Allie and Rooster are heading down to Asheville for Rooster’s new gig, a cushy stint as artist-in-residence at UNC. Rooster is more of a con artist than maker of art, but Allie doesn’t mind, because he’s good-looking, charming, and values what she is: a girl with a keen eye for abandoned places and a knack for getting into them. But when they stumble upon an old backcountry church—the perfect backdrop for Rooster’s latest project—they discover that some “abandoned” places have a knack for keeping themselves occupied.
I’ve added a new interactive fiction, “Shoot First!“, to my Patron’s Only Digital Vault. For as little as $3 patrons get immediate access to all the goodies in the Vault, including an analog horror film, audio books, new fiction and music, interactive goodies, etc.
If you are a person who might nominate stuff and need a copy, I can send you a PDF. Contact me.
Incidentally, I loved that art so much that I contact the artist (Alan M Clark) and bought the original charcoal-on-paper drawing that was the source. It’s amaaaaaazing! The original is 16″x20″. A 5″x8″ magazine cover cannot do it justice. Such a treat to have on my wall.
A while back C.C. Finlay interviewed me about my latest story for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, “All Hail the Pizza King and Bless His Reign Eternal.” That interview is now available online, for folks curious about how and why stories like this get written.
F&SF: What made you decide to write this story right now?
DEN: I didn’t. I actually wrote this back in early 2018, completing the draft in just two weeks (which is maybe a record for me). But it didn’t really become the story it is now until late that year. I listened to every word of Christine Blasey Ford’s congressional testimony—which included her detailed account of being sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh (who now sit on the US Supreme Court) when they were teens. I was in the kitchen, puttering, and something she said somewhere in the middle of her testimony stopped me dead, because it was a near perfect poem just as she spoke it. A poem like that, one spoken accidentally, hits you like lightning. It stops your heart. I wrote it down right then…
…And that’s when I understood what this story was really all about. It was a different story after I heard that poem, and so I rewrote it to be that story.
… My time portal novel is now on Amazon (print and ebook). It’s a giddy little thrill at a reasonable price.
I’ve read a million time travel stories… and even read a million variations on time travel stories that try to be “different,” but I don’t think I’ve ever read any that are different in quite this way. While it settles uncomfortably next to very serious and even tragic things, the story’s humor is quite pronounced. … And it does an excellent job of creating an air of danger, and thus interest, due to the well-realized sense of actual traveling in (and perhaps getting lost in) time, as well as the criminal aspect and what they’re doing to the people in the past and how those people might react. It’s also a good vehicle to address issues all the way from existential bad faith to religion possibly being the amphetamine of the masses.
The latest issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is hitting newsstands, e-readers, and mailboxes, and I’m pleased to brag that the Pizza King himself graces the cover (and my story “All Hail the Pizza King and Bless His Reign Eternal” graces the interior).
Need your copy? Order online: paper or digital. Wanna review it on GoodReads?You can! (There is currently one review up, and the reviewer didn’t finish the story because it was “gross.” I respect that decision; it has a solid basis. Know your limits, my Dear Readers and Best Belovéds!)
THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
July/August, 71st Year of Publication
“Spirit Level” – John Kessel
“All Hail the Pizza King and Bless His Reign Eternal” – David Erik Nelson
“‘Omunculus” – Madeleine E. Robins
“The Monsters of Olympus Mons” – Brian Trent
“Knock, Knock Said the Ship” – Rati Mehrotra
“Last Night at the Fair” – M. Rickert
“Bible Stories for Adults No. 37: The Jawbone” – James Morrow
“Madre Nuestra, Que Estás en Maracaibo” – Ana Hurtado
“A Bridge from Sea to Sky” – Bennett North
“Crawfather” – Mel Kassel
“The Staircase” – Stephanie Feldman
“The Shape of Gifts” – Natalia Theodoridou
“A Quartet of Alphabetic Bubbles” – Mary Soon Lee
Editorial by C.C. Finlay
Books to Look For by Charles de Lint
Musing on Books by Michelle West
Film: Darkness Visible by David J. Skal
Science: What the Heck is an Analemma by Jerry Oltion
Curiosities: The Contaminant by Leonard Reiffel (1978) by Thomas Kaufsek
Cartoons by Arthur Masear, Arthur Masear, Danny Shanahan, Kendra Allenby, Nick Downes, Nick Downes
Cover: By Alan M. Clark for “All Hail the Pizza King and Bless His Reign Eternal”
PATREON: If you’d like to support my brand of madness on a recurring basis, Patreon makes that easy. Even at the lowest tiers, supporters get access to previously unpublished fiction. That currently includes my novella And Lo She Dwelt in the Great Sadness—which will likely prove diverting to folks frustrated by our current political situation. New stories will be added in coming months.
—about some folks who really can’t leave the house:
I mention this now because I just learned that Audible is temporarily bumping artists’ royalties—which is nice, as I used their service to produce the audiobook of There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House (voiced by the inimitable David Sadzin).
If you’ve never tried Audible before, it’s actually pretty sweet—I used it for years when I used to commute. These days, your monthly membership gets you a full-length audiobook and two Audible Originals each month. The first month is free with this link (here’s a UK-specific link, for those who need one). The thing that astounds me: Even though I haven’t been a member in more than 13-years, I can still access all the stuff I got through Audible back in the day—i.e., you really do have lifetime access.