Sun 1 Jun 2003 - Filed under: Free Stuff to Read, Short Stories | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

ForeignersRelease came not as I expected — burdened with fines, restrictions, armed guard, and list of warnings longer than my conscience. Instead I walked away entirely free. The doctors, inquisitors, and officials did not visit my cell in the morning as they usually did. Only the middle-aged woman named Ardis entered the cell, without a guard. She arrived with the breakfast tray consisting of nothing out of the ordinary with its simple roll, butter, dab of marmalade, and small red pot of black tea. I stared at the tray trying to assess what was different. Had the commissary taken a second longer in arranging the items across the yellow plastic? Had the usual disarray of items proved unsatisfactory this day? The normally skewed angles of napkin, butter knife, and spoon — had they demanded straightening today? In my brief look at the tray I could see the kitchen help had thought to cut into a fresh lemon for the tea saucer, instead of reaching for a slice remaining from the day before. Or perhaps Ardis personally had overseen the assembly of this breakfast, even stopping to straighten its contents as she stood in the hall outside my cell. As she placed it on the immovable round table near the bed, she did so with greater care than usual. Read more

Foreigners, and Other Familiar Faces

Sun 1 Jun 2003 - Filed under: Chapbooks | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

No.5in the Small Beer Press chapbook series is Foreigners, and Other Familiar Faces — written and illustrated by Wisconsin writer Mark Rich. Each of the nine stories (three of which are published here for the first time) is illustrated by Mark.


“This chapbook of nine stories by Mark Rich offers a fine selection of some truly imaginative fiction. The stories fall open without warning, speaking their own languages with unfamiliar cadence, insisting that you give them your full attention if you plan to attend to them at all. Mark Rich has a little bit of Richard Brautigan in him, something magical in his sentences that charms, even when you don’t understand where they are taking you. My love affair with fiction has become complicated since I finished grad school, and I am heartened when I discover stories that remind me of the inherent beauty of language, and the way it can sparkle when used in the right hands (his are the right hands).”
— Xerography Debt, no.12

“There is some interesting stuff here. He seems to do best with stories that involve gardening.” — A Reader’s Guide to the Underground Press, no.20

“Rich’s confident and compact prose is spiked with sci-fi quirks that veer in unexpected but ever-rewarding directions.”
— Broken Pencil no.23


Wrong Door
Mrs. Hewitt’s Tulips
Take Me
Ashes of Penis Thrown to Sea
Kiss of The Wood Woman
On the Collection of Humans

“Speculative fiction as it should be, without fear of boundaries or consideration of catagories. Each story is absolutely true to itself and utterly unique.”
— Richard Bowes

“Mark Rich is the only writer in existence who can make my mouth fall open.”
— Michael Kandel

“Humor, surrealism, a unique world view — Mark Rich’s short fiction is refreshing, original, and wonderfully written. Any new Mark Rich collection is highly recommended.”
— Jeff VanderMeer

Mark RichWho is Mark Rich?

Is he A) The jaunty, offbeat stories of Mark Rich have appeared since the 1980s in venues ranging from small humor and literary zines to the slick pages of science fiction monthlies. Since the appearance of his first collection of stores, Lifting (Wordcraft of Oregon, 1991), he has published three books about toys, including the dictionary-style compendium Toys A to Z (Krause Publications, 2001). He writes a multitude of columns about toy history for collecting magazines, pens the occasional drawing, such as the ones found in this chapbook, and leads the rock band Mad Melancholy Monkey Mind, which performs in the central Wisconsin area where he makes his home with partner and fellow musician Martha Borchardt. They have no pets.

Is he B) Mark Rich first wrote stories as a child in Colorado in the 1960s. He began publishing occasional poems and reviews in newspapers and zines in his teens, and started two speculative poetry zines before entering college. In some ways, entering college meant the end to his early writing efforts, although he did win a poetry prize and edited the campus newspaper during this time. He earned a degree in music from Beloit College in 1980. In the early 1980s he made his income from a combination of music, artwork, and writing, more the first two than the last; and as a secretary and occasional house painter and cleaning person. His income never rose above the poverty level for fifteen years. In the ’80s he co-founded The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, with Roger Dutcher; managed the Turtle Creek Food Co-op in Beloit, Wis.; worked parttime as editorial assistant and arts reviewer for the Beloit Daily News; participated in local art exhibits, with awards including a Juror’s Award in a regional show; and formed the short-lived bands Auto Da Fe and the Glass Doves. His first collection of short stories, Lifting,appeared in 1991 from David Memmott’s press, Wordcraft of Oregon. Though a small book, it won the Leslie Cross award from the Council of Wisconsin Writers. Afterwards his fiction began appearing in the professional press, beginning with Amazing Stories and Bantam anthology Full Spectrum 4. In the mid-1990s he became a regular contributor to Analog; and he published the letters-oriented zine Kornblume: Kornbluthiana, focusing on the life and works of Cyril Kornbluth. In the late 1990s, he began contributing columns about toy collecting and toy history to collecting magazines, and since then has published three books on toy history. In 2001 he established the band Mad Melancholy Monkey Mind with his partner in life and music, Martha Borchardt. The band’s first CD, Drive, appeared in 2002. Now a five-piece ensemble, the band performs in the central Wisconsin area.

Or C) Mark Rich’s life has been largely unsatisfactory, from the point of view of those who measure accomplishment by the bottom results of a balance sheet. He has, however, provided some help to a few prairie plants and miscellaneous amphibians; has published a few verses; has published a few drawings; has bought people a few beers; has put together and taken apart a few bands; has published a great number of photographs, mostly of toys; has published hundreds of thousands of words about toys; has helped out a few souls in meager literary ways; has published a few stories; has published a few books; has published a little literary criticism; has rescued a few earthworms; has cooked some good meals; has mixed some fine classic martinis; has drunk some excellent beers; has gone on some excellent walks; has provided a source of worry to his family; has read some good books; has grown a few longs hairs; and has grown a few gray hairs. This is his second collection of short stories.

Or some combination. Or all three. Or something else entirely??

Here’s his website, where you can find out more about the man, the music, the toys, oh yes, the toys.

Mark’s art was featured in LCRW 11 and on the cover of LCRW 5. His short story, “Delivery”, appeared in LCRW 9.

Mark’s been writing for years, and has been published in Tales of the Unanticipated, Analog, Amazing Stories, Science Fiction Age, The Silver Web, Keen Science Fiction, Plot, Palace Corbie, Nova 5, and the anthologies The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Eleventh Annual Collection, Universe 3, Full Spectrum 4… etc., etc.

Some of the stories in Foreigners, and Other Familiar Faces were previously published in the following places:

Ashes of Penis Thrown to Sea, Stygian Articles (No. 11, October 1997)
Exfoliation, Talebones (No. 1, Winter 1996)
Foreigners, Full Spectrum 4 (Bantam Doubleday Dell: 1993).
Idiosynchronicity (as Idiosynchrasies), SF Age (3:3, March 1995)
Mrs. Hewitt’s Tulips, in Tales of the Unanticipated (No. 20, August 1999)
On the Collection of Humans, appeared originally in Nova (U.K; 1993) and Year’s Best Science Fiction 11 (St. Martin’s: 1994)

Take Me, Wrong Door, and Kiss of the Wood Woman appear here for the first time.

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 12

Sun 1 Jun 2003 - Filed under: LCRW | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Gavin J. Grant. Right lane must turn right. Left lane must turn left.
Kelly Link. Good things, yes. Bad things, no.



Jan Lars Jensen — Happier Days

The theme for our ten year grad reunion was “Happy Days.” I’m not sure why this particular show was selected, as we had graduated long after the ’50s, and the series had been cancelled before most of us met in high school. I’m not even sure why we needed a theme — a reunion wasn’t a prom. But I guess “Happy Days” generated a feeling of nostalgia that the organizers hoped would rub off on our event, and few people could claim they had never seen an episode.

David Erik Nelson — Bay
Ursula Pflug — In Dreams We Remember
Richard Parks — The Plum Blossom Lantern

Michiko’s servant girl Mai carried the deep pink lantern to light their way through the dark city streets. Mai was dead. Since Michiko was, too, that didn’t seem so strange. In fact, very little about the situation struck Michiko as odd or even very different from when she was alive. She did have one regret, however — her feet. Michiko missed having feet.

Nick Mamatas — Found Wedged in the Side Drawer in Paris, France, 23 December, 1989
Lena DeTar — Definitions
Jennifer Rachel Baumer — Spirits of Sage, Wind, and Sun
Philip Raines and Harvey Welles — The Fishie

Catchie hears first. “‘mam! Noisy in the ground!”
Spitmam scoops away sleep and releasing Catchie from her bed grasp, listens for the disturbance beyond the cottage.
“Hear? Under rock, ‘mam! Under and deep, calling to the folk!”
“You say, you say.” In a grumbly witter, Spitmam swings on her longcoat and unlodges the door. The night’s cold as groundstone, but Spitmam bends stiff knees to lay an ear to one of the pathway flags.
“You’re hearing it,” she tells the girl quietly. “That thumping’s surely under. And a grand thing’s there!”


Jack Cheng — Mesopotamians, All
Richard Butner — How to Make a Martini

“I drink so I can talk to assholes. This includes me.” — James Douglas Morrison

Drink what you like, so you can talk to assholes including yourself. But. But you might want to have a martini. And here’s how to make one.
First off, martinis are made of gin and vermouth. If you make one with vodka, it’s not a martini; it’s a vodka martini. If you make one without vermouth, it’s not a martini, it’s cold gin, which is a perfectly fine KISS song but perhaps not a perfectly fine beverage.
The state of being in a martini glass does not instantly confer martini-hood on any given concoction. Some perfectly fine drinks are served in martini glasses (aka cocktail glasses, as opposed to old-fashioned glasses or Collins glasses or cordial glasses). Gimlets, say. Hell, even Lemon Drops. There is no such thing as a Choco-Banana Martini, though.

L. Timmel Duchamp — What’s the Story? Reading Deena Metzger’s The Woman Who Slept with Men to Take the War Out of Them
Zines reviews & credits
William Smith — The Film Column: Don’t Look Now


Christoph Meyer — Death Ditty
Cara Spindler — Five Poems
Nancy Jane Moore — Resilience
Anne Sheldon — Two Poems


Jennifer Rachel Baumer lives in Reno, Nevada, with her husband/best friend/sometime editor Rick and a rapidly expanding number of cats. She wrote “Spirits” at Clarion after news from home of a shooting at the local market. When not writing fiction Jennifer can be found procrastinating on writing nonfiction, from which she makes a tentative living.

Richard Butner is a freelance journalist and short story writer. Hell, he might even write a novel soon. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. He loves you. Read his story “Other Agents” from LCRW no.5. His story “Ash City Stomp” provided the inspiration for Shelley Jackson’s painting for the cover of Trampoline.

Jack Cheng works on archaeological excavations in Turkey and Syria. He is writing a book on Assyrian music when not playing with his new son Austin. Earlier contributions to LCRW include a review of Vanilla Sky, an email exchange in no.7, and illustrations in no.4.

Lena DeTar is currently teaching English in Nara, Japan. She will be attending a Science Writing (journalism) MA program at Johns Hopkins next year. As for philosophy, she may be Buddhist. Or not. It deserves more meditation.

L. Timmel Duchamp is a regular columnist for LCRW. She has published a prodigious quantity of fiction in addition to a modest number of essays. She is an editor at Fantastic Metropolis.Intrepid voyagers may discover and explore her work here.

Jan Lars Jensen grew up in Yarrow, B.C. and currently lives in Calgary, Alberta. His first novel, Shiva 3000, was published by Harcourt in North America and Macmillan in the U.K. Raincoast Books will publish a nonfiction work, tentatively titled Nervous System, in 2004.

Nick Mamatas is the author of the Bram Stoker Award-losing short novel Northern Gothic (Soft Skull Press) and of short stories appearing in Razor, Strange Horizons, Wide Angle NY, and The Whirligig. This bio is already longer than his story, so just look at his website.

Christoph Meyer lives in Danville, OH. He is an enthusiast. His zine, 28 Pages Lovingly Bound with Twine, is indeed that, and should be read.

Nancy Jane Moore‘s fiction has appeared in various anthologies, some magazines, and the occasional webzine, but this is the first time her poetry has appeared anywhere besides her high school literary magazine. Her story “Three O’Clock in the Morning” appeared in LCRW no.8.

David Erik Nelson currently lives somewhere in America with his anonymous fiancee and X number of dogs. He has never been associated with the publication Poor Mojo’s Almanac(k), and asks that you disregard that vile, scurrilous rag entirely.

Richard Parks lives in Mississippi with his wife and three cats. His work has appeared inAsimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, and numerous anthologies. His first short story collection, The Ogre’s Wife: Fairy Tales for Grownups, was published in 2002 by Obscura Press.

A contemporary fantasy/magic realist novel by Ursula PflugGreen Music has recently been released by Tesseract Books. Pflug has had over forty short stories professionally published, at home in Canada and internationally in both speculative and mainstream venues, in print and on the web (Holy MackerelsLate for Dinner, Sky RisePython). She has frequently written about art and books for Toronto’s Now Magazine and other venues, worked in editorial for three years at the cultural journal The Peterborough Review, and co-written several short films including,Memory Lapse At The Waterfront — based on a published Pflug short story, it has shown at festivals and has been sold to television. Pflug has taught writing workshops to both adults and children. She has read her short fiction at countless public readings. She has received several Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council grants in support of her fiction; her theatre work has also been supported by the OAC and by the Laidlaw Foundation. She has had three plays professionally staged and has been writing and performing with Seaskum, a Peterborough based all girl comedy troupe. She is a member of SF Canada and Broad Universe. Formerly a full time graphic artist, she has concentrated on her writing since moving to the rural Kawarthas from Toronto with her family, fifteen years ago. In their spare time, they are building a teleporter together.

Philip Raines and Harvey Welles have published stories in The Fractal, New Genre, and Albedo One, and have won the UK Bridport Prize short story competition. Phil is a member of the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers Circle. Harvey lives in Milwaukee.

Anne Sheldon was born in Washington, DC, in 1945. Her work has appeared in Poet Lore, Spitball, Weird Tales, and Edge City Review, among other small magazines, and in a chapbook,Lancastrian Letters, and a book, Hero-Surfing. She is a poet-in-the-schools, working through the Maryland State Arts Council, and teaches storytelling at the library school of the University of Maryland.

William Smith is a regular columnist for LCRW. He is on the cusp of publishing a zine, Trunk Stories. We are note with awe that his review of Don’t Look Now did not include a reference tothat scene.

Cara Spindler lives in Michigan and teaches creative writing, in high schools for money and prisons for free. Her poetry has most recently appeared in The Driftwood Review, Poor Mojo’s Almanac, and Spinning Jenny.

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, No.12 June 2003. LCRW appears twice a year from Small Beer Press, 176 Prospect Ave., Northampton, MA 01060 [email protected] $4 per single issue or $16/4. Contents the authors. All rights reserved. Submissions, requests for guidelines, &c. should be sent to the address above. No SASE: no reply. Thanks for those, Richard. No extras this time, no footnotes, no recipes spelled out in the first letter of each story (see no. 8). Apples, etc. read from back to front. Remove the figure from the head, what’s left? Is there a ship? Is there a state? There is a state, disunited. Mostly, when we read the news, we are sad. It is annoying to feel so sad and useless. We want to revolt, but non-violently, because we do not believe in violence. The ends don’t justify those means and all that. But what does it mean when every day, every day, another freedom is taken away, another imbalance is made law, another good law (yes, good) is wiped off the books. Revolution now.