The cuckoo is more than a hooting bird that pops out of an ornate clock. It is a real bird, and it is a . The cuckoo invades the nest of smaller species of birds, laying its own eggs so that those poor new bird parents now sit atop…

*wafts sage about*

Right, so it’s time for me to go on a bit of a tirade about the creative life. I must point out that what we artists and artisans do for a living is not free, and we deserve to be paid.

If you work, you should be…

This story was first published in Curious Fictions.

It stretched in a black arc, a toothless maw into which the road crumbled.

“They said you can hear the screaming inside the tunnel!” whispered Nate.

Sara snickered. “It’s just a tunnel. Just drive. Let’s get this over with, I have a test tomorrow.”

Vic sat at the wheel. The…

Mr. Gerald terrified us.

Jay and I would return home from illicit bicycling adventures and deliberately press ourselves against the creaking wooden railroad bridge as far as we could, hoping Mr. G would not see us.

A whiff of heat-melted creosote on the bridge slats and the distant, metallic buckling…

Julian Broadmoor rapped the doorknocker. He hefted his briefcase, tugged at his scratchy shirt collar, and batted off lint from his tweed jacket. The jacket repelled some of the light drizzle, as did his bowler hat. But it was making its presence known down the back of his neck. …

Dala watched the Blue Lantern’s flames blast the dust on the landing pad into a high spume. The low cloud deck above flickered briefly, reflecting the flames. That was the only bright light her tired eyes had seen in weeks.

“Engage craft,” she commanded into her helmet comms. Trundle, the…

This story first appeared in Curious Fictions in 2020. It is a fictionalized account of a real romance.

A pale-blue aura framed Thilly’s face, as she leaned in toward the monitor. Beaumain’s eyes looked tired, but they lit up at the sight of her, and he rubbed his ginger beard.

“Hello,” he said, smirking.

“Hello,” she replied, twitching a coil of hair over her shoulder nervously.

“I like…

Pinball is one of my most favorite games. I’m analog that way. I’ve always loved it, I always will. I could spend all day playing pinball, given the chance. I even helped restore a Superman pinball game.

There’s no magic. There’s no roleplay. The only screen, if there is one…

Matt Dunford embraces J. Dianne Dotson at Mysterious Galaxy Books, July 6, 2021. Copyright J. Dianne Dotson 2021

You all know some of it, and some of you know all of it. The first part? Our ongoing collective nightmare, the pandemic that spins its way around the globe a year and a half after it began. The second part?

Dad’s death continues to…

J. Dianne Dotson

J. Dianne Dotson is a science fiction and fantasy author, science and content writer, and watercolorist. Learn more at . @jdiannedotson

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