Rated R: Contains Love, Ghosts, and San Francisco
Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts
by Ben Francisco
Before I can even ring, Uncle Gilberto opens the door and gives me a big hug and a kiss that smells of gin and menthol cigarettes. His dog, Ganymede, barks and snuggles his head between my legs. The cat eyes me suspiciously from the next room. From behind me, someone helps me slip off my jacket. I look over my shoulder, but nobody’s there. “Who’s that?” I ask my uncle.
“That’s Daniel,” he says.
“Hey, Daniel,” I say. “Been a while.”
Gilberto shakes a finger at the air behind me. “No, you cannot also take his shirt! I told you to behave.” Uncle Gil throws both hands into the air. “Dios mío, what have I done? Bringing my innocent nephew into a house with twenty-seven horny ghosts. Qué barbaridad. You tell me right away if any of them try anything, me entiendes, James?”
About the Author
Ben Francisco is a writer of fictions. His stories range from magic realism to space opera, and have been known to feature oversexed ghosts, epidemics of phosphorescence, zombie musicals, and pantheistic vampire aliens who reproduce like moss. Common themes include cultural misunderstandings, family dysfunctions, LGBT experiences, and spiritual searches Also, lasers. Ben’s first story, “This is My Blood,” co-written with Chris Lynch, was published in 2008 in Dreaming Again, an anthology of Australian science fiction and fantasy edited by Jack Dann. Another story, “Tio Gilberto and the 27 Ghosts,” is forthcoming in Realms of Fantasy. He has also written nonfiction columns and articles for Fantasy Magazine.
Ben is a graduate of the Clarion South 2007 writers workshop in Brisbane, Australia, a science fiction boot camp where he spent six weeks writing non-stop, playing Mafia, and staying up till the wee hours of the morning talking about the physics of cannonballs, unicorns, and zombie watermelons. He is also a graduate of Taos Toolbox 2008, another intensive workshop, taking place at very high altitudes in New Mexico. His friends and family may soon have to perform an intervention to help him break his workshop habit.
He lives in Brooklyn with his partner, Hassan. Their diet consists mainly of chicken.
About the Narrator
Brian Lieberman is an associate editor of Pseudopod. By day, he’s a froody copywriter who always remembers his towel. By night, he fights various evils with his friends. He lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife, a brooding rat, a roommate, a school of fish, and a cat with no patience for his tomfoolery. He asks that if you’re feeling particularly generous, you donate to a small project he’s quite fond of. You might have heard of it, it’s called Pseudopod.