In This Issue
This is a weird month for me. A good month, but weird. Let me explain.
I don’t have a lot of rules for the zine, per se, but I’ve always said that we prefer stories with plot — so naturally, our first story this month doesn’t have a real plot, per se. D.T. Friedman’s “There Are No Great Truths Here” is a flash about a carnival hawker, and it stood out to me for the image, the impression, that it leaves. I don’t know who or what this person (?) is, but reading the story made me simultaneously sympathetic toward the character and a little edgy about what I’d do if my children approached him.
Also this month, R.W. Ware, our artist-in-residence, isn’t in residence: We don’t have new art to give you, and we’ve gone completely to using public-domain and Creative Commons-licensed images. Hopefully this is a temporary situation. More interesting, though, is the fact that he has a story in this issue: “Purpose”. So he’s not contributing art, but the story happens to fall on this month? (We accepted it a few months back, before I knew he wouldn’t be able to contribute an image.) Weird, to say the least. This story hit me very hard, for several reasons; in a nutshell, it’s about desperation but not despair. About purpose, even. Go figure.
Anyone can submit stories to the zine — we manage our submissions process to ensure anonymity and to avoid giving them an unfair advantage — and that includes relatives. Most of these haven’t gotten as far as the winnowing round, and none have made it to the pages of the zine itself. And I confess it’s almost fun, in a mean sort of way, to tell your brothers that their stories aren’t good enough for your professional publication. Unfortunately, those same brothers can also know instinctively what will tickle your funny bone, and the darkly humorous piece called “A Taste For Life” that my younger brother Patrick wrote did that for me. So now I’m in the annoying circumstance of giving him a forum for a story and owing him fifty dollars. I take grim satisfaction in knowing that I’ll get it out of him some other way.
Our Classic Flash this month is “Death and Odysseus” by Lord Dunsany. This author wrote quite a few short-short stories in his day, many of which have mythological or classical elements in them. This one has both, and I think it’s one of his absolute best.
That’s the line-up for this issue. If you’d like to see what’s going on next issue, check out our fiction editorial calendar on the blog, which details our stories through November. We have great stories by a nice blend of well-known and more obscure authors coming up. Ray Vukcevich will be with us next month, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch the month after that, to name a few. Whether you know the names or not, though, I hope you enjoy the stories.
Special thanks to Gina Langridge, John E. Luther, Douglas Fortier, Cindy Beck, and Andrew Steiner for contributing to the ‘zine. Remember that 60% of your donation goes to the author whose story you’re tipping, and 40% goes to help keep us running. We still lose over $150 per month — I tell my friends that we’re in the “investment phase” — so anything you can do to help out is really appreciated.
Our next issue goes live on September 1. See you then!
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About the Author
Jake Freivald lives in New Jersey in a house that teems with life: a wife, eight kids, two dogs, two cats, and ten fish. They’re all being neglected right now, so he’s going to stop writing this.
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