Click here to buy _Cigar-Box Faust_ by Michael Swanwick
The Infinite Matrix
Stories Columns Archive FAQ Home


Recent Stories
  appeals court

novelette | Cory Doctorow & Charles Stross

Appleals Court, by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross

"South Carolina?" Huw screams, nearly dropping the teapot. "Unclefucking sewage filter, what do you want to send me there for?"

"Ah, pecker up. They're your co-religionists, aren't they? You won't find a more natural, flesh-hugging bunch on the planet than the Jesonians
who got left behind in the Geek Rapture...."


  the men in the back room
at the country club

novella | Rudy Rucker

The Men in the Back Room at the Country Club

"I seen it," insisted Tonel. "Mr. Atlee was draggin' a plow with Mr. Early steerin' it. Mr. Gupta was down on his knees pullin' up weeds, and Mr. Inkle and Mr. Cuthbert was carryin' trash out to the alley. Ole Ragland sittin' on the back porch with his shotgun across his knees. Did your
Meemaw put conjure on them, Ragland?"

"You want me to snapify your ass?"
said Ragland. Though gray and worn, Ragland
was, in his own way, an imposing man.



short story | Nisi Shawl

Matched, by Nisi Shawl

The clones' conversation drifted in and out of clarity, broken by breezes and the yells of others playing nearby.

Putti: We couldn't really kill them.

Mo Kree: Right. Not all of them.

Putti: Not any of them! Killing is wrong. Ask Santa. Barbera (NOISE) just me.

Shmex: Anyway, they would find out. Wouldn't they?

Mo Kree: It's only a story to play.


  blind shrike

novel | Richard Kadrey

Blind Shrike, by Richard Kadrey

"These symbols you put on your body are a kind of magnetism," said the blind swordswoman. You don't have to understand how they work. The demons understand well enough."
"What can I do?" Spyder asked.
"Change all the signs and
symbols you don't know."
"What's your name?" asked Spyder.
She ran a hand lightly over his cheeks
and jaw. "Good thing you're pretty," she said. "You're not the quickest little pony on the track, are you?"


  i, robot

short story | Cory Doctorow

I, Robot, by Cory Doctorow

"Haul ass, young lady — out of bed, on your feet, shit-shower-shave, or I swear to God, I will beat you purple and shove you out the door jaybird naked. Capeesh?"  The mound beneath the covers groaned and hissed. "You are a terrible father," it said. "And I never loved you." The voice was indistinct and muffled by the pillow.


  the witch’s hand

short story | Patrick O’Leary

The Witch's Hand by Patrick O'Leary

"It's come," said Jimmy Glimm, looking out of the tent into the dark.   "How'd it get here?"   "Fell out of the sky. It probably grabbed a hawk by the talons and wouldn't let go."   "Talons?"   "Talons are bird claws."   One boy shivered. He had once touched the waxy sheath of skin on a yellow chicken claw. "Why's it come back?"


  reborn again

short story | Robert Sheckley

Reborn Again, by Robert Sheckley

Grelich said, "I was supposed to be dead. They promised me I'd be dead."   "That's right," Ritchie said. "I remember now. You sold your body to me. And I was supposed to have bare-bones possession of it."   "But I am still in it. It's still my body."  "I don't think so," Ritchie said. "Even if you are still in it, you sold it to me. It's my body now."


  safe haven

short story | Karen D. Fishler

Safe Haven by Karen D. Fishler

"Where's the fish?" Christopher asked.
"They're all dead," said Lamar.
But they weren't. Not the faceless things that I suddenly saw moving up the rudder, all claws and snap, a foot and a half across. Not many of them, four or five, but they were so fast— a scuttle and a leap, and they were in.


the apocalyse

short story | Chris Nakashima-Brown

Script-doctoring the Apocalypse, by Chris Nakashima-Brown

Endora opened the door. A cloud of discount aromatherapy hit Friedman in the septum, followed by the muted tones of some Celtic-classics recording. Inside, all Friedman could notice was the well-oiled 5' 6" bodybuilder in the middle of the room, adjusting his thong while he read the new Deepak Chopra book. "Chad," said Endora, "meet Mr. Friedman from New York. We're going to be a while, so why don't you go hang out in the house for a bit."


  the sleep of reason

stories & art | Michael Swanwick & Francisco Goya
The Age of Goya,
the Age of Swanwick


Sleep Of Reason by Michael Swanwick

If you were to ask what right I had to put words to Goya's images, I would reply: As little as Goya had to make them in the first place. Neither Goya nor I was in a position to alter the history of our times. He was but a painter, and I a writer. Look for us a hundred years later, and you will find no record of how we lived or what we thought, other than our work alone.


  the last
cardinal bird
in tennessee

one-act play | Neal Barrett, Jr.

'84 Regress by Douglas Lain

As Louise Ann is speaking, she pulls a black roach three feet long from one of the sacks, and lays it on the work table. "Anyway, she had this uncle, and they did his name right on the TV, and he doesn't live ten blocks away."

As Louise Ann says ten, she whacks the head off the roach with a fierce stroke of the knife. "Makes you think is what it does. Ten blocks away." She glances at Carla and raises a brow. You want to try an' think about the good things in life, you know? Attitude is ever'thing, honey." She finishes wrapping the headless roach and puts it in the fridge.



  the '84 regress

short story | Douglas Lain

'84 Regress by Douglas Lain

Life in the eighties isn't all bad. Television, for instance, is better than you might remember it being; there are fewer stations, fewer commercials, and everything is slower, slowed down. There aren't ATMs or FAX machines; there aren't any e-mail messages.


  the death trap
of dr. nefario

short story | Ben Rosenbaum
Do you often feel that someone is trying to kill you?

The Death Trap of Dr. Nefario by Ben Ronsenblum

Well, you know, Doc, safe is a relative thing in my profession, but I have you on the headset, and I'm picking the lock on these handcuffs as we're talking. I think I'll be fine, the piranhas are still 5 or 6 feet below me.


tales from
sycamore hill

James Patrick Kelly
Why Schools Buses
Are Yellow


Christopher Rowe
Seared Scallops and Steamed Green Beans



Leslie What
Love Me

Richard Kadrey
Larks' Tongues in Aspic


home | stories | columns | archive | faq | talk