As I look out the window on the valley below, and at the pelting sleet, the ice-covered brush, the frozen ground and trees bending under the incredible weight of another ice storm, I am reminded that April has come once again and brought with it the sweet promise of Spring.
But a far more reliable promise comes in the form of this latest issue of Writer's Cramp and the near-perfect balance of poetry, horror, crime, science fiction, sly wit, demonic glee, lunatic obsession and as always, impeccable and elegant writing.
Once again our ranks swell with the best and most talented writers from all over the world, and closer to home. Our newest member to the fold is Ann Huseman who offers up two very different tales of the otherworldly. The Magic Weaver is a delightful story about an odd family that blusters its way into a small town and stakes a claim to the property, lives and maybe the souls of those unlucky enough to cross their path. It has magic and it has masterful strokes of hilarity and horror.
Ann's second piece is a study into the murkyand somehow stickymind of a man who has a new take on conspiracy theories. Everything's a conspiracy and only tin foil, funnel hats and hours of Jackie Chan Yellercise will keep the world safe from itself and it's alien masters. Or if you don't believe me, just read it yourself. Go on, read it! I dare you.
We are always happy to publish works of prose or poetry from Tim Lejeune. Tim's style is difficult to quantify and only a fool would attempt to qualify it. The two short pieces in this issue, Deke Gibn and De Excelsis, begin softly somewhere in the imagination and their lyric beauty belies the cold nature of what is being explored. I recommend you simply read these two gems, because my words are inadequate to persuade you.
Michelle Tercha is back with us and she's come back with a wisp of angel's hair and the breath of a devil's taunt. Her poetry is strong and immediate and explosive and at times, tender and warmly sweet. But her words are always compelling, always evocative, always beautiful, reaching where the pain of the soul lives its quiet life.
Portchester Police Chief Paul Mansbridge is back, too, peeking out from behind the mask of Derek P. Gilbert. This story has the cod-damnedest twist we ever read. One gets the flavor of Jaws, on a much reduced scale (tsk, tsk) with this coastal town tale of murder and mayhem on the low seas and lower docks. Piece of Cod, is a keeper, indeed. Look closely at your next order of Fish&Chips before you take a bite, though. You never know what you'll find.
RG Liberty is back with his hands dripping from the bucket of blood whence he draws his story of ancient curses and revenge, tasted not cold but steaming and streaming from the bowels of the grave. The House at Grave's End is an old fashioned shocker from the days of Weird Tales and Tales from the Crypt. The terror is real, the legends are true and escape from destiny only a cruel dream. One gets the impression that whenever RG Liberty looks up the Family Tree, he sees an ancestor hanging from one of its branches.
And now, as if that weren't enough for any accomplished and discerning reader, we have another foray into the realm of serialization. Two years ago we hosted the serialized versions of A Case of Reflection and Cemetery Dance, both were successful and each biweekly installment of the novellas was avidly awaited by our readership.
This will be a new experiment, however. The two works in progress we will feature over the next few issues of WC, are not only quickly becoming novel length pieces, they are still being written. So this will really be like the old Saturday Matinee Serials none of you are old enough to remember. Every installment will be fresh, every installment will end in a cliff hanger and the editor of Writer's Cramp will sit, hopefully as each deadline rolls around and cross his fingers that the authors will actually deliver.
Nah . . .
Charles Ivie's, The Time Camera is a near-future science-fiction, science-fact adventure saga, as simple as that. An exciting journey through time and possibility with unlikely heroes and very likely and recognizable villains. The science is real, after all Chuck is a former NASA scientist and an inventor of some very remarkable things, and the adventure, and its premise, is wholly believable. One wonders if Chuck hasn't already invented the Time Camera and is now only disguising the truth in fiction?
Tim Lejeune submitted the germ of his current novel well over a year ago and it took the breath away even back then, as merely an idea and a little dialogue. Now, watching it take shape and grow into a fully fleshed worldand underworldone is amazed at the creative process and the visions it can offer to those fortunate enough to see where it inevitably leads.
www.hell.org is an adventure of another kind. It takes place largely in Hell between an obliviously mismatched, but strangely compatible and companionable duo. One is a seventeen year old boy named Brian and the other is a Demon from the 7th circle, department C, monitoring, called Bunu.
I know I always say this, but you're in for a real treat.