We originally hoped to find a few stories featuring la petite mort for issue sixty-nine, because our sense of humor is highly sophisticated. What we present here is less petite, more la mort. Ah, well; c’est la vie. Or, you know, not. However, what we actually ended up with is better than what we thought we wanted, as is so often the case.
Jill Hand’s “Incident at Ong’s Hat” is a thoroughly Jersey story. Michael Díaz Feito’s “Yoel the Chickenkeeper,” uses vivid imagery to tell a brief, sad tale. Taylor Putorti’s “Transition” guides you through liminal space, and Susan Kaempfer’s “Spawn” explores unusual life choices and their effects. Allina Nunley’s “Scorpion Midnight” soothes with death’s sweet sting. Lastly, William Ables’ “Western Dark” lets you ride along on a supernatural road trip. Our own Samuel Snoek-Brown did the on-theme cover art this month, so make sure you check that out, too.
Slice it online or dice the .pdf.
While the fourth of July is traditionally the day on which we Americans commemorate our liberation from the Island of Soggy Bread Desserts by wolfing burnt hot dogs in hideous lawn chairs and playing drunk bocce, we JDP-ers like to extend the celebration of independence to include free thinking and a general lack of adult supervision. In that spirit, we present writings from two authors new to our pages and three who have been spotted here before. Stone Showers pits a city boy against an ornery porker named Hellraiser. Anna Lea Jancewicz shows how quickly things can take odd and uncomfortable turns when we ignore parental advice. Anton Rose offers a lyrical description of kitchen sorcery. Gary Moshimer introduces us to an undead exotic dancer and the man who loves her. Nikolaj Volgushev shares the story of a man whose waking life is disturbed by his subconscious forays into masonry. There’s also delightful cover art from Jon Snoek, because your summer can never have too many dinosaurs.
Read, enjoy, share. And when it’s time for your Bastille Day festivities, follow Troy McClure’s advice and use caution around fireworks; they are the silent killers, after all.
Ooh online or ahh at the .pdf.
Once upon a time, in a class on fantasy literature, I asked if anyone was familiar with the term “speculative fiction.” Of thirty students, only one raised his hand—a skinny sophomore with round glasses and brilliant red hair, equal parts Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. Upon attempting to explain it to the class, he said, “It’s like, when, you know . . . ” and here he scrunched up his face in concentration, searching for the right words. His hands were actually opening and closing on his desk, as if the definition were an invisible pebble he could grasp in his fist. The awkward pause stretched to an excruciating length and I was just about to jump in when he blurted, “Something weird is going on!” Indeed it is, young Gryffindor.
Our sixty-seventh issue is full of those intriguing moments where you sense that something is a bit off. Timothy Day introduces us to the mysterious “Woman on the Couch,” and Sej Harman shows why “The Smell of Green Onions” is the perfume of revenge. Jessica Wiseman Lawrence reminds us how the beach tends to follow you home in “How to Write About Sand,” and Derek Osedach discovers an unusual pizza topping in “Baby Calzones.” Finally, there’s Marina Favila’s “The Blue Spruce,” a dark tale of love, paranoia, and botany. And if you’ve ever wondered how many spiders it takes to change a light bulb, look no further than our extraordinary cover art, Hermin Abramovitch’s “Hunger.”
Absorb it online or soak up the .pdf.