§00. Editor’s note: links affixed to author/publisher’s name will redirect to author/publisher social media, links affixed to story/article titles will redirect to the site whereupon the named piece is archived. The ‘authors’ section focuses on lone individuals who publish their own literary work, ‘organizations’ section focuses upon independent presses, lit-mags, e-zines and other literary organizations who publish fictive work of multiple authors and ‘literary ephemera’ focuses on non-prose non-fiction literature, such as certain poems, news and art theory articles, reviews, interviews and critiques. All author/publication names arranged by alphabetical order (including ‘the’).
§01. Editor’s note on criteria for inclusion: a publication is considered ‘independent’ if it is self-contained and sustaining, that is to say, if it does not rely upon the staff, organizational prowess or financial backing of large corporations, academies, governments or other large entrenched organizations. For example, Sink Hollow Litmag will not be included on the list, not due to the quality or lack thereof of their work, but rather, because they are supported by Utah State University (and thus, are not independent). All works which are included are those which were read by the editor during the week of publication; their inclusion does not mean that they were published the same week as the circular containing them.
From Always Trust In Books, a review of The Girl In Red by Christina Henry (from Titan Books).
The book sounds ridiculous.
The Girl in Red takes the spirit of a classic tale (Red Riding Hood), spins it on its head and injects it into a post-apocalyptic world where one wrong move could get someone infected by a deadly virus or worse, captured by the government for quarantine or the new militias that roam to lands seeking people to impart their nefarious urges upon. Red only has her sharpened instincts and calculated approach to traversing the terrains to rely on for survival. If anyone gets too close then Red does have her trusty axe to protect herself.
— Review of The Girl In Red
From Shreya Vikram (who never fails to impress with her syncretic poetic acumen), a number of recent pieces, including, Faith, When Dreams Die, Monster, Insomnia, Even When I Do Not Scream, I Hurt, and most recently, Faulty Taps.
“I have written this play for myself and I know how it ends.”
— Faulty Taps
From New Pop Lit, a republication of Lost Face by Jack London from the similarly titled collection of short stories which recounts a gruesome tale of a Russian adventurer named Subienkow who is captured by ruthless Amerindians in the Yukon.
“It offended his soul. And this offence, in turn, was not due to the mere pain he must endure, but to the sorry spectacle the pain would make of him.”
— Lost Face
Also from New Pop Lit, This Is, by Sophie Kearing.
I don’t hide my sacred rituals out of malice.
And further, New Pop’s debut ‘3D short story,’ Vodka Friday Night by Karl Wenclas. A gritty, multi-perspective crime drama. Full review forthcoming.
Kirk sat drinking vodka in an after hours den near downtown Detroit with a skinny black prostitute named Jakayla, the kind of spot where if you’re white and male you’d better arrive with someone they know because otherwise they’ll think you’re a cop.
— Vodka Friday Night
From Reflex Fiction, A Careless Smile by Lee Hamblin.
She throws the cutting at my feet, repeats, and all the while that stupid cat of hers sits perched on the sofa’s armrest, watching like he understands all that I don’t, being more a man than I’ll ever be.
— A Careless Smile
From Spelk, Salt & Vinegar Tongues a charming tale of an idyllic, sea-side meeting by Steven John. I really liked this piece and hope we get to see this relationship develop in future stories.
Suntanned. Smells of seaweed. Shelters in a cave…
I suspect she’s a mermaid.
“This one will win,” I say, and give her one of my coins.
Three cherries. A hundred penny coins pulse from the machine. She shrieks and laughs. She unties the knot in her shirt-front and, holding up the hems, fills the cotton pouch. Her loose shirt shows the freckles between her suntanned boobs. I give her another penny and the same thing happens. Then I tell her we’ll lose ten pennies, then we’ll win again.
“Are you a fucking freak?” she says and tries to take my notebook. I hide it behind my back. Her up-close skin smells of vanilla ice-cream and seaweed.
— Salt & Vinegar Tongues
Also from Spelk the confusing, The Fabric of Tombstones by B. F. Jones.
Found this piece rather confusing. It is not explained why she resented the memory of her son nor how he died (if indeed, as is implied, he died at all). Seemed to me that for narrative coherence, the tale should have been longer. I didn’t care for it.
He calls her one evening, slowly resurfacing, rebirthed once again. She knows he won’t be there for long. He will be gone soon, forgotten by her faulty brain, and her heart will break over and over again with each one of his deaths.
Don’t call me again, son.
Don’t come over anymore.
And she hangs up the phone, killing him, one last time.
— The Fabric of Tombstones