12 tales

Do you like scary stories? Have you checked out Arcane magazine yet? I just finished reading issue #1, and I couldn't put it down. I'm hoping that you'll also support this great new zine, so here's a brief rundown of their twelve "Penny Dreadfuls for the 21st Century" just to pique your interest...

1. "Hazards" by Justin Pollock: A good Samaritan sees more than he ever could have expected late one night on the open road.

2. "Darnell Behind Glass" by Jeff Crook: In this particular convenience store, sometimes it's hard to tell the living from the dead.

3. "The Mine" by Jason V. Shayer: A weird western with two mischievous lads determined to uncover a local mystery—and see some dead bodies.

4. "Ricky and the Elder Gods" by S.M. Williams: A dual-POV tale between the hunter (assisted by two otherworldly, indescribable creatures) and the hunted (one very tough chick).

5. "Gingerbread and Ashes" by Jaelithe Ingold: In this well-told sequel, you'll wish you'd never wondered what became of Hansel and Gretel.

6. "Dear Management" by Tom Wortman: Hands-down the funniest tale in this issue, in which a new employee confronts the source of a horrific odor emanating somewhere above his office.

7. "In the Place Where the Tree Falleth" by Michael Lutz: A seminary student selling Bibles happens upon an ancient house where the mysterious owners believe in a new god who is not silent.

8. "Laundry Night" by Stephen Hill: Everybody loses a sock now and then; but in the bowels of this particular condominium, gruesome horrors lurk among the washers and dryers.

9. "Hello Operator" by Donny Waagen: In this surreal, absurd tale involving a phone booth and a whole lot of water, one man's journey into the afterlife becomes another man's headache.

10. "Courting the Queen of Sheba" by Amanda C. Davis: Three circus performers get way more than they bargained for when they steal a competitor's ancient corpse for their own sideshow.

11. "A Requiem for Tarsenesia" by William Knight: In this dark fantasy where music is the only defense against unseen monsters, the young daughter of an instrument maker must decide the fate of all.

12. "The Hole" by Rob Errera: In this parable, you may not learn the lesson until it's too late for you.

All in all, a great collection of tales imbued with a serious sense of dread, making it nigh impossible to set this issue aside. Pick up your copy today, either in print or eReader format. You'll be glad you did.

FULL DISCLOSURE:  According to the editor, "the second issue can’t be released until the first issue pays for itself." Thus my vested interest, as "El Diablo de Paseo Grande" (a Coyote Cal weird western) is scheduled to appear in their next issue. Economic times are tough, and while many zines are folding, Nathan Shumate & Co. are doing their darndest to publish a high quality mag. All reviews of Arcane have been positive so far, so it's just a matter of spreading the word. Care to join the cause?