DEVIL'S WEEK

Here we have an extra-special treat, Freezine aficionados. Because just this last Halloween, the Freezine of Fantasy and Science Fiction proudly presented a brand new, never-before-published short story from veteran author John Shirley. So if you're ready to be taken to an extremely dark place right now, then be sure to read on for our final tale for this autumnal season, THE SOFTEST PILLOW, by John Shirley.


Cemetery Art above by Shaun Lawton


Monday, November 3, 2014

DEVIL'S WEEK

~ PROUDLY PRESENTS ~


5 Tales


HYPNOS
by H.P. Lovecraft

© in the public domain;  art © by shaun lawton
+ Click Images Below To Begin Reading +






SAM'S HALLOWEEN NIGHTMARE
by Gil James Bavel
© 2014 by gil james bavel; photo © by gil bavel 





THE PERFECT PUMPKIN
by John Claude Smith
© 2014 by john claude smith; art © by shasta lawton 






SEE YOU NEXT YEAR, MY LOVE
by Vincent Daemon
© 2014 by vincent daemon; art © shaun lawton





THE SOFTEST PILLOW
by John Shirley
© 2014 by john shirley; art © shasta lawton





Welcome to another issue of the FREEZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction. This one's been dubbed DEVIL'S WEEK on account of it having run during the final week of October, 2014:  the Freezine presented one story per each day of the week, beginning with the classic H.P. Lovecraft tale HYPNOS.  The art you see depicted above the story was done by me  using magic markers on glossy photo print paper.  It was a method I developed a few years ago when staying up late providing impromptu illustrations for past Freezine stories.  I found that the glossy photo paper really soaks up the colorful magic marker inks to provide a deep and vibrant hue that translates considerably well when lit up by a computer monitor online. This particular illustration was not intended to go with this story when I drew it, but later I found it parallels certain ideas inherent to the mysterious realm of sleep and dreams, so I went ahead and used it for lack of having anything more specific. With its deep obsession over the mysterious terror that awaits in our dreams, the story HYPNOS predates the movie A Nightmare On Elm Street by just over sixty years, and serves perfectly as a segue into our next story.  

Gil James Bavel's SAM'S HALLOWEEN NIGHTMARE went live on Tuesday to follow up the Lovecraft dream story, keeping an even keel on our theme of the exploration of the unconscious mind.  The artwork you see accompanying this story was provided by the author himself, but it was my idea to couple it with the paranoid tale. SAM'S HALLOWEEN NIGHTMARE is now the seventh offering from Gil archived on the Freezine, and I who worked on proofreading and editing all the manuscripts remain quite thankful for this generous contribution to our cycle of stories honoring the hallowed autumnal season.  

Third up comes a perfectly delightful tale for the Samhain Season from another Freezine veteran, John Claude Smith.  His short story THE PERFECT PUMPKIN fits right in as the sort of urban contemporary horror tale you'd expect to hear whispered over the crackling flames of a campfire.  If you missed out on reading any of these stories when they went up, fear not because they are all archived here on the official site for posterity and your reading pleasure.  Just follow any one of the various hyperlinks from the story's title or the image above depicting the titular pumpkin, illustrated by my wife Shasta on the day it went up. If you liked this story, be sure to check out John Claude Smith's new collection of horror tales Autumn In The Abyss, published by Omnium Gatherum earlier this year.  Thanks to my wife for drawing the perfect pumpkin and a great big Halloween Thank You to John for generously providing the ideal story for our 2014 Halloween issue.  

Our fourth short story ran on Devil's Night, October 30 and comes courtesy of another one of the Freezine's veteran authors, Vincent Daemon.   SEE YOU NEXT YEAR, MY LOVE reads like an irreproachable postcard from the spirit of Halloween itself, depicting the bittersweet horror of a man's interrupted long term relationship and the ghostly revenge set in motion from beyond the grave.  It's a fitting love-letter to the mayhem of the season and impeccably caps off the stories preceding Halloween.  Thanks to Vincent for allowing the Freezine to publish this story, I was very happy to receive it and run it during the witching hour on Devil's Night.  

Last and most surprising of all comes our fifth and final entry, a new horrific short story from the master of the macabre, John Shirley.  It is a perfectly penned and grueling tale whose underlying message may just be grasped even while a ton of fresh graveyard dirt threatens to bury it underneath.  The Freezine is proud to present the worldwide debut of THE SOFTEST PILLOW, a story which was too disturbing for another magazine to publish! Here at the Freezine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, our staff have always preferred to allow each individual author's style to come across as whole and original as humanly possible, preserving the writer's intentions so their voice may be heard loud and clear.  John's anti-suicide message in this particular story is unmistakable, and I remain extremely grateful for his generosity in contributing it to culminate our run of five stories for DEVIL'S WEEK.  

The artwork used for THE SOFTEST PILLOW comes courtesy of my wife Shasta.  It's actually a small detail in a larger original drawing she did for Vincent Daemon's splatterpunk serial WAITING FOR THE END, originally run by the Freezine in March of 2010.   

John Shirley has a new novel out right now you should definitely pick up and read, the historical western WYATT IN WICHITA, released by Skyhorse Publishing just this past August.  It's an excellent read whether or not you enjoy westerns.  Wyatt Earp enthusiasts in particular will get a real kick out of the 20 years worth of research that went into the telling of this tale, but anyone who likes a riveting read will surely enjoy it.  Be sure to check it out from your local library if you don't buy the eBook or print edition; I personally consider it to rank among John's best novels.  

And that's another wrap for the FREEZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction.  Begun five years ago during the summer of 2009 and kicking off with John Shirley's never-before-published novella SKY PIRATES (originally serialized in sixteen daily installments),  this webzine remains an archival creative writing platform for anyone interested in reading or writing short stories on the fringes of fantasy, horror, or science fiction.  Rest assured this blog is absolutely devoid of having anything to do with paid advertising or finances of any sort.  It is a small communal endeavor run by one man (myself, editor in chief Shaun Lawton) bent on providing a brief if static respite from the travails of the regular publishing industry.  Its mission is to continue accepting manuscripts from both established and upcoming writers who either want to showcase their story with appealing artwork to be easily shared by way of the various online modalities (such as email, twitter, facebook, Google plus, etc.) or just to have their stories archived amid the company of a growing motley crew of talented writers for the world wide web to inherit and continue showcasing for posterity.   






 Be sure to invite your friends to follow the FREEZINE today.  Share the stories, and tell as many readers as you can about this superlative webzine of absolutely free fringe fiction. To follow or subscribe, either use the RSS-feed, follow by email (upper right corner) or simply scroll down, down, down past all the bios and authorsuntil you see the Blogger Followers just below Icy Sedgwick, and the Networked Blogs app for Facebook below that. We have received over 100,000 hits and are about to reach 165 Blogger and Facebook Followers—and that doesn't include all the "hidden" Followers who choose to do so privately or on their covert RSS-feeds. Only the Bloodhost know how many followers we actually have across the galaxy.  So be sure to take the time to join up because the Freezine intends to remain archived on the internet for a long time to come.   








If you're a writer who wants to showcase a story of the realm fantastic and further promote yourself and your work, why not submit it to

freezinefantasysciencefiction@gmail.com 

for consideration in a future issue? I will get back to you as soon as I can. The process of getting your story up and onto the FREEZINE may be relatively informal, but expect nothing but professionalism in your story's editing and presentation.  

Thanks for your support and participation, thank you for putting up with the occasional unpredictable monthly lapses, and rest assured that the FREEZINE will continue so long as I am able to log on here and figure out the upgraded hyper text mark up interface. The Bloodhost must expect nothing less from me in order to fulfill their secret meta-prophecy. 




Stay Tuned For 
 a Future Issue of
 
the FREEZINE of
Fantasy and Science
FICTION 

Archive of Stories
and Authors

Edward Morris's
MERCY STREET


Gene Stewart's
CRYPTID'S LAIR


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
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: