Fiction Circular 7/18/20

A weekly dissemination of fiction writing from around the web.


From Bill Chance: The Sorcerer’s Intern. A spoof of Goethe’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

“I left some fishing weights on the table, could you turn them into gold, please. I’m a little short with the grocery money this weekend.”

B. Chance, The Sorcerer’s Intern

From Boondock Ramblings: The Farmer’s Daughter (Chapter 1; A Serialized Novel) by Lisa R. Howeler.

She’d been used to one annoying older brother her entire life, but five years ago Jason had invited his college roommate Alex to come work on the family farm and now it was like she had two annoying older brothers

L. R. Howeler, The Farmer’s Daughter

From Close 2 The Bone: Billy’s Grave by Lisa Short. Two young women discover criminals desecrating their late brother’s tombstone and decide to defend their land.

They had kicked over Billy’s gravestone; Faith could tell when Kayla spotted it lying all askew by the stiffening of her shoulders. They might not have known they were even on a gravesite—she and Kayla had buried Billy themselves, and the only marker they’d been able to place had been a river-worn slab of rock

L. Short, Billy’s Grave

From Literally Story: Crimson Coloured Raindrops by David Darvasi. A curious, charming tale of mysterious entities venturing below a dreamlike-city of steam and fume. Best of the week.

he started cutting the darkness – quite literally. Not for any romantic reason, other than he wouldn’t do anything metaphorically. 

D. Darvasi, Crimson Coloured Raindrops

From Literary Yard: The Last Time Rublev Saw The Sea by Tom Z. Spencer. Strongly influenced by recent events, Spencer’s story follows a young man navigating the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

We were told it can’t transmit human to human, and then that masks don’t work, and then to wear masks, and eventually to go home, and lock the door.

T. Z. Spencer, The Last Time Rublev Saw The Sea

From Momus News: Critical Equipment by E.A. Wicklund (EagleAye). A short, humorous piece.

“At last! The very thing I need to combat this pandemic,” said Blumquist.

E. Wicklund, Critical Equipment

From Neel Writes: Memories Unspooled by Neel A. Panicker. A charming flash fiction.

“You children are so unlucky for unlike us you hear your music strapped on headphones, and watch your favourite film and music stars gyrate on your palm tops”

N. Panicker, Memories Unspooled

From Nicholas C. Rossis: Common Fiction Writing Mistakes. The advice is basic, but can prove useful to new fiction writers (for more experienced writer’s, I would recommend the T. Bailey Saunders’ translation of Arthur Schopenhauer’s The Art of Literature).

It doesn’t matter how well-constructed your world is if you’re incapable of dishing it out in smaller portions that are relevant to what’s happening in that particular sequence. If there’s a city that’s important to the story, give the reader the necessary info when the characters actually go there, instead of dumping 500 years of detailed history and politics from three different provinces in a prologue.

N.C. Rossis, on info dumps in fiction

From Curiomancy: Samizdat by Rick Wayne. A excerpt from the author’s scifi novel Zero Signal.

the human cognitive capacity was more or less fixed, artificial minds could adjust their filters on the fly. A wider net meant slower thinking, and vice versa, but they could scale their attention to their needs.

R. Wayne, Samizdat

Compiled by Kaiter Enless.

Fiction Circular 10/5/18

With October underway, Halloween swift encroaches — which means a bevvy of horror fiction will be cropping up as a prelude to Samhain festival and fantasy.


INDEPENDENT AUTHORS — SELF PUBLISHED WORK

First up from circular regular, The Dark Netizen, a serialization of microfictions culminating in the unnerving and surreal short, Uninvited Guest 2. Here are all the parts in the series in chronological order:

Cave TripCave Trip 2Uninvited GuestUninvited Guest 2

“Dear uninvited guest, you don’t have the right to refuse my offer…” —Uninvited Guest, 2.


From the excellent Iain Kelly, the humorous microfiction, View Askew.

“Archie heard the ominous creak.

After the dust settled, Agnes poured Winnie a top up. They watched Archie pick himself up and dust himself off, before charging after the small squirrel, profanity turning the air blue.” — View Askew.


From Jhedron, The Dark (excerpt from Revenge Of The Hyrm). A intense, visceral slice of scifi fury.

“Schripp was focused on the eyes of the girl. His sword, razor sharp, a fractions gap from her throat, and then the world exploded. His face was an agony of pierced flesh and his vision was gone.” — The Dark.


From Blogggedit, a new horror story, IT’S OVER. Its little jumbled (we’d recommend a editor) but her concepts are always gripping.

“So how can I stop all this?” Alice pointed towards the broken mirror on the wall of the dance room and said “that’s the exit. Go. Go fast-” — Its Over.


BaronZM Magazine published the amusing fantasy micro, Goblins Nest.

As I picked up the helmet, I started to hear them move in. “No take” said one of the goblins while shaking his club. “I can punt you into sky, Goblin.” — Goblins Nest.


INDEPENDENT LITERARY MAGAZINES

From Terror House, The Bunnies Are Killing Themselves by Adam Matson.

“We hit a squirrel, honey,” said her father.

“Cool!” said 8 year-old Logan. “Do it again!” — The Bunnies Are Killing Themselves.

You ask me they had it coming, given their crass lack of rapprochement, especially the beavers…

From X-R-A-Y, Noose Tattoo by Nick Farriella.

“”He said something about casting his own judgment, that the rope was a reminder.” — Noose Tattoo.


LITERARY EPHEMERA

Dead End Follies (very aesthetically crisp website) has a Book Review of Laird Barron’s mystery novel, Blood Standard (2018). The site’s overall impression is positive, with particular applause for Barron’s complicated characters.

Blood Standard’s best asset is Isaiah Coleridge himself. Career criminals are dime a dozen in literature and they’re too often derivative of the same kind-hearted outlaw archetype. There is some of that in Coleridge, but he’s much more complicated and, let’s say it better crafted character than most. He has personal stakes outside of the job, feuding with his father, who’s also a dangerous and shadowy type, over the death of his mother. He has a personality, you know? Fears and desires that make us bond with him and give a shit when his life is endangered. Coleridge might’ve not chosen this life if he hadn’t been ushered into it by an abusive father a shady uncle. — Dead End Follies.

However, the reviewer also notes that sometimes the old-school pulp vibes Barron goes for don’t always translate well when…

Full disclosure: I had a love/hate relationship with the aura of romanticism around Isaiah Coleridge. Sometimes it made him really cool and larger than life and others where his misplaced tough guy banter made him sound like a 12 year old who’s never got a whooping in his life. It’s an unfortunate side effect of Laird Barron alternating between old school pulp and more of a high brow literary approach throughout Blood Standard, but it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the novel. Truth is, I just love the man’s writing. It speaks to me in a powerful, visceral way. He understands how to write inner darkness better than most and while Blood Standard doesn’t nail that concept constantly, it gets transcendent when it does. — Dead End Follies.

Dead End Follies gives Blood Standard a 9/10.

We have not yet read Blood Standard, but it was a text we were certainly looking forward to and we’ll be publishing a thorough review once we acquire a copy.


Fantasy author, Baron Z. M. announces the launch of his official Patreon account — so if you enjoy his work consider skipping on the expensive lattes and giving him some support.


Library of Nell, published the seasonal poem, After Michaelmas by Nell.

“After Michaelmas, when the bramble turns sour; is when our love is put to bed, smothered by gold. Its last breath is warmth – to guard against the Winter, and the cruelest scratch of cold.” — After Michaelmas.


From the surprisingly good Patreon Blog, How To Make Money As A Writer With 43-Time Published Author Seanan McGuire by Olivia Seitz.

Recently, we stumbled across a excellent book promotion, Indie Books Promo, which is geared to raising the visibility of independent authors (much the same as us). Check them out.


And lastly, to celebrate the advance of October, Alina Hansen offers up A Brief History of Halloween (Samhain).


Thanks for reading. If you wish to support our work publishing and promoting independent works of fiction, you can do so here.


End note: Simply using “professional” in PROFESSIONALLY PUBLISHED as short hand to mean that one’s work was vetted by a individual or individuals (typically an editor) other than themselves.