Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Hallowe'en Piñata Issue ☠



Welcome to our 21st issue:  the FREEZINE has come of age, after a fashion. So we decided to throw a party, on Halloween, to celebrate the fact.  We were initially just going to serialize Edgar Poe's only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838). 

Then word got out there may be a Halloween issue in the works—and veteran freezine author John Shirley sent me a short story tailored for the season—and the word grew from there. After I told my friend Adam Bolivar that we were looking to fill this issue, on its final two days, with last-minute surprise tricks and treats made out of words, he immediately contacted the rest of his Crimson Circle—the excellent cadre of weird poets D. L. Myers, Ashley Dioses, KA Opperman, and all four of them promptly sent me their submissions to line the papier-mâché stomach of this year's only edition of our webzine. No sooner than I'd begun receiving these dark and provocative poems, than word got out to Marge Simon and Bruce Boston—each of whom have earned their respective credentials in the writing and poetry community—and they, too, submitted material for our consideration. Marge sent along some of her wonderful watercolors, to boot. All of the pieces fell into place. Ten authors. Forty-six entries. One serialized novel. Twenty-seven chapters. Seventeen poems. One short story. Nine living writers. A Halloween to be memorialized for eternity.   






Without further ado, allow me to introduce our authors and their respective tales for this, one of the heftier editions of the Freezine of Fantasy and Science Fiction: Poe. Shirley. Boston. Simon. Bolivar. Opperman. Dioses. Myers. Longshaw. Lawton.  As long-time subscribers and readers know, this digital fanzine hosted on Blogger was incepted into our daily datastream back in the summer of 2009. That is when a host of microscopic nanocomputers—sent back in time to that innocuous year from our own emissaries of the distant future—managed to possess my central nervous system and override my synapses in order to get me to put out this blog.  We've been led to believe this fleet of "nano-computers" were embedded within neutrinos, which must've traveled through a black hole (or possibly an entire series of them, threaded through quasars) and somehow managed to be directed back in time to the aforementioned date and place (eight years ago now), which happened to be here in the Salt Lake Wasatch valley, where I was living and working as a patient transporter in the radiology department of a local hospital. I still don't know if my being around radiology equipment had anything to do with narrowing down their target to me personally—but whatever the methodology implemented, I and a small assortment of devoted readers of the fantastic and macabre today remain forever grateful their calculated experiment gained fruition and has thus far corralled over sixty stories and approaching thirty writers, as well as a handful of artists, to submit their word-visions and eye-candy for the perusal of anyone surfing the worldwide web searching for something better. 






The nanohorde (as I've referred to them constantly over the years, also known as the BloodHost) appear to be most interested in our eschewing commercial advertising and also seem pretty keen on the idea of the zine being free.  I myself have had plenty of time and ample evidence to begin putting together all the clues as to why the human race in the far-flung future would take such care, not to mention the cost, to achieve this specific goal: the creation of an early 21st century online science fiction, fantasy, and horror fanzine whose lifeblood remains love and not money.  It doesn't take a genius to see where we're headed as a society these days—hellbent and out of control, skidding on the rails of a crazy train—as the mass collective lure of money and profiteering collude with our best and worst intentions until...well...you know.  Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to stop and smell the roses. In the case of this freezine—to stop and read a short story or two—to read some imaginative tales or poetry that might snap us, if only momentarily, out of our mass-transit trance as we glide like automatons towards our final dance.  Excuse me, I digress. 



The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
by Edgar Poe

The above image hyperlinks to the preface of Poe's legendary 1838 novel, considered by Jorge Luis Borges to be his best. (A million thanks to Andrea Beré for the tasty cover image shown here—it's from the Spanish website Fabulantes). There's something very telling in that Borges would think so highly of the novelas Poe himself felt the book to be just "silly," after it was published. Perhaps that has something to do with his sense of general embarrassment for attempting to pull a "fast one" on the reading public of his day.  The novel was constructed in a calculated manner so as to fool the general layperson into thinking the events written about actually happened.  Maybe Borges himself was so smitten with the novelty of that idea, that he went a tad overboard in describing his enthusiasm for the novel—perhaps we'll never know.  All I know is that while I was reading it, I was struck at just how suspenseful and outright horrific the turn of events have proven to be. This is a harrowing tale, violent and bloody and at turns so murderous and brutal as to have given me pause, and wonderIf someone were to make this into a bonafide R-rated movie todayI can only suggest it would not be for the squeamish nor for the impressionable among us. Pym's account of what transpires upon his ocean voyage to the antarctic remains one of the most harrowing stories I've yet stumbled across, as a reader.  I hope you've enjoyed the safety of your own couch or wherever it happens to be you may have read these installments, because accompanying Pym on his travels to the bottom of our planet is certainly not something any of us would wish upon ourselves, nor practically to our own worst enemies.  I am grateful to the University of Virginia site and to Claudia Kay Silverman for designing and creating their manuscript of the novel for the public to access; it's a wonderful resource our freezine and readership have benefited from greatly.  I have since taken the time (and am still in the process of editing) to further correct any typographical errors I may yet find at the U of VA site's typescript—in some spots, I've already restored missing sentences—with the aid of a used Penguin paperback edition (1975).  All images I used are in the public domain, including the chapter plates culled from various original editions of the novel.  This novel went on to become hugely influential, spurring on H. P. Lovecraft to pen his fabulous At The Mountains of Madness, just to name one of the more prominent cases.

As followers and subscribers of this blog know, all entries, be they chapters, poems, or stand alone stories hyperlink together for ease of reading, especially for those who may happen to stumble upon our webzine after the fact, thumbing through the hyperlinks on their greasy touchscreens.  The blog archive in the right margin opens all twenty-one issues' branches, revealing a forest of tales embedded in the landscape of cyberspace. In the beginning, there was some controversy over whether a Fantasy and Science Fiction website should stoop so low as to disseminate itself from a mere blog—there seemed to be a predilection toward the FREEZINE being able to brag about its own proper "dot-com" site, according to a small consensus of critics. Although that may become a possibility, eventually, as this bloggersite evolves over the course of the following months and years (Google-powered), it seems to me that remaining a mere blog turns out to be rather incidental at best, and I guess vaguely bothersome to a certain mindset, at most.  In the end, it's someplace in the world we know about, and how to locate. Such it is with all magical kingdoms. After all is said and done, the stories remain for our reading pleasure, for as long as we have internet access, although yes—we took a hit when Photobucket decided to pull their third party hosting rights (and charge an exorbitant fare to relinquish them back) which resulted in the removal of hundreds of wonderful artistic imagesI've been dutifully restoring them, one at a time. There ain't no way I'm about to pay that fee. So bear with me as I continue to do so, using alternate means, copying pegs bounced off harddrives, and before long, all the colorful artistry which necessarily complements the stories here will be resurrected and shine forth their strange light upon the writings themselves, adding dimension. Since this particular fanzine exists on the world wide web, I've found that its marriage of images and words to be of the essence.  It's just not the same reading online without the visual accompaniment—maybe that's just me, after all—to while away the online hours with a modicum of comfort and pleasure for the eye.  In a sense, this issue represents a rebirth of the Freezine. Stay tuned during the coming months for another issue to pop up unexpectedly, or something. Probably not until March, 2018—but at least we made it through 2017 without falling off the rails completely. I have hopes though fewer expectations for what the following year will bring us.  Thanks to all artists and writers who contributed to this fantastic issue, and to all a good night. It's time to catch up on Stranger Things.  






CLICK EACH IMAGE BELOW
TO SAMPLE THE TREATS
SPILLED FROM THE SLIT GUTS
OF THE HALLOWE'EN PINATA ISSUE



Jhon Longshaw
Sacraments of Stellar Gnosis



D. L. Myers
The Demon Corn


D. L. Myers
The Acolytes of Samhain


D. L. Myers
The Death of Twilight





Ashley Dioses
Sweet Renegade




KA Opperman
Masque Macabre



KA Opperman
The Samhanach is Coming


KA Opperman
The Jack-o'-Lantern's Trail



KA Opperman
Halloween Awaits





Adam Bolivar
A Jack & Three Ladies





Shaun Lawton
Ode to Yuggoth







Marge Simon
All Hallow's Eve



Marge Simon
The Samhain Gift



Marge Simon
The Last Night in October





Bruce Boston
Halloween Hunchback



Bruce Boston
The Nightmare Collector



Bruce Boston & Marge Simon
Carnival of Ghosts





John Shirley
AND WHEN YOU CALLED US 
WE CAME TO YOU









Archive of Stories
and Authors

Sanford Meschkow's
INEVITABLE

Sanford Meschkow is a retired former
NYer who married a Philly suburban
Main Line girl. Sanford has been pub-
lished in a 1970s issue of AMAZING.
We welcome him here on the FREE-
ZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's
THE RECIDIVIST



Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's
THE MEMORY SECTOR

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking currently
resides in the high desert of Phoenix,
Arizona where he enjoys campy horror
movies within the comfort of an Insane
Asylum. Search for his science fiction
stories at The Intestinal Fortitude in
the Flesheater's World section.
The Memory Sector is his first
appearance in the Freezine of
Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Owen R. Powell's
NOETIC VACATIONS

Little is known of the mysterious
Owen R. Powell (oftentimes referred
to as Orp online). That is because he
usually keeps moving. The story
Noetic Vacations marks his first
appearance in the Freezine.

Edward Morris's
MERCY STREET

Edward Morris is a 2011 nominee for
the Pushcart Prize in literature, has
also been nominated for the 2009
Rhysling Award and the 2005 British
Science Fiction Association Award.
His short stories have been published
over a hundred and twenty times in
four languages, most recently at
PerhihelionSF, the Red Penny Papers'
SUPERPOW! anthology, and The
Magazine of Bizarro Fiction. He lives
and works in Portland as a writer,
editor, spoken word MC and bouncer,
and is also a regular guest author at
the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival.

Gene Stewart
(writing as Art Wester)
GROUND PORK


Gene Stewart's
CRYPTID'S LAIR

Gene Stewart is a writer and artist.
He currently lives in the Midwest
American Wilderness where he is
researching tales of mystical realism,
writing ficta mystica, and exploring
the dark by casting a little light into
the shadows. Follow this link to his
website where there are many samples
of his writing and much else; come
explore.

Adam Bolivar's
SERVITORS OF THE
OUTER DARKNESS


Adam Bolivar's
THE DEVIL & SIR
FRANCIS DRAKE



Adam Bolivar's
THE TIME-EATER


Adam Bolivar is an expatriate Bostonian
who has lived in New Orleans and Berkeley,
and currently resides in Portland, Oregon
with his beloved wife and fluffy gray cat
Dahlia. Adam wears round, antique glasses
and has a fondness for hats. His greatest
inspirations include H.P. Lovecraft,
Jack tales and coffee.


David Agranoff's
A PLANET OF YOUR OWN


David Agranoff's
THE FALLEN GUARDIAN'S
MANDATE


David Agranoff is the author of the
short story collection Screams From
A Dying World, just published by
Afterbirth Books. David is a hardcore
vegan and tireless environmentalist.
His contributions to the punk horror
scene and the planet in general have
already established him as a bright
new writer and activist to watch out
for. The Freezine of Fantasy and
Science Fiction welcomes him and
his defiant vision open-heartedly.

David is a busy man, usually at work
on several different novels or projects
at once. He is sure to leave his mark on
a world teetering over the edge of
ecological imbalance. David's latest
books include the Wuxia -Pan
(martial arts fantasy) horror
novel called Hunting The Moon Tribe,
already out from Afterbirth Books.;
The Vegan Revolution...with Zombies,
[Deadite Press, 2010]; and
[Deadite Press, 2014]

Daniel José Older's
GRAVEYARD WALTZ


Daniel José Older's
THE COLLECTOR


Daniel José Older's spiritually driven,
urban storytelling takes root at the
crossroads of myth and history.
With sardonic, uplifting and often
hilarious prose, Older draws from
his work as an overnight 911 paramedic,
a teaching artist & an antiracist/antisexist
organizer to weave fast-moving, emotionally
engaging plots that speak whispers and
shouts about power and privilege in
modern day New York City. His work
has appeared in the Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction, The ShadowCast
Audio Anthology, The Tide Pool, and
the collection Sunshine/Noir, and is
featured in Sheree Renee Thomas'
Black Pot Mojo Reading Series in Harlem.
When he's not writing, teaching or
riding around in an ambulance,
Daniel can be found performing with
his Brooklyn-based soul quartet
Ghost Star. His blog about the
ridiculous and disturbing world
of EMS can be found here.


Johnny Strike's
AS YOU WISH



Johnny Strike's
NIGHT FLAMERS



Johnny Strike's
THE HOMELESS MUTANTS



Johnny Strike will beat you with his guitar
and leave you lying in the gutter wishing you
had never dared enter his under ground world
of fake passports, lucky amulets, rain soaked
hotels, and occult mystique. If you don't leave
nice comments under his story, he's sure to sic
his band CRIME on you. He also wrote the novel
Ports Of Hell (Headpress), recommended by
William S. Burroughs. You don't receive kudos
from William Lee himself unless you are the
epitome of cool. Besides, have you listened to
CRIME's album Exalted Masters? It was
released in 2007 on the Crime Music label,
on vinyl only, featuring a slew of their old
rare hits. Its real punk music from seasoned
veterans. Now go track yourself down a copy
before its out of print. The Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction is proud to host the story
that contains the line which titles his first
From Above (Rudos and Rubes).


Paul Stuart's
SEA?TV!


Paul Stuart is the author of numerous
biographical blurbs written in the third
person. His previously published fiction
appears in The Vault of Punk Horror and
His non-fiction financial pieces can be found
in a shiny, west-coast magazine that features
pictures of expensive homes, as well as images
of women in casual poses and their accessories.
Consider writing him at paul@twilightlane.com,
if you'd like some thing from his garage. In fall
2010, look for Grade 12 Trigonometry and
Pre-Calculus -With Zombies.


Rain Grave's
MAU BAST


Rain Graves is an award winning
author of horror, science fiction and
poetry. She is best known for the 2002
Poetry Collection, The Gossamer Eye
(along with Mark McLaughlin and
David Niall Wilson). Her most
recent book, Barfodder: Poetry
Written in Dark Bars and Questionable
Cafes, has been hailed by Publisher's
Weekly as "Bukowski meets Lovecraft..."
in January of 2009. She lives and
writes in San Francisco, performing
spoken word at events around the
country. 877-DRK-POEM -



Icy Sedgwick's
THE PORCELAIN WOMAN


Icy Sedgwick is part writer and part
trainee supervillain. She lives in the UK
but dreams of the Old West. Her current
works include a ghost story about a Cavalier
and a Western tale of retribution. Find her
ebooks, free weekly fiction and other
shenanigans at Icy’s Cabinet of Curiosities.


Blag Dahlia's
armed to the teeth
with LIPSTICK



BLAG DAHLIA is a Rock Legend.
Singer, Songwriter, producer &
founder of the notorious DWARVES.
He has written two novels, ‘NINA’ and
‘ARMED to the TEETH with LIPSTICK’.


G. Alden Davis's
THE FOLD


G. Alden Davis wrote his first short story
in high school, and received a creative
writing scholarship for the effort. Soon
afterward he discovered that words were
not enough, and left for art school. He was
awarded the Emeritus Fellowship along
with his BFA from Memphis College of Art
in '94, and entered the videogame industry
as a team leader and 3D artist. He has over
25 published games to his credit. Mr. Davis
is a Burningman participant of 14 years,
and he swings a mean sword in the SCA.


Shae Sveniker's
A NEW METAPHYSICAL STUDY
REGARDING THE BEHAVIOR
OF PLANT LIFE


Shae is a poet/artist/student and former
resident of the Salt Pit, UT, currently living
in Simi Valley, CA. His short stories are on
Blogger and his poetry is hosted on Livejournal.



Nigel Strange's
PLASTIC CHILDREN


Nigel Strange lives with his wife and
daughter, cats, and tiny dog-like thing
in their home in California where he
occasionally experiments recreationally
with lucidity. PLASTIC CHILDREN
is his first publication.


J.R. Torina's
THE HOUSE IN THE PORT


J.R. Torina was DJ for Sonic Slaughter-
house ('90-'97), runs Sutekh Productions
(an industrial-ambient music label) and
Slaughterhouse Records (metal record
label), and was proprietor of The Abyss
(a metal-gothic-industrial c.d. shop in
SLC, now closed). He is the dark force
behind Scapegoat (an ambient-tribal-
noise-experimental unit). THE HOUSE
IN THE PORT is his first publication.


K.B. Updike, Jr's
THE GOLDEN THIRD EYE


K.B. Updike, Jr. is a young virgin
Virginia writer. KB's life work,
published 100% for free:
(We are not certain if K.B. Updike, Jr.
has lost his Virginian virginity yet.)