Review of Black Propaganda: Dark Stories by Paul StJohn Mackintosh

Cover art, Black Propaganda by Paul StJohn Mackintoshby Nicholas Shipman

Paul StJohn Mackintosh’s new collection is comprised of haunting tales both new and previously published. In these stories you will find worlds achingly familiar and eerily alien, the light of love coexisting with the darkest spasms of violent emotion and cruel detachment which may be found in the human spirit. Read more »

The Rising Up, fiction by Karen Heuler

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“Nothing has worked out,” the man to her right said. “You’ve given in to the diversions in the dream, that’s all. Try to remember who you are in real life. We will never wake if we get caught up in the dream.”

Eugene_Ivanov_1341 Tajemna cisla Zeme, 2009.edited

Tajemna cisla Zeme, by Eugene Ivanov, 2009. Licensed under Creative Commons.

FRANZY WAS SUDDENLY back in school, and completely unprepared for the history test. But that wasn’t why everyone was staring at her and smiling. No, smirking. A few had turned their heads and whispered something behind their hands to their neighbors as she entered the classroom. A woman off to the side pointed at her.

Franzy stopped and looked down at herself. It was horrible! She was only wearing a bra—a cheap, tired, gray-looking bra. She should have thrown it out years ago. But the woman had pointed at her crotch. When Franzy shifted her eyes she saw a penis sticking out—erect and out of place. She could feel the annoying jitteriness of it. She was naked and she had a penis. Taking a test was out of the question. She should never have come here. Read more »

A Review of Sylvan Dread by Richard Gavin

by Paul StJohn Mackintosh

sylvanDreadThe Great God Panic
Canadian dark and esoteric prose writer Richard Gavin has been exploring “The realm where dread and the sublime intersect” for quite some years now, both in fiction and speculative prose. Sylvan Dread is his fifth collection of short stories and the first in four years, as Gavin says, and for some of us it’s been quite a wait. Which has been well rewarded. Read more »