New Security Regulations

Welcome to Tharsis Intra-Martian Transport Hub.  Owing to recent terrorist threats by the Mole People of the Southern Polar Cap and The Willfully Unpleasant Types, in the Borealis Region, Central Authority has put into place new and more stringent security regulations for all passengers. 

1.        Before boarding,   not only adult passengers but their pupae and mature spawn will now be sprayed with anti-infective mist, to eliminate any chance of biological attack, including antenna wort, “angry” thorax, and redworm.

2.          Your carry-on luggage must be fully sedated before boarding.  Any sign of pseudopod activity  will result in confiscation and confinement for thirty revolutions or until asexual reproduction, whichever comes first.

3.          Your cocoon must remain fully supine during descent and resurfacing.

4.          The limbs of all spawn must be securely torso-attached during descent and resurfacing.  As pupae have only rudimentary limbs, they are excluded from this regulation.

5.          All passengers must remain visible for the duration of the burrow.  Fading of up to 50% is permitted.

6.         Recreational anatomy exchanges are permitted at cruising depth but may involve extremities only.  Sand-gland trades  are no longer allowed unless  pre-boarding clearance has been obtained.

7.         At cruising depth, passengers may move about the cylinder freely unless the burrow encounters magma-shift turbulence, in which case the Principal Officer will illuminate the fasten-cocoon lights and passengers must return to their cocoons and remain supine.

8.          Prohibited garments now include thorax sashes,  mammary push-ups, helmets for either head,  and tentacle sleeves that extend more than two inches beyond the tentacle.

9.          Upon resurfacing and de-boarding, all adult  passengers, with no exceptions except the Prinicpal Officer and the First Yrterezgdf, will be required to perform the Martian allegiance ritual, in order to demonstrate that they have not been possessed in mid-burrow by infiltrated invisible agents of the Willfully Unpleasant Types.  If the passenger fails to perform all fifteen vaults and the full eructation, he or she or it will be detained until thorough reprogramming is completed.

We appreciate your cooperation with these new regulations.  Our first priority for our passengers is a safe burrow.
Daniel Menaker is the Editor of Grin & Tonic and the author of a new book, "A Good Talk: The Story and Skill of Conversation."

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."