Out now: ZNB Presents; also, Eye to the Telescope

My story, “When the Salt Burns Green,” is live over at the new ZNB Presents magazine! (Has been for about a month now… whoops.) It was originally written with the ZNB Noir anthology in mind; while it didn’t make the cut for the final volume, it’s heartening to know it stood out enough to be selected to help breathe life into a new publication. (And it’s definitely a bingo square to be the first story ever published by a magazine.)

She shook her head. “His Lordship, like his grandfathers, made it plain such wasn’t welcome. And the guildfolk back at the Capital would take weeks to arrive. We need this handled quickly and discreetly.”

“You mean cheaply,” I said. “‘Cos of course you’re gonna tell me the case is worth my freedom.”

“It’s like you’ve done this before,” she marveled.

“Ha ha.” I shielded my eyes as we came closer to torchlight. Even dim light wasn’t much of a friend yet. “If there ain’t much helpin’ it, you might as well take me to the body.”

“Bodies,” Dani corrected. “And how did you know there was a body?”

Rolling my eyes hurt, but I did it anyway—some things have to be done. “Because there’s always a body.”

from “When the Salt Burns Green,” @ZNB Presents

The magazine has had a wide variety of stories so far (of the three that have appeared); if the above intrigues you, maybe pop over to the Patreon and check it out?


I also had a poem go live last month. Eye to the Telescope #45, as edited by Deborah L. Davitt, held the theme ‘Veterans of Alien Wars.’ My poem is second from the top, and only nine lines long, but I like to think it says quite a bit in that short space.

I’m not a veteran myself, but I do have several friends and cousins in the US Armed Forces (in one branch or another); and I’ve had family in the generations before me that served… including two grandfathers in WWII who spoke but rarely about what they’d seen. (That didn’t stop stories from floating around about how close enemy fire came to preventing entire branches of my family tree from happening at all.) And while I’m pleased to have contributed, I’m actually more impressed that the ToC of this issue is ~33% veterans.

It’s not a light read, but it’s a solid read, and I do hope you’ll wander by there.


One more bit of news: I’ll have a (completely different) story in Hexagon in Fall 2022. And for all those people who read my first story and have been wondering, “Brian, how come you don’t write humor anymore?” I’ll respond:

  • funny is difficult
  • my sense of humor is weird
  • but here, finally, some of it’s escaped my office and made it out into the world.

Also, the recipe at the end should work.

Until then — stay safe, stay cool, don’t melt, be well.



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