The Silence & The Howl (§.25)

§.25


Harmon begin typing as soon as he returned from his encounter with the literate watchman. A new story occurred to him, and, inspired by the day’s events and the memory of the thriller Andy had played when Lyla had come over, he set himself to the task of its completion. A dull, irregular clacking emanated from his keyboard until the light crept over the edges of the world and eschewed the darkness for a magnificent plume of solar irridescence.

After seven hours without a break, Harmon paused, shifted in his chair, lit up a cigarette, smoked a moment and then withdrew to the kitchen and poured himself a glass of ice water and another cup of coffee as Marla came ambling clumsily down the thick-carpeted stairs. Her hair was wild and rabbit slippers obscured her slender, shuffling feet.

“Mornin.”

“G’morning,” she groaned, rubbing sleep from her puffy eyes, “You been up all night?”

“Yeah. Writing.”

“Sheesh, don’t you ever sleep?”

“Couldn’t.”

“You aren’t a vampire, are you?”

“Not last time I checked.”

She chuckled and leaned against the kitchen counter.

“Andy told me you were a writer. Fiction, right?”

He nodded and handed the foggy woman a cup of coffee, which she readily accepted with a broad smile and a mumble of thanks. For a long moment they stood staring at each other before the sound of Andy’s footsteps reverberated on the linoleum above. They both turned to greet him, confused by his furrowed brow and the cloudy expression in his eyes and mouth.

“Sonsofbitches.” He muttered leaning against the wall.

“What is it?”

Andy worked his jaw and then looked towards his guest.

“We’re outta work.”

“What’d Swain say?” Harmon inquired without emotion, crossing his arms and leaning against the counter as Marla.

“Just said we were fired—excuse me—’let go.’ I hate that bullshit. Fucking weasel words. ‘Let go.’ ‘Passed on.’ Bullshit. Fucking bullshit.”

“Sorry baby,” Marla replied, with a pout. She massaged Andy’s shoulder as the man shook his head and glared at the scuffed linoleum of the floor.

Harmon reached up to the cabinet and withdrew a coffee cup and then slid it across the counter to Andy who nodded back in thanks.

“No point complaining about what we can’t change. Other jobs to do.”

“Hell – like what?”

“Well, what are you good at?”

“Ain’t good at nothing.”

“That’s not true,” Marla chided sadly.

Harmon inhaled deeply and then moved off of the counter and looked out the window. Not a single soul stirred upon the barren street, now covered in a thin skin of dead leaves that skittered with the wind like hollow bugs beneath the swaying skeletal boughs.

“Its a lovely day. We should go out. We can go to the cafe I was telling you about and stop by the river.”

Marla smiled and nodded, “That’s sounds nice.”

“Alright,” Andy intoned sullenly.

Harmon turned back to the window and sipped his coffee, watching as a flock of crows tore a red-stained eagle from the sky.

*

Fiction Recap 2019 [#2]

Selection of fiction works we’ve published this year.


July


June


May


March


February


July


§

We extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of our gracious patreon supporters and avid readers.


 

Independent Fiction Directory

Editor’s note: A author/publisher will be included if: 1. The literary work of the organization or individual is independent (ie. not affiliated/supported by a major institution, such as a university, corporation, government, etc), and, 2. They principally write/publish original narrative fiction (as opposed to poetry or fan-fiction). Links to every listed individual or organization’s social media and website(s) will be included (provided the listed individual or organization) and will be continuously update with future installments. Outlets dedicated to literary promotion will not be included.

 

All inquiries concerning the directory may be made through: logosliterature@yandex.com.

 

Feedback is always welcome.


Fiction Authors

Alina Hansen (poet, developing first novel) [website]

Avani Singh (horror writer; author of Existence, admin of blogggedit) [@blogggedit]

Benjamin Langley (horror novelist) [@B_J_Langely]

Brandon Scott (horror and thriller writer) [@BrandonScottAu1]

Brianna M. Fenty (horror writer) [@fentyscribbles]

Chloe Turner (author of Witches Sail In Eggshells) [@TurnerPen2Paper]

Dan Klefstad (gothique novelist, author of the Fiona series & the novel Shepard & the Professor) [@danklefstad]

Daniel Soule (writer, anthologist and editor) [@Grammatologer]

David A. Estringel (poet and short story author) [@The_Booky_Man ]

Ellis Michaels (scifi and fantasy author) [@EllisMichaels9]

Garth T. Ogle (author of The Bowl of Tears and Solace) [@gtaogle]

Giovanni Dannato (author of Apostasy & The Warlord) [@GiovanniDannato]

Glahn (surrealist short-story writer) [@sexypesty]

Iain Kelly (literary short story author and novelist) [@ianthekid]

Jane Dougherty (fantasy novelist) [@MJDougherty33]

Jess Gabnall (dark fantasy and horror author) [@Jess93Bagnall]

Jess Lake (scifi and romance writer) [twitter: @JessLakeAuthor]

Joanna Koch (literary short story writer) [@horrorsong]

J. Brandon Lowery (flash fiction writer of the fantastical) [@jbrandonlowry]

Kara Klotz (writer and founder of Channillo) [@KKlotzz]

Karl Wenclas (author of The Tower, writer at New Pop Lit) [@KingWenclas]

Madison Estes (short story author) [@madisonestes]

Michael Carter [@mcmichaelcarter]

N. O. Ramos (horror novelist) [@N_O_Ramos]

Peter Clarke (satirist, author of The Singularity Survival Guide) [@HeyPeterClarke]

Peter Edwards (aka, The Little Fears, microfiction author) [@TheLittleFears]

Ramya Tantry [@RamyaTantry]

Simon Webster (novelist and chief of The Cabinet of Heed) [@MrSimonWebster]

Stacie Sultrie (romance writer) [@SSultrie]

Steve Hart (latter-day Jack London, author of the serialized novel, The Promise of Shaconage) [@BlueSmokies]

The Dark Netizen (flash fiction author) [website]

Tweet Sized Fiction (microfiction and poetry) [@teenytinystorys]

Wicked Fables (macabre fantasy and scifi writer) [@WickedFables]

Zach Mulcahy (fantasy author, developing novel) [@ZTMbaronofurga]


Literary Publishers

101 Words (flash) [@101words]

Alien Buddha Press [@thealienbuddha]

Analog Submission Press [@analogsubpress]

Aphotic Realm (horror+surrealism) [@AphoticRealm]

Apiary Magazine [@APIARYmag]

Cajun Mutt Press [@MuttCajun]

Channillo [@_Channillo]

Crystal Lake Publishing [@crystallakepub]

Dark Dossier Magazine (monthly horror magazine) [@DarkDossier]

Defiant Scribe [@Defiant_Scribe]

Dim Shores [@dimshores]

Drunken Pen Writing [@drunkpenwriting]

Ellipsis Zine [@EllipsisZine]

Fictive Dream (flash) [@FictiveDream]

Fishbowlpress (fiction and poetry) [@fishbowlpress]

FlashBack Fiction (historical fiction) [@FlashBackFic]

Flash Fiction Magazine [@flashficmag]‏

Flat Field Press [@FlatFieldPress]

Forge Litmag [@forge_litmag]

Formercactus [@formercactus]

Gold Wake Press [@GoldWakePress]

gn0me (experimental fiction) [@gnOmebooks]

Gone Lawn [@gonelawn]

Gray Matter Press [@GreyMatterPress]

Hagstone Publishing (fiction + crafts) [@HagstonePub]‏

Horror Sleaze Trash [@horrorslzztrash]

Idle Ink [@_IdleInk_]

Jokes Review (satire and absurdism) [@JokesReview]

Literally Stories (fantasy & horror) [@LiterallyStory]

Lunarian Press [@LunarianPress]‏

(mac)ro(mic) [@mac_ro_mic]

Midnight Mosaic Fiction [@MidMosFic]

Milk Candy Review [@moonrabbitcandy]

Monkey Bicycle [@monkeybicycle]

Nightingale & Sparrow (literary magazine) [@nightandsparrow]

Night Worms (horror) [@Night_Worms]

New Pop Lit (3D, pulp, neo-noir, realism) [@NewPopLit]

OddMadLand (experimental surrealism) [× discontinued ×]

Okay Donkey [@okaydonkeymag]

Orchid’s Lantern [@orchidslantern]

Reflex Press [@reflexfiction]

Rust Belt Press [@BeltPress]

Sinister Grin Press [@SinisterGrinPre]

Spelk [@SpelkFiction]

Story Shack [@thestoryshack]‏

Surfaces [@SURFACEScx]

Terror House Magazine [@terrorhousemag]

The Arcanist  (fantasy) [@The_Arcanists]

The Blue Nib (fiction and poetry) [@TheBlueNib]

The Cabinet of Heed (literary anthologies) [@CabinetOfHeed ]

The Copybook (dormant) [@CopybookThe]

The Dark Calls (temporarily closed) [@The_Dark_Calls]‏

The Fiction Pool (realism) [@TheFictionPool]

The Molotov Cocktail [@MolotovLitZine]

The Stray Branch (gothique fiction + poetry) [@debbiedberk]

Unnerving Magazine [@UnnervingMag]

X-R-A-Y (literary fiction, often experimental) [@xraylitmag@xraylitmag]


If you wish to support our work you can do so here. If you wish to contact the site administrator, you can find him online here.

Fiction Circular 7/11/19

THE LOGOS FICTION CIRCULAR is a weekly series which collects independent fiction from around the web so as to treat the works to a wider audience. Recommendations for new author/publisher inclusions are welcome.


§00. Editor’s note: Links affixed to author/publisher’s name (if any) will redirect to author/publisher social media; links affixed to story/article titles will redirect to a relevant site whereupon the named piece is archived. The ‘authors’ section focuses exclusively on individuals who author and publish their own literary work; the ‘organizations’ section focuses exclusively on independent presses (lit-mags, e-zines and other literary outlets comprised of more than one person) who publish fictive work of (at least) more than one author. Lastly, the ‘literary ephemera’ section focuses on non-fiction work, including (but not limited to) certain poems, such as news articles, reviews, interviews and critiques. All author/publication names arranged by alphabetical order (including ‘the’ and ‘a’).


§01. Editor’s note on criteria for inclusion: A publication is considered ‘independent’ if it does not rely upon the staff, organizational prowess, or financial backing, of one or more large corporation, academy, government or other large institution. For example, Sink Hollow Litmag will not be included in the circular, 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); Thin Air Magazine, likewise is supported (in part) by university funding and hence, will not be included.


§02. Editor’s note on timing of publication: All works included are those read by the editor during the week of publication; their inclusion does not mean that they were written / published the same week as the circular containing them.


AUTHOR (FICTION)

From Jane Dougherty, Ambush.

 “… if I sit here much longer I’ll be so old I’ll have forgotten how to string a bow.” (J. Dougherty, Ambush)


From Jeff Coleman, The One That Got Away.

Giles has the man right where he wants him. He’s not a man, of course—at least on the inside—but something much worse… (Jeff Coleman, The One That Got Away)


From Little Fears, Be Someone.

“Is that another Sprite?” asked Cuttle.

“I think so,” sighed Parrotfish. “It’s depressing. They pass on so fast. They barely have time to figure out who they are.”

“I don’t care,” replied Cuttle. “When I was young, my mum said I could be anyone I wanted.”

“Isn’t that called identity theft?” asked Parrotfish. (LF, Be Someone)


From Shantanu Baruah, Whimsical—A Flash Fiction.

She was a mystery, no one knew where she came from. (S. Baruah, Whimsical)


From The Dark Netizen, the microfiction, Beast.

Its appearance disturbed the quiet of the forest.

The legendary beast was as beautiful as it was ferocious. It made quick work of most of the party. I was enthralled by its presence as it chewed up my last remaining partner. I did not want to harm it.

It didn’t resonate with those thoughts… (Netizen, Beast)


ORGANIZATION (FICTION)

From 101 Words, Exist To Nowhere by Lauren Everhart-Deckard.

We ripped the doors off my rusty mustang, Joni and I. They came off easy, like moth wings. (L. Everhart-Deckard, Exist To Nowhere)


From Aphotic Realm, Sherrick And The Train by Dan Maltbie.

A single BOT stood before the executive area with its blaster mechanically trained on the bounty hunter as a swarm of cleaning drones sprayed and tidied the offices beyond. When Sherrick neared, an electronic croaking emerged from the dingy security robot.

“HALT! Bounty hunter!” (D. Malbie, Sherrick & The Train)


From Crystal Lake Publishing, Shallow Waters Vol.1: A Flash Fiction Anthology (Kindle Edition) edited by Joe Mynhardt.

Shallow Waters—where nothing stays buried.

With twenty-two dark tales diving beneath the surface of loss, love, and life. (Amazon promo synopsis for Shallow Waters Vol.1)


From Horror Sleaze Trash, The Night I Drank With Bukowski’s Ghost by Benjamin Blake.

I took a sip of whiskey, and started playing air guitar along to the bluesy track coming over the speakers. (Benjamin Blake, The Night I Drank With Bukowski’s Ghost)


From Jellyfish Review, Repeat Visitor by Rachel Wagner.

he runs down the hill away from the green monster and steps down its steps to rescue his toys from the car. (R. Wagner, Repeat Visitor)


From Literally Stories, Beneath Your Skin by Rose Banks.

You weren’t yourself, that night. (R. Banks, Beneath Your Skin)


From Milk Candy Review, Bodily Fluids by Marissa Hoffmann.

Nicole Kidman says she doesn’t kill spiders or even ants. I wonder if that’s because she has people to do that for her? (M. Hoffmann, Bodily Fluids)


From New Pop Lit, Jerusalem by Zachary H. Lowenstein.

The air was crisp and cool. The scent of pine was wafting and the Earth continued to exist despite anyone’s desires. (Z. H. Lowenstein, Jerusalem)


From Reflex Press, Hagstone by Chloe Turner (excerpted from her book, Witches Sail in Eggshells).

 She’d thrown off last night’s childish panic; had woken calm, absolved, a greedy hunger in her belly. The answer would come from the stones. (C. Turner, Hagstone)


From Short Prose, Bones (excerpted from Glass Lovers).

“This city lost its compass, I am telling you, Miguel. Bones. This city is filled with bones.” (Excerpted from Glass Lovers)


From Spelk, The Promise Of Science by Tim Love.

Mathematicians love finding connections between once unrelated topics.

Descartes connected geometry and algebra. He had less luck with body and mind — as different as time and space, he wrote. Einstein created space-time but couldn’t connect gravity with quantum mechanics.

Meanwhile entropy and aging took their toll, random mutations accumulating with each cell division, not all bad. The strongest survive. (T. Love, The Promise Of Science)


From The Cabinet Of Heed, Suppose by B. Lynn Goodwin.

Suppose Hannah, age 9, closed her eyes and announced, “I have windowless eyelids”? Would she be creative or silly? (B. L. Goodwin, Suppose)


From The Drabble, Spittin’ by Maura Yzmore.

After Mom turned the house into a shrine, with Father’s photos everywhere, his college graduation portrait spat on me from the windowsill. (M. Yzmore, Spittin’)


From The Fiction Pool, Suvvern Cabman by Tommy Sissons.

The occasional hedonistic partygoer, donned in the macabre, or barely donned at all, was passed out on the yellow lines, dreaming of fluidity – ex-partners and money. Slews of drunken plague doctors, Pennywises, Day of the Dead señors, mime artists, brash women with demonic and celestial get ups bustled into pools of human jungle at every doorway. (T. Sissons, Suvvern Cabman)


From Story Shack, The Lone Pine by Martin Hooijmans (with art by Lars de Ruyter).

In his grief he did not notice that the square had filled up with people, all looking up at him in expectation. When an amplified voice started speaking he noticed though. He also noticed that no one was laughing at him. Then, one by one, lights started flicking on in the buildings surrounding the square, and that’s when he saw. His fellow trees, all decorated as well, surrounded by people laughing happily, brightened the numerous rooms of the buildings. When they saw ‘Lone Pine’ in the middle of the square, he could swear many of them began to glow even more. His heart lifted. (M. Hooijmans, The Lone Pine)


LITERARY EPHEMERA (NONFICTION)

From Alina Hansen, Ceramic (poem #417).


From A Maldivian’s Passion For Romance, a review of Before Jamacia Lane by Samantha Young.


From Cajun Mutt Press, A Perceived Shift by Jonathan Hine.


From Cristian Mihai, Do You Want More Readers? Write Like Yourself.


From David A. Estringel, the poem AI! AI! AI! (A Tartarus For Youth) at Blood Moon Rising Magazine(Issue #77).


From Examining The Odd, Lord Dunsany (Edward Plunkett).


From Human Pages (Tim Miller), My Mother’s Sister by C. Day-Lewis.


From Jaya Avendel, the poem Inside The Heart.


From Joanna Koch (Horrorsong), Clutch.


From JPC Allen, a writing prompt for those seeking to try their hand at historical fiction.


From Monica Carroll, I Am A Thorn.


From New Pop Lit, a short piece on the literary works of Ayn Rand.

 


From Okay Donkey, the poem Wound Study by H. E. Fisher.


From Søren Gehlert, the poem I Care Beneath The Alcohol.


From The Mystique Books, a review of The Farm by Joanne Ramos.


From The American Sun, a rumination on American culture as reflected in the nation’s fiction in Quiet Desperation is the American Way.


And lastly, from Thoughts Of Steel, The Crucible.


 

Fiction Circular 7/4/19

THE LOGOS FICTION CIRCULAR is a weekly series which collects independent fiction from around the web so as to treat their works to a wider audience. Recommendations for new author/publisher inclusions are welcome.


§00. Editor’s note: Links affixed to author/publisher’s name (if any) will redirect to author/publisher social media; links affixed to story/article titles will redirect to a relevant site whereupon the named piece is archived. The ‘authors’ section focuses exclusively on individuals who author and publish their own literary work; the ‘organizations’ section focuses exclusively on independent presses (lit-mags, e-zines and other literary outlets comprised of more than one person) who publish fictive work of (at least) more than one author. Lastly, the ‘literary ephemera’ section focuses on non-fiction work, including (but not limited to) certain poems, such as news articles, reviews, interviews and critiques. All author/publication names arranged by alphabetical order (including ‘the’ and ‘a’).


§01. Editor’s note on criteria for inclusion: A publication is considered ‘independent’ if it does not rely upon the staff, organizational prowess, or financial backing, of one or more large corporation, academy, government or other large organization. For example, Sink Hollow Litmag will never be included in the circular, 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.


AUTHORS (ficiton)

From Avani Singh (of Blogggedit), a announcement pertaining to the release of paperbacks for her most recent book, Existence.


From Jan’s MicroStories, some prose sketches.


From Karine Writes, Experiment 228.


From Nin Chronicles (Jaya Avendel), Cursed.


From Søren Gehlert, Dark Shiny.


From Steve Hart, Act 192: If the medicine is with him… (a installment in his serialized novel, The Promise of Shaconage).


From The Dark Netizen, Fell and Brave & Free.


ORGANIZATIONS (fiction)

From 101 Words, The Prodigal Son.


From Channillo, The Art of Falling (#1, Thirteen Moons Series).


From Fictive Dream, The Bicycle Orchestra by Helen Chambers.


From Gold Wake Press, their Summer issue for 2019 (featuring Peter Clarke).


From Literally Stories, Stripped by Hugh Cron.


From Spelk, Sixth Period by Andrea Rinard.


From The Drabble, A Fire In A Downpour by J. David Thayer.


From The Fiction Pool, A Morning To Remember by Babak Norouzi.


From The Red Fez, Something True You Never Told Me by Scott Parson.


LITERARY EPHEMERA (non-ficiton)

From Caliath, the poem (Memnos II)—A Silence In Which No One Sings.


From New Pop Lit, a new entry in their all-time American writers tournament, Most Charismatic #12: Allen Ginsberg.


From Public Books, Authorship After AI.


From The Booky Man (David A. Estringel), seven new haikus published at Cajun Mutt Press.


From Writer’s HQ, Why Litmags Matter (And Why Writers Need To Read Them).


 

Fiction Recap 2019 [#1]

Selected fiction works we have published as of this year.


June


May


March


February


July


§

We extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of our gracious patreon supporters and avid readers.

Fiction Circular 6/20/19

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.


AUTHORS

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)


ORGANIZATIONS

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)


From Milk Candy Review, I-65 by J. Bradley.

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)


LITERARY EPHEMERA

From Alina Hansen, Golden Eyes (a poem).

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 Booksa 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.


If you enjoy our work, you can support us here.

Tomb of the Father: Chapter Three (Excerpt)

Author’s note: The following text is a short chapter excerpt from my forthcoming novel, Tomb Of The Father. This installment will be one of the last chapter excerpts released until the book is completed.


Lord Eadwulf’s castle lay an hours ride from the city of Hableale, ensconced in rolling woodlands that trammeled out and merged with the flat vastness of the moor circumferent. The outer keep was a massive thing, ringed first by moat and second by huge curtain walls, ancient and wrought of stones from a foreign land, their providence as unknown to the inhabitants of Haberale as their age. Trumpets sounded from somewhere within the hulking monolith as two figures entered on horseback, driving hard across the drawbridge, through the mighty barbican and deep into the well trammeled haven of the outer bailey. To the right, a storehouse before which was chained a massive hound of some breed beyond the rider’s collective reckoning and to the left, a length of stable-barns from which the shunted braying of great steeds emanated like mighty gusts of wind. Folk of every lower class there labored; stable-lads hefting thick clumps of hay and the refuse of the equines as maidens dressed in the elegant red robes of the Order of Marta watched from afar, reveling in the excitement of their voyeurism, giggling with mischievous delight, fantasizing about that which their fathers would prefer they not. Older men moved large sacks of grain and salted meats from the castle proper and placed them within the store house in well-ordered piles and then dusted their calloused hands and stood chatting idly as their eyes followed the crows who turned half-circles up in the thermals.
The sky roiled with the dark harbingers of sunder, a heavy, howling wind tearing off from the far mountains and soaring in and under the battlements to scatter the hay and seed and chill the bones of every present soul. The guards looked to the darkening horizon nervously and then latched the great gate behind the two riders and then lead their horses to the stables and there bound and calmed them.
Gunvald dismounted first and looked around in wonderment. The grand keep’s ambit was so verdant and so ancient that it seemed more of some other world, some higher plane than the dull and barren sprawl of the short-flung town. He moved from the outer stable-barns and started on his way towards the wide stone-slated path which wound up to the mouth of the donjon like a gigantic serpent comprised of cloud. Baldric quickly followed and together, with a retinue of two guardsmen, they entered the castle proper. Through double doors of oak and across wide floors, well-laid with lavish carpeting, and up and down steps they went until at last they entered the well-packed banquet hall to the sound of muted strumming.
A great feast was underway and much merriment could be heard rising every now and then over the raucous clatter of instrumentation. Eadwulf Charmian sat, as was his right, at the head of the polished long table upon a throne garland with cushioned silks, hands overflowing with the splendor of his kitchens; spiced wine and phasianid. He was surrounded on all sides other by the host of the house, the chamberlain, his marshal, knights and footmen aplenty; pantler and butler moving to and fro with dutiful reserve, carrying plates of cheese and meats and trays of fish and hearty loaves and great and shimmering samovars of wine.
As Gunvald and Baldric made their way to the table they paused and, respectfully, bowed to their noble host who rose with great animation, smiling broadly.
“Duteous gentlemen, we welcome thee unto our hearth. One face familiar, the other, less so.”
Baldric gestured with melodramatic flair to his compatriot and then spoke in booming undulations.
“May I present, Ye Lordship, Gunvald Wegferend of Haberale, loyal solider to The Crown and honorable hero of our thede. Twas he alone who survived the massacre at Rivenlore and paid back the damnable cur, that architect of our goodly men’s demise, two-fold!”
A light of recognition there entered into the lord’s puffy, dull and inebriated eyes.
“Not with silver and gold, I trust!”
“No, m’lord,” Gunvald replied with a faint smile, “With blood and steel.”
“Aye, a most handsome reply! Come, let me embrace thee, worthy comrade!”
With a sudden burst of energy, the lord bounded across the floor and threw his chubby, ineffectual arms about Gunvald and then kissed his bewildered guest full upon the cheek and released him, smiling widely, patting the warrior’s arms as might a beneficent uncle.
“Now come, let us wine and dine and make merry!”
With some hesitation, Gunvald nodded and joined his Lord at the resplendent banquet table. Eadwulf made no direction and so Gunvald took a seat beside a old and grizzled pikeman whose helmet sat upon his lap, o’erturned as if he might at any moment don it once more and spring fiercely to violent action.
He scoured all present heads and gave a muted sigh. His lady was not present.
Where hast my love flown?
As Lord Eadwulf bade his Marshal, a stocky man named Haiden, raise the samovars and fill the newcomers goblets. Gunvald gritted his teeth, exerting every ounce of his considerable willpower to restrain himself from inquiry. At last, it became too much to bare; he turned full about in his chair and addressed his gracious host curtly.
“I hear tell, thee’ve taken on new hands. A young woman, if thy yeomen tell it true.”
Eadwulf gave a libidinous smile and in that moment, were he any other man, Gunvald would have leapt from his seat and cleaved him in twain. But he wasn’t any other man; he was a duke and more importantly, he was of Torian blood; of a certainty, there was no greater crime than the murder of one’s own kind – Gunvald recalled that not even that most abominable deity, Dactyl, whose very name were as a curse upon both the living and the dead, ever drew the blood of another Origin.
“Aye,” responded the lord, a twinkle in the eye, “A darling girl. A commoner, but none more beautiful, I tell thee true. Leofflaed is her name. I must introduce thee once she quits her bath.”
“She’ll be joining us?”
“Indeed, this is a special night, dear countryman! Hath thy dull brain been so wrought with valorous contemplation that ye’ve forgotten the day?”
Baldric, who sat dutifully beside his cousin, leaned in, whispering, “Tis Winter’s Dance.”
Gunvald perked up instantly, raising his goblet and forcing a wan smile.
“Of course, of course, I’d nearly forgot, tis Winter’s Dance.”
“Aye, Fall holds ever diminishing sway, master of the seasons no longer – the whispering winds of The Rimn rattle the cottages of our dainty hamlet already like the breath of some great beast,” Haiden exclaimed, shuddering slightly.
This pronouncement of fell dismay seemed to rouse much discontent in the host, the lord most of all.
“What now, sir? Is my Grand Marshal – sovereign of both horse and man – afeared of a light Winter’s gale?”
A portly old man nearest the Marshal, crimson frocked and hairless, replied darkly, “Haiden speaks it true, m’lord. These winds which blow so ceaselessly, the odd fog that seems to hang omnipresent o’er the moors, what seems to follow one in the passing, and those accursed crows – everywhere, simply everywhere – tis a bad sign. An omen. Marta is warning us.”
“Hush now, Summoner Thane,” Exclaimed Eadwulf, squirming upon his garland throne with nervous agitation, “Afore thy doomsaying proves ruinous to the good mirth of the house.”
The old man leaned back in his chair and folded his hands about his chest, over the heart. Gunvald recalled that the superstitious, masked peasants he’d met upon the road had made the same gesture when he’d uttered the name of the Eyeless-all-seeing. Gunvald remembered being taught as a child that the earthly manifestations of Marta affix themselves to the heart. It was said that the heart was the source of all emotion and that, if sufficient appropriations of piety were made to the goddess, she would cleanse the ailing organ of all that troubled it. Due this attribution, some had taken to calling her, Our Lady Pure-Heart, others still, The Reaper of Woe, though Summoner’s of a more parochial variety looked down upon such name-giving – some to the point of declaring such monikers heresies – for in the purist’s eyes, it was the very summit of arrogance to denominate pet-names to an Origin of beautitude. What place, after all, did the finite have naming the infinite?
Thane opened his wrinkled maw to speak but a harsh glare from his lord caught it there in his throat and, quickly, he fell silent once more, nodding to himself rather sadly as might the father of some harumscarum lad who’d the mind to go frolicking about the moors at night. Haiden too said no more and seeing this a fresh smile broke out over Eadwulf’s rotund and rosy face. He reached forth with his beefy, bejeweled fingers and raised his glass for a slender serving wench who poured a fresh pint of wine.
“What do thee make of all their pronouncements, landsman Gunvald?”
Gunvald looked from Haiden to the holy man and then shook his head.
“I am a footsoldier, before that, farmer. Premonitions and omens are, I am afraid, well beyond my ken.”
Suddenly, a new voice intruded upon the feast, low and sonorous, mannered like some orator of yore.
“This once venerable council has fallen to superstition most deplorably. Here you sit, High Summoner and Grand Marhsal, in the keep of the most powerful lord in the north, quaking like unsuckled babes at the prospect of supernatural despotism. Our dreams can, in times of direst contest, follow us full from that queer parlor, sleep, and pass into the waking world, latched to the insides of our selfsame skulls like a gaggle of phantasmal parasites. There they spring loose upon our fertile imaginations all manner of signs and signals, every style of omen and fell proscription. But by what method do we discern whether it is some connective coil that lends itself to providence or merely our dream’s own alcahest? Answer that question and thee shall surely have seized upon the truth of it.”
All present heads turned left, to the grand stair that let out to the upper landing, to behold a young man, garland in the finest of silks, blue and white. Upon his shoulder nested a falcon, whose piercing black eyes scanned the crowd the same as its master’s own and his lapis blue and more striking still.
Eadwulf gestured to the well-spoken dandy, “Landsman Gunvald, may I introduce to you the honorable Baron, Czemis Avarr, Ironmonger and Falconer of Caer Avarr. Our barton’s Master of Game.
Gunvald nodded respectfully towards the beauteous man who bowed respectably, but with a slight smile playing up one side of his face, as if he were possessed of some knowledge about the members of that venerable gathering which, if divulged, would bring about considerable embarrassment. The falconer then advanced to the table, his footfalls so soft and feline he made almost no sound at all. When he stood before the only empty chair opposite the lord, Haiden sighed and gestured to the falcon.
“Master Avarr, surely you do not mean to bring that carrion-beast to our table?”
The falcon sqwaked as if in rebuke as Avarr smiled ever so faintly once more.
“Not at all, for see thee not, he’s no carrion-beast. My friend prefers his prey were lively. The struggle of the hunt well whets his appetite.”
The Grand Marshal furrowed his brows with deep puzzlement and some apprehension, unsure as to the significance of the young falconer’s words.
“Meaning that he will leave thy food unmolested, lest thou there hath eft or shrew a scuttling.”
Avarr smiled his ghosting, barely discernable smile and straightened, extending the arm upon which his falcon nested as he whistled a command, whereupon the majestic beast flew full up to the rafters and then back down to perch upon the lower railing of the staircase like a dutiful guardian. The avian surveyed them intently as its master took his seat opposite Eadwulf, removing a small, silver cigarette tin from some inner fold of his jacket. All the while he moved, Gunvald’s eyes followed him, transfixed to the supple elegance of the singular man as he slid a machine-packed cigarette between his blood-red lips and lit it with a golden lighter. Languid and masterful were his movements, so much so that even the mundane action of his tobacco consumption seemed to eat up the energy of the room, to refocus and refine it. After a few long, languid drags upon his opium laced cigarette he leaned back upon the unadorned and old wooden chair at table’s end as if it were a throne more resplendent than Eadwulf’s own. The gesture seemed to say that it were now permissible for the party to continue, that his entrance had garnered sufficient appraisal. It seemed, to the veteran, that any man or woman who had no foreknowledge of the rightful placing of the household would have assumed this guady, white-haired falconer the rightful master of the keep.
“Thou must be Sir Gunvald, tis an honor to make thy acquaintance, loyal kinsman.”
Avarr extended a supple, white-gloved hand to the soldier who took it with some hesitation and shook it firmly. The falconer was far stronger than he looked.
“The honor is not thine alone, Baron Avarr, thy reputation precedes thee. Six years of fighting the grey folk and yet I never once encountered thee or thy men. Yet there were stories aplenty. Not a month went by where there was not talk amongst the war camp of thy valor. I wish we could have, if but once, shared the field.”
“We never had the chance to fight, side by side, as I never fought at the front. Fering – before his passing – stationed my regiment in the north-eastern forests near the base of the World Spine; despite my protestations, he believed, correctly, as it turned out, that my prowess as a huntsman would prove useful against the remnants of the Grey Folk who had deserted their war combine and who operated from that festering wood as brigands of a most savage disposition. Their operation had severely hampered our supply-lines and without supplies thy lot in the front would have crumbled, not from the foes to the north, but from the pangs of hunger and thirst. As thee well knows, the Grey Folk were not seasoned in open warfare, they’d have been crushed like insects under the hooves for a boar had they confronted the Torian Legions, army to army, on some open plain, as is our custom, for those weapons from my forge are scarce rivaled, even in Sage. Rather, they preferred the confounding architecture of their grand forests – subterfuge and skullduggery from behind bark and vine – arrows in the dark, knives in the back in twisting avenues where grapeshot is ill advised. Thou mayest recall the furor their tactics caused, we Torians had grown complacent in our ways and were outraged, foolishly, senselessly, when a tribe decided that rules and warfare mixed as water and oil. So our gracious Lord sent me to confront them at their selfsame game and thanks to the valor of my own men and, if it is not too bold to say, my own slow-flowering plans, I was able to best them most decisively.”
“As humble as ever, Baron.” Marshal Haiden sneered. Gunvald sensed bad-blood between the two and wondered at its origins. It seemed to Gunvald that there was some mote of jealousy in Haiden’s tone, buried firmly beneath his facade of civility. A venom particular to a man once scorned and unrecognized. A strange thing indeed, for the Grand Marshal was, in the hierarchy of the court, second in importance only to Eadwulf and the Arch-Summoner himself. What, Gunvald wondered, could he possibly be jealous of? What could a countryside ironmonger of minor nobility possess that the chief of The Lord’s army could not?
At length, Avarr turned to the Marshal and poured himself a glass of wine and lit himself another cigarette before speaking.
“I’ve been called many things in my life, Grand Marshal: ‘whore-monger,’ ‘addict,’ ‘pretentious,’ ‘tree killer,’ but never, ‘humble.’ At this point, such an allegation would sting worse than all the others. What is ‘humility’ but the perpetual pretense of inferiority? Nothing else. The humble man is he who says, ‘Ignore my prowess! It is meaningless! Praise only my boundless insignificance!’ When indeed, in reality, the feigning of his impotence and insignificance is the very thing which he hopes is praised; a substitute for true virtue. To be called humble is to be called a liar.”
The members of the house gave several terse, nervous laughs, unsure if Avarr’s comments were meant as jest or lecture or some queer combination of the two and when he laughed with them their mirth turned in earnest. Haiden merely grimaced and returned to his goblet, clearly displeased but not so sufficiently as to ruin his Lord’s graceful gathering.
Eadwulf leaned over his mutton, goblet in hand, remnants of fowl clinging to his girthful and graying beard, “Is Leofflaed coming shortly? Or is she still mucking about with her perfume and spice?”
The baron leaned back in his chair, smoking idly and looking off to where his feathery comrade fluttered about the rafters as if in silent rapport. At length, he spoke without turning.
“She dresses as we speak. I expect her any-”
Suddenly a shrill, impetuous voice boomed out from the upper landing.
“So I see that all have begun without me!”
Gunvald followed the voice from whence it came and turned his gaze to the grand stair whereupon a young woman stood, pout-lipped and grim-eyed, hands at her waist. Gunvald was shocked and elated. Elated at the sight of his beloved, shocked at how much she had changed in the space of seven years. Gone was the radiant smile of youthful innocence, in it’s stead, a cold, disdainful frown. Gone were the sun-faded and form-fitting lineaments of the village, replaced now by garish vestments of the keep, silk and sapphires, silver and gold. Gone was her agile frame and the supple movements which the soldier remembered so fondly from his youth, replaced now by an ungainly girth. None would have called her fat but the burgeoning plumpness of castle-excess was unmistakable.
“Thou hath no right to look so put-out, Leofflaed, one cannot expect all the world to run along the lines of thy clock,” Avarr replied flatly from below.
She surveyed the falconer with slowly softening vexation, then the party. Gunvald was surprised the Lord did not reprimand the baron for his chastisement. At length, she sighed and descended the stair, taking a seat beside Lord Eadwulf. As one of the serving girls pulled out a seat for Leofflaed, Eadwulf smiled and gestured towards her, his mouth half-filled with meats.
“Radiant, my dear, most radiant!”
Her only reply was a half-hearted smile, as transitory as the light glinting off her eyes.
The Lord motioned for the serving girls to fill her cup and move the food down to Leofflaed’s end of the table, as the silk-robed woman looked over the faces of every present soul. She seemed wholly disinterested in the affair, hands folded about her waist, lips stuck in what seemed to be a perpetual pout. Though she had gained weight and her countenance wore grim, she was still quite beautiful, the luster of fertile youth not yet wholly faded by time. What stirred Gunvald’s passions more than all her fading beauty was the memories of those fairer days wherein she and he had twined about the steps of the old temple, bounding here and there over moss and lichen, bracken and fern; how they had played hide and seek in the forests beyond Castle Avarr just before the moorland; how they embraced in times of woe and how they had kissed underneath the white bone of the moon by the statue at the edge of town whereupon he’d stumbled across the curious, one-eyed beggar. He remembered how they’d made love the day before he’d left for war, how she’d moaned and later cried and how they had pledged themselves to one another as the sun had risen red as the blood of all the men he had ever slain, as if portending all the masterful savagery he had done and all that he was still to do. Crushing sadness and unignorable agitation swam within the body of the swordsman, moving within his bosom and up from bosom to throat and from throat to mouth, bursting free of that fleshy cage like a lantern shattered in a barn of hay.
“Ne’er did I dare to believe that I would behold that face again; not in wildest dream-wanderings.”
Leofflaed turned to the upstart instantly, one brow going up with mild shock, the other down in confusion. Eyes met there for some indeterminable sphere’s turning, brown to green, green to brown forest to earth, plateau to vine. The shock swiftly dissipated into perplexed consternation.
“And thou art?”
Gunvald’s heart stilled a moment, then a pain, eerie and ethereal, slithered throughout the totality of the soma, palling the mind with direst imaginings. The soldier parted his lips to speak but no sound there escaped; he merely looked on, stunned to speechlessness. Fists balled like stones at his side, trembling with agitation. How, he thought, could she not remember?
Avarr turned to the woman and gestured to the soldier with his half-burned cigarette.
“Lady Leofflaed, may I introduce thee to Gunvald Wegerferend. It were he that slew Grim-Claw, Chief of the Gray Hordes of the North. Impressive, no?”
Leofflaed’s eyes grew wide, her body tense and still, her breath catching in her throat until a muted gasp escaped therefrom.
“Please… excuse me. I’m not… feeling well.”
Eadwulf lowered his goblet, furrowing his disorderly brows.
“What’s this now, have ye taken too much port afore the meal?”
“No, my dearest,” she turned full away from the still-standing soldier as she addressed her liege, as if she might wither away beneath his gaze, “I… do not not know what has come over me, some allergy perhaps, a fever of the seasons.”
Her facade fooled none but a few of the serving maids who cloistered round their ward, one of them fanning the lady with an empty soup dish, all the better to dispel whatever had befallen her. None spoke and, at length, the Lord intoned softly and somberly, “Well, get ye gone then. Off to bed. Off.”
The Lady left without another word as an uneasy pall settled over the feast. After the last footfalls of the Lady and her entourage had vanished up the well-varnished steps of the keep, The Baron rose and took Gunvald by the arm.
“Join me for a smoke upon the terrace.”
“But… the feast…”
Gunvald glanced over his shoulder and found Eadwulf’s beady eyes affixed to his own, sullenly regarding them with growing suspicion from beneath craggy brows and matted locks.
“I and our kindly guest wish to ply our senses to the crisp night air, by your leave.”
The Lord looked on a moment, his suspicion melting away almost instantly into a look of sadness then bewilderment, then comprehension. He nodded, “Ah, yes, yes, of course. Give him the goodly tour of it!”
“So I shall, my lord. So I shall.”
The two men, the baron and the landsman, left off out of the great hall to the whispering of the inner court, the distance rendering the sounds unintelligable.

Fiction Circular 3/22/19

§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).


§. AUTHORS

From Shreya Vikram, Faith. Vikram’s characteristic passionate, murky poetic stylings find a excellent match in the topic of religion and the difficulties entailed in its practice.

These secrets of the human race, those tantalizing tidbits that lie forever undiscovered.

These beliefs for which there can never be enough witnesses, never enough stories.

I heard it, they’ll say. I saw it with my own eyes.

But the what-ifs are always stronger.

 

— Faith


From the talented Steve Hart, another installment of The Promise of Shaconage: Act 177: The Long Sharp Spear.

Timpoochee was haunted by the vision of that ghost-like figure he saw on the shore.

He was so distant, thought Timpoochee, but so close, so familiar.

A kingfisher suddenly darted across the bows of Timpoochee’s trading boat and dove starkly into the water just ahead, re-emerging with a tiny fish gored on its beak.

The kingfisher, he thought, spearing fish. The best hunter.

 

— Act 177: The Long Sharp Spear

From, Wicked Fables, who published, Immortalitus. A gripping tale of a asteroid miners indebted to a life-extension corporation. It would have been nice to have more “show” and less “tell” but the telling was done so well and with such noir clarity that I didn’t really mind in the end.

-the only afterlife you get is in the memories of those that knew you.

 

— Immortalitus


§. LITERARY EPHEMERA

From Lunarian Press, Connie Willis: One of My Favorite Science Fiction Authors, a brisk rumination on the works of the prolific American science fiction writer, Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis.

“Willis excels at the slow reveal–the surface of her stories can seem ordinary, but powerful currents move in their depths.”

 

— Connie Willis: One of My Favorite Science Fiction Authors


New Pop Lit continues their investigation into the need (or superfluousness) of new literary forms, in a series of interviews with various literary personalities in The Answers! The question: “Does the contemporary short story need to be radically revamped in order to reach a broader audience?” Answers markedly varied.

Whatever happens in terms of form, the mediums through which new literature is made, saved and disseminated must be given equal attention. The medium is the message.

Meakin Armstrong, magazine editor: The market for short fiction is already broad; it’s just that the market is fragmented, thanks to technology. Incredible short fiction is being published right now, and probably more of it is being published than ever before. One unintended consequence of technology, however, is that this avalanche of short fiction has tended to fragment the market. Nearly every day, I hear of a new small press or a new journal—and that’s great. But nonetheless, it’s still one more new journal; one more new press—with presumably only a static number of readers out there. Arguably, the lack of money is freeing, though. At Guernica, I don’t give a rat’s ass about our market, because there’s no money in it, anyway. But writers still need money. Publishers still need money. So if you’ve got money, SEND MONEY. That means actually subscribing to those journals you pretend to read and supporting those presses you say you love. With money, short fiction will figure out its own shit. Just don’t expect to be your friend: all good fiction prefers to bite the hand that feeds it.

 

— The Answers!


From Terror House MagazineThree Poems by Glahn; Mysteries, The Devil In Me and The Sun Was There.

But it is coming out now
the truth
And it is a goddamn thing, isn’t it
I try to hold it back

 

— Mysteries


Thomas E. Staples releases his new book, The Case of the Giant Carnivorous Worm, the cover of which is really quite spectacular (it also sounds rather conceptually amusing).


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