An odd-shaped magazine joins my shelf of contributor copies

I received my copies of Fictitious Force #4 in the mail yesterday. The first thing that jumps out at you is the shape--tall and skinny. In fact, it won't actually fit on the shelf with the rest of my contributor copies. But I like how that makes it stand out. So far I wouldn't say it really affects how I read it.

I've reread B. A. Barnett's story (reread because I'd read it in critique about a year ago) and and the various flash pieces, including Elizabeth Bear's, and enjoyed them. But I haven't read any of the other long pieces yet. My story, "A Poisoned Brush," is also a flash.

So let's see--where'd this story come from? One critique group I'm part of has weekly challenges where we're given an hour to write on a specific topic. The topic, I believe, was flower magic. Now I can be contrarian, and I often try to take a topic like this the opposite of what first comes to mind. So the first things I thought of were rather light and fluffy--definitely not what I tend to write. So I thought, "How can I make flower magic something dark?" And I came up with a poisonous flower that was a paintbrush for a dark and visceral painting. Yeah, that'll do on the story's origin, but I do have to mention that I'd been reading Gene Wolfe at the time and couldn't resist throwing in the word 'fuligin.'

That was only one of two things that arrived in the mail--but I'll mention the other things in another post.


I'm probably to start giving the mag a read tomorrow. Though I'll just skip right past my long-ass story as quickly as possible...I'd just want to rewrite the entire thing.