Fiction Circular 9/21/18

Editor’s note: A little shorter than usual. Been very busy!


THIS WEEK’S FICTION

The Dark Netizen published, Barbies. And also, Embrace, Cave Trip, Date Night and Television as well as several poems. Something that would be interesting to see is a anthology collection of his short stories – perhaps as a PDF (or some similar file-type) – sorted by theme. Given how many of them he writes every week, there is ample content for it.

My heart stopped for a second when I spotted the skeleton remains – finally a discovery, albeit one which showed clear signs of recent burning.

However, the flesh had been picked clean off the bones, which indicated that the Glock resting in my pocket may see use very soon…

From Gone Lawn, How Would You Call Me If You Forgot My Name by Mileva Anastasiadou.

Back when we were clouds.

At least we’re not deserted islands or soulless rocks.

From Terror House Magazine, Sideburns by poet and short story author, Lou Martin. Short, cruel, compassionate and moving. Easily the best of the week.

We called him “Sideburns.” Somehow, in some long-forgotten childhood reasoning, that seemed a good moniker for the guy who prowled alleys and back porches rummaging through trash cans and piles of cast-away items.

From The Library of Nell, Leporine, a short and sultry tale of fantasy and lust. Written as part of the Friday Flash challenge.

She moans a little when he whispers another “good girl.”

From Burning House Press, Grief Is A Private Island by Julia Morton, which reads like a excerpt of a internal monologue from a larger story that one has just wandered haphazardly into. Also from Burning House, The Farm Will Always Have Us, by Richard Winters. The story was based upon a excerpt from his 2017 novel, Sawhorse.

From New Flash Fiction Review, The Difference Between Alligators and Crocodiles.

Your father was an elm tree compared to you.

LITERARY EPHEMERA

Lastly, from Irevou, 12 Books That Will Surely Make You Cry by Cristian Mihai which offers up some solid recommendations of moving novels (though it stands doubtful how many of them will actually make you shed a tear).

Fiction Circular 9/4/18

FLASH FICTION & SHORT STORIES

New Flash Fiction published Sling Shot by Craig Fishbane.

“I had pestered my father to take me on the Sling Shot ride the night of the disaster. You can actually see a photo of us standing alongside the ticket booth if you watch the documentary on the Travel Channel. My father is easy to spot in a red and white checkered shirt and navy shorts. I’m holding his hand, wearing a baseball cap. The picture was taken about a minute before the accident.”

Fishburn’s tale was one of those stories that I could have easily imagined being elaborated upon and turned into a full length novel. I’m curious whatever became of the child and the two young lovers…

The Library of Nell has been quite active since debuting with several new pieces available, including Dirty Dozens, a collection of her writings from Storyin12‘s daily prompt challenge as well as the raw, honest and sensual short story The Next Generation which is, in my estimation, one of her best works so far. One thing that many contemporary romance writers miss is the fact that, for the erotic, it is not just enough to be graphically sensuous, nor merely emotionally dramatic, but to syncretically employ both in the work. This Nell does aptly.

 

As per usual, the Dark Netizen is writing up a storm and has published a bevvy of (very) stories including, The Shed In The Mirror, Watcher and Outlaw.

A mirror reflectingNothing abnormal. That is how mirrors work. Right?

Recently, I had come across a garage sale. An old man had put up the sale, it was not going well. No customers, and the lawn was filled with junk. I exited my car and decided to check it out. Among all the balderdash objects for sale I noticed a mirror priced at peanuts. It’s reflection showed the shed. A lady went inside it, followed by the old man, axe in hand.

“Please pay in the shed.”

I ran away before the old man could say or do anymore.”

The latest entry from The Story Hive, Jinx, really showcases her talent for eccentric, memorable dialogue.

“This isn’t how you treat your unofficial bodyguard/human rabbit foot.”

If her characters were less whimsical, I’d feel pretty bad for them, they’re always getting jinxed or cursed!

She also published, The Black Door. A mysterious tale. Perhaps we will learn what happened to Lake in the sequel.

“He was the drowning man breaking the surface of his memories.”

Curious Forgotten Lore came out with a bunch of micro-fictions, one that particularly caught my attention (and which could easily serve as the basis for a fascinating short story or novel in its own right) pertained to a photographer who was attempting to convince the weather to behave for her artwork.

On 2nd September 1882, to the shock of the Royal Camera Club, the 1st photo of lightning was taken by Miss Aurora Blitzen. Many had believed it impossible to photograph the phenomenon. As Aurora explained, “The problem is persuading the lightning to keep still for long enough.”

Lastly, though a poem and not a work of prose fiction, E. A. Gray’s beautifully imagistic Coalfire, I felt, deserved a mention.


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Fiction Circular 8/24/18

WEEKLY FICTION | compiled by KAITER ENLESS


FLASH FICTION

Over at The Dark Netizen, several pieces of flash fiction most notably, Lights In The Water. I’ll be perfectly frank that most flash fiction feels under developed; too airy for public consumption. Simply writing something should not predispose one to put it up for others to read. However, Netizen’s excellent piece baffles expectations with a emotional twist ending. Some much from so little! Also from the Dark Netizen, No Entry, another (very) short piece.

We’ll certainly be interested to see what he can do with longer works where he has more time to build upon characters and themes.

The Story Hive published, The Weight Curse, a short tale about a haunting, tea and, as the title suggests, a curse. Certainly seems like good groundwork for a more elaborate and detailed story.


SHORT STORIES

Longshot Press has a fascinating and sad story entitled Lawrencium by Liz Kellebrew. As I have stated before and will continue to state well into the future, the beginning of any story is the most important part, for if you fail to capture a reader’s attention at the first, they will read no further and then it will not matter how interesting or well-developed the rest of the story. This is a principal Ms. Kellebrew has taken to heart for her story begins, “There was a giant jellyfish in the St. Lawrence River-” I’m hooked already (Why is jellyfish? How is jellyfish? What does it mean?!).

Recommended and the Logos pick for Best Of The Week.

You can find more of Kellebrew’s work at her website: lizkellebrew.com

Speaking of jellyfish, Jellyfish Review has a peculiar story entitled Dump Truck by Robert Long. The plot follows a pig who is observed getting aroused by trash; I’ll not say it is a pleasant read but there is a clever metaphor here that I shant spoil for the prospective reader.

Terror House Mag has a fantastic story this week in The Crowman by Charlie Chitty. Something like a fusion of The Crow and The Mothman Prophecies. It would have been our pick for best of the week but it, far too often violates the dictum: Show don’t tell. That being said, it is still well worth reading. TerrorHouse senior editor Glahn’s darkly hilarious White Dwarf is also well worth a read (even if you aren’t big on fiction, take a gander at the cover image). If we gave out a Most Bizarre Of The Week award, White Dwarf would easily be top contender. You can find Glahn’s Twitter here.

X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine published a excerpt from Drift by Chris Campanioni, entitled Born Under Punches.

“As a rule, I strive for lucidity in loneliness-“

Drift stands out for its stylistic uniqueness, a Delilloesque stream of consciousness which conveys speed and emotional intensity. It is only a excerpt and for this reason can not be evaluated of its own accord given that it is meant to be read as a part of a much larger piece. We can however say that it certainly accomplished its promotional goal; we’re quite interested in reading the full text upon release.


NOVELLAS & NOVELS

I have started going through my old stack of paperbacks and discovered some treats which I had either never read or never finished. One of those I had finished but only read once was the tepidly received Hannibal Rising (2006, Delacorte) by Thomas Harris. Reading it through a second time I liked it much better. Even if it is fairly scattershot and a little too sparse in sections (especially as concerns Hannibal’s uncle), it is stylistically, my favorite Harris novel.

“Night heron revealed

By the rising harvest moon –

Which is lovelier?”

Hannibal Rising, p. 145.


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Fiction Circular 8/17/18

THIS WEEK’S FICTION


Flash Fiction

Noteworthy was the (very) short story Rescue from The Dark Netizen. A humorous excursion of misbegotten Don Juanism.


Short Stories

Give Was Her Resting? from Terror House Magazine a read, echoes of Reynolds Price.

“Well, ain’t that sweet? Old fool and his doggie.”

The voice came from behind him, and Bud jumped and turned. Standing right behind him was a a pale, cadaverous young man with a tuft of hair on his chin and large metal discs in his earlobes. He was wearing a filthy T-shirt and the rank odor of his body struck Bud like a fist. Behind the young man was an even younger black man, dressed all in black and wearing a knitted skullcap on his close-cropped hair. Both of them were sneering at Bud, and both of them had glittering, crazed eyes. The one closest to Bud lifted a pistol and pointed it right between the older man’s eyes.

“Where’s the pills?”


Serialized (Sometimes Ongoing) Stories

One of the more interesting pieces of writing I read this week was the fascinating and yet-unfinished fiction series, The Devil’s Peak (I & II) by R. C. Darabant of The Story Hive. It is one of those tales wherein, the less you know going into it, the more tantalizing it is and we are certainly interested to see how it ends.

In our own capacity, four parts of the fiction series, The Photographer’s Dilemma are now available here: Part 1Part 2Part 3 Part 4.


Novellas & Novels

I’ve currently been reading a number of novels, one of which entitled Dark Journey (Bantam Spectra, 1991) by the pseudonymous horror-writer, A.R. Morlan, stood out as being particularly compelling. Fans of Harlan Ellison’s work will likely appreciate the text, as Morlan explicitly makes mention of the fact that Ellison’s Gopher In The Gilly, played a vital role in inspiring certain sections of her own tale. From the backcover:

TOWN OF EVIL

Ewerton: a decaying small town, its glory days many years gone – if they ever existed… Few residents know that these times were built on corruption and lies, that the town was founded on evil. Palmer Winston glimpsed the eerie truth in a mysterious woman – and spent his last fifty years trying to recapture it. His oldest friend, Lamer Nemmitz, saw her too – it turned him sour and mean, as his humanity withered within him.

 

CARNIVAL OF HORRORS

The Water Carnival: a faded memory of imagined better times. This year will be the most memorable in Ewerton history. This year the South-State Enterprises Carnival, outlawed in Ewerton since 1923, returns. The crooked games, the mentalist, the freak show. And the true horror, disguised by a beautiful face and a Veronica Lake waterfall of caramel-blond hair, a thing born of corruption.

 

NIGHT OF JUDGMENT

The Ewerton High ten-year reunion: when she will return to her hometown and give birth to a terror from which there can be no escape…

Just as spooky as it sounds (only better written than the amusing, but rather in-your-face sensationalism of the promo text, which probably wasn’t written by Morlan herself).


Commentary, Critique & Analysis

A interesting entry from Alina Hansen this week in the character of Gertrude Stein’s “Autobiography” of Alice. The piece, though in no wise lengthy, was quite informative on one of the writer’s most popular works, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (it is not actually a true autobiography, hence Hansen’s deployment of air-quotes in her title) for someone like myself who is not well-versed with the works of Stein.


BEST OF THE WEEK

Our nomination for the best fiction-related piece of the week is not, itself, a work of fiction but rather a historical exegis of the life, times and works of the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges by OddMadLand entitled, Erase Their Eyes, Ensure Their Devotion. As someone who knew next to nothing about Borges, the piece was considerably edifying (and exceptionally written, as is everything at OddMadLand). It is a lengthy article but well worth the read.

(The existence of these new events bring more to the event than there was before. There is a devil behind them, it is the antichrist. Jorge Luis Borges wants us to understand that by turning away from time in favour of space a wrinkle is created that allows the devil to dance behind our back. This leads to a powerful realization, that the apocalypse is cumulative, gradual, always already happening, that the antichrist is a time traveler who, in altering the timeline, creates chaos at a distance, chaos for the future. If for God time is always complete, than the only way for the devil to sabotage Gods absolutely completed space is to create alternative versions of the original events. That way, blasphemies would occur: like sons being peers to their fathers or christ’s resurrection.)


WORST OF THE WEEK

Thankfully nothing to report at present.


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