Issue 4 cover


by Ian McHugh

Issue 4 :: Spring 2009 (stories)

She didn’t react immediately when the bookshop’s door alarm chimed and two men walked in. Not until one of them--the taller, clean-shaven with braided hair--said, “Ruby Tuesday.”

Then she flinched.

With careful deliberation, she marked her page and closed the book. Set the taped-together paperback on the countertop and squared it against the edge with finger and thumb.

“Mira Bookman, these days,” she said, and kept the tremor out of her voice, if not her hands. “Haven’t used that handle in five years.”


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"Stiletto" is roughly 7810 words.

Ian McHugh is a graduate of Clarion West 2006 and the 2008 annual grand prize winner in the Writers of the Future Contest. So far in 2009, in addition to "Stiletto", he has stories out or due out in Asimov's Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Pseuodpod, The Drabblecast, All Hallows, and the anthology Clockwork Phoenix 2. For a list of past publications and some stories available free online, see"> For "Stiletto", he has to thank Maura for getting pissed off at the two pages it took the characters to cross the road to get coffee.