The New Janissaries

We get the word from the Turkish, Yenicheri, meaning “New Soldiers.” The Ottoman custom was to kidnap boys or to take them as tribute from the vassal lands of the Christian Balkans, to force them to convert to Islam, and to make of them the Sultan’s soldiers-elite, his guardians, until they rose high enough and…

WHEN JUMBO JETS VACATION, PART ii

NOTE: This updates an earlier, eerily prescient post ("When Jumbo Jets Vacation") concerning the disappearance of MH-370. It's posted somewhere below. UPDATE 24 JULY Multiply an astronomically large number times one of cosmologic scale. Got it? Now, take that highly zero-laden number and multiply it by all the hours in geological history. Got that? Now, cube that result…

WEB GUIDE

~~My name’s Dannikin and I’m your authorized U.S. Cyberguide.~~You’ll keep off that website, please. Yeah, that’s probably not for you.~~~You’re free to go there, if you choose. I wouldn’t advise it.~~~~~Don’t try to adjust the volume. Even if you do, you can only turn me down, not off.~~The name, “Dannikin”? Simple. I like Star Wars…

THE GREAT RAID OF 1978

The close-watched boys of Haverhill Prep expressed their adolescent sexual energy and frustration towards the cloistered girls of Haverhill Prep in the traditional way, with the Panty Raid. And even this venerable tradition, begun when the boys school merged with the girls school some ten years before would soon disappear. The separation of boy and girl fading,…

CIDARIS: EFFECTS SUMMARY

Her nose had been broken once, and perfectly. By everyone’s measure, Cidaris Musz is the most beautiful creature to matriculate Caliyuga University since its conception, buried deep in our colonial past. Her looks may be characterized in many ways but never accurately or consistently described by anyone. She looks different to every camera. The problem of…

AGENCY CREATIVE BRIEFING

Tate Shelby’s lieutenant, the talented Lanville Hardge, is handling the dull parts. But the meeting belongs to Shelby. Hopefully, everything will be dull parts unless Ambien gets a bug up his ass as he usually will. Especially on a project this big, this secret, this… well, Morris Ambien will certainly knicker-knit on this one, controversy-wise.…

ANOMALY FARMS

“There’s the heavenbird,” my colleague, Professor Anton Fogarty exclaimed, his voice a funny croak through his throat mike, excitedly pointing to a glowing mass visible amidst the metallic branches six miles up in the early evening sky. “Oooh, and look!” he continued, in our noise-canceling headphones. “A solaris!” The darkness high above acquired a shape,…

QUARANTINE ISLAND

PART ONE: QUARANTINE ISLAND “You ain’t going anywhere, today. We ain’t.” “Why’s that?” “There’s no flights going to New York.” “Newark, then?” “Nix, man. No place. No where. No York, No Newark. No Wark. No… Body.” I shifted to the other desk. “What about you?” Still no. I ventured over to HeronAir. “You guys going?”…

SELF-INFLICTED WORLD

Three new moon lets and everybody apprehensive and talking, sparking conversations with perfect strangers, the intimacy of the truly novel. The weather is a peculiar hot. The sun presses on you and it's like the air is boiling into existence, transitioning from a hot organic broth into a gas still too hot to be actually…