Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We Got Swill! Nice, Hot Swill!

Last night Rob referred to the flash fiction on the back as, "Nearly a collaboration," due to my typically heavy-handed edits. You didn't hear it from me. Go on and click the image to read it.

(or just click on the above line)

Finally. Finally!

Swill is here
and it's the best issue yet. Rob and I worked like motherfuckers on this one -- I spent a few weeks worth of ten-hour, twelve-hour days on it, and I wound up pissing Rob off by editing my story right up to the minute he pulled the layouts from my thick-fingered hands. We painstakingly fine-tuned the cover and layout based on test prints, thus removing some of the infelicities of earlier issues.

The fiction is solid -- one great story after another, even mine, he said with no trace of false modesty. And on a similarly shameless note, it is fucking gorgeous.

A certain literary luminary (who I shall not name, for if I pimped him out he'd probably use the tattered remains of my severed head as an example for those who would tempt his wrath -- but if you knew who he was you would shit green, he's on the Big Fat Anthology You Have To Buy For Your English Class level) sent me a letter last year in which he opined that the design and illustration for that issue held more content than the writing.

I would have assumed that he meant the writing sucked, but he also recommended Swill to one of the top editors in the SF/Fantasy/Horror field, so now we're being read for The Year's Best Horror.

Two artworks published in the last issue were featured in gallery shows; this issue looks twice as good. Easily. Rob told me that people he showed Swill to stopped and really looked at each illustration -- and one dude started talking about putting one of the images on a T-shirt. I'll let you know how that works out.

But of course Swill is all about the fiction. Rob and I try put together the kind of magazine a writer likes to see his work in, and it's paid off. For instance, we gots us a well-known writer this issue. One of those workers-in-the-vineyards who actually shape pop culture.

It is John Shirley, folks. John motherfucking Shirley! Cyperpunk's Patient Zero and actual punk rocker, scriptwriter of The Crow and (my beloved) Max Headroom, lyricist for Blue Oyster Cult. His short noir fiction is my favorite stuff of his, brutal, unrelenting, absolutely convincing, and filled with the core rage of someone who is seriously disappointed by the inadequacies of human nature.

Let us take a quick tour through the table of contents. If you want to see some samples of each story, go here and start clicking in the left-hand column.

You Blundering Idiot, You Fucking Failed To Kill Me Again!
John Shirley

Never send a lumbering doofus to do a paracosmic being's work!

(I just realized that if you combine the two lead characters in this story, you get me. Shirley's surrealistic and noir sides meet in order to fuck each other up. This one is hilarious -- it reminded me of Sheckley, just a little.)

Girl Like That
W.G. Kelly

They thought they had it all worked out -- but they didn't know which way the wind blew...

(A nice, tight crime story. If you remember Black Lizard Press fondly, you'll like this one.)

Mud People
Rob Pierce

You can only be underfoot for so long...

(A surrealistic parable of the personal and the political by the man with two verbs for a name.)

Holy Adam and Saint Jason
Steve Young

Family will do it to you every time.

(A surprisingly touching slice-of-underlife with a strong reportorial feel.)

My Day At The Mall With Paul Bowles And Jack Kerouac
Craig Hartglass

A word to the wise -- when trolling for girls, it never hurts to bring along some Beats!

(Last night, Rob said that every time he reread this story he still laughed out loud at all the jokes. Need I say more?)

Mackler's Last Fare
Brian Haycock

Sometimes quitting time comes a little too late...

(Lots of noir this issue. Gritty, ground-level crime done right. We worked this poor son-of-a-bitch like a government mule.)

Hate Her, Hate Her, Tribulator!
Sean Craven

You'd think an alien torture demon would have a knack for hatred. You'd be wrong...

(This was my second attempt at a short story. It's only taken fourteen drafts over six or seven years to get it right. If nothing else, it's the weirdest deal-with-the-devil story you'll ever read, I gore-un-tee.)

Swill! Tell your friends! Tell your family! A must-have for cyberpunk completists! Soon to be a valuable collectors item! A genuine art object, fit for the Louvre!

Buy it! Buy it! Buy it!

Please note that supplies are limited, as each copy is assembled by hand.

If none of the above moves you, maybe this will --

-- the missus hates my author's notes!

(Thank you, and we will now return to our regular programming.)


robp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robp said...

Little detail: available via the Swill website.

Nice post, thank you.

Allison Landa said...

Looking forward to seeing it once I extricate myself from the corn.