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Day of Ascension by Adrian Tchaikovsky coverTLDR: In the bleak future of humanity, there is only eat, and perhaps, being eaten alive in this combat-heavy but well-written Warhammer 40k novel.

Triskellian is a tech priest, a machine-worshiping half-cyborg. He’s also the runt of the litter of tech-priesthood, with everyone from the Grand Fabricator to your junior acolyte looking down on his fascination with bio-engineering. And his only friends are a comic duo of misshapen tech-Igors.

Davien is a spy, the vanguard of a proletariat revolution that never comes. She’s also the last guardian of a sick brother, and a more-or-less fanatic follower of a cult of murderous, bio-engineered aliens. And if that isn’t bleak enough, the pair of them live on an Adeptus Mechanicus forge world, a hollowed out shell of poisoned planet where everything is either a smoking factory, an open pit mine, or a tenement crawling with filthy, starving, diseased humanity.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Warhammer 40k, which puts the “grim” in “grimdark”. (more…)

Brick in a Wall coverTick. A second is one sixtieth of a minute, a minute one sixtieth of an hour.

Tock. I am a good man.

Tick. The day is divided into hours because the Egyptians had a love for the number twelve.

Tock. Breathe, Justin. Calm. Good men don’t die for no reason.

Tick. A clock pendulum makes the same sound as a rifle cock. Click. (more…)

For Want of a Nail - short storyIt is a nail. It’s stuck in a wall, but it’s not my wall.

I work on it, but I can’t figure it out. So I call Abraham Hershlow.

We grew up together, did advanced physics and honors math together, but then Abe got a scholarship and I got to work at a hardware store. Still, Abe’s a good guy. He fixed me up with the job at the university, and I’d rather be a janitor at the U than a manager at Warshaw’s Tools.

“George,” Abe says, “I’d love to help but there’s this review and…”

“Just come look,” I say. “Five minutes.”

“I can’t, George, I really can’t.”

I call him again. And the next day, and the next. Finally he comes down to my box-room in the basement.

“It’s a nail,” he says.

“But look, it’s sticking out of the wall. Out, Abe.” (more…)