Storylandia 15 print review

“Storylandia is the title of ‘The Wapshott Journal of Fiction,’ published by Wapshott Press. The Spring 2015 issue, Storylandia #15 (Wapshott Press pb, 142pp, $7.60), is dedicated to the work of Julie Travis, a writer who will be familiar to older readers from the early days of our predecessor The Third Alternative and possibly from other places as well. It contains five stories, all of them previously unpublished, and which, though the writer admits a preference for the term ‘slipstream,’ have about them much that should appeal to horror genre purists.”
Black Static #53, only available in print.

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Storylandia 15 author Julie Travis interview

“PT: You’re a UK writer and much of your work seems very solidly grounded in the landscape here, and yet your first collection is appearing from a US publisher. Can you tell us a little as to how that came about? What has it been like working with Wapshott Press?

“JT: It came about by chance. I see my work as quite ‘British’ in terms of the folklore element as well as in the physical landscape. Some years back I trawled the Internet looking for possible publishers and came across Wapshott Press amongst others (I’ve had several stories published by North American magazines and webzines). I sent them a story because I thought the covers of their anthologies were gorgeous and my instinct said it was the right thing to do – even though horror/dark fantasy was not mentioned at all in what they publish. Storylandia’s editor, Ginger Mayerson, just understands what I’m doing. Two stories (‘The Falling Man and ‘The Ferocious Night’) appeared in two of their anthologies and when they moved to single author collections I was asked to do one. And they’re lovely to work with; friendly and professional. I feel blessed to have crossed Ginger’s path.”
Julie Travis Interviewed, by Peter Tennant, Black Static, July 19, 2016

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Storylandia 16 review

“As with Ramage’s previous Freddie Babington story we are thrown straight in at the deep end. We the readers have two choices: go with the flow or take copious notes. I took the latter route, but wasn’t sure that it helped me much. There are detailed descriptions of locations and family kinships, an emerging chronology of events and individual revelations. We’ll expect the usual red herrings and misdirections, of course, but like many a good writer of the ‘cozy’ genre the final denouement will have been clearly signposted if only we had the wit to spot it early on.”
Return of the gentleman sleuth, by Calmgrove, June 20, 2016

Click here to know more about: Storylandia 16: The Abrupt Disappearance of Cousin Wilfrid

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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 17: Collected Stories, by Arthur Davis

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Collected Stories

By Arthur Davis

Storylandia 17 features eight tales of dark fantasy, horror and the surreal by American writer Arthur Davis. “The Man From Lahr” is a tale of magical realism as a New York psychiatrist is visited after-hours in his office by a mysterious stranger who has traveled from Eastern Europe with an unlikely tale, and an even more improbable truth. “Dining With The Devil” holds us transfixed as the incarnation of evil reveals the ancient promise on which he has come to collect, and the extraordinary dish on which he has travel so far to feast. A foggy, chilly night on a dangerous road is the setting for “Cara’s Curve,” a narrative of regrets, doubts, confessions and the discovery of a dead man whose reach quickly claims an innocent soul. “A Sly And Knowing Grin,” interweaves the macabre with science fiction as strangers in a bookstore are presented with a horror that tests their fears and overwhelms their ability to cope. In a time-honored misadventure of the mind, “The Unwelcome Guest,” spins a fishing tale of horror that blurs the boundaries between reason and magical realism in a cross between Rieux’s rat-obsessed isolation in Camus’s “The Plague” and Samsa’s transformation in Kafka’s “Metamorphosis.” Shrouded in sheets of black gossamer, “Dionaea Muscipula’s” dead bodies lie in the street of a deserted town in Maine in this surreal puzzle warning that death “be not the noble path of wise and aged men.” “I Have Become The Leopard” takes the reader on a haunting journey through the mind, heart and soul of a leopard, exposing instincts and consciousness that drives Africa’s most solitary big cat. In a direct-address monologue, “The Cracked Goblet’s” narrator leads his friend through the English countryside in search of an abandoned mansion in this intellectual thriller with the troubling neurosis of Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” and the unfathomable paranoia of “The Twilight Zone.”

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Storylandia 16: The Abrupt Disappearance of Cousin Wilfrid

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The Abrupt Disappearance of Cousin Wilfrid

By Kathryn L. Ramage

A murder mystery set in the 1920s. This story begins shortly after Freddie Babington’s first investigation in “Death Among the Marshes.”

1

Abbotshill had never been Frederick Babington’s home, but he was as fond of it as he was the environs of Marsh Hall. This tiny village ten miles from Ipswich had once been the site of a medieval abbey, now in ruins. In these modern times, a collection of quaint cottages, a post office, and a brown-timbered tavern sat at the convergence of five country lanes on one side of a mill pond. On the other side of the pond was the old mill with its enormous wheel, more cottages, and shops around a green. The Mill Wheel Inn sat adjacent to an on-request railway platform.

Babingtons had owned the former abbey lands since the days of the Reformation and had been a prominent family in the area for centuries. Many of them still lived in the vicinity… which was where the problem began.

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Congratulations to Megan Feldman on her new book!

Congrats to Megan Feldman Bettencourt on the publication of Triumph of the Heart: Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World. Read the Publisher’s Weekly review and order your copy here: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-59463-263-1 and also check out her site http://meganfeldman.com/books/. Or just buy it at Amazon.

You all remember Megan’s wonderful story, “Ashes,” in Storylandia, Issue 4. Always nice to see our authors hit the big time.

Storylandia 15: Collected Stories, by Julie Travis

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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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