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(Rom Spaceknight #5, April 1980)


You enter the house.
You are in a small room.
You hope you will
be safe in here
from the aliens
disguised as FBI agents.

There is a window
in the east wall.
There are exits
to the west and south.


There is a wooden table
and chair here.
There is a fireplace
in the north wall.
There is a window
in the east wall.
There are exits
to the west and south.

You hear a low moan.
A pair of ghostly eyes
appears above
the mantelpiece.

A smoky tendril
emerges from
the fireplace.

The tendril
reaches out
for you and
your friends!

This house
Is haunted!

fight house

What do you want
to fight the house with?

fight house with steel fists

Nothing happens.

The tendril wraps
around your friends.
They are paralysed!

fight house with hidden subspace laser

You fire your
Hidden Subspace Laser
at the fireplace. The eyes
above the fireplace widen
as though in shock.

The house screams.
The walls shake.

The table flies
through the air
and strikes you
in the back.

Your Hidden Subspace Laser
has three charges left.

fight house with negative energy gun

You fire your
Negative Energy Gun
at the fireplace. The eyes
above the fireplace wince
as though in pain.

The house screams.
The window in
the east wall cracks.

Your Negative Energy Gun
has two charges left.

get friends

You pick up your friends.
Your cyborg strength
lets you carry them easily.

use jetpack

You turn on
your jetpack.
You hover
above the floor.

The house screams.

The exhaust from your
jetpack has set
the house on fire!


You are standing in
a clearing in the woods.
Sunlight filters though
the dense canopy.

In front of you stands
a humble wooden house.

Smoke drifts out of
the window on the
east side of the house.

The house screams.

There are exits
to the north, south and west.


You wait.

A cloud of sinister
black fog envelops
the house.

When the fog lifts,
the house
has disappeared.

You stand with your
friends, staring at the
smouldering square
of flattened grass
where a haunted
house once stood.

Adam Ford is the author of the poetry collections The Third Fruit is a Bird (Picaro Press, 2008) and Not Quite the Man for the Job (Allen & Unwin, 1998). He lives in Australia and writes poems about sad robots and such. His website is
Current Issue
29 May 2023

We are touched and encouraged to see an overwhelming response from writers from the Sino diaspora as well as BIPOC creators in various parts of the world. And such diverse and daring takes of wuxia and xianxia, from contemporary to the far reaches of space!
By: L Chan
The air was redolent with machine oil; rich and unctuous, and synthesised alcohol, sharper than a knife on the tongue.
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Many eons ago, when the first dawn broke over the newborn mortal world, the children of the Heavenly Realm assembled at the Golden Sky Palace.
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Many trans and marginalised people in our world can do the exact same things that everyone else has done to overcome challenges and find happiness, only for others to come in and do what they want as Ren Woxing did, and probably, when asked why, they would simply say Xiang Wentian: to ask the heavens. And perhaps we the readers, who are told this story from Linghu Chong’s point of view, should do more to question the actions of people before blindly following along to cause harm.
Before the Occupation, righteousness might have meant taking overt stands against the distant invaders of their ancestral homelands through donating money, labour, or expertise to Chinese wartime efforts. Yet during the Occupation, such behaviour would get one killed or suspected of treason; one might find it better to remain discreet and fade into the background, or leave for safer shores. Could one uphold justice and righteousness quietly, subtly, and effectively within such a world of harshness and deprivation?
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