Dead Letter Office

 


Fiction:

Note: The stories included here are either original to this website or else “reprints” from online publications. Stories that have been submitted to current fiction markets will not be posted.

The Restoration

“We had all studied the disappearance, tracking down and interviewing witnesses, pondering the quantum fluctuations that emanated from the city’s erstwhile perimeter. There were no answers. And our questions had been unformed, fleeting: more an exclamation of our collective ignorance than proper attempts at deduction.”
Hot Rain

“As her sensorium comes to life she stumbles under the sudden deluge of discomfort, the sun’s blade shoved deeper into her flesh, threatening to rend the slender fiber-optics that run through her spinal column. Animal fear grips her; she marshals the discipline to remain hunkered on the hot pavement while her brain severs the barrage of input.”
Disintegration

“I emerged on the stadium’s uppermost level, my hands sticky and colorless on the back of a collapsible plastic chair. An airplane passed silently; I could make out its wings against the clotted sky, and imagined them as veined and restless as a mosquito’s.”
The Symbiosis

“He thought he felt the sim’s versatile flesh wrapping around him, womblike, encasing him in a pliant shell of machine warmth. Tendrils wriggled into his ears, up his nose, latching onto interface ports he had long forgotten existed.”
The Reenactment

“Cloying black smoke issued from the shattered cockpit as instruments fizzled and fuel lines split open like vivisected snakes. And then Clayton could hear the rain again, hammering its endless watery code on the Jeep’s hood.”
The Visitors

“We would lie on our backs, the sand molded to our bodies, and watch the Halo’s slow disintegration, our muscles tightening as fragments succumbed to gravity and plummeted to the horizon with a faint dopplered roar…”


Essays:

The Roswell “Hieroglyph” Controversy (illustrated)

“If the designs witnessed by Marcel weren’t the designs described by Moore, then it’s plausible that the official explanation for them is in error and that an unconventional aircraft of some sort indeed crashed near Roswell in 1947.”
Sentience and Circuitry

“Reproduction, per se, may never become obsolete, but at least we will no longer be at the mercy of its evolutionary mandates. Aesthetics and the definition of pleasure will necessarily adapt to our own caprices and augmented cognitive abilities.”
Skeptics, Debunkers and Believers

“The Earth of the early 21st century is a deceiving, perilous place, and we may ultimately pay for the luxury of our zealously guarded tunnel realities with our own extinction.”
Reactions to the “Alien Autopsy” Footage (illustrated)

“Interestingly, the pathologists seem to know what they’re doing–to the degree that it appears they’ve already dissected a similar cadaver or have been briefed by others who have.”
The Universe Viewed as a Cybernetic Dream

“Nerves take root under alien skies and explode into illumined matrices of pure thought. Time and matter are made as mutable as the softest of clays and sculpted into yet new forms of life.”
Who’s There? (illustrated)

“The entities encountered by Betty and Barney Hill appeared genuinely startled by the fact that Betty’s teeth were removable while Barney’s were not. Is this really the behavior one would expect from visiting extraterrestrial anthropologists?”
A Case for Agnosticism

“There is an unspoken suspicion that asking too many questions violates some cosmic statute; individual gods are not only jealous, it seems, but oddly insecure in their own existential status.”
Ashes in Rain (illustrated)

“Royo’s post-‘Blade Runner’ pin-ups are as numerous as they are distinctive: women in corroded metal collars; sensuous cherubs with delicately furred wings more beastly than angelic; waifs with cruel halos of skull-penetrating chrome…”
An “Interview” with Whitley Strieber

“[Strieber’s] humility and willingness to question the apparent reality of his visitations were traits lacking in the ‘contactees’ of the 1950s, who more or less divulged the secrets of the universe to anyone willing to listen.”
Of Venusians and Coffee (featured as “Coffee Shop Encounter” at Paraview Press)

“She was probably in her 50s (or 60s); her face had the taut quality associated with cosmetic surgery, and she wore big black sunglasses that made her look a bit like the cover illustration from ‘Communion.'”
Morrissey and Kafka

“Kafka’s labyrinthine prose style and exacting grasp of nuance and character reveal a world riddled with bureaucracy and corruption; his protagonists are burdened by anxieties grown to mythical dimensions.”
Pencil Protruding Through Piece of Styrofoam

“Why, specifically, a pencil (made out of the quasi-archaic medium of wood) when a ballpoint pen or computer stylus would have maintained or augmented the Styrofoam’s sense of sterile modernity?”
Journal Extracts

“Stripmalls seen from the highway, their signs lit yellow-white by concealed neon. They recede to the horizon, following the curves and clefts of the landscape like spinal columns defining the backs of ungainly creatures.”

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