This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
This week's #FridayReads is all about the first issue of The Deadlands. What is The Deadlands, you may ask? Well, it's a new speculative fiction magazine that is about Death:
We are never far from death—Dante reminds us. It is always there, just out of sight, around the bend in the road. The faraway nearby, Rebecca Solnit says. We could step past a tree in that wild forest and be there. Where? The Deadlands.
The Deadlands is a new monthly speculative fiction magazine. We will publish short stories, poems, and essays about the other realms, of the ends we face here, and the beginnings we find elsewhere. It will be a journey into the unknown, to meet those who live there still, even though they may be dead. Death is a journey we all will take, but we’d like to peek at the map before we go.
The zine has a fantastic team behind the scenes (if you miss Shimmer as much as I do, you'll be excited to hear that E. Catherine Tobler is on board as editor!), and some awesome writers are already lined up for future issues. Each issue will feature fiction, poetry, and non-fiction and the first issue is absolutely stellar from Beginning to End.
- You Always Were a Morbid Child – Amanda Downum tells us about piecing together a skull and a life. She is also the Necromancer of The Deadlands and will be taking your questions: "Do you have a question about death, the dead, and what happens when we’re finished with this existence? Ask A Necromancer is a monthly feature in The Deadlands, where readers send in questions about the end of all things and Amanda chooses one (or more, depending on length!) to answer. Submit your questions here."
- Death and Wednesday – Suzan Palumbo is a painful and beautiful and jagged essay about death and fear, about the things that haunt her and the things that saved her. Read this essay, and then read her story in The Dark: "Of Claw and Bone".