November 2008

book review24 Nov 2008 09:13 am


Gary Braunbeck, Coffin County(New York: Leisure Books, 2008). $7.99
Review by Jason Ridler

In 2004, award-winning writer Gary Braunbeck penned an essay known as “Storytelling Unbound” in his essay collection Fear in a Handful of Dust: Horror as a Way of Life. The essay was a trenchant argument for writers to read widely and deeply across genres. Braunbeck, most closely associated with the horror and dark fantasy, began to notice a genre myopia amongst both readers and writers of horror fiction, a desire for trope over substance in the outlaw form of fantasy fiction. Braunbeck disagreed with this development. The more he read across genres, the more he saw them as not enemies or competitors but schools of learning where many of the fundamental lessons were the same, even if some of the tools were different.
To get back to this ethos of possibility over limitation in any form of fantasy, Braunbeck suggested writers try “storytelling unbound.” What, exactly, is this approach to fiction?

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fiction17 Nov 2008 09:00 am

The last installment…

They stopped to eat and sleep, when the crescent of the sun came to barely skim the horizon. The Northern sun never truly rose or set, knew Iliss, but in her wildness of heart, she had not kept proper track of the seasons, and was not sure if it was true Summer or Winter. It mattered little to her single-minded purpose.

“Who follows us?” Waevan said, as he fed the dog pack. “I don’t understand.”

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Uncategorized10 Nov 2008 09:10 am

It’s been two months since I started this magazine.  In that time, we’ve posted four excellent pieces of short fiction and pointed you towards some interesting artists.  We’ve also tried to encourage some interesting works of new art, and I hope that will continue.  I’ve been busy trying to publicize the quilt challenge, and I hope I get a lot of takers on that.

Since I’ve started, I’ve been working on defining my vision for this page better.  You may notice that the wording in the sidebar has changed. (There is also a new dedication page that describes my goals in this project more.)  My goal is that same space as one of the better art shows at a science fiction convention — ideas, artwork, discussion and arguments sparking all around.  And of course, the artwork is grounded in the stories and books that created this literary genre. Often, it seems that fantastic artwork consists of illustrations, or even cover art created only to sell a book.  But there’s a lot more than that… you can find visions of other worlds in there, stories told without words.  Fiber artists, sculpters, and costume artists bring textured fantasy into the world around us for us to interact with.

In the two months since this has begun, there have been 17 entries.  We’re getting new registered users regularly.  In September, we averaged 250 page views a day and now we’re up to 450.  We’ve been linked to from Locus Magazine among others.  We have a Facebook page — we’d love to have more people link to it.  I’m particularly pleased that we’ve maintained a regular schedule.

We’ll be adding ads and merchandise soon — hopefully, for cool things that you will be happy to discover so it adds more than just some income to pay the writers (did I just say ‘just?’)  We have more publicity to go — now that we’ve got enough content to show what we’ve got we’re going to kick off a marketing campaign.  I’ll be pleased if you let me know when/where you see our name.  And, of course, we’re working on more art and stories.  Let me know of anything you’d like to see here.

fiction03 Nov 2008 09:00 am

continued from part II…

Iliss awoke to cold. It cut her like a bared nerve, the sense of weakling dawn, freezing cold in her nostrils, and a haunting monochrome whiteness that seeped in slowly from the outside. She lay in the pile of furs, unrestrained, and still nude, lay against another cold body, which she recognized as the man Waevan.

White skin, large rough features, carved like fjords of ice. And yet, he was like a young boy, a child asleep before her. And he had not touched her. She remembered vaguely how he had come in the night, silent, and bedded next to her in the furs as though she herself was but a dead animal skin.

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