'I'm not a Satanist, I'm a Nietzschean—I hold Satanists in just as much contempt as Christians!'

?Vasily Swedenberg

Issue 2005.04

Flash fiction

Short stories


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Welcome back to the fourth issue of this increasingly dark and decreasingly speculative magazine. (More on this later; we're working on it.) This month we have two very cool stories—one by a writer we've featured before—as well as the three short shorts from the Flashes of Darkness competition. There were some very good entrants that we had to turn away empty-handed, but with any luck we'll be featuring some of these in future issues.

We've been thinking about what to do about the fact that what we originally conceived as a political/societal-cyberpunk magazine with some dark fantasy thrown in for good measure, is overpoweringly turning out horror stories. Not that we want to lose a single one of these excellent stories: but we're just not attracting much Speculative Fiction in the cyber genre. (The competition has pushed us further in this direction, but that was kind of dictated by the nature of our sponsor; at least it made sense to use dark fantasy in an event helping to publicise Mirrormask.) It may just be that the online horror-writing community is much greater than the cyberpunk—is there any site as active and successful as Whispers of Wickedness doing speculative fiction?

In any case, we have two strategies for steering in the future, and we'll just see whether this makes any difference or not: (1) our next competition—for which we still invite a sponsor—will probably be a "Flashes of Chrome" cyberpunk writing event; (2) we have opened and are slowly starting to fill the "Speculative meme-pool" (see below under non-fiction).

Let me only stress again that we still very much welcome dark fantasy as well as all other subgenres of speculative fiction, and that quality writing is totally our first criteria at all times. Feedback, as always, is welcome.

December 2005

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