This issue Includes:

View from the Captain’s Deck
by Zach Ricks
The Dame Wore White
by Justin Macumber
by Patricia Russo
Evolution, a Love Story
by James Keeling
View from the Poopdeck
by Scott Roche

Cover art by Raufino –

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Audio only – the text version of this issue is exclusively available at
FlagShip Jan 2012 Audio Version – 1.99 – in mp3 audio.

A Preview of FlagShip Issue

View From the Captain’s Deck

Finding the Way Forward

by Zach Ricks

There’s  a certain amount of pressure that comes along with writing these little pre–‐issue essays. I’m never quite certain what I want to say, but I do know that I want what I say to be edifying, uplifting, and encouraging. Maybe even inspiring. No Pressure,  right? Beyond the individual columns, FlagShip aspires to be a place for good, optimistic science fiction and fantasy. In a society that seems hell–  bent on becoming more and more shrill, divisive, and unpleasant, I feel  the need to create a place where it’s all right to dream. Dreaming is important. Without dreams, without something to look forward to or up to, without hope, the world seems gray and drab no matter how brightly the sun may shine overhead.  Without  a dream,  there are places in the heart that physical light cannot illuminate and that physical heat cannot warm.

The Dame Wore White

by Justin Macumber

The energy in the Black Magic Lounge jumped into the stratosphere as the band’s horn section  unleashed  blistering  torrent of sound. Bodies crowded the  dance  floor, cheering  and stomping their feet, eager to do their part to bring the roof down. It was the busiest Sal had ever seen the place, and considering he’d owned the club for over a decade that was saying something. A shadow of a smile crossed his lips, but he wondered if it wasn’t too little too late. His heart just wasn’t in it anymore, and he didn’t know if it ever would be again.

Salvador Mackelroy had been in the gin–‐slinging business a long time, working his way from bus boy to club owner with methodical single–‐mindedness, figuring once he’d made it to the top his life would be filled with wine, women, and song. The truth, as is too often the case, wasn’t so glamorous —wine was expensive,  most of the women he knew were either drunks or on the prowl for a sugar  daddy, and finding the right musical entertainment had until recently been the bane of his existence. No, things hadn’t turned out the way he’d thought they would, and every second that ticked by was one less second he had to do something about it. Time was a hot wind on the back of his neck, and  it burned worse the longer he stood still.


by Patricia Russo

He was a man, and he knew his place, but when the Mender stepped forward unarmed, Ger clicked his tongue. She glanced at him coolly. Ger had known almost from the beginning that he’d never get another contract from her. he’d  disliked  him since the second day he’d been in her employ, and  the only reason she hadn’t rejected him outright on the first day was that Agga  had done all the talking.

“Did you speak?” the Mender asked.


The damnable thing was, now he owed his wife’s cousin Agga a major favor.  At the  time, he’d rejoiced at the fine  opportunity she’d brought him. I’ll impress this Mender, he’d thought. Finally I’ll have a recommendation with weight. She might even become my patron. Well, that dream had died quickly. Ger said,  “But I will. With your leave.”

“You have it.”

He gave  the Mender credit; she was courteous. Stiff, haughty, and ridiculously demanding, but courteous. “I speak, then. Just because one pities the wounded, that does not mean they are not dangerous.”

“Pity.” Her voice  was flat.

Evolution, a Love Story

by James Keeling

“Dude! That is awesome! You’re gonna be able to see that sucker from space!” Dave put down the industrial strength stapler and glanced down at his friend Scott who stood out in the front yard.

“You bet your sweet ass you are!” He yelled. “It  took me forever to collect  all these junk discs.”

Scott gave him an  energetic thumbs up and stood admiring Dave’s handiwork.

“This is a bad idea,” said Tom. Dave’s other best friend stood at the bottom of the ladder leading up to the roof. “There’s gotta be some sort of building code or aviation code against that man, you’re gonna get busted and I’m not gonna be there to bail  your sorry ass outta jail.”

“Come on,” replied Dave, “You gotta admit, this is one of the coolest things you’ve ever seen.”

It was.

Dave had saved thousands of old, scratched, useless CDs. Some were old movies which wouldn’t play anymore, some were CDs that failed, but most were extra CDs he had taken from his old job as a computer guy.  He  had  hoarded thousands of CDs full of trial software, documentation, and old  defunct programs. It was his old job because he had been laid off three months ago. His job  prospects were bleak at best and the bank was looking to foreclose on his mortgage.  That was when he had the brainstorm that would change his life forever. It took him over five thousand CDs and the better part of a weekend, but he had done it. His entire house had been shingled in CDs  –‐ reflective side up. His sixty year old rambler wasn’t huge, but it  was big enough. The overall effect was  spectacular. Tom held the ladder as  Dave descended,

“I still think the government is gonna  jack you up for  doing this. If a black SUV or  helicopter turns up in  your front yard, I for one was never here.”

Dave turned and squinted up at the roof, “I for one, need a beer.”


Welcome to the End of the World!

by Scott Roche

So, here we are. It’s finally 2012. The world is ending and I’d like to get a few things off of my chest without the social repercussions they   might other wise bring. Twilight‘s  not actually all  that  bad really. I mean, what high  school boy in their right mind would want a sensitive, introverted, and slightly pathetic young girl to take advantage  of?  Of  course it would take a man of advanced years with a killer body to truly appreciate her and  woo her into marrying him and baring his child. That’s just realistic and totally healthy.


Justin Macumber

Justin Macumber is an author and podcaster, as well as a happily married fella in his late 30’s (he’s so old he saw “Star Wars” in the theater when it first came out). He lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex with his lovely wife Krista and a motley pack of dogs and cats that they think of as their children. He recently had his first manuscript picked up by a small press, and he’s working hard to make sure it’s the best debut novel he can make it.


Patricia Russo

Patricia Russo’s stories have appeared in Fantasy, Chizine, Daily SF, and many other publications, online and off. Her first collection, Shiny Thing, is available now from Papaveria Press.


James Keeling

A working writer living in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, James Keeling has been a story teller for decades. Apart from his writing, James also has four lovely daughters and spends the remainder of what little time he has being a computer professional.

Zach Ricks

Zach Ricks is an attorney / project manager / writer / aspiring imperialist warmonger living in Austin TX with a very understanding wife and daughter. He found science fiction at five years old when his parents made the tactical error of taking him to see “Star Wars” while visiting family in Alaska. They later recalled that it was the first time they’d taken him to a movie where he hadn’t been whining about having to go to the bathroom or wanting popcorn. And while it was a welcome change, it also sort of freaked them out. He grew up on a potato farm in Idaho, which gave him a lot of time riding around on tractors and pondering “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” Today, he can be found occasionally posting short stories at His latest project is Flying Island Press – a publisher of e-magazines for anything with a screen or a pair of earphones.

Scott Roche

Scott Roche is the Marketing Director for Flying Island Press. He has had his work published in Hub Magazine and is very active in the podcasting community. Writing and creating are part time unpaid gigs for the most part, but he’s actively working to change that. You can find Scott’s musings on spiritual matters at He had a podcast novel called Archangel at Finally, his thoughts on writing, social media, and podcasting are available at

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