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Issue #15: Elves & Spacerockets (Fantasy & Science Fiction)

Die unglaubliche Begegnung im All

Image courtesy of © Gerd Wolf –

I love science fiction and fantasy. I love tales about Martian princess ninjas who do as they damn well please, you puny humans. I love stories about otherworldly creatures from other worlds and nether-worldly baddies who have no remorse, or who are tragically fated.  The accidental vampire. The genetically created dog-soldier. The Messiah who just wants to have a nice, cold pint with his mates in peace. The ninja warrior-ess who yearns to prove herself in a male-dominated clan. Fairies who have seen better days but still want to help a guy out. Crafty, sly, gnome spies. Aliens. Mermaids. Old mythologies, origin stories, and Legends of the New.

This issue has all of these and more. I hope you enjoy reading these stories and poems as much as I did.

Remember, the next issue of The Were-Traveler will be a contest issue and will be about shinigami—the embodiment of Death, or soul reaper(s)—it is open to all and unlike many writing contests, writers can submit previously published stories as long as they fit the criteria listed on the Calls for Submissions page. There will be monetary or gift card prizes. But now, without further delay, Elves and Spacerockets—

Issue 15: Elves & Spacerockets (Fantasy & Science Fiction)

Weredog Green Berets and Ninja Gnomes on Venus, by Jeff Forker (flash)

Verging, by Brian O (drabble)

The Further Adventures of Beer Drinkin’ Jesus, by Daniel Ritter (short story)

Jade Moon Rabbit, by Deborah Walker (poem)

Kuiper Court, by S.E. Sever (short story)

The Grandmaster, by D.L. Smith-Lee (flash)

Remedial Fae, by Ed Ahern (flash)

The Green Rock, by Michael A. Kechula (drabble)

A Century Of Better and Worse and Worse and Worse, by Diane Arrelle (flash)

Frost Bite, by Sasha Janel McBrayer (flash)

Four Haiku, by Denny E. Marshall (poem)

Mermaid Weather, by H.L. Ross (flash)

Impact, by Michael C. Keith (short story)

Incident Report, by S. J. Warren (drabble)

Black Dragons, by Mathias Jansson (poem)

Thanksgiving, by Julie Gilbert (flash)

Mars 1, by Arthur M. Doweyko (short story)

The Gravy Train Stops Here, by Diane Arrelle (flash)

The Sixth Pillar, by Matt Hlinak (micro-fiction)

Shadow Whisperer at the Black Hole Hotel, by Kelda Crich (poem)

Waterskins, by Denny E. Marshall (drabble)

The Whole Picture, by Ray Dean (short story)

The Good Fairy, by Ed Ahern (flash)

Space Ninjas, by Deborah Walker (poem)

Another Eden, by Cassandra Arnold (flash)

Serial Numbers, Michael A. Kechula (flash)

Issue #14: Alien Tech

Image courtesy of © Algol -

Image courtesy of © Algol –

The thought of life existing on worlds other than our own, out there in the asteroid-filled expanses of deep space is a fun one for writers. One thing we like to think about is: what kind of tools or machines would aliens use in their day-to-day lives? This is what I asked for from authors for this issue: write about some of the technology employed by off-world sentient races. I got some interesting and fun stories in for this one. There’s an android. And alien potato chips!

As I said to my friend Rexodigis 9.5  from the planet of the Squid People: “Is that a particle gun in your tentacle sling, or are you just happy to see me?”

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Shinigami Stories: Reaping the Harvest of Souls issue will be a contest issue! One lucky author will win a prize for best story ($15). Two-runners up will receive $10 and $5, respectively for second and third place. I’m a broke-ass college student, but I’m also an author, and I know what it’s like to not get paid for your hard work. It’s been awhile since I could afford to do a contest issue, so I’m glad I’m able to do one again. Unlike the last issue, which was a reader’s poll, I may want to have judges for this one. Not myself. Please email me if you are interested in judging the contest at As I’m making this issue a contest issue, I’m changing some rules for the submissions. See the Calls for Submissions page for details

Now back to your regularly scheduled reading!

Issue #14: Alien Tech

The Purple Gumdrop, by Michael A. Kechula (flash)

Aftermath, by Stephen Sottong (short story)

Readme.txt, by Mathias Jansson (poem)

Not Too Bad, by Lisa Hawkridge (micro-fiction)

Downfall, by Elizabeth Prybylski (short story)

The Crystal Chamber, by Maria Kelly (drabble)

Bounce, by Denny E. Marshall (drabble)

Vibro-Gonzers,  by Michael A. Kechula (flash)

Issue 13: Come One, Come All! To the Southern Fried Freak Show!

Freak Show neon sign

Image courtesy of © photocritical –

We’ve all been to that one local fair or carnival. You  know the one? The one where certain carnies, clowns, or ride-operators look at you that special way…like you would make a good target for the knife-throwing act…or they’d like to give you an extra special treat during the Tunnel of Terror ride? Or the special acts…like zombie performers or a funhouse you can only escape from by surviving the knife-weilding carny. And sometimes real life can be freak show, especially if you’re a weirdo married to a psycho.

I’m calling this style of story freakpunk, and I’m planning to do a general freakpunk issue in the future that doesn’t have to take place in carnival settings (imagine, a freak psycho with a funhouse in his basement) and can take place anywhere on Earth, not just in the South (and also designate other character-types besides clowns, not all carnies wear make-up and large red noses, after all). So, I’m working on a list of freakpunk elements for that future issue. Get your Muses ready for that. Meanwhile, this issue brings you face to face with the weirdness and horror of the Southern.

Is that blood on the cotton candy, ya’all?

Issue 13: Southern Fried Freak Show

Swishbone, by Stephen Kerr (micro-fic)

Clownish Delights, by Andrew Patch (flash)

Step Right Up, by Michael A. Kechula (short story)

Funhouse, by Kelly Haas Shackelford (flash fiction)

Meat for freaks, by Mathias Jansson (poem)

Protect Ya Neck, by Edward Taylor (short story)

Shy Heahrug, by Paulo Brito (drabble)

The Circus Tent, by Kerry E. B. Black  (flash)

the doom master, by Christopher Woods (poem)



Issue 12: The Shadows Only Hide the Monsters: A Tribute to Edgar Allan Poe & H.P. Lovecraft

© Dusan Kostic -

© Dusan Kostic –

Happy Birthday, Mr. Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19th, 1809. His short stories and poetry have been an influence on this author/editor since she was a child and read her first Poe story, The Tell-Tale Heart. My love for all things creepy and weird grew from reading Edgar’s stories, and later I discovered the bizarre terror that is H.P. Lovecraft. These two authors are must-reads for fans of horror fiction. H.P. Lovecraft was himself a fan of Poe and was greatly influenced by his work, which can be seen in his poems The Poe-et’s Nightmare and In a Sequester’d Providence Churchyard Where Once Poe Walk’d. Lovecraft called Poe his “God of fiction.”

I got a ton of submissions for this issue. Some you can tell in just a few lines are undeniably Poe/Lovecraft fandom, while others are a bit more subtle and some blend elements of Poe and Lovecraft together. New Mythos abominations have been born. There is even a poem. And a creepy new Dupin story with a horror twist. Monsters coming out of every shadow.

CAUTION: Don’t read before bedtime…unless nightmares are your thing.

There’s something here for every Poe/Lovecraft fan to enjoy. Be careful, though. Something may just rise up out of the screen: something old…and hungry.

Issue 12: The Shadows Only Hide the Monsters: A Tribute to Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft

No Mortal Dares, by Melanie Atherton Allen (Short Story)

Karminrot, by Tia Kessler (Short Story)

The Oubliette, by Steve Foreman (Short Story)

The Boy Who Would Know Tomorrow, by Ralph Greco, Jr. (Short Story)

Baby Rhyme Time, by Deborah Walker (Flash)

The Disappearance of Mr. Becker, by K.R. Smith (Short Story)

Little Windows, by Kevin Harkness (Short Story)

In the Shadow of the Square, by Delphine Boswell (Flash)

Picnic in the City (On My Lonesome), by Gary Murphy (Short Story)

You Can Bait a Fool with Water, by David Stewart (Drabble)

Stone City Old as Immeasurable Time, by Kelda Crich (Flash)

Balancing the Scales, by Ray Dean (Short Story)

A Horse of a Different Color, by Edward Taylor (Short Story)

Homecoming, by Gary Hewitt (Micro-fiction)

The Dream Pull, by Rick McQuiston (Short Story)

Challenger Deep, by Mathias Jansson (Poem)

Ruth, by Jack Flynn (Short Story)

The Holy Order, by Matthew C. Seams (Short Story)

Moon, by Steve Christie (Flash)

Plum Wine, by Noel Osualdini (Short Story)

Wedding Night, by Bruce Priddy (Short Story)

Cosmic Justice Comes to Slumsville, by Mark Antony Rossi (Flash)

The Farmer in the Well, by James Dorr (Micro-fiction)

The Golden Monarch, by Shenoa Carroll-Bradd (Flash)

The Thing at the Bedside, by Stanley B. Webb (Flash)

Request for Answers: Received. Answers: Delivered, by Bryan Nickelberry (Short Story)

Memories of Inhuman Nature, by Rick McQuistion (Short Story)

Summoner from the Depths, by Andrew Sydlik (Short Story)

Issue #11: The Day the Zombies Ruled the Earth

Image courtesy of  chrisharvey -

Image courtesy of chrisharvey –

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from The Were-Traveler!

This holiday we have been overrun with zombies. Zombies have come and their day is at hand.

Among these 16 new zombiocalypse offerings are  stories so sad you’ll get a lump in your throat, funny stories, and stories so scary you’ll sleep with the lights on. (But if the lights are on, the zombies will find you!) We also have some genre-blending stories, mixing genres like horror and fantasy or horror and sci-fi together. Extra Christmas Cookie points to those authors!

As a bonus story, I’ve included a version of a longer short story that I wrote for the Zombie Survival Crew (official online fan club of “The Walking Dead”) and they published it in their first anthology. It’s a story about teenage boys and their RPG zombie game and what happens when zombies get Twitter accounts.


Issue #11: The Day the Zombies Ruled the Earth

29 AZA, by Adam Knight (flash)

The Embers Burn, and Gentle is the Arrow’s Stinging, by Jason Andrew (flash)

Wise Man’s Ending, by Matthew Frassetti (drabble)

Zombie Despair, by Tim Tobin (short story)

Boredom, by Bryan Nickelberry (short story)

Jason and the Zombie, by Bob Simms (flash)

Date Night, by Dana Wright (micro fiction)

Brinker’s Contract, by Michael A. Kechula (short story)

Marital Bliss, by Brian J. Smith (flash)

Safety, by Mac Jones (drabble)

A Light Snack, by Edward Taylor (short story)

Day 39, by Stevenhen Warren (drabble)

Necroambulist: A Story of Discriminating Tastes, by Lori Fetters Lopez (flash)

Onlookers, by Rebecca Gomezrueda (micro fiction)

Precious Cargo, by Michael A. Kechula (micro fiction)

Trap, by Adam Bunnell (flash)

BONUS SHORT STORY: Crunch Time, by Maria Kelly (long short story)