Speculative Fiction Digital Magazine

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August Cover

What's Inside

Theme: Pain


Featured: So Inflamed, I Have Left by Anaea Lay

  • Bird Science, and That of Loneliness by Sara Puls
    Of silence, solitude, and the songs of sirens.
  • Foam and Yellow Sand by Jamie Lackey
    Letting go of the past isn't always an easy thing.
  • Balance Sheet by Richard Thomas
    A father's love for his child knows no limits.

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Penumbra eMag

William Meikle is in the Spotlight

Over the last three years both Musa Publishing and Penumbra have come a long way. So have many of our writers, including today's guest, William Meikle, who we first met when he had “#solsticedreams” published by Penumbra way back in 2012. Please give William a warm welcome. Can you tell us a bit about your publication experience with Penumbra? I've had a couple of stories published in Penumbra — “#solsticedreams” in 2012, and “Ae Fond K...

Calling All Punctuation Abusers

The Semicolon Take a Tip from Helen #9 by Helen Hardt This little punctuation mark is probably the most misused on the planet. The semicolon is a divider. It is used ONLY (okay, there's one exception, but you won't come across it in fiction) to mark off the boundary between grammatically parallel elements. It is most often used to separate independent clauses in compound and compound-complex sentences and to separate items in a series whe...

E. Catherine Tobler Makes Her Choice

If you could read works by only one author for the rest of your life, what author would you choose and why? If I could only read the works of one author for the rest of my life, I would presume I'd been thrown in the worst jail ever (and what was my crime, probably eating too much cake). This bleak prison cell would look out over a vast library that I had no access to save for when the jailers made me name an author. There would be too man...

The Short Story Market is Dead

by Jennifer R. Povey Or rather, it's been declared so quite a few times. Alternatively, we've been promised a short story boom that never seems to happen. What is definitely true is that short fiction is...well. Not as popular as long fiction. Not as visible on the shelves. Many publishers won't touch short story collections. Book stores seldom buy anthologies. Except...and there's always an exception. The exception is science fiction...

Why Do I Write Dark Fiction?

by Richard Thomas People often ask me why I write such dark stories—why horror? Sometimes those questions come from my wife, sometimes my mother. “Why don’t you write something funny, or romantic? You’re so funny!” they say. I wish I knew. I’ve always been this way. I hear Stephen King gets the same questions. The “romantic” story I tried to write for my wife ended up being “Flowers for Jessica” (Weird Fiction Review) and was the story of a ...

Next Issue

Theme: Lewis Carroll


Catch Your Death by H.L. Fullerton


  • Going Among Mad People by E. Catherine Tobler
  • Drink Me by DeAnna Knippling
  • Saturday Night at the Wonderland Club by Jennifer R. Povey
Free Issues, Volume 1


Queen Mab by Brenda Anderson, When the story plot unfolds, we see the malevolent nature of the fairy queen. I enjoyed the flash of 'reality' with the Tunguska event, and of course the sweet revenge Hugh set in motion...”

Volume 2, Issue 12; Theme: The Fae

Reviewer: Yolanda

Musa Publishing Review

“In Sweet Home by Alex Gorman, aliens have taken over the world. Perversely, they are fond of dressing their slug-like shapes in human clothes and enjoying tea parties. These aliens are the worst kind of Evil Overlords, or the best depending on your perspective.”

Volume 2, Issue 11; Theme: Revolution

Reviewer: Cyd Athens

Tagent Online

The Silhouette and the Smoke by Richard Baldwin, is the story of a pair of lovers in a tribe without verbal language who are taught to speak by a bear... A sweet, sad story of innocence lost, that found me grieving even for Chief, whose first use of speech was to create the tribe's first lie.”

Volume 1, Issue 12; Theme: Native American Folklore

Reviewer: Stevie McMichael

Tagent Online

And When Innocence Falls to the Floor by Damien Walters Grintalis, Amelie confronts the horror and finds peace. Remembering doesn't make her happy, but the knowledge allows healing. She leaves the crumbling house and gets on with her life. Brutal images and a believable character. I enjoyed this. Well done.”

Volume 1, Issue 8; Theme: Fractured Fairy Tales

Reviewer: Sherry Decker

Tagent Online