Category Archives: Sample

Storylandia 20: Cannonfire now on sale!

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And there’s a Kindle sale starting February 28 and ending March 7, 2017! Don’t miss it at Amazon US and Amazon UK.


Sample pages

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Cannonfire

You know my name.
For the record.
Doctor Khatanbaatar Namnansüren.
Aliases…
You know my aliases…
Your mask. Speak clearly please. Aliases.
Cannonfire Khan. Nam the Cannonfire Man. Cannonfire Xan. Namnan Sussex. Doctor Eric Buck. Doctor Arne Scholes-Young. Doctor Leon Southset. Lord Conrad Sussex.
Age.
100. I think. Perhaps 101.
Education.
Informal.
Place of birth.
I do not know the exact place of birth.
Be as specific as you can.
Somewhere on the slopes of the Kharidal Soridag Range. Within forty kilometers of the Bolot village, or what used to be the Bolot village; my family members were tribespeople.

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Storylandia 20: “Cannonfire” PREVIEW

Storylandia, Issue 20
Winter 2017

PREVIEW

Cannonfire
By Lane Kareska

1899–1914:

Tribal… a dark and criminal mind… older brother… wandering alchemist… widow’s humiliation… the larger world… gypsies.

You know my name.

For the record.

Doctor Khatanbaatar Namnansüren.

Aliases…

You know my aliases…

Your mask. Speak clearly please. Aliases.

Cannonfire Khan. Nam the Cannonfire Man. Cannonfire Xan. Namnan Sussex. Doctor Eric Buck. Doctor Arne Scholes-Young. Doctor Leon Southset. Lord Conrad Sussex.

Age.

100. I think. Perhaps 101.
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Storylanida 18: L’Amande et La Fleur

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L’Amande et La Fleur tells the story of the rushed adolescence and young love of an orphaned French artist, Julian, who travels to China to rid himself of the stultifying effects of the politics, bigotry, and seemingly endless prosperity in early 20th Century Parisian upper-crust culture. It is near the Yangtze River where he meets Solomon Garcon, an African-American draft-dodger who has seen the horrid effects of war. The story presents the two in monologue—from morning to night, against a background of mountains—caught in the gusts of memory that rise up within them. Despite their different stations, the two suffer identically from the insecurity of measuring themselves against a world undreamt-of by any other mind and the fear that one has accidentally outdone the other. The result becomes sunk in the unreality of the labyrinthine self that exists not to comment on the passing people and events but to celebrate the connection between the various fractals of our lives. Equal part philosophical quest and brutally detailed introspection, L’Amande bends the infinite involutions of self-consciousness without sacrificing a plot that highlights adult relationships and themes of loss, love, and problems of a changing world.

Thomas Hrycyk is currently a candidate for an MFA at Queens University of Charlotte and has worked for multiple literary publications including Fifth Wednesday Journal. He was born in Chicago and holds a B.A. in English and Philosophy from DePaul University. He recently moved to Nashville and works as an educator at Tennessee State University.

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Storylandia 15: Collected Stories, by Julie Travis

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Larger version
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Storylandia 15 features five tales of dark fantasy and horror by British writer Julie Travis. “From the Bones,” two ancient corpses are discovered on the wild moors of Devon and Cornwall. For one amateur archaeologist they reveal more about the past—and the landscape—than she’d ever imagined. “Grave Goods,” Edward Dobbs’ excuse for drinking and gambling his family’s money away was, to quote an old saying, ‘you can’t take it with you when you go. His son Eddy is offered a diabolical opportunity to disprove the adage. In “Scar Tissue,” everyone’s life leaves marks on them, physically or emotionally, but Marie was different. No scars, just flawless flesh, a life untainted by injury. “Theophany” shows us a hellish underworld that re-emerges to stalk present-day London, aided by a man with his own, deviant agenda. “Widdershins” brings us a girl who defies folklore and walks counter-clockwise around a church, an act that has repercussions for the rest of her life.

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Julie Travis has been writing horror and dark fantasy fiction since the early 1990s, after a youth spent watching horror films, writing music fanzines and playing bass guitar in a punk band. Her short stories and novellas, which have been compared to Clive Barker, Thomas Ligotti, Catherynne M. Valente and the Stephen King/Peter Straub collaborations, have been published widely in the British and North American slipstream/horror small press, including REM, Kimota, The Third Alternative (now known as Black Static), Psychotrope, Saccade, Premonitions: Causes For Alarm (which received an Honourable Mention in Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best Horror 2009), Covers of Darkness, Aphelion, Kzine, Urban Occult and two previous issues of Storylandia. She has also appeared in two queer anthologies: Necrologue – the Diva Book of the Dead and the Undead (nominated for the Gaylactic Spectrum Literary Award 2004) and Va Va Voom, has written numerous articles for the gay press and co-founded the Queeruption international music and politics festival. Born in London in 1967, she now lives by the sea in West Cornwall and spends much of her time at stone circles and other sacred sites. Find her at www.julietravis.wordpress.com.

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Storylandia 14: Dead End

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Dead End
by Chad Denton

“Joy Chevern and Rodney Bauman. Their names have been and still are a staple of TV news, talk shows, blogs, and the information networks of both the left and right wings. Writers of made-for-TV movies and PhD theses have all tried to lock down their motives. The only conclusion would-be scholars and Hollywood’s dregs can agree on is that Rodney and Joy have managed to force the entire world to redefine crime and culture.

“This is a risky statement to make at the start of such a book, but I honestly do not know if I have anything new to offer the nation’s conversations on who these people were and what their crimes mean for the future. Instead my only goal is to attempt to pierce the mind of Rodney Bauman, using everything I could piece together from records, interviews, and other sources. With Dead End, I am not trying to make yet another entertainment commodity out of their notoriety, but rather, in spite of my lack of a graduate degree, to make an academic effort to simply understand why. This may seem like a thankless and perhaps even pointless quest, but I have been fortunate enough to enjoy the full cooperation of Bauman himself and the people who know him.”
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Storylandia 13: Three on the Bank

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Three on the Bank
by Kelly Ann Jacobson

Excerpt:

Sam

When Sam was a young boy, he used to play in his grandparents’ pool for hours. Because he was an only child, he had little to do but act out situations, and pretending to drown was his favorite. He would sink to the bottom of the large concrete rectangle, cross his legs Indian style, and push his arms upward to keep himself steady on the ground. As his breath began to run out he would look up at the white pinprick of sun in the distance, the rays making their way through the chlorinated liquid like refracted rainbows on oil patches, and wait until the very last second, when his whole body screamed for air and the panic forced him up up up towards the sky. Reborn, gasping for air, he floated like a baby on the surface of the lapping waves and let the sun warm his chilled skin.

The wedding party is the last to head to the reception, since the photographer insists on taking pictures on every level of the Italian gardens where Sam and Greta said their vows. She snaps shots every two seconds as Sam gives his new wife a hand up the tall bus stairs, though Greta’s face shows only her frustration at heaving her immense chiffon train everywhere, and Sam’s face is already sore from his forced smiles. They are happy of course, but like all brides and grooms, they will be happier still when the stress of this day is over and they can relax with a bottle of champagne in their hotel suite and remind themselves why they went through a year of torturous planning in the first place.

The bus, at least a decade old, contains two stripper poles, one on their end; neon waves of pink and green lights over the windows; glass goblets hung on metal hooks over the bar; blue velvet seats with 80’s style box prints polka-dotted over them; and smells of pine air freshener and age. The bus has made several trips back and forth between the reception hall / parking lot and the Italian gardens where Sam and Greta married, and after five trips, all of their guests have been safely ferried to the wine and cheese plates. The wedding party is the driver’s last run before he can go home, already over an hour late, and Sam wonders whether seeing this side of a wedding every day makes the man love weddings or hate them.
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Storylandia 12 is now on Sale!

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Click here for a sampler of the issue. Enjoy!

Paullette Gaudet

Celebrity Sperm Bank

I am so sick of this shit. They should rearrange their letters like I do and call it USuCk. I mean, who do they think they are? They don’t even know who I am, ’cos when I said, “Do you know who I am?” they were all like, “We know you’re about to fail this semester,” and I was like, “Whatever,” and they just told me I’d have to take it up with my professor. So, here I am in Debussy’s office when I could be, like, anywhere else and not soiling my skirt on this sticky, splintery-ass, pseudo-interrogation chair in front of his desk.

He’s got a beard like he’s from the nineteenth-century and goes, “Hello Cecille, it’s nice to finally meet you,” like he’s never seen me before. Which, okay—I guess there’s a chance he hasn’t noticed me in the twelve-thousand people in his American Lit class. And, I guess I’ve never raised my hand, or even been there that often, but still

Sarah Rasher

Prince Charming Rides in from Brooklyn on a Bike

Tonight you’re the one making the booty call. Your logic is flawless: you want to get laid, Grindr scares you, you’re too lazy to make yourself pretty for going out, and it’s going to be four hours until anyone interesting goes near a bar anyway. In the past—and by “past,” we are talking three times, four if you count the night you met—in the past, he has called—and by “called,” we mean texted, this is the modern age—he has called you. Still, you don’t believe this is a faux pas, and if it is, you do not want to be fuck-buddying a guy who’s put off at being the called rather than the caller.

He texts that he will be right over. You primp expediently.

His name is Ethan. You met him at a party thrown by a girl you don’t know who is friends with your friend’s boyfriend. There was punch: two parts pineapple juice, two parts grenadine, eighteen parts tequila. You fooled around in the bathtub and, thank you Jesus and blue agave, immediately friended each other on Facebook. He used this information three weeks later to invite you over. You have never seen him sober.

Kathryn L. Ramage

The Family Jewels

A mystery set in the 1920s, continuing the adventures of Frederick Babington.

It was a beautiful, crisp, and colorful autumn afternoon. Frederick Babington, who was visiting his aunt in the Suffolk village of Abbotshill, decided to take a walk. Though the injuries he’d received during the Great War had taken a long time to heal, he was beginning to feel truly well again. His leg no longer pained him and he’d discarded his cane.

Billy Watkins, Freddie’s manservant who had saved his life during the war and looked after him diligently since, insisted that he take a coat in case the evening grew chilly and not tire himself by going too far. Freddie promised to be back in time for dinner and grabbed his tweed coat down from the rack by the front door on his way out.

He had a delightful time wandering the country lanes around Abbotshill, climbing the green hills and kicking up piles of golden and russet leaves that had fallen under the trees. At dusk, he headed back toward his aunt’s house by way of the Rose and Crown pub; a pint of the local beer seemed just the thing to complete his outing.

Patrick Satcher

The Glint

Why do things have to be so complicated, he thought while watching the boy cry. Old man Johnson, the veterinarian, had come down from the pavilion where both men had seen the race and the accident. Dr. Johnson had administered the shot that made the horse’s spasms stop forever. The boy didn’t stop crying until the tractor came with a chain to drag the carcass down to the far end of the arena. Even then he stood watching the boy.

A glint from the movement brought him back to his place in the stands. Tobacco spittle had sprinkled his white shirt with various shapes of browns. Flecks of sputum had made concentric circles of shadings. Splashes and stains. He must have been mumbling to himself he thought. Then he heard the hurried conversations re-creating the accident.

“Broke one foreleg and I’ll be goddamned if he…..”

“You see that jockey? That old boy sure enough must have broke his back.”

“When’s the next race?”

“And then the other leg tried to catch all the weight and she just busted into a heap.”

“Too bad. What are you drinking anyway?”

Julie Travis

The Ferocious Night

“La mort, c’est le commencement de quelque chose.”
(“Death is the beginning of something.”)—Edith Piaf

The end: when had it begun?

In Geoff’s opinion it had started with the body they’d found washed up on the beach. He was mistaken—a story, a final chapter, does not begin from nowhere, in the fiftieth year of a man’s life; it simply continues—but he was convinced that had they not found the body, he would still be alive.

The storms had thrown a multitude of items onto the beach; piles of seaweed, sections of fishing nets, driftwood, a scattering of stones, many of them big enough to cause injury should a person be struck by one. They were not unusual, but this time the sea had cast up something else. It was not immediately identifiable, just a light coloured shape on the sand. As they approached it, two crows hopped into sight, pecking at whatever it was. It was then that Geoff suspected it was a body. Ever the protective father, he warned Lillian to stay away, but ever the headstrong daughter, she ignored him.

They studied the body.

“What is it?” asked Lillian.

It was a white mass, tapered at one end, about three feet in length. Geoff guessed that its girth was almost as much. It was covered in thick, white fur. The underside was shaggy and dotted with sand. Geoff was almost tempted to stroke it. The top was different. The fur here was unattractive; assimilating, it seemed, with the white stickiness underneath.

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Thank you!

The Wapshott Press would like to thank Ann Seimens and Sam Labutis for their support of this issue.

Storylandia 11: Dr. Hackenbush Gets a Clue

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Sample
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It’s 1986 and there’s trouble in Macarthur Park, and Mabel Hackenbush, better known as Dr. Hackenbush of Dr. Hackenbush and her Orchestra, is up to her neck in it. She’s trying to help out her friends Anna Kodaly and Ross, and winds up in the middle of a mystery in the elderly Westlake section of Los Angeles. Oh, and during all this she and the band and are playing gigs wherever and whenever. It’s a Hackenbush mystery in the best tradition of the other Hackenbush mystery, “Dr. Hackenbush Gets Some Culture.”

Storylandia 10 is now on Sale! Death Among the Marshes, a murder mystery set in the Twenties, by Kathryn L. Ramage

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Storylandia 10 – Death Among The Marshes, by Kathyrn L. Ramage

Chapter 1 Sampler

Cover “Misty” by Eleanor Leonne Bennett

Storylandia, The Wapshott Journal of Fiction, Issue 10. The novella “Death Among the Marshes,” a murder mystery set in the Twenties by Kathryn L. Ramage.

Excerpt:

Death Among the Marshes
A Murder Mystery Set in the Twenties

The Great War had made many boys into old men, but in spite of all he’d suffered, Frederick Babington still looked surprisingly youthful for his 26 years. He was a pale, intense, and solemn young man—more pale, Billy thought, since he’d been wounded so terribly. At least he no longer limped and the burn scars on the small and ring fingers of his left hand were now only puckered reddish skin. His dark hair had been cropped short during his last stay in a private nursing home over the winter past, but it was growing out again and beginning to curl just as it used to.

Billy watched as one loose curl fell forward over Freddie’s brow as he returned his attention to the book he’d been reading before the interruption, a newly published mystery novel titled Whose Body? When Freddie lifted his eyes from the page a moment later, Billy pretended an interest in the book.

“What’s that one about?”
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Coming soon: Storylandia 10 – Death Among The Marshes

Storylandia 10 – Death Among The Marshes, by Kathyrn L. Ramage

Chapter 1 Sampler

Cover “Misty” by Eleanor Leonne Bennett

Storylandia, The Wapshott Journal of Fiction, Issue 10. The novella “Death Among the Marshes,” a murder mystery set in the Twenties by Kathryn L. Ramage.