David Jesson cropped

You can find out more about David on his website, and follow him on Twitter.

“Shadows of the Mine” – JAN/FEB 2019

Materials Scientist by day, writer by night, David Jesson is a Research Fellow at a British university and the cohost of Fiction Can Be Fun, a collaborative writing blog. David writes both fiction and non-fiction. He is working on a Pre-Cold War Spy novel (with an Urban Fantasy twist) with his writing partner, and also a pop-sci book about the use of materials in fiction. In reality, he’s not quite as dapper as his photo would suggest.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
When it comes to reading, I’m pretty omnivorous: whilst I tend to read more SF&F than other books, fundamentally I’m after a good story, written well. A good story is more important than genre, for the most part.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about? Paraphrasing Asimov, science fiction is never just S.F. There’s always something else there as well – a detective story, thriller, politics – romance ever; whatever. The same is true of Fantasy. I like adding an SF&F twist, whenever possible, and I like trying to provide an S.F. update on folklore and fanatasy.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Oooh. Tough… I’ve got a WIP which is influenced by Fritz Lieber and JRR Tolkien. Sometimes though it’s a little thing that sticks with you. I find Eddings unreadable now, having read and reread his stuff for years, but I envy his ability to think big.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
What’s not to love about Speculative Fiction? If I had to narrow it down to one thing though, I’d have to say it’s the opportunity to try out big ideas in safe mode – it’s a thought experiment with a narrative.

ashlyn johnson

You can find out more about Ashlyn at her website, and follow her on Twitter.

“Hollow” – Jan/Feb 2019

Ashlyn Johnson is a twenty eight year old author. She writes stories with aspirations to bring intriguing thoughts to the masses for them to enjoy in their spare reading time. In her own spare time if you do not find her reading or writing, you will find her gaming, watching anime, or looking up cute animal pictures.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Horror will always have a place in my heart. Along with Horror, all sorts of fantasy stories.

Who are your favorite authors?
Ted Dekker, Stephen King, and Joe Hill to name a few.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Dark, Urban Fantasy is a big player in what I write if I am not writing horror related content.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
It’s not necessarily a message I want to convey, but I want those who read my works to feel something from it. I want to evoke emotions from others.


Darius Jones

You can find out more about Darius at his website, and follow him on Twitter and Goodreads.

“Breakpoint” – Nov/Dec 2018

Darius Jones’ stories have been published in Sobotka Literary Magazine, Strangelet Journal, Fiction Vortex and elsewhere. He lives in Virginia where he can usually be found in a local café writing his next piece.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Anything and everything. Comedy, satire, adventure, mystery, horror, science fiction, historical, philosophical, even literary fiction. I try to read and absorb the widest pallet of influences, voices and perspectives and then incorporate (steal!?) as many of their tricks as I can.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
I also write a lot of historical fiction of a faux-Orientalist nature starring the hero Yusuf ibn Yaqzan. And I write some literary-style fiction focused on my experiences in Russia.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
I’ll give you my top 10, in no particular order: Dostoyevsky, Hammett, Poe, Borges, Rulfo, Basho, Chris Marlowe, Gogol, Orson Welles, Waylon Jennings. Anything that smudges the border between literary and speculative fiction.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
Nope…But seriously, I don’t write with a message in mind. I feel the author, in many cases, in the best cases, is as much an observer as the reader. And can have as valid an interpretation as any reader.

You can find out more about Eric at ericlahti.com and at his blog.
You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

“Security System” – Halloween 2018

Eric Lahti is a programmer, author, martial artist, and generally decent guy. He writes urban fantasy with a smattering of horror and humor with the odd short story tossed in. He’s the author of the Henchmen series and his ode to Kung Fu Theater: Greetings From Sunny Aluna. His most recent book about devils, ghost hunters, witches, and magic should be available sometime this Fall.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I enjoy stories that make me wonder and sticks with me long after the story is over. I’m not particular to any genre, but I love stories that cover big stuff. Be it Sci-Fi, urban fantasy, or anything else, as long as it leaves something behind, I dig it.

Who are your favorite authors?
I love Richard Matheson’s work.  Tim Powers has done some absolutely amazing work, too. Heinlein, Asimov, Stephenson, Walter Gibson, Lester Dent, Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Walter Jon Williams.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
Not overly. Some of my books are a reaction to what I see going on in the world, others just have larger themes. They all have the same underlying sense of something magical happening just around the corner. Maybe that’s the message: Keep looking and you might find something amazing.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Definitely Tim Powers. I love his work and the intricacy that he weaves into his plots.  Some of the bigger names of the 30s pulp world such as Walter Gibson and Lester Dent have also influenced me. Their love of adventure shines through their works.

Lea, Trisha

You can find out more about Trisha on her website; and can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

“The Wolf’s Bane” – Winter Digest 2018
“The Cost of Sight” – JUL/AUG 2019

Trisha Lea fell in love with writing at eight-years-old and has been honing her craft ever since. She studied theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and has since returned to her first passion. She recently finished her first novel and Tweets daily flash fictions. She lives in Colorado with her husband, two kids, and two cats.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I like suspenseful, dark and gritty, and weird stories.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
My favorite books are “The Library at Mount Char,” by Scott Hawkins, “The Bone Clocks,” by David Mitchell, and the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King. Since I’ve spent a lot of time in those worlds, they have dramatically influenced my writing style.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
Most people are afraid of monsters, ghosts, or the dark. I’m more afraid of other people and what they are capable of doing. I want my readers to question their ideas of good and evil, and find that maybe everyone has a little bit of both.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
I love speculative fiction because it asks the question “What if?” Anything is possible, and if we can dream it, we can create it.

You can find out more about Arthur at arthurmacabe.com, and you can find him on Twitter.

“The Schlikt” – Halloween 2018
“Human” – MAY/JUN 2019

Arthur Macabe is a writer of science fiction, horror, fantasy and the strange. In addition to his writing projects, he conducts weekly interviews with other writers, inspiring others in the pursuit of the craft and discovering new stories.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I love stories which make me think and take me to and fun and unexpected place.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
I love to write science fiction and fantasy, as well as non-fiction about engineering and construction practices.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
The Sword of Shannara was one of the first books I read. That feeling I had when I finished the book is the same feeling I hope my readers discover when they read my work.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
There can be a sense of adventure no matter where you are. I also strive for a positive twist in my stories, the primary character discovering a new sense of freedom.

Mack

You can contact Gary via email and follow him on Twitter. Website coming soon!

“The Magpie’s Call” – JUL/AUG 2019

Gary John Mack has spent most of his career in the NHS and Local Government in the UK. He has always scribbled down stories for fun, and there is a photograph of him somewhere aged 11 typing up Doctor Who stories on a typewriter. In 2017 he had a life changing event which helped create a bucket list that included a wish to be published. The Magpie’s Call is his first published work. He lives in Lichfield, Staffordshire with his wife and three sons.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I like stories that have twists and turns, especially those that have a “pay off” that shocks or surprises. I also like complex stories or novel plots that make me think or look something up that I’m not sure about or could research.

Who are your favorite authors?
Fantasy: Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, Peter V Brett, David Eddings
Sci Fi: Gareth L Powell, Peter F Hamilton, Iain. M. Banks,
Historical: Bernard Cornwall
Horror/Suspense: S. King, CJ Tudor

Favorite author at present is James Oswald, who brilliantly mixes crime and the supernatural.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
I have written lots of fantasy over a period of about twenty years, but recently have took to writing speculative horror and hard sci fi short stories too. I am currently writing a crime novel with a real twist which I am trying to finish in the next few months.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
The scope. You can really take a story down a path that fixed genres rarely allow. I like fiction that knocks down the genre walls entirely.

David Mcalister

You can find out more about David at his website, and can follow him on Twitter.

“The Teacup” – Nov/Dec 2018

David McAllister is a UK based writer and blogger with a love for stories that challenge our beliefs about the world. He loves to craft fiction that ask questions about where the human race are headed and what waits on the other side. He lives with his wife and four children so quite frankly its a miracle he finds time to write at all.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Challenging, mind bending and thought provoking fiction. Parallel worlds, technology gone awry and the human race having to re-evaluate their very existence.

Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King is the master storyteller for me. I don’t think I would be a writer without his influence. Asimov, Heinlein and Phillip K. Dick are probably more indicative of my own writing style.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
I want to people to place themselves in my stories and make them question what it means to be human. I like to offer a form of escape in a world fast falling apart.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in our way of life. Its becoming harder to separate the human and the computer element. Speculative fiction is very close to home now and may well be science fact rather than science fiction in the next 50 years.

Find Richard at his website,
or follow him on Twitter.

“Shimmering in the Night” – Sep/Oct 2018
“Shadow Men” – Halloween 2018

Richard D Mellinger, Jr. was born and raised in Monterey, Ca. He has a BS and MS in Physics from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and San Diego State, respectively. He writes fiction of all sorts and loves physics, astronomy, writing, photography, and dogs… mostly dogs… all the dogs.

Who are your favorite authors?
Kurt Vonnegut, Christopher Moore, and Stephen King

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
I don’t think there are many limits on the things I enjoy writing about. I just write whatever strikes my fancy. Sometimes it’s science fiction or fantasy. Other times it’s horror or literary. If you find a pattern, please let me know!


What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
The little voice inside my head that tells me what to write is a weird love child of all my favorite authors. Though, having read so much Kurt Vonnegut, Christopher Moore, and Stephen King, they tend to be the dominant ingredients.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
I like the freedom to explore and play in a world where I make the rules.

Mitchell

You can find out more about Michael at his website, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
You can also find his music at Reverbnation!

“The Circle’s Child” – Winter Digest 2018

Michael Mitchell, Jr. is a writer, illustrator, and musician living in beautiful Richmond, Virginia. He has been exploring imaginative worlds and developing characters for most of his life, and his passion for storytelling drives every aspect of his art and writing. Michael also enjoys reading, playing tabletop & video games, watching movies, and collecting way too many things.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I’ve always loved fantasy stories. It started with the Chronicles of Narnia, but I remember really getting hooked on the genre when I discovered L. Frank Baum’s The Tin Woodman of Oz at my elementary school library. I’m a fan of stories full of strange creatures, talking animals, magical items, heroic characters, and epic quests and journeys.

Who are your favorite authors?
Some of my favorite authors include John Steinbeck, C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, L. Frank Baum, Carl Barks, David Eddings, J.K. Rowling, Scott Snyder, and Kate DiCamillo.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
It’s not a book, but the original Star Wars trilogy had a huge impact on the formation of my imagination and storytelling. C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series introduced me to worldbuilding, allegory, wonder, and of course talking animals.
My mom Sharyn was also an amazing artist (writer & painter) with an incredible imagination and a gift for storytelling. One of my earliest memories was the two of us crafting a miniature zoo together (with cardboard, construction paper, and plastic animals). Our awesome menagerie filled the kitchen table! She always encouraged me to pursue the arts and to keep writing, imagining, and creating.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
I tend to gravitate toward the topics and themes of transformation, identity, mystery, hope, and the hero’s journey.

Find out more about Dennis at dennismombauer.com.
You can also follow Dennis on Twitter and Facebook.
Find “Die Novelle” HERE.

“A Passage of Time” – Sep/Oct 2018
“Below the Cubicle Sea” – Nov/Dec 2018

Dennis Mombauer, *1984, currently lives in Colombo as a freelance writer of fiction, textual experiments, reviews; and essays on climate change and education.  He also is co-publisher of “Die Novelle–Magazine for Experimentalism”. He has publications in various magazines and anthologies. He published the German novel “Das Maskenhandwerk” (The Mask Trade) with AAVAA press in 2017.

 

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Very often, my protagonists have crumbling palaces or networks of caverns snaking through their minds, and these places are not always empty. The other theme of my writing is cities, with an interest in their social workings and different strata, in how they function as human colonies and engines of progress.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
The usual suspects, from classics to genre literature. Some huge influences that may be lesser known: Daniel Ableev (my former colleague and an eminent strangeologist, always pushing the boundaries in all directions), Hugh Cook, Mark Z. Danielewski, Thomas Ligotti (the Lovecraft of our time), Jeff Long, Clark Ashton Smith, and Cordwainer Smith.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
For me, writing expresses what I cannot put into words otherwise, and what I might not even be consciously aware of. I would say that there are many different ways to look at the same thing, everybody gets lost, and what is important is to question yourself and try to be better.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
To view the world from a different perspective and to show how things could change. Naturalist fiction often ends up reinforcing the belief that the present state is without alternative. I find it important to have a layer of alienation from reality, a veil of dissociation, a filter through which to view the things that really matter.

michael-d-nadeau

You can find out more about Michael at his website and Goodreads, and connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

“Fragmented Reality” – MAY/JUN 2019

Born in the usual way, Michael D. Nadeau found fantasy at the age of 8 with Dungeons and Dragons. He loved being different people and casting magic. By the late 90’s he discovered his love for reading. His favorite teacher gave him her personal books to bring home, and he couldn’t get enough. He had even more ways to explore the great worlds out there, and it was harder and harder to come back.  When he was much older, and had created and destroyed more worlds than he could count, he decided to delve into the literary world. He created Lythinall, a place where he could tell epic stories and invite his readers on the journey with his characters. The Darkness Returns is the start of the journey, but certainly not the end.

Who are your favorite authors?
Well let’s see, this list can be pretty long but here goes: Ed Greenwood, Simon R. Green, Terry Goodkind, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mercedes Lackey, Michael Moorcock, Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman, Stephen R. Donaldson, and the legendary Douglas Adams.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Ed Greenwood (rich with intrigue and humor in the face of adversity…oh El, you slay me), Simon R. Green (the one-liners in his Deathstalker books inspired my humor as well and continuity in stories), and Margaret Weis (epic heart tugging stories and characters (one word…Raistlin)

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
In my Darkness Trilogy books I write about trying to overcome an impossible evil, bringing races split apart by hatred and war back together, and ultimately a new beginning for the whole land. Not really new concepts, but then the old ones are the best sometimes

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
First and foremost it takes me away from the troubles of the real world and brings me to a place that I can be something else. Secondly, it allows me to invent a whole new world where the reader can explore somewhere that they have never heard of.

Enricoh Alfonzo Naidu

You can find out more about Enricoh on his website and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

“Kitara and the Wonderful World of Real” – Winter Digest 2018

Enricoh Alfonzo Naidu is a writer, blogger & social media influencer who lives in the Indian suburb of Lenasia South, all the way in South Africa. When he’s not writing, reading or otherwise influencing; he’s snuggled up with his baby girl, Laci Alfonzo. Cuddling into her snowflake soft fur.

“By far my favorite grandkid.”
– Enricoh’s gran gran

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Fiction. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance. I especially love the ones that mix all of these elements into one book/series. What a treat!

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Fiction. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance. Though as a writer I feel like my enjoyment is constantly evolving & being experimented with. Especially as a blogger, I’ve written posts outside my comfort zones that have been very memorable for me.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
J.K Rowling. Her books got me absolutely hooked on reading & storytelling. I’ve been devouring books ever since. To me she is the Greatest author ever, period. She makes me believe in more.
Harry Potter & Goblet of Fire is the first book I ever remember distinctly reading for pleasure. It’s my favorite in the series & I’ll always cherish my copy for all the doors into unlocked within my mind.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
“Words are Immortal.” ™

steven nedeau cropped

You can find out more about Steven on his website.  You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  
The Soulweb is on Facebook too!

“In the Under Realm” – Nov/Dec 2018

Raised in NH, Steven M Nedeau excelled in writing and art, acted in plays, and even taught dance. A serious car accident derailed his artistic career during his senior year, delaying his entry to college by several years. Steven eventually studied engineering, working full time and studying part time, earning his Bachelor’s degree at night all while raising a family. His college degree behind him, Steven stepped back into the artistic world by writing his first book, The Soulweb.

Steven is now writing three books, Soulweb Sleeping (the sequel to The Soulweb), Soulweb Shattered (the end of The Soulweb Trilogy), and Phoenix (a science fiction novel). He also has been helping other writers with story formatting, editing, and script consulting.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
This Fantasy author is an avid reader of science fiction. I particularly enjoy stories that delve into the things that make us human, into what defines our consciousness. If the story makes me question my own ideas of who or what I am, it’s going to rank high on my list.

Who are your favorite authors?
Phillip K. Dick, Margaret Weiss, J.R.R Tolkien, JK Rowling, Piers Anthony, and William Gibson.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Braham Stoker’s Dracula was one of the most jarring books I’ve ever read. At first I didn’t like it, but as I continued through the book I could feel the brilliance of the storytelling technique.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
Everyone has doubts and feelings inside that they aren’t as good as they should be. It’s ok to feel those things, but you shouldn’t let them hold you back. You are stronger than you realize. That strong confident guy you looked up to in high-school probably wasn’t any more strong or confident than you.

You can follow Jennifer on Twitter and Facebook.

“The Storyteller” – Halloween 2018

In third grade, Jennifer Nelson wrote a story about a girl who died to save her best friend. When her teacher’s only response was, “But she died!”, she knew she wanted to be an author. Now, she lives in Pennsylvania with two cats that get a little too involved with the writing process. When she’s not overthinking her urban fantasy stories, she plays video games, cross-stitches, listens to metal, studies tarot, and other contradictory activities.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Colorful characters, magic, people figuring out how to communicate with each other, dreams


What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Robin McKinley and Brian Jacque’s Redwall series were HUGE influences during my formative years. I don’t write about talking mice, but Redwall was the first inkling of my love of great characters. As for McKinley, she takes classic fairy tales and expands them, breathes new life into them and makes them her own. Also, though I only discovered Maggie Stiefvater a few months ago, and she’s already becoming a major influence. She tackles so many things, from pastel art to calligraphy to bagpipes and excels at them all because of, as she says, “infinite patience for practice”, and if that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.


Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
I’ve asked myself that a lot recently. When I write, I’m telling the story my characters are experiencing, without thought to theme or message until it was there all along. But there is one common message throughout – no matter what limitations you think you might have, be it difficulty with words, with hearing, with staying human, there is always someone out there who hears what you have to say, no matter how silently you say it.


What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
I love things that tickle the imagination, that show me things I’ve never seen or thought of before, that present outlandish ideas and show how they can be real. And now that I’m older, I love seeing what was wondrous as a kid getting all kinds of corrupted and twisted.

HansonOakSubcropped

Find out more about Hanson at his website, and folow him on Twitter!

“The Gulch” – Halloween 2018
“Black Hen Witch” – Winter Digest 2018
“Mercy Code” – MAY/JUNE 2019

Hanson Oak has worked in film and television as well as publications such as Fangoria. Born to well-meaning parents in the badlands of New York, his imagination took hold early, leading him on adventures he documents for his stories. He currently resides in the hills of northwestern Connecticut with his wife, two sons and dog.  

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I love an underdog story. A well rounded protagonist constantly in the shadow of a powerful antagonist. The more dangerous and seemingly impossible the odds against him/her the better.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
The draw to writing for me is the idea that I am taking a story that my imagination has crafted and then, through the power of reading, places that story into another person’s imagination but unlike watching a movie/TV, the details of setting and character are created by the reader, therefore making it a unique experience.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Richard Matheson stands on a podium to me. Reading I am Legend and 12 Step to Midnight had a profound effect on my own writing. I’ve been marked by many other authors since then but he left the deepest scar.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
Any good story has elements of many different genres and being restricted into one or two is a noose around the throat of creativity. The SpecFic umbrella allows a free movement between genres in a singular work and separate pieces, allowing for more interesting stories.