Monday, June 4, 2012
Short Fiction Month: LOVECRAFT EZINE #14 edited by Mike Davis
The Lovecraft eZine is a monthly online magazine devoted to publishing Lovecraftian horror. Publisher and editor Mike Davis says the goal of the magazine is and always will be to publish free, quality Lovecraftian fiction every bit as good as in print anthologies. As a newcomer to Lovecraft and his work, I have found Davis and his magazine an invaluable source and inspiration. So when I decided to feature a "Short Fiction Month" on the blog, it was a no brainer for me to include Issue #14, a special issue with stories written by women and featuring female protagonists.
As Silvia Moreno-Garcia states in the introduction, women have not had a huge place in Lovecraftian fiction, although this is changing. She points out that writers and artists like Caitlin R. Kiernan, Ann K. Schwader and Galen Dara are exploring and reshaping Lovecraftian fiction, expanding its fan base and ensuring that it will be relevant far into the 21st century.
Issue #14 opens with "A Beer and Tentacles" by Holliann Kim, a pretty straight forward urban fantasy where an ex lover's revenge is slowly driving a man to question his sanity and the woman scorned is quite more than what she seems; it is the most light hearted of the pieces here but I did feel bad for the poor chap, knowing what kind of end he was coming to...
"Now She Preys Through Endless Days" by Jenna M Pitman is my favorite story of the issue; the author picks through all the usual Lovecraft tropes and comes up with a tale that utilizes the best of them. Pitman gives us an ageless cosmic entity that is biding her time amongst puny humans, being worshipped by them, and gathering her strength for the day when she shall escape her prison and strike back at those that set her adrift...
"Fiesta of Our Lady" by Ann K Schwader is a gorgeous poem that conjured such vivid images for me; it is also another favorite of mine. After reading and rereading it, I kept wishing it was a much longer piece so I could lose myself more deeply in this story of an ancient "serpent-skirted" Lady from before the time of Man. Ms Schwader's poem packs a big punch with just a small amount of words and I found myself online right away, looking to get more of her stories so I might continue to be transported...
"God Serum" by Wendy N Wagner takes the Lovecraft Mythos into a post-apocalyptic future and Ms Wagner's world building is impressive; so much so that I hope she explores it further and gives us more of the history of this world and of "The Unraveling".
"Drive, She Said" by Tracie McBride brings the special issue of the Lovecraft eZine full circle with another story that takes the Mythos to the streets; an unsuspecting taxi cab driver picks up a very strange fare and what happens after will wind up haunting him for the rest of his days. A very satisfactory close to a wonderful collection of stories!
I want to congratulate Mike Davis on what he's done with Issue #14; he's assembled varied and entertaining stories by some great writers here and shown that women do have a place in Lovecraftian fiction that they more than deserve. Mission accomplished, sir!
*And if you're looking for an introduction to Lovecraft and his Mythos, I would encourage you to seek out and support the magazine! Yes, it is free to read online but it does cost money to produce it. You can learn more about supporting the magazine here and even how to get past issues for your Kindle, Nook or iPad here. Each month, reading the eZine is something that I and many others look forward to, so let's keep it going!