banner art above by Charles Carter

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Hallowe'en Piñata Issue ☠

art by Marc Rude

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 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.  


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

Click Below to read issue #22
Dream & Reality
of the FREEZINE of
Fantasy and Science


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Archive of Stories
and Authors

Sean Padlo's

Sean Padlo's

Sean Padlo's exact whereabouts
are never able to be fully
pinned down, but what we
do know about him is laced
with the echoes of legend.
He's already been known
to haunt certain areas of
the landscape, a trick said
to only be possible by being
able to manipulate it from
the future. His presence
among the rest of us here
at the freezine sends shivers
of fear deep in our solar plexus.

Konstantine Paradias & Edward

Konstantine Paradias's

Konstantine Paradias is a writer by
choice. At the moment, he's published
over 100 stories in English, Japanese,
Romanian, German, Dutch and
Portuguese and has worked in a free-
lancing capacity for videogames, screen-
plays and anthologies. People tell him
he's got a writing problem but he can,
like, quit whenever he wants, man.
His work has been nominated
for a Pushcart Prize.

Edward Morris's

Edward Morris's

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.

Tim Fezz's

Tim Fezz's

Tim Fezz hails out of the shattered
streets of Philly destroying the air-
waves and people's minds in the
underground with his band OLD
FEZZIWIG. He's been known to
dip his razor quill into his own
blood and pen a twisted tale
every now and again. We are
delighted to have him onboard
the FREEZINE and we hope
you are, too.

Daniel E. Lambert's

Daniel E. Lambert teaches English
at California State University, Los
Angeles and East Los Angeles College.
He also teaches online Literature
courses for Colorado Technical
University. His writing appears
in Silver Apples, Easy Reader,
Other Worlds, Wrapped in Plastic
and The Daily Breeze. His work
also appears in the anthologies
When Words Collide, Flash It,
Daily Flash 2012, Daily Frights
2012, An Island of Egrets and
Timeless Voices. His collection
of poetry and prose, Love and
Other Diversions, is available
through Amazon. He lives in
Southern California with his
wife, poet and author Anhthao Bui.


Phoenix has enjoyed writing since he
was a little kid. He finds much import-
ance and truth in creative expression.
Phoenix has written over sixty books,
and has published everything from
novels, to poetry and philosophy.
He hopes to inspire people with his
writing and to ask difficult questions
about our world and the universe.
Phoenix lives in Salt Lake City, Utah,
where he spends much of his time
reading books on science, philosophy,
and literature. He spends a good deal
of his free time writing and working
on new books. The Freezine of Fant-
asy and Science Fiction welcomes him
and his unique, intense vision.
Discover Phoenix's books at his author
page on Amazon. Also check out his blog.

Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar's

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. He has been
a Romantic poet for as long as any-
one can remember, specializing in
the composition of spectral balladry,
utilizing to great effect a traditional
poetic form that taps into the haunted
undercurrents of folklore seldom found
in other forms of writing.
His poetry has appeared on the pages
of such publications as SPECTRAL
CTHULHU, and a poem of his,
"The Rime of the Eldritch Mariner,"
won the Rhysling Award for long-form
poetry. His collection of weird balladry
and Jack tales, THE LAY OF OLD HEX,
was published by Hippocampus Press in 2017.

David Agranoff's

David Agranoff's

David Agranoff is the author of the
following books: Ring of Fire (Eraserhead
Press, 2018), Flesh Trade (co-written
w/Edward Morris; published by Create-
Space, 2017), Punk Rock Ghost Story
(Deadite Press, 2016), Amazing Punk
Stories (Eraserhead Press, 2016),
Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich (Eraserhead
Press, 2014), Hunting the Moon Tribe
(Eraserhead Press, 2011), The Vegan
Revolution...with Zombies (Eraserhead
Press, 2010), and Screams from a Dying
World (Afterbirth Books, 2009).
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.

Sanford Meschkow's

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

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's

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

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.

Gene Stewart
(writing as Art Wester)

Gene Stewart's

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

Daniel José Older's

Daniel José Older's

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.

Paul Stuart's

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,
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

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

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

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

G. Alden Davis's

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.
He's also the best friend I ever had. He
was taken away from us last year on Jan
25 and I'll never be able to understand why.
Together we were a fantastic duo, the
legendary Grub Bros. Our secret base
exists on a cross-hatched nexus between
the Year of the Dragon and Dark City.
Somewhere along the tectonic fault
lines of our electromagnetic gathering,
shades of us peel off from the coruscating
pillars and are dropped back into the mix.
The phrase "rest in peace" just bugs me.
I'd rather think that Greg Grub's inimitable
spirit somehow continues evolving along
another manifestation of light itself, a
purple shift shall we say into another
phase of our expanding universe. I
ask myself, is it wishful thinking?
Will we really shed our human skin
like a discarded chrysalis and emerge
shimmering on another wavelength
altogether--or even manifest right
here among the rest without their
even beginning to suspect it? Well
people do believe in ghosts, but I
myself have long been suspicious
there can only be one single ghost
and that's all the stars in the universe
shrinking away into a withering heart
glittering and winking at us like
lost diamonds still echoing all their
sad and lonely songs fallen on deaf
eyes and ears blind to their colorful
emanations. My grub brother always
knew better than what the limits
of this old world taught him. We
explored past the outer peripheries
of our comfort zones to awaken
the terror in our minds and keep
us on our toes deep in the forest
in the middle of the night. The owls
led our way and the wilderness
transformed into a sanctuary.
The adventures we shared together
will always remain tattooed on
the pages of my skin. They tell a
story that we began together and
which continues being woven to
this very day. It's the same old
story about how we all were in
this together and how each and
every one of us is also going away
someday and though it will be the far-
thest we can manage to tell our own
tale we may rest assured it will be
continued like one of the old pulp
serials by all our friends which survive
us and manage to continue
the saga whispering in the wind.

Shae Sveniker's

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

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

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

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.)