The spring issue of Space and Time Magazine is out now and well worth a look. This is one of the few small press periodicals of weird fiction still visible on newsstands. The magazine comes out roughly quarterly and has been in continuous publication since the 1960s—quite remarkable given the difficulties that print media face right now.
The magazine features inventive and somewhat edgy short stories, poetry, and reviews. It does not take itself too seriously and is not afraid to display a sense of humor, especially when playfully poking fun at horror clichés and tropes. According to the editor in chief, Hildy Silverman, the magazine looks for speculative fiction that combines interesting elements from more than one genre—“mash-ups.” And this is on display in the current issue. Of interest to readers of The R’lyeh Tribune: just about every issue of Space and Time Magazine contains at least one item inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft.
A disturbing story set in the restaurant business starts off as a realistic, “warts and all” depiction of the life of an aspiring chef, then morphs into a grotesque riff on the Bacchus myth in John Bowker’s Old Meat. Two old murderers reminisce in The Tramp Clown’s Secret, by Jason Sturner, in a tale that manages to be both horrifying and filled with pathos. In Nicky Draden’s The Simplest Equation, the formula for a fractal serves as a kind of metaphor for a growing friendship between a struggling math student and her gifted alien roommate.
In Ferrett Steinmetz’s In Extremis, a clergyman must make terrible split second decisions in a world where people become demon-animated zombies as soon as they are dead. This one was impressive for the author’s skillful and economic creation of a vividly imagined world in the narrow space of a short action story. Fans of H.P. Lovecraft will either be amused or appalled by Scott Pearson’s The Squid That Came To Phil’s Basement. Phil must consult the “Cthulhu Helpline”—he gets the number from Randolph Carter!—and achieves unintended but perhaps desired results. The tone of the story is affectionate towards the source material, and there are several clever references to Lovecraft’s work.
The spring issue of Space and Time Magazine contains three other stories of equal quality and interest, a selection of poetry, (most quite short), an interview with the Nebula Award winning author, Catherine Asaro, and an interesting critique of the 2004 sci-fi film The Final Cut. The illustrations by various artists nicely augment the material without being a distraction.
Small press publications are critical to keeping the fields of horror, science fiction and fantasy vital through their support of emerging talent. Ever since the days of the Munsey magazines and the original Weird Tales, influential writers of speculative fiction have begun their careers in such periodicals. Though not accepting submissions at the moment, Space and Time Magazine accepts original fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Manuscripts up to 10,000 words are preferred, per their submission guidelines. Payment is .01¢/word for fiction; a flat rate of $5.00 per poem is offered for poetry.