March 6th, 2010

Summary: Innsmouth Free Press, 2009

Summary: Innsmouth Free Press, 2009

Silvia Moreno-Garcia pointed me at Innsmouth Free Press, a webzine she runs with Paula R. Stiles. (The editorial staff is Moreno-Garcia as Publisher, Stiles as Editor-in-Chief, and Mari Ness and Amanda J. Spedding as Field Correspondents.) It's a "fictional newspaper" on generally Lovecraftian subjects, and they publish occasional fiction issues (and occasional reprints). I went ahead and checked out the 2009 issues (one from June, one from October). Between them they published 13 (of course!) stories, all short (8 short-shorts), some 23,000 words total. 7 of 13 stories were by women (54%), and I called them all fantasy, though an argument can be made that some Lovecraftian fiction is actually SF.

I'm not really a big fan of Lovecraft, and usually less so of latter day Mythos stories, so I'm not really the primary audience for this magazine. But it's quite nicely done overall. Somethng of a mixed bag, mind you, but there's some good stuff here. The presence of writers like Nick Mamatas and Mary Robinette Kowal was a lure for me, and both show just fine, Mamatas with "And Then, and Then, and Then ..." (June), a deliberately banal account of a man encountering the magnetic horrors of the depths, and Kowal with "Prayer at Dark River" (October), about a priest's doubts after he witnesses a sorcerer deal with a case of possession. I also liked Caroline Totten's "By the Sea, by the Sea" (June), about the sad life of a girl's strange sister. Robert Borski and Natalie Boisard-Beudin also did nice work.