F I C T I O N   I N D E X  (2001 to the present)

In the midst of attempting to improve her job skills at a Public Speaking Seminar, Karen finds herself completely clueless as to how to approach a man in “How to Approach a Man,” by John Kilgore. New Yorker magazine, eat your heart out.
While in bed with his wife, the narrator of “The Hug,” by Jim Burns, relates the various embraces he has had in his life, from awkward and fumbling clasps laced with uncertainty to a mind-numbing, deep-bosom bone-cruncher he received while suffering from a bout of shingles.
In “Madonna of the Rocket,” by John Kilgore, the seeds of a super race are sent to the stars and back: a futuristic parable that transcends technology and spans the centuries, yet speaks to the very simple human element in all of us.
Since 1997 Frank Macchia and Tracy London have written and produced five CD’s called “Little Evil Things,” a collection of “Bite Size Tales of Terror to Chill Your Bones.” Not only are they professionally narrated by actors, composer/musician/writer Frank has written music to accompany each story, using Hollywood session musicians and none other than the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Read (and hear an excerpt of) “The Violin’s Curse.”
Some stories from our poet Lewis Bruser who, in his inimitable style, had his tongue surgically planted in-cheek with his “Tales of Three Rivers.” O, cry me a tale of sticks.
Helen Degen Cohen’s “The Edge of the Field” straddles two world's simultaneously: the innocent perspective of a child and the harsh reality of the Polish ghetto.
Christie had her Poirot; Updike his Bech; and Sayers, Lord Peter Whimsey. Meet Robert Balcomb’s George in “Made in Malaysia.”
Benny Goodman’s biggest fan, eighty-four-year-old Herman Thalfeld, has a most memorable climb up the stairs to his fourth-floor walk-up apartment in “Goodnight, My Love,” by Edward King.
Robert Grudin’s The Most Amazing Thing begins with Desmond Ruck in a motel with his earlobe shot off, an unconscious woman in the bed, and a fortune in cash inside a bullet-riddled van parked outside. And that’s just the beginning of the ride of the century. We are proud to present the first three chapters.
We are proud to feature an excerpt from Dissonance, a new novel by Lisa Lenard-Cook. It is the story of a Los Alamos piano teacher’s journey of discovery as she explores another woman’s life, a journey that takes her from a World War II concentration camp to the bomb at Hiroshima and, finally, to secrets she herself has deeply buried.
What do you do when the love of your life is sleeping with your best friend and both are starving? Hitchhike to Minneapolis in the bitter cold, naturally, to bring them thirty dollars, a pipe of opium, and a 19-year-old farm boy who will do anything they say. Read “Virgin” by Stephanie Dickinson.
We connected the Day JFK was shot. So begins Michael Corrigan’s “Ruth,” a tale of relationships against a backdrop of assassinations.
The winner (Marky Thorsness) and the two runners-up (Tom Bradley, Bill Feltt) in TheScreamOnline’s first International Short Fiction Competition.
What if John Lennon had quit the Beatles in a row just before they signed their first recording contract? One possibility: the Beatles would not have been great but merely famous, Lennon would still be alive but leading a life of haunted bitterness, and nothing in popular music would be quite what it should be. Ian MacLeod’s novella “Snodgrass” first appeared in In Dreams in 1992 and was chosen for that year’s volume of The Year’s Best Science Fiction (St. Martin’s), edited by Gardner Dozois. TheScreamOnline takes great pleasure in republishing this landmark story, with its Joycean richness of language and allusion. “Snodgrass” takes the genre of the alternate-history fantasy to a new level, offering a passionate allegory of art’s need to embrace exile and rebellion right up to the point of self-destruction.
As young playmates in a Utah trailer park, Dee and Mickey formed a bond that went beyond time, beyond self — or so he insisted. When she demurs, he offers an unforgettable, unanswerable argument in Mary Maddox’s fine story “What Love Is,” published here for the first time.
In Laura Albritton’s “Styrofoam,” Jorge Valdes drops out of medical school to be of no use to the state in his pursuit to leave Havana for the American Dream.
Minimalism and magic realism come together in these two gemlike stories by Valerie Collins. “The Flight of the Eagle” introduces us to an 88-year-old man whose second childhood seems by turns beatific and annoying; “Black Dress” to a magic garment that makes you understand what you have always wanted, deep down, from your wardrobe.
Lisa Lenard-Cook’s most recent novel, Coyote Morning, explores how a few people in a New Mexico town cope with the area’s insistent wildness — and with their own lives. The book was selected as a 2004 Southwest Book of the Year by the Tucson-Pima County Public Library. We present Chapter One here.
Living in Srebrenica amid the turmoil of the Bosnian civil war, one brother struggles to keep his family alive. Half a world away, the other makes a life for himself as a medical resident in Berkeley, California. Their letters explore the extremes and jarring contrasts of contemporary life in Christine Calson’s somber, exquisitely crafted story, “Between the Lines.”
Death is no respecter of persons, and makes no allowances for favorite relatives, who may suffer as horribly as anyone. But in the end what still matters is what always mattered: courage, kindness, memory, and the love of a good joke: so Ted discovers in Jay Prefontaine's grimly touching story, “I’m Dead.”
“Daddy was unreliable and often drunk, and his new lady, Norlene, the meanest one yet whenever his back was turned. Lu had no allies — until Talion came, with his crew of shadowy accomplices.” This excerpt from Mary Maddox’s novel in progress, Talion, is by turns heartbreaking and scary with its blend of realism and dark fantasy.
Secret Son - "When a young man is given the chance to rewrite his future, he doesn't realize the price he will pay for giving up his past." Read Chapter One from Moroccan-born Laila Lalami's new novel.
These Precious Hours - Michael Corrigan's new book will be serialized, in its entirety, in TheScreamOnline. We present the first story here.

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