The LOGOS FICTION CIRCULAR is a weekly series which collects independent fiction from around the web.
§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, the ‘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 Avani Singh, The Abandoned House: 5, a short about haunted TVs.
All the television screens in America shut down. There was a murmuring on the TV that some believe was the devil’s voice. (Singh, The Abandoned House: 5)
From The Dark Netizen, a brief sketch, Target Practice.
Control your breathing and calm your nerves, lads, just like we practiced.
Hold the bow firmly and keep your aim steady, and release when you feel you are ready to hit the target.
Don’t let those eyes begging you to miss, distract you from your goal of executing traitors, and put an arrow right between those eyes… (The Dark Netizen, Target Practice)
From Wicked Fables (author of the excellent scifi short, Immortalitus) Servant. On social media the author provided some background to the piece, “A shortstory I wrote a long time ago, but freshly edited. Maybe it’s good, maybe I’m just sentimental about it.”
I’ve found it extremely useful to, from time to time (every year or two) go back over old, unpublished material and see how it holds up. I’d recommend the practice, you might be surprised how good some it is (and how much better it can be made with a little contemporary editing).
“The base of the hill reached, greedy hands found unearthly metals. Careful fingers worked the more useful pieces off the beasts. Of the varied dead, stunted lizards[-]like creatures were equipped with the more interesting bits. Having seen such a variety of monsters over the past decade Dal no longer attempted to classify them.” (WF, Servant)
From Literally Stories, Awaken the Forest of the Gods of Torn Jaws by Daniel Newcomer, a surreal tale of one man’s journey into a cursed forest. Newcomer has a instantly recognizable style and its put to effective use in the creation of an atmosphere of miasmic dread, though the story seems somewhat underdeveloped and leaves one with far more questions than answers—perhaps that was his intention. If his goal was to keep the reader from determining what was, and was not, real, he surely succeeded.
You’re still driving to the sun but, as any journeyman does, you wonder if the sun has fallen down. Maybe that’s it. The sun has fallen and won’t be getting up anytime soon. (Daniel, Newcomer, Awaken the Forest of the Gods of Torn Jaws)
Can we get a gas tanker truck or something to hold her, Mitch asks.
Mom might eat through the metal, I say.
We could use the body we built for her.
(J. Bradley, I-65)
From Okay Donkey, The Flat by Michael Alessi. The tale has a intriguing opening hook, though, if its a metaphor, its a rather opaque one (creeping decrepitude of aging? —man’s reach exceeds his grasp… man’s grasp exceeds his nerve?).
I’m changing a tire with my father when his hands fall off. (Alessi, The Flat)
From Reflex Fiction, Wind Turbine Army by Mark Newman.
There is an army of wind turbines approaching, her father says, and she finds herself mesmerised by their beauty. (Newman, Wind Turbine Army)
From Spelk, The One True Thing, Andrea Marcusa. A Gatsbyesque tale of wild romance in the big city. Vivacious prose.
At 42nd Street, we saluted the noble, stone lions that flanked the stairs of the New York Public Library. (Marcusa, The One True Thing)
From The Fiction Pool, Boxing Photographer by George Aitch.
Combat is all or nothing and so is he. (Aitch, Boxing Photographer)
golden eyes glower,
dreaming of darkened nights
during day time. A heartache turned
sour, inspiring visions of violence,
and a disastrous summer.
(Hansen, Golden Eyes)
From, Always Trust In Books, a review of the scifi thriller, Double Edged (Bulari Saga Book I) by Jessie Kuwak.
The Bulari Saga series is part of Jessie Kwak’s Durga System universe, a fast-paced series of gangster sci-fi stories set in a far-future world where humans may have left their home planet to populate the stars, but they haven’t managed to leave behind their vices. (Always Trust In Books, Review of Double Edged)
From Break The Code, Hyperstitional Daemonism: Reality as a Fictional Daemon, by Assem A. Hendawi, a short commentary on fiction as an egregore-generation mechanism.
That which is not real can have real effects and be felt as real, concomitant with the degree to which it is believed to be real or real-acting by those apprehending.
Whitley Strieber in his series of works on Alien Abduction would state in an interview:
What have I done? Have I conjured something, in effect by occult means, by writing these books or…? I mean sometimes I have the feeling they’re like breaking through—that I’ve opened a door that is supposed to remain closed, that they’re just sort of coming through it like a bunch of, you know, like they’re hungry little monsters…2
Strieber believed “by writing about these experiences, he was unleashing a terrifying reality into the world, and into his own life.” (Horsley) One could find hundreds of examples in literature and other pop-cultural or Western Occulture of such hyperstitional infestations. (Hendawi, Hyperstitional Daemonism)
From Deseret News, a review of Orson Scott Card’s newest novel The Hive (co-written with Aaron Johnston).
Readers can expect the same level of writing quality from the preceding four prequel novels, all of which were co-authored by Card and Aaron Johnston. The sci-fi concepts, plot and character motivations are carefully thought out, and as always the characters are well-developed with an intriguing variety of perspectives, although at times there is far more expository dialogue than there needs to be and the story bogs down in the middle as a result. (Heidi Burton, Review of The Hive)
From Drunken Pen, DPW Podcast Episode #24: Sci-Fi Madness, on the different types of science fiction writing and numerous other topics, in which they ask the pertinent question, “Why is everybody [in scifi] a bipedal humanoid?”
“I don’t know man, maybe I just been thinking about giving up on writing and finding a new career—like, an easier one… maybe we should just become rappers, don’t need much writing talent for that.” (from: Episode #24 of the DPW Podcast)
From JPC Allen, Writing Tip—Casting Against Type. Food for authorial thought.
In this movie from 1951, two strangers meet on a train. One is a well-known tennis player, Guy Haines . The other is a rich man’s grown son, Bruno Anthony. Haines’s troubled marriage is well publicized, and Anthony suggests they swap murders — he’ll do in Haines’s wife if Haines will kill his father. Haines’s gets away from the weirdo but humoring him and saying he agrees with the idea. Anthony takes him seriously and kills his wife. Now he expects Haines to uphold his end of the deal.
What made Bruno Anthony one of classic movie’s great villains was that he was played by an actor known for his cute, boy-next-door roles. To cast such an actor as a spoiled brat psycho was unusual at the time, but actor Robert Walker was up to the task. His Bruno glides into a room and charms everyone he meets. But when someone thwarts his plans, he’s like a child having a temper tantrum. Only this child has no problem committing murder. (Allen, Casting Against Type)
From New Pop Lit, The Decline of Literary Criticism, a incisive piece that examines (what the author perceives as) the decline of the American literary all-star.
In 1950 NFL football was scarcely a blip on the cultural radar screen. It produced zero (0) figures as recognizable and renowned as Ernest Hemingway.
Today the situation is reversed. (NPL, The Decline of Literary Criticism)
From Newsarama, The Full First Issue of John Carpenter’s TALES OF SCIENCE FICTION – THE STANDOFF (a comics anthology). Looks promising.
“The movie that changed my life was ‘It Came From Outer Space’ […] 3D—glasses on—this meteor comes screaming out of the night sky and blows up in my four year old face, and I felt something, and I got up and I was shrieking in terror. But I’ve gotta tell you a couple of seconds later it was the greatest because I felt such a high. I survived the meteor hitting me right in the face—it came out of the screen. I wanted to do that, I wanted to experience that, because I was alive. It told me I was alive.” (John Carpenter, 1990)
From The Art of Blogging, How To Write A Great Blog Post: A Beginner’s Guide, by the prolific Cristian Mihai, a brisk and straightforward tutorial on improving the quality of one’s blog posts.
When it comes to headlines, this is the one rule you must never, ever forget about. Do not deceive your readers. (Mihai, How To Write A Great Blog Post)
Also from Mihai, The Bittersweet Truth About Making Money Blogging.
You must blog in order to genuinely help your readers. Imagine who your readers are, what they look like, what they want most in this world, and figure out ways to help them. (Mihai, The Bittersweet Truth About Making Money Blogging)
From The Stray Branch, the release of the Spring/Summer 2019 issue (no 23, vol 20) featuring, The Dead of Venice by Dan Klefstad and cover art by Amber Berk.
Stray Branch founder, Debbie Berk, also has a new book of poetry and prose out titled Seasons and Shadows.
The fiction circular will continue next week.
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