Fiction by:
A.A Garrison (4th of October)
William Mitchell (11th of October)
Michael Hodges (18th of October)
Davin Ireland (25th of October)

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by Joe Vaz

Our Oct 2011 issue is once again packed with original fiction starting with our cover story which will be available from 4th of October, beautifully illustrated by Hendrik Gericke, “The Treasons”, by A.A. Garrison which is about a father and son road trip across a desolate land.
Our novelette for this month is “Jiang Shi”, by William Mitchell, in which an opium trader deals with constant chronic pain by sampling his goods, until he finds another source of relief, and that will be online from 11th of October.
On the 18th of October we have “The Watcher in The Corner” by Michael Hodges, a poignant story about a being who watches a family, silently, from its corner of the ceiling.
And we close of this issue on the 25th of October with a reprint by Davin Ireland entitled “Engaging the Idrl” and is about a group of soldiers securing a foreign planet.
Our feature interview, this month, (published on the 18th) is with Joan De La Haye.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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Cover Art by Hendrik Gericke

Hendrik Gericke

First off, you have to do your prep work. It's easy to figure out the composition and general light balance in the early stages, so lots of thumbnail sketches are the order of the day. From the outset I work in photoshop, digital painting is a good tool as it allows a lot of freedom to change and rework without making a mess. From there you scale it up to the full resolution and begin refining it. The rest of it is basically round after round of tightening, making sure the eye flows across the space and to the correct points. It's essentially the same as an oil painting, but more premeditated.

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by A.A. Garrison

They left in the gray of morning, Penning and his only son, Willam. By carriage, the city was a half day's journey. The treasons were at high noon.

The two mounted the carriage's uncushioned bench and Penning started the horses, the chinked, tumbledown house drifting past. Willam followed it with his head, Henri on the porch and waving. Willam called out, "Bye, Mama!" and waved back. The humble property was soon out of sight. It was Willam's ninth birthday.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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interview by Joe Vaz

It was one of the rare stories that came to me instantly, all at once, in a lightning bolt containing the plot, characters, world, and moral. Someone else wrote it, I think, and I simply downloaded it from their consciousness, in a kind of psychic plagiarism.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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by Mark Sykes

You know the old adage: as one door closes another one opens. Is the end ever really the end? Or could Armageddon, in whichever form it takes, simply be nothing more than a global cleaning of the slate? The sudden deletion of 99.9% of the world’s population (leaving about seven million people, which sounds like quite a lot, but trust me, it ain’t) is just about the biggest turning over of a new leaf you can get, and we’d be remiss not to take the opportunity with both hands and run with it.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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by William Mitchell

I liked to call it my "dirty little secret". Not that "little" was the word, of course. Understatement had always been a vice of mine; now, however, I had another. For when the captain of an opium clipper is slowly killing himself with his own cargo, it's something he can be excused for wanting to keep hidden. Could you call it a weakness? Some might. Could I have stopped? Maybe, if I’d wanted to go mad in the process. For if you'd ever experienced the kind of pain that makes you think you'd rather die than carry on living, then perhaps you'd understand why I did it.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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interview by Joe Vaz

I once did a writing exercise with some friends in my writing group, trying to think of motivations that could make an evil character do evil things while knowing they were evil. Power over other people was one, immortality was another, and relief from pain was one I came up with.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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by Michael Hodges

I eat words. I don’t know why. I hang in the corners of this old and meticulous house by unseen hooks or latches. The words come to me from the mouths of the family and their visitors. The words of the adults come out grey, brown and black; the words of the young rise to me in reds, greens and blues. I swallow them all, and each time I do, something inside me grows. I know not what it is, only that I receive energy from this action.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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interview by Joe Vaz

Driving from Glacier National Park, Montana to Chicago takes a long time (1,500 miles). In the ebb and flow of the road, a writer has an opportunity to brainstorm. I was listening to the Art Bell radio program (a special about ghosts) when the idea came to me. I was pumped on four cups of McDonald’s coffee, listening to these callers share their real life ghost stories, and it all seemed so sad.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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interview by Joe Vaz

There were times when I was writing it, when I'd look at what I'd just written and think: I can't believe I just wrote that. They're going to crucify me for this. You're not supposed to say things like this, let alone write them. But then I realised that if I did tone it down or censor it that I would be a coward and that I would be cheating the story. I think that it's important to be true to the story and that as a writer, it's my job to push boundaries and explore those taboo subjects.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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review by Sarah Lotz

Published by Generation Next Publications PB 258 pages RRP R150 (Kindle £2.14 My father's funeral had been that morning, and Kevin thought a night out would be the best way to take my mind off how he'd died. It hadn't helped. All I could think about was that I hadn't been able to say good-bye or tell him that I loved him. I couldn't even get drunk and forget about it. I couldn't pretend that I was okay and put on a happy face for the sake of Kevin and his friends. As a result we cut the night short, which irritated Kevin's friends and I was once again the party pooper. Kevin had been gone for what seemed like a few seconds when everything that I knew and trusted in my life changed forever. From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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by Davin Ireland

The desert here is pink and rocky and shrouded in darkness for much of the day. The excavation site is slashed with grey spills of rubble that could be collapsed towers or random seams of granite. To the east, great clouds of mortar dust boil across the plains, scouring the arid landscape, depriving it of fresh growth. Only the Idrl remain.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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interview by Joe Vaz

Engaging the Idrl was inspired by the story of a specialist truck driver in the British Territorial Army who tragically committed suicide in August of 2004 after returning from the Iraq war. The gentleman in question experienced first-hand the horrifying incident of the chocolate bar described in the story. I was so moved (and disturbed) by it that I had to respond by committing my feelings to print.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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by Joe Vaz

When I was born, in the early 70’s, man was still travelling to the moon. In fact I was 4 months and 13 days old when the crew of Apollo 17 touched down on the lunar surface, and four days later, Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt were the last human beings to set foot there.
That was 39 years ago.

From Issue 14 (Oct 2011)
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