Tag Archives: c.s. maccath

Cover Reveal: F is for Fairy

Check it out!

F is for Fairy, the sixth installment in the Alphabet Anthologies series, has got a cover! Yay!

As always with this series, the cover was designed by Jonathan C. Parrish.

“Anyone who believes that faeries are wee, golden-haired creatures with dragon-fly wings and sweet intentions has never met a real faerie.” –Suzanne Willis, “A Silver Thread Between Worlds”

Retellings of familiar favourites from new perspectives, and brand new stories share the pages of this fairy-themed collection. Within these offerings you’ll find fairy music and food, contracts (making and breaking them), changelings, circles and curses–these stories deliver all the things you already love about fairies and a few new tricks as well.

A dusting of dragons, shapeshifters and ogres accompany these tales which include feminist fairies overcoming trauma, Norse fairies breaking the rules to interfere in human affairs, intergalactic fairies hitching a ride to a new home, political satire featuring an idiot king and talking animals, a new Robin Archer story, fairy run nightclubs and so, so much more.

Altogether this anthology includes twenty-six brand new tales–one for each letter of the alphabet–from contributors Pete Aldin, Steve Bornstein, Andrew Bourelle, Stephanie A. Cain, Beth Cato, Sara Cleto, Cory Cone, Danielle Davis, Megan Engelhardt, Michael Fosburg, Joseph Halden, Lynn Hardaker, L.S. Johnson, Michael M. Jones, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, C.S. MacCath, Jonathan C. Parrish, Alexandra Seidel, Michael B. Tager, Rachel M. Thompson, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Brittany Warman, Lilah Wild, Suzanne J. Willis and BD Wilson.

Though it’s not going to be available until May 7th, F is for Fairy is currently available for pre-order:

Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)





If you’d like to read a free advance copy in exchange for an honest review you can get a free review copy on BookSprout.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t forget to add it to your ‘Want to Read’ shelf on Goodreads!

E is for Evil Cover Reveal

E is for Evil contains twenty-six individual stories which each shine a different light on the multi-faceted idea that is evil. Running the gamut from lyrical fantasy to gritty horror in these stories possessed toys, hellish bureaucrats, scientists with questionable morals, abusive partners and even lingerie sellers all take their turn in the spotlight.

Featuring fresh new stories from Michael Fosburg, Lynn Hardaker, Stephanie A. Cain, Andrew Bourelle, Suzanne J. Willis, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, Hal J. Friesen, C.S. MacCath, Michael B. Tager, Jonathan C. Parrish, Amanda C. Davis, Lilah Wild, Sara Cleto, Alexandra Seidel, Mary Alexander Agner, Cory Cone, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Beth Cato, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Megan Engelhardt, Danielle Davis, Brittany Warman, BD Wilson, L.S. Johnson, Pete Aldin and Michael M. Jones.


I wanted this cover to represent ‘evil’ without relying on any one specific religion or mythology (satan & pentagrams, for example), which was tricky. To further complicate things I also wanted it to be black and white and grey. That made it difficult not only to find the right image (we went with a play on ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’) but also to get the contrast right. It took a lot of finessing but in the end I think Jo nailed it. I can’t wait to see this one on physical books 🙂

If you’re going to pick up a copy of this please consider pre-ordering your copy here:


E is for Evil on Amazon

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Pre-ordering is an awesome way of supporting the book and I really appreciate it. Thank you!

Cover design by Jonathan C. Parrish

Aurora Award Nominations are Open

It’s the time of year again! Nominations are open for the Aurora Awards.

This year I have two eligible anthologies, Sirens and C is for Chimera.

In addition, the following individual stories from the anthologies are also eligible:


  • “Moth to an Old Flame” by Pat Flewwelling
  • “Notefisher” by Cat McDonald
  • “Nautilus” by V.F. LeSann
  • “Experience” by Sandra Wickham

C is for Chimera:

  • “G is for Gladiator” by BD Wilson
  • “T is for Three (at the End of All Things)” by C.S. MacCath
  • “Y is for Yahoo” by Jonathan C. Parrish

If you are eligible to vote and nominate and would like a copy of either (or both) of these anthologies so that you can fairly consider them I would be happy to provide. Just let me know.

More details about the Aurora Awards can be found here.

C.S. MacCath Reading

We’re going to be launching D is for Dinosaur here in Edmonton this March:

D is for Dinosaur

(Details here)

But because the D is for Dinosaur contributors are spread so far out across the globe (and there are twenty-six of them!) we couldn’t possibly include everyone. So I asked the other contributors if they’d like to record themselves doing a reading from their story and I’d share it on my blog.

C.S. MacCath responded with this reading from her story, “One Who Dies as a God Dies”. The language is beautiful. The reading is like poetry. Listen, and enjoy!



C.S. MacCath is a PhD student of Folklore and a writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry whose work has been shortlisted for the Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and nominated for the Rhysling Award. Her first collection, The Ruin of Beltany Ring, has been called ‘wonderful, thoroughly engaging, always amazing’ and a book of ‘tiny marvels’. Advance reviewers have called her second collection, The Longest Road in the Universe, ‘a vivid, epic and touching journey’, ‘elegant and elegiac’, and ‘packed full of lush worlds, lyrical prose, three-dimensional characters and honest emotions’. She lives in Atlantic Canada, which might just be far enough north for her tastes, unless something opens up in Iceland.

D IS FOR DINOSAUR is available now!


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E is for Evil

I’m excited to announce the theme for the next volume in my Alphabet Anthologies series will be:

E is for Evil

Oh man, I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this one. The contributors to this anthology series never cease to amaze me with their clever and diverse interpretations of a theme and this one… well, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a doozie!

Speaking of those contributors. For this volume the contributing authors, in random order, are Michael Fosburg, Lynn Hardaker, KV Taylor, Andrew Bourelle, Suzanne J. Willis, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, Hal J. Friesen, C.S. MacCath, Michael B. Tager, Jonathan C. Parrish, Amanda C. Davis, Lilah Wild, Sara Cleto, Alexandra Seidel, Mary Alexandra Agner, Cory Cone, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Beth Cato, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Megan Engelhardt, Gary B. Phillips, Brittany Warman, BD Wilson, L.S. Johnson, Pete Aldin and Michael M. Jones.

E is for Evil will be hitting shelves spring of next year, so we’ll all need to be patient while we wait for it, but people had been asking what the next letter was going to be and I was getting tired of saying it was a secret 🙂

Previous volumes in this series include A is for Apocalypse, B is for Broken, C is for Chimera and — coming out in less than three weeks! — D is for DInosaur.

Dinosaurs at the Smithsonian

Dinosaurs at the Smithsonian

by C.S. MacCath

During the 2016 holiday season, I went to Washington DC for a week on business. While there, I toured the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and in particular, an exhibit called The Last American Dinosaurs: Discovering a Lost World, which you can learn more about by visiting the museum’s exhibit page here.
The exhibit is on the second floor, behind a display of Egyptian mummies, near the back of the museum. The first thing I saw when I walked in was a TyrannosaurusRexmassive Triceratops, in particular its horns and huge eye sockets, which were bigger than my fists. Its body nearly ran the length of the wall with a barrel chest, heavy legs, and long tail. But the most impressive display in the exhibit was that of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, all teeth and bone and towering over everything else. It made me feel small and glad I wasn’t a prey animal living in North America during a time when those bones were much more than a display.

If memory serves, all of the displays were recreated from dinosaur skeletons in the Smithsonian’s collection, so I didn’t get to see any actual dinosaur bones, which stands to reason. Those are hard-earned pieces of natural history and quite fragile, so I imagine the museum has them locked away in a temperature-controlled vault. However, there was windowed laboratory at the back of the exhibit where dinosaur researchers were working, so I was able to watch them for awhile. That was really fascinating.

TriceratopsThe educational materials about the dinosaurs were geared toward children. There were descriptions of the skeletons, audiovisual aids, and tactile displays that invited patrons to touch them. All of the children there were excited, and indeed I heard children all over the museum asking to go see the dinosaurs. Clearly, the Smithsonian knows its target audience! That said, there was a real sense of wonder in the exhibit, a “Look here, and here, and here! Aren’t dinosaurs cool?” sensibility that was entirely infectious. I have a great love for the Smithsonian Museum, and this amazing exhibit is just one reason why.

So there. I’ve told you something cool about real dinosaurs, even though there aren’t any real dinosaurs in my story “D is for Duel/One Who Dies as a God Dies,” or at least, no real dinosaurs in the way you might think. But you’ll have to read the story itself if you want to know more than that. 😉


C.S. MacCath is a PhD student of Folklore and a writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry whose work has been shortlisted for the Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and nominated for the Rhysling Award. Her first collection, The Ruin of Beltany Ring, has been called ‘wonderful, thoroughly engaging, always amazing’ and a book of ‘tiny marvels’. Advance reviewers have called her second collection, The Longest Road in the Universe, ‘a vivid, epic and touching journey’, ‘elegant and elegiac’, and ‘packed full of lush worlds, lyrical prose, three-dimensional characters and honest emotions’. She lives in Atlantic Canada, which might just be far enough north for her tastes, unless something opens up in Iceland.

Pre-order your copy of D IS FOR DINOSAUR now and get it for only $0.99!


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D is for Dinosaur cover reveal


For the fourth installment of Rhonda Parrish’s Alphabet Anthologies, contributors were challenged to write about dinosaurs. The resulting twenty-six stories contain widely different interpretations of the dinosaur theme and span the spectrum from literal to metaphoric.

Within these pages stories set in alternate histories, far-flung futures and times just around the corner, dinosaurs whimper and waste away, or roar and rage. People can be dinosaurs, as can ideas, fictions and flesh. Knitted dinosaurs share space with ghostly, genetically engineered and even narcotic ones.

Teenagers must embrace their inner dinosaurs in order to find peace and belonging, a dying woman duels a God in a far future city that echoes aspects of our past, an abused wife accompanies her husband on a hunt for an ancient power and finds more than she could ever have imagined and a girl with wonderful magical powers stumbles across the bones of a giant long-dead lizard. And so much more!

Features stories by Alexandra Seidel, Pete Aldin, Beth Cato, Michael Kellar, Cory Cone, Simon Kewin, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, C.S. MacCath, KV Taylor, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Michael B. Tager, Gary B. Phillips, Michael M. Jones, L.S. Johnson, Brittany Warman, Hal J. Friesen, Megan Engelhardt, BD Wilson, Michael Fosburg, Jonathan C. Parrish, Suzanne J. Willis, Lynn Hardaker, Amanda C. Davis, Andrew Bourelle, Sara Cleto and Jeanne Kramer-Smyth.

This cover was designed by Jonathan C. Parrish using original artwork by Janice Blaine.

D is for Dinosaur will be available in February 2017. In the meantime, don’t forget to add it to your ‘Want to read’ shelf on Goodreads and LibraryThing!


Chimeric Contributor: C.S. MacCath

It’s kind of become a tradition that I interview the contributors to my anthologies and share those interviews on my blog. It’s also kind of become a tradition that it takes me a very long time to get them all posted. I plan to continue the first tradition but I’m hoping to avoid the second. Just to be different.

Today’s interviewee is C.S. MacCath. Her story for B is for Broken was the longest piece in the anthology and I think her contribution to C is for Chimera was the shortest–and length is only one of the ways her work shows her huge range. C.S. MacCath is a master storyteller with a poetic style that I freaking love. Love!

C is for Chimera-Interview

What letter were you assigned?


Did you struggle with the letter you were given?

I rather like to think of it as processing the letter and theme against a story idea. I’ve written three stories for the Alphabet Anthologies now, and I’m developing a pattern. I receive my letter and theme, and then I think about whether or not an existing story idea might be developed using them (I have a personal wiki page full of story ideas I hope to develop someday) . If so, then I start writing. If not, I do a bit of research/worldbuilding and let the story shape itself. In this case, it was a bit of both.

What was your favourite idea for the ‘word’ to use in your title that you didn’t use?

I didn’t have a favourite, unused word. The title popped into my head right about the time the story took shape. Convenient, that!

What kind of chimera is your story about?

My story is about three sentient supermassive black holes at the end of the universe who take the shapes of things they’ve swallowed throughout time.

What, other than the letter you were assigned, helped inspire your story?

Suns themselves; forges of the elements, great-grandmothers of life, death-bringers.

Lion, goat or snake–which are you more like?

I am all goat; capable, adventurous, and stubborn as hell.

If you were going to be magically transformed into a chimera composed of three different creatures, what would you want them to be?

I’d want the head and curving horns of a goat (for reasons mentioned above), the wings of a raven (for cleverness), and the body of a garter snake (for transformation). You might call me a Govenke.

What if it wasn’t limited to creatures? What three things would you want to be composed of?

I’m already composed of star stuff, coffee, and half-told stories. I don’t want for any other shape.

Unrealizable dreams have been called chimeras. Taking the ‘unrealizable’ part out of the equation, what is one of your fondest dreams/goals?

To write all of the stories I want in the time I have.

Can you share a short excerpt from your story?

Before the ancient stars coalesced into brightness, in the vault of the foregoing universe, there were sorrows too great for any being to bear, and the greatest of these was the sorrow of ending. Not the end of a day, with its sundown promise of another sunrise, and not the end of a life, while memories of the dead remain and there is hope in some hearts for the soul’s journey onward. No, this sorrow was vast, cold and complete, and it spanned the void of space among the last rough fragments of matter strewn in terminus.

Who was there to grieve in that heat death?  Scripture tells of three; supermassive singularities at the end of their gathering in, brooding upon the cacophony before and the quiet ahead, sacrificing radiation to become chimeras of the wonders they once devoured. There was Face-of-Time, in whose mouth a trillion tongues cried out in languages long extinct. There was Skin-of-Suns, fat with the orbits of planets given to memory. And there was Feet-of-Entropy, fevered with a dance of creation fallen to stillness.


C.S. MacCath is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry whose work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, Mythic Delirium, A is for Apocalypse, B is for Broken, Murky Depths and other publications. Her poetry has been nominated twice for the Rhysling Award, while her fiction has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and shortlisted for the Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award.

Cover art and design by Jonathan C. Parrish

Find C is for Chimera online:



Barnes & Noble



Barnes & Noble


D is for [Drum Roll]

It’s time to announce the theme for the next Alphabet Anthology. I am really stoked about this one. Like, really, really stoked. I’ve been looking forward to the D anthology since I first decided to do this anthology series–in fact, more than once Jo has had to talk me out of releasing books out of alphabetical order because I was impatient to get to D.

So what is the theme?

Well, Demons seemed like a good fit–a collection of dark and diverse stories would be a lot of fun but not quite as fun as–

Dragons. Dragons seem the obvious choice, right? I mean, I love dragons. I used to collect them, I even have a dragon tattoo. And there’s no doubt that dragon stories could be diverse in theme, voice and tone… but dragons were actually kind of too obvious. Plus I have a vaguely dragony anthology in the works and I don’t want to duplicate efforts. Much. Still gargantuan reptilian creatures are pretty amazing and so I am excited to announce that–


D is for Dinosaur

–because c’mon! How cool is that?

The dinosaur theme will be interpreted in a wide variety of ways for this anthology but my authors assure me that there will, indeed, be at least a handful of prehistoric critters within its pages. I’m super stoked!

Speaking of those authors, contributors to this anthology include some veterans to the series and some new faces too. In no particular order, story contributors to D is for Dinosaur are:

~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Pete Aldin ~ Beth Cato ~ Michael Kellar ~ Cory Cone ~ Simon Kewin ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ C.S. MacCath ~ KV Taylor ~ Laura VanArendonk Baugh ~ Michael B. Tager ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ Michael M. Jones ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Brittany Warman ~ Hal J. Friesen ~ Megan Engelhardt ~ BD Wilson ~ Michael Fosburg ~ Jonathan C. Parrish ~ Suzanne J. Willis ~ Lynn Hardaker ~ Amanda C. Davis ~ Andrew Bourell ~ Sara Cleto ~ Jeanne Kramer-Smyth ~

Janice Blaine will be contributing the artwork.

D is for Dinosaur will be coming out in 2017 but you can pre-order the third installment in the Alphabet Anthologies series, C is for Chimera right now.

Pushcart Prize Nominations

2016_Cover_BigEvery year I struggle to pick which six works to nominate for the Pushcart Prize. This year my job was made marginally easier after I spoke to Bill Henderson and learned I could nominate six works from both Niteblade and Poise and Pen. Yay! Still, it was a difficult decision-making process even so but I am excited to nominate the following works for the 2016 Pushcart Prize.

On behalf of Niteblade Magazine I nominated:

And from Poise and Pen’s anthology, B is for Broken, published in May 2015 I nominated:

  • C is for Change by C.S. MacCath
  • F is for Founder by Megan Arkenberg
  • G is for Glass by Gary B. Phillips
  • O is for Oneiroi by Michael M. Jones
  • S is for Soliloquy by Damien Angelica Walters
  • V is for Vendémiaire by L.S. Johnson

Congratulations to our (and all) nominees, and good luck!

Fractured Friday — Interview with C.S. MacCath

Cover design by Jonathan C. Parrish, original artwork by Tory HokeFor the next several weeks I’ve decided to call Fridays ‘Fractured Friday’ and use them to share news, contributor interviews and excerpts from B is for Broken.

B is for Broken is the second title in the Alphabet Anthologies series. It follows A is for Apocalypse and will in turn be followed by C is for Chimera. Each story in the series is associated with a letter of the alphabet and is titled in the letter is for word format. What’s more, just to keep things nice and complicated, the story’s title isn’t shared at the beginning but at the end so that you can guess at what it might be while you read.

On that note, even though the story titles could be considered spoilers because of how the book is formatted, for the sake of simplicity if the author has chosen to post their title publicly somewhere else (their blog, Facebook, wherever) I am going to include it in my posts. If they haven’t revealed that information, though, I’ll list the story titles as Letter is for…

With twenty-six stories and twenty-seven contributors I ought to have plenty of material for loads of Fractured Fridays to come. And you might think I’d have a difficult time deciding where to start but it took me far longer to come up with a broken-themed alliteration than it did to pick what to post first. It had to be C.S. MacCath’s interview.

Ceallaigh’s novelette, C is for Change really anchors this anthology. In part that’s because it’s twice as long as the next longest story in this collection but it’s also because of how just straight-up awesome it is. C is for Change addresses the theme of broken on several levels while tackling some really big issues, building a magical new world and introducing us to incredibly three-dimensional characters. I can’t say enough good things about this story, I freaking love it! Check out the excerpt in Ceallaigh’s interview below and you’ll get a sense of why 🙂


Interview with C.S. MacCath

What letter were you assigned?

Please share a short excerpt from your story:

“Three nights, maybe less,” I told the man; a grandchild clinging to his neck, another clutching a trouser leg and watched his mouth fall slack with fear. “And we can only make ten trips up the mountain a day, for people and supplies, both. So the Kandunar Warmaster wants you to run, if you can.” The terrified silence of the crowd broke like window glass, and a torrent of questions began to pour through. I gripped the folds of my robe, novitiate blue, and wished for the authority of white. “There’s a ferry at the river mouth that can take you across to the islands…”

“The Vele can swim!” This from the pot-bellied farmer who supplied our potatoes. Andu…Ando… I had only met the man a few weeks ago. Nervous hands twisted the reins of the gelding beneath him.

“Yes, but the Muto Vele cannot,” I assured him. “They forget everything but violence when the Muto Qeyunar fix them into mounts. Andro, take your horse and go. Don’t leave him to wander in the place this valley is about to become.”

A middle-aged woman stepped onto the lip of the lift, and it rocked into the cliffside with a crunch. A speckled chicken clucked from the crook of her arm. She kissed the crimson comb of its head and declared, “Henny hates to see people fight.” Her tunic and trousers, too fine for the fetor of her flesh and the cluster of lice in her bushy red hair, were streaked with greasy bird droppings. “Something happens inside, and she can’t control it.”

“Why does she get to go up first?” A pregnant woman pointed her belly at the lift as if to assert her claim to a place aboard. “We’ve got little ones and old peo…”

“How would a twiggy boy like you know what the Muto Vele can do?” Andro interrupted again, his voice cracking over the question. The gelding whinnied and shied.

This was authority – and shame – I possessed in abundance, and they could only be wielded together. With a shrug, the heavy sleeves of my robe fell to the sash at my waist. Andro stammered a prayer, and a few in the crowd cried out, but the middle-aged woman spread her fingers and traced the trenches of blackened scar across my chest from shoulder to hip.

“The claws,” she murmured, her touch warm and unflinching. “They cut through everything, like a folded blade.” Her eyes followed the sheer face of the mountain into the low-hanging clouds. “We might not be safe up there.”

What is the thing you’ve most regretted breaking?
A promise to myself that I would move to Ireland and make my home there someday. Then again, I’m not dead yet, so that path might still lie ahead of me.

Have you ever broken something and not been saddened by it? Can you tell us about that?
I burned two Clarion 2006 tee shirts in a Samhain (Halloween) bonfire a couple of years ago along with a box of items that represented negative experiences from which I wished to be cleansed. They made a lovely fire.

If you could break one law and get away with it consequence-free, what would it be?
Grand larceny, but then I’d also have to wear a leather jerkin and live in a Renaissance Faire village so I could be the thief my Skyrim character wishes I was.

Do you have any rules for yourself, a code of some sort, which you’d never break?
I’m vegan, so I oppose the exploitation of animals for medicine, food, clothing, entertainment and other purposes.

Never ever?
No ethical position is perfect, and there are many situations where it isn’t practicable to be vegan. For instance, there are animal ingredients in automobile tires and other ubiquitous household items. That said, I make a conscious effort to avoid these things wherever possible.

Really? Isn’t there something which could make you break it?
If my life were at stake, yes, I would absolutely take the life of another sentient being. However, I should stress that this hypothetical situation would be an extreme one where there was no other option but to take that life or give up my own.

Did you struggle with the letter you were assigned, or did the ideas come freely?
This story fell out of me like a long-held confession, and I love it with all my heart.

What was your favourite idea you didn’t use?
I wrote a 13,000-word story. I solemnly promise you that I used each and every one of my favourite ideas.

What, aside from the anthology’s theme and your letter inspired your story?
A few years ago, I met a man at Canadian Tire in Nova Scotia who had a service dog with him. I asked if I could pet the dog, and he said that I could. We struck up a conversation, and I learned he was a former Canadian soldier suffering from PTSD. He volunteered a great deal about his illness; how he came to suffer from it, the limitations it placed upon him emotionally, and the way it affected his marriage. It was as if all the usual shields we put up between ourselves and strangers were missing in him, and he knew it, and he chose to go about in the world a shieldless ambassador for other soldiers suffering from PTSD.

He was a good one. We must have talked for two hours; I was waiting on a car repair, so he and the dog sat with me. I never saw him again after that day, and I don’t even remember his name, but I’ve never forgotten what he shared with me. So while I’m not and never have been a soldier, and while I don’t think my story remotely conveys the brokenness or the resilience I saw in that man, I hope it respectfully illuminates (however faintly) the issue of PTSD among soldiers and first responders.



C.S. MacCathC.S. MACCATH is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry whose work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, Mythic Delirium, Murky Depths, Witches & Pagans and other publications. Her poetry has been nominated twice for the Rhysling Award, her fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and it has also received honorable mention in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection. You can find her online at csmaccath.com.

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B is for Broken is available now at:
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