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Not just rockets & robots...
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

The Surreal Fountain Pen

Filled with ink that spirals onto the page in a cursive race of unscripted extrapolation, the Surreal Fountain Pen is the finest creative writing instrument in the rudimentary history of the human species. Deep in its abounded journey, throughout hidden chambers arranged in a golden spiral that extends beyond its three-dimensional incarnation, dreams are unveiled and language reconstituted with poetic abandon.
The adjective "surreal" does not describe the function of the Surreal Fountain Pen, but its mercurial nature, which is cerebral and spiritual, transcendental and transformative. The primary function of the Surreal Fountain Pen, deeply bedded in the flow of time and the dimensions of space, is to create without restraint.
…slightly tipsy, stumbling from another party at Rick's spacious estate into the cherry-blossom noir of a humid summer night, she suddenly became aware that the avalanche of age was gaining on her. She realized she was no longer a debutante ingénue at these endless gatherings but a veteran siren. The tendons of her distended thoughts stretched from apogee to abyss and...
The inlaid nib of the Surreal Fountain Pen, available in fine, medium, bold, and italic points, is virtually indestructible. It is composed of a gold-palladium alloy coated with a layer of rhodium for added strength and the resonance suited to all writing styles. The white-gold-titanium body of the Surreal Fountain Pen conforms to any writing hand.
Yet the Surreal Fountain Pen need not be a fountain pen at all. Sometimes it is a cheap ballpoint, ten for a buck and a half. Sometimes a pencil, keyboard, or microphone. It can be a stub of chalk racing with swift strides and resounding strikes across a blackboard. Still you will know it as the Surreal Fountain Pen
...the delta core disintegration sent a visceral shiver through the entire ship. Alexi was on the main deck and I was at the controls. He linked through our neural conduits but it was too late to change anything. We were already entering a space you could feel in your heart and bones. Vision blurred to smell and touch became musical. The ship bucked like a thorabeast on its first ride. A fiery beard blossomed from the crevices of my spine....
The Surreal Fountain Pen can write underwater, in outer space, or in the midst of a this-isn't-Kansas-anymore tornado. It can write at the heart of a volcano, assuming you had enough time to pen a period before you joined the lava lake therein.
If used properly and regularly the Surreal Fountain Pen never runs dry. If the ink is not flowing, just keep writing as if there were ink and the ink will come. It travels from a reservoir that resembles a Klein Bottle as seen from the inadequacy of our three-dimensional perspective. For those rare ethereal beings who can perceive accurately in the fourth dimension, it resembles a cigar, a burning cigar but still just a cigar.
…the emperor's eyes are glazed as the candied grapes he refuses to eat and the celadon porcelains gathered in the galleries of his grande dame mother, privy to at least half his past and present sins…
Cautionary Note: Texts created with the Surreal Fountain Pen are rarely perfect and almost invariably in need of revision. Do not attempt to revise and edit such texts with the Surreal Fountain Pen. You will only create another text equally in need of revision.
Dire Warning: Never attempt to use the Surreal Fountain Pen for mundane tasks. Do not attempt to sign anything without imagination--checks, wills, contracts, stock certificates, any legal document. These are not functions of the Surreal Fountain Pen and the results can be catastrophic.
The Surreal Fountain Pen may suddenly begin to leak copious amounts of ink from its endless reservoir, ink with the raw intensity of death on a bicycle, leaving an obviously obscene Rorschach inkblot that will deface your desk forever. Worse yet, its ink can spurt upward in a helter-skelter explosion, ruining your shirt or jacket, blanketing your throat and chin with stains it will take weeks to obliterate.
...the spikes could drive through Ricter's hands anytime he was at work. For no reason he could fathom, he all at once became conscious of an intense pain in his hands. Sometimes it was only in one hand, sometimes both. Sometimes the pain went back and forth like a tennis ball at a match. The only thing Ricter could think of comparing it to was a crucifixion. And when the pain subsided, it was as if those crucifying spikes were being pulled out one by one. Ricter could feel his flesh tearing and the blood spilling from his palms. Yet when he looked down at his hands after such harrowing episodes, they seemed perfectly normal. They were large wide hands with long fingers and narrow knuckles, white hands with uncallused palms. A thin scattering of black and gray hairs across their backs…
This is not an advert for the Surreal Fountain Pen. It is not for sale or trade. You cannot inherit the Surreal Fountain Pen or enter a contest to win one. There is no way you can steal a Surreal Fountain Pen. You either possess a Surreal Fountain Pen or you don't.
You may have been born with a Surreal Fountain Pen and misplaced it at an early age. Perhaps you lost a Surreal Fountain Pen through carelessness or neglect. The Surreal Fountain Pen will always return to you if it suits your nature.
...when the Hanged Man murmurs to the crows he is not joking. He is a man who seldom jokes. Yet the crows laugh anyway and continue to peck at his torso. In the depth/height of an inverted valley, The Hierophant unzips her bustier. The Two of Cups yearns for her love but has little to offer a Major Arcana. A clowder of cats cries. A leopard bristles. A light rain falls from a cloudless sky at dusk. A tungsten moon tempered with actinic light rises, a lustrous spherical ingot that rides the spreading quilt of night....
The End
This story was first published on Friday, May 15th, 2015
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