went over to the Generals' Conference and told them the general order was a full-frontal general assault. Somebody had to get the ball rolling, you know."

"Thought so." Wendy scanned the sky behind their redoubt. "That pussy Viscount could never be trusted to act in any decisive way. How long has it been since the last bolt?"

Vince checked his pocket watch. "About ten minutes. I thought you had the Satrap's ear. Why didn't you get him to start something?"

"Just getting him to the field was hard enough. A million armed infantry don't just appear on demand, you know." She put a balled fist on either hip and set her jaw. "And how did you know I was with the Satrap?"

Vince laughed. "Sources. I know pretty much who went with which army. All six of 'em." He pulled himself up. "I'm not just one of you weekend warriors; I do this for a living."

"So let's get living!" Wendy slapped Vince's butt with the flat of her spear, grinning, and scrambled up the hill, a chill warcry building in the back of her throat.

Vince shrugged, picked up his father's sword, and followed once again.

Chapter Ten
In Which Things Go Terribly Awry

posted by Max E. Keele 11:15 AM

Thursday, July 25, 2002

The Internet is a wonderful, bizarre, and ultimately twisted space. Here is a list of search terms people used to get to Fiction Inferno over the past three days.

body modification fiction
book fiction hole ground flashlight
dante's inferno
fiction blog
fiction contest
goofy and max fiction stories
how can i build a robot lizard
hunting with a \30/30 rifle
inferno resume
mind's eye south bend
office manager sample resume
picture of a spring
punk with big tits
resume samples office manager
short fiction competition
short punk hair
sitting corpse pictures
splat rat

Now, I know why this happens--FI is a content-rich site, just full of interesting phrases and odd word combinations. But the idea that anybody is out there searching for "sitting corpse pictures" is just a little disturbing, don't you think? And I want to know if the "how can i build a robot lizard" searcher figured it out? If so, I want one.

Chapter Eight
In Which Something Important Actually Happens

Unaccustomed to the vicissitudes of air travel, the poodle crept off to the dirigible's aft--behind a large pile of ancient books, actually--and quietly vomited. Then he licked himself and went to sleep.

Chapter Nine
In Which Nothing Happens Whatsoever

posted by Max E. Keele 6:37 AM

Monday, July 22, 2002

Chapter Seven

She ran like a bat in flight, dodging between piles of battle debris, leaping across broken devices and bodies, zigging and zagging with a radar-like precision, at the same time casual and exact. Even though her polished shield rode her back, she expected the slam of a shaft at every step. At every step, she sprang to the air with a vigor born of fear and joy. One other bolt struck the ground to the side of her pace, and she laughed a single bark.

An exceptionally tall pile of corpse and engine tangled the path; she flew up its face and over, then crouched beneath its bulk. Echos of footfall and occassional grunts of effort or pain marked Vince's progress through the labyrinth. When the sound of him came panting around her redoubt, she flashed out a hand and grabbed him by a harness strap. He swung around, gained balance, and swept her into his arms. "Shhh," she said. "I think we have a minute."

Vince pondered. "I counted seven shots, all coming from a superior position."

"I just saw one," she whispered, running her fingertips across the back of his shoulder.

"I don't think the sniper is trying to hit us," he squeezed her with good deal of energy. "More like we're being herded."

She laughed and pushed herself away. "Does it matter? I mean, if you're being herded in the general direction you want to go, who cares?"

He leaned against a shattered wagon wheel, still propped up by a splintered axle. "We going to make it?"

The pocket computer was tied around her neck with a silk cord and rode beneath her tight vest. She fished it out and tapped at the screen. "Maybe." She smiled and returned the device to its warm home. "My name's Wendy. Wanna make it home, or stay here and screw?"

"Well, unless I can have both..... Home, I guess." His eyes narrowed. "But what about the damned poodle?"

Wendy hefted her spear and climbed a few steps up the mound, just far enough to see over the top. "Me? Sorry Vince, but I can't go back without him."

Vince pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. "Right, then." He cast two long looks of regret, the first at the direction in which they had been fleeing, and the other toward the beautiful warrior above him. "Neither it is."

Chapter Eight
In Which Something Important Actually Happens

posted by Max E. Keele 10:06 AM

Friday, July 19, 2002

What's the stupidest thing you've ever done? I mean stoooooopid. How about this: I went fishing last weekend and I had a bottle of SPF 30 in my hands, and I smeared some on my shoulders, and then I got distracted and forgot to put any on my legs, and ever since, I have been suffering from a sun-fucking-burn of absurd proportions. I mean, my ankles are swollen to about four times their normal girth, my knees can't tolerate the touch of cotton; I can't stand or walk without intense pain. I've been through a big tube of aloe and most of a family-sized bottle of aspirin. If I never see the sun again, it would serve me right. Jeeze. DUMB ASS.

Chapter Six
In Which Anything Goes

"It would help," Vince said, "if you could just quit staring at me for one minute and maybe help me get up or something...."

Without taking her eyes off of him, she pushed off of the rock she'd been sitting on and reached out a hand. "Oh, okay, here." Though unencumbered by trousers, she made no attempt to preserve her modesty. He gripped her forearm, and pulled her down into his arms, flinching a bit at the pain from a nasty slash across his back.

She grinned. She wrapped both arms around his neck. She cooed. She stuck the tip of her tongue out between her lips. "You asshole," she said. "Are you trying to miss our window?"

Vince slapped at her naked thigh. "Surely there's time for a little...."


Four inches of fletching quivered from a shaft suddenly embedded in the ground between his legs. Acting from instinct and training, Vince bodily threw the lady over the horses corpse and flung himself over after her. He covered her body with his and lay very still. With no other bolts raining down, he looked up and cautiously scanned the area for evidence of the attacker.

"You all right?" She nodded. "I guess we better git." She nodded again. Then suddenly grinned.

"You moved pretty good there for a beat up old guy." And she was up and running through the broken field, her tunic flapping, glimpses of her round bottom flashing with every step. Vince snatched up his father's sword and followed as best he could.

Chapter Seven

posted by Max E. Keele 1:00 PM

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Chapter Five
In Which No One is the Wiser

The morning wore down to nothing.

Vince began to feel his strength.

The lady idly pillaged a few corpses, then settled down with a pocket computer game.

The Professor noticed a slight tear in the fabric of reality just to the south.

The poodle licked himself in an ungentlemanly place.

The morning wore down to nothing.

Chapter Six
In Which Anything Goes

posted by Max E. Keele 1:08 PM

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Chapter Four
In Which the Poodle Chooses

Something vaguely aromatic announced a change of perspective.

From the observation deck of the dirigible, the battlefield looked like someone had dumped a child's toychest onto a green rug. The dead lay scattered across a full mile of once-fertile pasture, many in knots and clumps that suggested the fierce to-and-fro of an extended contest. Toward the west, a few surviving horses had begun to herd, stumbling together in an exhausted effort to find security.

The Professor toyed with a bit of kibble, then tossed it to the floor. The poodle scampered over and snatched it up with a doggie grin. "Oh, that's a good dog." He sipped a bit of cognac and returned to his morning's occupation: scanning the ground below with a brass telescope. "Now don't you worry boy," said the Professor. "We'll catch up to her soon."

The poodle barked happily. He made a few turns around a fat pillow and settled in to wait.

Chapter Five
In Which No One is the Wiser

posted by Max E. Keele 6:48 AM

Monday, July 15, 2002

Sorry to report that the Rainbow Trout population of Diamond Lake, Oregon has declined.

Happy to report that the Rainbow Trout population of my freezer has increased dramatically.

Chapter Three
In Which the Poodle Bites

"I said," she said, "Where's the damned poodle?"

Vince rolled over to face her again and sighed. A tiny pink bubble grew from the corner of his mouth and burst. "Okay." Using his father's sword for leverage, he pried himself to a sitting position, back against the dead horse. "Where did you go last night?"

Her eyebrow arched. "You noticed! I thought you wouldn't even miss me."

"How could I not miss you?" He spat blood. "You stole my pants."

She laughed, and with a demonic grin began slithering out of her trousers. "Here, you can have them back. But only if you tell me about the poodle."

Despite his wounds, despite everything, Vince followed the course of her legs with his full attention. He reached out the sword and slapped aside a broken halberd that interfered with the view. "Arf," was all he said.

Chapter Four
In Which the Poodle Chooses

posted by Max E. Keele 12:43 PM

Saturday, July 13, 2002


Gone Fishing

posted by Max E. Keele 8:07 AM

Friday, July 12, 2002

Chapter Two
In Which Our Hero Is Bourne

Vince the Invinceable lifted his battered body into a half-crouch and scanned the area above his position. Although the field was littered with dead and wounded, no warrior--either friend or foe--was standing. He sighed back to the ground. Blood trickled into one eye; he wiped it with the back of his hand, then let the hand drop as if lifeless to his side. The sword of Vince's father lay in reach, chipped and bloodied, but still fierce and sharp.

A small sound snatched his mind away from thoughts of pain and love.

She stood with one foot on the back of a horse corpse. "Where's my poodle?" she asked.

"What poodle?" He coughed once and turned away, determined to sleep.

Chapter Three
In Which the Poodle Bites

posted by Max E. Keele 1:27 PM

Thursday, July 11, 2002

So here's a thought. Anybody know of anybody writing a novel through their blog? Like, in real time? You know, I could do that.....

Chapter One
In Which We Learn the True Nature of Blog

It was a dark and stormy poodle. There he lay, all bedecked in sandalwood rosettes and humming a mad tune. No breeze blew. No cricket cricked.

She arrived in a carriage built of pudding. Her lank hair drifted behind like a jellyfish in too much current. Where there should have been bodice, chainmail. Where a brooch, shield. Where a bouquet, shining spear. She leapt from the carriage with full murderous intent. The poodle screeched and fled. The carriage melted into a black and noxious stain. She supressed a tear, and hid in the bushes.

Chapter Two
In Which Our Hero Is Bourne

posted by Max E. Keele 10:21 AM

Wednesday, July 10, 2002


Top Ten Reponses to Stress

  1. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy....

  2. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy....

  3. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy....

  4. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy....

  5. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy....

  6. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy....

  7. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy....

  8. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy....

  9. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy....

  10. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy....

posted by Max E. Keele 1:16 PM

Monday, July 08, 2002


Top Ten Excuses Not to Write Today

  1. Too Busy

  2. Too Tired

  3. Too Happy

  4. Too Sad

  5. Too Broke

  6. Too Drunk

  7. Too Dumb

  8. Too Discouraged

  9. Too Full of Myself

  10. Don't Bother Me, I'm Writing My Blog Now

posted by Max E. Keele 10:08 AM

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Happy Fourth of July.

Here's some stuff I remember from my childhood Independence Days:

  1. Cap Guns! We always got a new cap gun and a few rolls of caps. What better way to celebrate anything than to run around pretending to kill everything and everybody in sight?

  2. Creative Use of Caps! Take a roll of paper caps (if you remember those, you are old) and scratch them off one-by-one with your thumbnail. They go FWWWOOOOT and burn a sulphurous mark on your nail. Ow! Fun! Take an entire roll, and smack it with a hammer. KABLAAAM! Ow! Fun!

  3. Watermelon Overdose! Mostly naked children covered head-to-toe in sticky melon juice. Little black seeds stuck to everything. Yum.

  4. Blowing Stuff Up! When caps just don't get the job done.... Illegal fireworks! You spend a whole year building plastic model warships, tanks, and planes just to blast them to hell with Black Cats. Oh yeah. One time we tied a Cherry Bomb (that's a big'un, folks) onto a GI Joe's head. Poor bastard should've know smoking was bad for your health....

  5. Fireworks! Still love the big displays. But now that every show has to be bigger, better, longer than the one before I'm afraid we are starting to lose the sheer joy, magic, and wonder of watching the sky fill with patterns of fire. Sigh. So it goes.

    So, happy Fourth! Have fun, but if you should lose any bodily appendages, just remember that I told ya this:

    Be careful.

    F is for Fiction
    A is for Astonishing Science Fiction
    A is for Awesome Fantasy Fiction
    A is for Absolutely Fabulous Speculative Fiction 

    Whumpht is Martian for Get the Best Free Speculative Fiction Here

    posted by Max E. Keele 8:43 AM

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Now's your chance. From my god-like perch of total control, I have magnanimously decided to give you the power to respond to my inane posts. That's right, you can now tell me what you think by clicking the comment button and typing in some words. Not that I'll actually read them, mind you. But doesn't it give you a warm fuzzy feeling to know that I care?

posted by Max E. Keele 10:12 AM

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Okay, scratch that. I write short stories 'cause there's a little transparent alien named Pollywog that lives in my ear and makes me. Now, I should be up in arms over this egregious invasion of privacy and usurpation of will--and in truth I am a bit piqued--but when it comes right down to the brass monkeys, I need the motivation.

posted by Max E. Keele 6:58 AM

Monday, July 01, 2002

Why does anybody write short stories? Fame? Glory? Wealth beyond compare?

If the latter, the sad truth is that the rewards for writing short stories have never been all that great. There are currently a handful of magazines paying more than 3 cents a word for short fiction. Figure it out. Longish story of 5,000 words x $.03 = $150. At best. Want to make living doing this? You need to sell something like a story a day. Of course, there are a few places that pay decent money for short stories (Playboy, SF & F, The New Yorker, and anywhere Ellen Datlow works) so figure if you sell one a month to those guys and maybe a couple to the $.03ers, well, it can be done on paper anyway. But it ain't likely to happen.

So why then? For the acclaim of one's peers, for one thing. For the sake of the art, for another, and for the altogether mercenary reason of establishing a name for oneself in the interest of furthering one's career, which of course, means writing and selling novels.

Me? I do it 'cause I think it's fun, and because I like the attention, and because there really is no rush I know of quite like the one you get when a stranger decides your art is worthy of sharing.

posted by Max E. Keele 12:54 PM

Experimental Exposure Level Detector. If this counter reads 99,999 or higher, you have been exposed to a level of mutagenic particle emission that should cause priapism in men and low-level continuous orgasm in women. Please let me know if this is a problem for anyone.

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