Saturday, July 14, 2018

S. E. Lindberg's Review of The Audient Void: A Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy Issue Five

The Audient Void No. 5 by Obadiah Baird
S.E. Linderberg's rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Nyarlathotep, the crawling chaos ... I am the last ... I will tell the audient void.” -- HPL 1920, and inspirational quote for the Audient Void journal

Horror and weird-fiction aficionados will love this print magazine. What is an "Audient Void"? Well the official byline is: "The Audient Void is a periodical devoted to publishing Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy as well as poetry and select works of non-fiction." Audient is akin to audience and infers that there is a sentient void (nondescript shadow entity) that listens from beyond our normal senses. As readers consuming this horror anthology, are we in the Void listening? Or watching from outside?

This 5th entry is 60 pages, and is saturated with H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith influences, and the contents reflect an appropriate heavy dose of poetry. Gustav Dore illustrations are complemented by contemporary art by Brad Hicks. The crew behind most of the works have some nice mojo. One can learn more about the Audient Void from their website and a splendid interview on the Grim Tidings Podcast. Here is the summary of that podcast:
In this episode we take a special look at dark poetry. Host Rob Matheny recently attended the Hippocampus Press Happy Hour, a special event debuting the publisher's newest poetry collections as part of the HP Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon. During the event Rob had a chance to interview four writers who specialize in dark poetry: Ashley Dioses, K.A. Opperman, Adam Bolivar, and D.L. Myers - also known as The Crimson Circle. Rob also interviewed Obadiah Baird and Dan Sauer of The Audient Void, a small Oregon-based zine featuring the works of The Crimson Circle among others. This episode highlights the growing dark poetry community, including short readings from each poet.

I'm a big fan of John R. Fultz, his name and Darrell Schweitzer brought me to this magazine and I was not disappointed. I also frequent the Grim Tidings podcast and recommend that as well.

CONTENT:
Stories:
"Oorg" by John R. Fultz ; Dunsanian/ Clark Ashton Smith tale (Horror Sci-Fi)
"Old Lovecraftians In The Park" by David Barker ; Creepy old man ogling girls in the park is the focus, he gets inspired by nostalgia and an old friend’s writings of the genius-loci of the park… he matures in a weird way.
"Love In The Time Of Dracula" by John R. Fultz ; Dystopian Vampire Apocalypse, with a compelling romance
"Why Should We Worship Dagon" by Darrell Schweitzer; Funny call to join the ranks of Dagon worshipers. This reminds me of his actual words when I talked to Darrell at the WFC 2016.


Poetry:
"The Poisoner" by Chelsea Arrington
"Beyond The Veil" by D.L. Meyers; a poetic short story that echoed ambiance from CAS’s “Weaver in the Vault” …at least my memory of it
"Vampire's Kiss" by Ashley Dioses; best ever application of the word “vivisepulture”
"The Fall Of The Pumpkin King" by K.A. Opperman
"The Lay Of Dumah" by Adam Bolivar; more of a poetic short story than a poem… this was one of my favorites; a weird romance with “Lazarus Craven nursed a secret passion for the grave…”
"On The Creation Of Shoggoths" by Charles Lovecraft
"A Tourist In Hell" by John Shirley
"The Divorce" by Marge Simon
"Jack The Balladeer" by Adam Bolivar

Features:
"From The Void" by Obadiah Baird
"Ye Olde Lemurian" by David Barker; a pen pal tribute to Duane W. Rimel--himself a HPL pen pal. This documents letter writing with the obscure weird fiction writer

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Audient Void: A Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy Issue Six

I am happy to announce that my two sonnets, Conquest and War, have been accepted for issue six of The Audient Void: A Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy!  Conquest and War are the first two poems of a mini sonnet cycle entitled the Seven Seals.  The cycle contains a sonnet featuring each of the seven seals from Revelations.

I was originally only going to write about the Four Horsemen and have that be a mini sonnet cycle by itself but I'm a completionist and decided what's three more sonnets?  I also have never read the Bible in its entirety because it's just not my thing.  I just skipped to the end to get to the good parts.