Making the Rounds by Allan Weiss

Eliezer ben-Avraham, wizard, Kabbalist, and kvetch, not only can but must help. Because he poked around in areas of forbidden knowledge, he is obliged to wander the world and use the powers he gained to perform good deeds—mitzvot—for anybody who asks, no matter how bizarre the task. Ably assisted by his trusty but cynical steed, Melech, Eliezer does what he can, although transforming into a bird and flying around is difficult when you have arthritis in your shoulder.

Humorous, philosophical, and very weird, Eliezer’s adventures as he makes his rounds demonstrate how important it is to be generous with your gifts, even to the craziest goyim.

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Murder in the Generative Kitchen by Meg Pontecorvo

With the Vacation Jury Duty system, jurors can lounge on a comfortable beach while watching the trial via virtual reality. Julio is loving the beach, as well as the views of a curvy fellow juror with a rainbow-lacquered skin modification who seems to be the exact opposite of his recent ex-girlfriend back in Chicago. Because of jury sequestration rules, they can’t talk to each other at all, or else they’ll have to pay full price for this Acapulco vacation. Still, Julio is desperate to catch her attention. But while he struts and tries to catch her eye, he also becomes fascinated by the trial at hand.

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The Meddlers of Moonshine by A.E. Decker

Something is rotten in the town of Widget, and Rags-n-Bones knows it’s all his fault. Ever since he snitched that avocado from Miss Ascot’s pack, things have been going wrong. Armed with a handful of memories he never realized he had, Rags-n-Bones searches for a way to put right whatever he did to Widget in the past. If only he knew what it was! Unfortunately, the only person who seems to have answers is a half-mad youth that only Rags can see.

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The Continuum by Wendy Nikel

For years, Elise has been donning corsets, sneaking into castles, and lying through her teeth to enforce the Place in Time Travel Agency’s ten essential rules of time travel. Someone has to ensure that travel to the past isn’t abused, and most days she welcomes the challenge of tracking down and retrieving clients who have run into trouble on their historical vacations.

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Weather is a Zero-Sum Game by Judith Field

An essay by Sam Keegan, as provided by Judith Field
(Originally published in Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2014)

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Birthing Fire by Dantzel Cherry

An essay by Dr. Henrik Ahlstrom, as provided by Dantzel Cherry
(“Birthing Fire” previously appeared as the 2nd place winner in the Story Star Publishing Short Story Contest in 2012; reprinted in Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2017)

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Arkham K-12 Science Fair by Jeannie Warner

A recording by Clifford Winter III, Ph.D., as provided by Jeannie Warner
(Originally published in Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2015)

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Dreamers by Donna Glee Williams

At the age of sixteen, the Dreamer has given up her own life to act as the conduit for the divine dreams that must be interpreted for the survival of the village. Love and relationships are forbidden. Even though her needs are provided for, she longs to be free. The cost of being the Dreamer is not just freedom. When her dreams begin to wane beneath the weight of duty, she is to be killed, quietly replaced by the next Dreamer. Hers is a fate that is kept as quiet as the sacred Garden that is her prison and her place of dreams; guarded night and day against the wayward trill of even the most well-meaning songbird.

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Sticks and Stones by Angèle Gougeon

Sandra Daron knows what it’s like to die. Every time she touches someone, she experiences their last moments; burning, drowning, choking, dead.

Her visions shatter any pretense of normal she might wish she had. She’s a freak, isolated and alone in her small town junior high school. Her parents don’t care what she does or where she goes and all she wants to do is get by without being noticed.

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Beltrunner by Sean O’Brien

As an independent beltrunner mining asteroids in the frontier of space, Collier South is a dying breed. Scrounging and cutting corners to work cheap, Collier isn’t a stranger to lean times and make-do repairs; in fact his onboard computer hasn’t had outside maintenance in years and its beginning to show its personal quirks.

When Collier finds an asteroid that shows promise, he thinks he’s bought himself some time. But his claim is stolen out from under him by his vindictive ex-lover and her shiny new corporate ship. Powerless against the omnipotent mining corporations, Collier has always been too stubborn to give-up without a fight. Broke and desperate, Collier has one last chance to land a strike. If he doesn’t come back with ore, he’ll end up destitute and trading his own biologicals for his next meal.

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