The Dragon’s Mask

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original, January 2023

“Faye smiled tentatively, settling into this new reality they were creating together out of lies, a reality where what she’d seen — a true dragon’s face, staring into hers from only inches away, begging to be seen, understood, and maybe loved — was only an illusion.”

Bark broke from the trunk of the sharillow trees in large, curved chunks, littering the forest floor along with their fallen leaves.  Storakka sifted through the pieces at the base of the biggest tree she could find, her talons running over the slightly curved sheaves of wood, rough on one side and smooth on the other.  Finally she found an oval one she liked, about the same size as a human face. Continue reading “The Dragon’s Mask”

The Freedom of the Queen

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Oxfurred Comma Flash Fiction Contest, July 2022

“Why did you leave me alive?” the queen bee buzzed at the honey look-alike, puddled under her tree. “Why didn’t you eat me too?”

Amber fluid dripped from the hive, but it wasn’t honey.  It was thick and gooey and satiated.  The amorphous being, gold and honey-like, had infiltrated the hive, feasted on the honey and then on the worker bees who’d made the honey; then the drones who the worker bees had waited on; and finally, on the delectable morsels of unfinished dough that were the eggs and pupae.

But not the queen. Continue reading “The Freedom of the Queen”

Awards Eligible Stories in 2022

This year Deep Sky Anchor took a big step forward and released 9 all new, original pieces of fiction and one non-fiction essay! If you’re reading for awards or just for fun, we’d love to have you read them.

Here are links to all our original releases from 2022, along with their genres, approximate word counts, and the month they were released: Continue reading “Awards Eligible Stories in 2022”

Owl City Music and the Passage of Time

In the time between hearing Owl City’s first single and his latest, I’ve had entire friendships rise and fall — meeting, becoming close, drifting apart, falling out, and letting their presence in my life fade into the dull wispy ache of a memory of what we once were… Continue reading “Owl City Music and the Passage of Time”

Pluto Cartoons and the Passage of Time

I used to watch Pluto cartoons as a kid, and I thought the silly yellow dog was funny but didn’t know anyone like him.

Then I had a dog named Trudy for sixteen years. She had a lot of the same funny quirks, expressions, and behaviors as Pluto, but she was infinitely more real… Continue reading “Pluto Cartoons and the Passage of Time”

Many Thoughts on AI Art

Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If you write a poem and immediately burn it without ever showing it to anyone else, you’ll still have been in conversation with every poem and other piece of art you’ve ever encountered just by writing it in the first place.

Art is the language humans use to communicate feelings and experiences and beauty. Art is fundamentally about connection, whether it’s between someone who creates art and a separate person who experiences it… or even if it’s just a way to communicate more deeply with yourself. Continue reading “Many Thoughts on AI Art”

Art Is Not a Zero Sum Game

I’ve been getting quieter on here (note: this post is converted from a thread on Twitter) about AI art, because the communities I’m in clearly hate it with a raging passion.

But I love AI art. And I’m really disappointed in Uncanny Magazine’s choice to publish a whole essay calling it theft, plain and simple. Continue reading “Art Is Not a Zero Sum Game”

AI Art Doesn’t Have to Be a Culture War

The amount of absolute unfettered hate I see on here (Twitter) being spewed toward any artist who would ever use an AI program to assist them in their art is… terrifying. It makes me want to just close up shop and disappear from this corner of the internet for the next few years.

How did it somehow become okay to bully people just because they like AI art? Continue reading “AI Art Doesn’t Have to Be a Culture War”