Quentin R. Bufogle's Blog

June 21, 2020

FERNGLOW'S FINAL EQUATION: NEW FICTION IN LITERARY HEIST

Fernglow had done it. Or so he claimed. For ten years he’d been holed up in a tiny, cubbyhole of an office in the basement of the Physics Building scrawling impossibly long equations on a chalkboard not quite long enough to accommodate them. Day after day; week after week; month after month … well. You get the picture.

The phone rang shortly after noon in the director’s suite. It was Fernglow on the line. Breathlessly, he informed the director that he’d done it; formulated a mathematical equation that would alter the very course of Western civilization – perhaps Eastern civilization too. More important than E=MC2. More revolutionary than Fermat’s Theorem. Grab your socks and haul it over to the Physics Building – pronto!

With visions of a Nobel Prize dancing in his head, the director did as he was instructed. Though he’d sworn off wearing socks years ago, he grabbed Dean Jones – titular head of the Physics Department – and the two men hurried over to Fernglow’s office. This could be big. Very big! A member of the faculty being awarded a Nobel would be justification for yet another tuition hike. A BIG one. It already cost $1,000,000 a semester to attend the university – not including textbooks – and the only bragging rights trumpeted in the institution’s brochure was an adjunct biology professor who could play Red Sails in the Sunset on a series of specimen jars.

“Do you think he’s really done it?” Dean Jones asked.

“He wouldn’t call us down here in the middle of the day if he hadn’t.” The director offered, eagerly rapping on Fernglow’s door which bore a large “DO NOT DISTURB” sign.

The door creaked open and there Fernglow stood; grinning at the two men through bloodshot eyes.

“Fernglow – is it true? Have you really done it?”

Fernglow smiled and nodded, running his fingers distractedly through his long hermit’s beard. It reminded the director of a National Geographic program he’d once seen on TV about a man who sported a beard comprised entirely of live bumblebees. Guy probably saved a fortune on honey.

Seizing both men by the elbow, Fernglow ushered them over to his chalkboard.

“Well … whattaya think?” ...

A physics professor attempts to end the scourge of gun violence by means of a simple mathematical theorem.

Read the rest of "Fernglow's Final Equation" along with an outstanding assortment of other short stories, articles, poems & reviews in the new Summer Edition of Literary Heist ...

https://www.literaryheist.com/short-s...
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Published on June 21, 2020 17:12 Tags: fiction, gun-violence, literary-heist, satire, scifi

April 3, 2020

HELIUM-3 (NEW FICTION)

LOVE. This thing so often referenced by human beings. I do not understand it. An attraction of the sexes. I’ve studied it. Read of it in their literature. I understand the biological necessity of perpetuating the species. But one might accomplish this task with any partner. Why this obsession with a particular mate?

I have read the ancient tale of Layla and Majnun. Two Persian lovers separated by circumstance. “Star-crossed,” as humans say. Majnun is refused Layla’s hand in marriage by her father who has betrothed her to a wealthy nobleman. Both lovers eventually perish from what is often referred to as a “broken heart.” Though I have studied human anatomy as part of my orientation and know of many conditions which may afflict the heart, I have found no case studies in which one has become “broken” in the manner inferred. I intend to study the phenomena further ...

An excerpt from my short story "HELIUM-3" -- An android, a woman, & mining a rare, energy-producing isotope on the moon.

A tale of love, gender & artificial intelligence all cloaked in the guise of hard scifi with a tip o' the hat to ancient Persian lit and one Mr. Eric Clapton.

Read the story ...

https://www.silverblade.net/2020/03/h...

Listen to Clapton's masterpiece ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TngVi...
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March 21, 2020

**FREE** FREE** FREE** KINDLE!!!

SILO GIRL by Quentin R. Bufogle I HEAR AN ODD HUMMING SOUND; LIKE A SWARM OF WEEVILS APPROACHING FROM THE DISTANCE ...

I check the rearview.  I pray that what appears to be bearing down on us like a locomotive is just an optical illusion; a mirage created by the churning storm clouds casting long shadows across the plain. I shut my eyes for a half-second, hoping it’ll vanish. 

No such luck. 

Like a wave breaking over us, we’re suddenly surrounded by a pack of crazies.  The high-pitched whine of their dirt bikes splitting my ears.  Spitting gasoline and trailing exhaust fumes, the stink from their old, junk wagon rigs singes my nostrils.  Cowering in his seat, Otto looks up at me for reassurance.  I give him a pat and a stroke, promising everything’ll be okay.  One of the creepers pulls alongside me.

“Shame!  Shame! …That was an unnecessary display of firepower – a sinful waste of perfectly good ammo.” He hollers over the growl of the engines, “No way ta treat your future betrothed!” 

I finally get to meet my Romeo face-to-face: the slime bucket from the mall.  He’s ugly.  Positively the ugliest human being I ever laid eyes upon.  A pudgy, little Troll decked out in chaps and biker leather.  Got his head shaved bald all along the sides; up top, a mop of hair flappin’ in the wind like a rooster’s comb.  His nose looks like a big lump of putty someone slapped between the slits of his eyes; beady, little mole’s eyes.

“Hey, creeper!  I got me plenty more ammo to waste!  How’d ya like some ta go?” I level the muzzle of the AR-15 at him.  His big gapped-toothed smile suddenly vanishes; replaced by a look as if he just soiled his leather undies. 

“BITCH!”  He hollers, jamming on the brakes so hard he nearly loses control of his rig.  As I watch him receded in the rearview, he’s tail-ended by one of his creeper buddies; sending them both butt-first over the handlebars.  Splat!  ...

An excerpt from "SILO GIRL" ... a 13-year-old girl struggles to survive after an artificially engineered virus created by the military decimates the population. Think "The Hunger Games" meets coronavirus,

You can read the rest of it right now for FREE by clicking on the link below ...
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07...
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Published on March 21, 2020 15:43

January 3, 2020

THE CONCUBINE OF MARS CRACKS AMAZON TOP 100

THE CONCUBINE OF MARS by Quentin R. Bufogle Good on ya if you took advantage of the National Science Fiction Day promotion and picked up your free Kindle edition of "THE CONCUBINE OF MARS." Looks like my novelette briefly cracked the Amazon top 100 for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Short Reads.

If you enjoyed the story, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the next issue of SILVER BLADE MAGAZINE which will feature a 5,000 word "prequel" to my allegorical tale of the ramifications of Artificial Intelligence titled "HELIUM-3" ...

THE CONCUBINE OF MARS
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Published on January 03, 2020 03:23 Tags: androids, artificial-intelligence, dystopian, kindle, mars, scifi

January 1, 2020

FREE KINDLES FOR NATIONAL SCI-FI DAY 1/2/20

SILO GIRL by Quentin R. Bufogle In honor of National Science Fiction Day, you can pick up FREE Kindle editions of my novelette "THE CONCUBINE OF MARS" (Android mayhem on Mars)...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078S2KRCV/...

And Kindle Short "SILO GIRL" (A dystopian re-imagining of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) ...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07...

Promotion begins in just 12 hours and runs all day January 2nd. Don't miss out -- get your FREE Kindles!!! ... THE CONCUBINE OF MARS by Quentin R. Bufogle
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Published on January 01, 2020 08:56 Tags: androids, artificial-intelligence, dystopian, kindle, mars, scifi

December 2, 2019

NEW FICTION IN SILVER BLADE MAGAZINE

My sci-fi short story "HELIUM-3" will be published in the next issue of Silver Blade Magazine. Spoiler alert: Do androids dream of electric sheep? Not this one ... Silver Blade Magazine Issue 18 by Sam Barnhart
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November 6, 2019

NEW FICTION IN SUSPENSE MAGAZINE

Suspense Magazine March 2011 by John Raab NOW FOR SOME GOOD NEWS ... After a solid year of collecting rejection slips, just placed the best piece of short fiction I've ever written -- "Muse" -- with "SUSPENSE MAGAZINE." Suspense swings a big bat in the Mystery/Horror/Suspense genres and features interviews with Stephen King, Dean Koontz and David Baldacci. Will post a run date soon as I have one ...
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Published on November 06, 2019 16:26 Tags: davidbaldacci, deankoontz, fiction, horror, mystery, stephenking, suspense, suspensemagazine

December 1, 2018

HORROR FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Dark Moon Digest Issue #32/33 by Various HOT OFF THE PRESS!!! ... Copies of the print 8th Anniversary DOUBLE Edition of Dark Moon Digest are in the mail! If you've pre-ordered, you're about to be treated to a veritable bacchanal of chills & thrills (as well as the occasional belly laugh) hosted by horror fiction's finest (including Josh Malerman, author of the international best-seller and latest Netflix offering "BIRD BOX").

If you still haven't ordered, check out the special discounts on Amazon and B&N and stock-up for the holidays! Makes a great stocking stuffer for that special vamp or shapeshifter in your life.

The issue also includes a contribution from yours truly "CLOSING TIME AT CAFE ZERO." A man makes an unexpected stop at a cafe where the hottest dish isn't on the menu -- and murder and mayhem are served up along with your choice of slaw or sweet potato fries ...

To avoid fainting keep repeating: IT'S ONLY A MAGAZINE ... Only a magazine ... Only a magazine ...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/194...
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Published on December 01, 2018 18:44 Tags: dark-moon-digest, fiction, horror

November 6, 2018

DARK MOON DIGEST ANNIVERSARY EDITION NOW ON KINDLE!

Dark Moon Digest Issue #32/33 by Various A man en route to a job interview takes an unexpected detour through a strange town. A town whose name is all too familiar, but not to be found on any map. Unless it's a map of Hell ...

Read "CLOSING TIME AT CAFE ZERO" in the special 8th anniversary DOUBLE edition of DARK MOON DIGEST. Available now on Kindle ...


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07...
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Published on November 06, 2018 20:30 Tags: dark-fiction, dark-moon-digest, horror, horror-anthologies, horror-fiction

October 30, 2018

WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, SPIRO AGNEW?

I GREW UP IN A BLUE-COLLAR WORLD. A time and place where fathers went off to work each day and moms stayed home with the kids and played the often underrated but vitally important role of "homemaker."

Women, mothers, were the glue that held it all together. They taught the lessons. Gave us our manners and told us not to pick on anyone weaker than we were. If we stepped out of line, they administered the discipline. Oh, we'd always get that line about "Wait'll your father gets home!" ... but in my house, there never was any waiting. My mother had no reservations about administering a firm backhand when the situation called for it.

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad that women are finally getting their due: taking their rightful place as leaders in business and politics. I truly believe that the world would be a much better place if more women held the reins of power. I know that might piss-off some of you muscle heads, but Quentin R. Bufogle, American author, does not speak with forked tongue (and, no, you politically correct fuckin' sissies, that's not a slam against Native Americans). I'm thrilled that women now have the option of being the breadwinners. I'm just saddened by the fact that it's often become a necessity.

I not only grew up in a blue-collar world, I grew up in a "one income" blue-collar world. A world where you only needed one job to pay the bills and no one -- NO ONE -- was drowning in credit card debt or upside down on their mortgage. Everyone who so desired was able to afford their own home. Everyone drove a decent car, often owned a second. Everyone could afford new clothes and a bicycle for their kids. And each and every year everyone got to take a vacation with the family.

Hard to believe, but it's true. That world actually existed. I swear. I was there. I lived it. The American Dream was alive and well. Now, by "American Dream" I don't necessarily mean a brand new Corvette or a summer home on the beach. The American Dream, much like America itself, means something slightly different for each of us ... that's what makes us Americans. We never follow blindly or march in lockstep with anyone -- not even each other. We're a Republic of individuals -- not a monolith. We think and decide for ourselves (and hopefully in that order). At least we used to.

There's one common denominator in everyone's American Dream: The pursuit of happiness. To be more succinct if somewhat less poetic: Upward mobility. The inner knowledge and certitude that things can and WILL get better if we try. If we work hard. And that all of us -- including the czars of big business and those we've elected to run the country -- share a stake in this fundamental belief; that despite our differences, we ultimately rise or fall as one.

What's changed? Who changed it? I'm angry. You're probably angry too. If not, you should be. But please don't be blinded by that anger. Don't allow it to be misdirected; used or misused for someone else's benefit -- someone who doesn't give a damn about you or your dreams.

If the ship's finally hit that great iceberg and we're all sinking, it's not because we took on a few extra passengers: immigrants searching for the same thing we all are. No. Direct that justifiable anger at the men who so richly deserve it -- who've been steering the ship for the past two hundred plus years. The captains, not the deckhands ...

(from "King of the New York Streets," a work-in-progress)



**Author's Note** -- I've invoked the name of Mr. Agnew not as representative of a particular political ideology -- but rather a particular economic period in our history.
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