THE DEVO RIOTS
by Gil James Bavel
© by gil james bavel
click pic to begin reading
AFTER HOURS IN THE AM/PM
by Sean Manseau
© by sean manseau
by John Claude Smith
© by john claude smith
The JUNE 2010 issue features a triptych of stories brought to you by three unique voices willing to share their vision here with you, for free. The Freezine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and its readers both remain grateful for their willing participation.
A hearty shout-out goes out first to our Lead-in author, Gil James Bavel, a native of facebook sprouting from the warped, digital topography of the midwestern United States. [Kansas is The Sunflower State, which is quaint; Sunflowers will most likely leave the strongest impression on my own memory, soon.] Gil leaps onto the Freezine stage with the uncanny grace of a cat who's been there, and done that. [It appears as if the nanofleet's subterfuge has been working at optimal capacity; Gil's just more proof in the pudding.]
I myself have been a Minister of Slack in the Church of the SubGenius going on 19 years; whereas Gil here has me beat by a full 4 years. The recent revelation about his Cardinalship in that innocuous organisation has made it clearer that the nanofleet swarming in my bloodstream (and possessing me to release the Freezine) are on a far more complex and dedicated mission than I had originally suspected. Within their suprageomagnetic web, they have ensnared more than just John the Revelator from the desert of the real; they are amassing a motley force of various creative individuals who's seemingly inadvertent gathering here promises much more than a merely oblique fate.
THE DEVO RIOTS is a powerful story and comment on the evolution of camaraderie, among other things, that I found quite engaging to read and think about. Its having coincided with the release of DEVO's first album in twenty years, is yet more evidence that the microbot swarm has a master plan that I am slowly being teased into beginning to understand, myself. Gil's story made me laugh, gave me chills, and touched my heart. For that, and for having the graciousness to allow my modest forum here to present his creative work, I will remain forever grateful. Thanks, Gil.
Next up, Sean Manseau returns with his second offering for the Freezine. If you missed out on his other story RABBIT'S RUN, you should definitely scroll down to his Author Bio in the side margin, and click on the thumbnail icon which leads directly to it. Sean and I were classmates in a creative writing workshop tutored by John Shirley a few years ago. I am really glad he's returned to the Freezine, because I enjoyed his stories the most, and it is a distinct honor for me to have him board our cybership of literary misfits.
AFTER HOURS IN THE AM/PM is more than just a clever method of implementing an old literary device, the voice transcript; it is an incisive commentary on our detached youth culture and the digital age, as well as seamlessly incorporating a wry homage to one of the most influential horror authors of the 20th century. What more could one ask for in a blogzine such as this?
A short note about the illustration. The original title of my watercolor on photographic paper was CITYSCAPE V: OBLIVION. It was left on the cutting room floor during the creation of Vincent Daemon's WAITING FOR THE END. It's one of my very favorite personal watercolors. I always thought of it as inherently Lovecraftian, in the cosmic sense. Originally intended to depict the "final stage" of our civilized landscape having been literally obliterated, it now finds its rightful place as the window in between the cracks of space, revealing a vista as strange and terrifying as the implications suggested in Sean's excellent story.
Thanks for daring to return to this lonesome vessel in cyberspace, Manseau. We are all the richer for it.
Last but not least, the Freezine is quite pleased to offer its viewership the thoughtful work of John Claude Smith. A fellow dreamer and pirate of the cyberways, I met John on facebook and therefore can honestly state without fear of reproach that this social utility network has proven itself absolutely invaluable to me. Thank the nanobots and whatever force guides their weaving that I somehow hooked up with this genuine artist that must have the soul of a painter.
His short story NOT BREATHING achieved it's implication by taking my own breath away. On my first reading I knew this was a story for the Freezine, despite its surface appearance of not necessarily fitting the genre. Yet I disagree with that suggestion, as NOT BREATHING weaves a bewitching narrative which eventually snakes its way through various modes of expression, until its subtle layered meanings swallowed up within deeper meanings reveals a stark work of powerful force.
I consider it one of the best zombie stories I've read in years, and hesitate to categorize it as such, because it is far more than being limited to a mere genre story, like that. This is a fragile and complex word creation whose seperate struts and levels of architecture achieve a strong resonance with each other.
I knew there was no way I could allow this gem to be published without the proper artwork, so my wife and I happily assigned ourselves a few projects. I printed up a photograph I took of a PC screen-shot of a still-frame from a digital movie taken on my cellphone. I handed the printed page of the broken down window blinds to my wife, and asked her if she'd want to draw something on it. She seized the opportunity and what you see above the story are the results.
We are quite pleased with the outcome of this particular story and artwork. In classic Freezine style, we somehow produced a piece of art that once again, stands on its own while also complementing the story for which it was designed. A million thanks go out to my bride Shasta, and much gratefulness toward John Claude Smith. Thanks for taking a chance with this cyberpublication, not to mention for having the wherewithall to break the paradigm of traditional publishing and merely giving your beautiful art to a deserving audience.
The Freezine Returns In A Handful Of Weeks. Stay tuned. Catch up. Good night. Reach out.
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