“Festival” by Emile Dayne

Dr. Vandermeer woke up ponderously and unpleasantly, as if forcefully plucked out of a tar pit inside which he had just gotten comfortably numb and inert.

Lips shrunk from harsh dusty air; muscles wept flaccidly and emptily; head and neck complained of the fragility of fractured glass.

The manhandling wasn’t helping any.

This was no way to wake up after the tar pit. He should at least have had some time to recuperate on a lawn or a bed or a beach towel by the sea…yes, the sea…

“Wha…hey!” he mumbled as he was roughly hoisted upright. Water splashed his face. He finally forced his eyes open. Continue reading

“Moth Belly Blues” by Sean Moreland

People often speak of having butterflies in their stomach. It is a quaint figure of speech, aptly capturing the gut-fluttering nervousness can cause.

Unfortunately, in Kyla’s case, it was more than that. To her, gastric lepidoptera were not an odd cliché, but an all too literal, all too uncomfortable, reality.

It wasn’t a problem she’d been born with, or had as a child. It started when she turned thirteen. Kyla wasn’t superstitious, but for her it really was an unlucky year. Her birthday was in June, and by October she’d started experiencing the fluttering swell that would only continue to intensify throughout the following months. Continue reading

“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by David Annandale

The ivory tower has no top. Not many people know this. Colin Frye didn’t until very late, not until he’d reached the heights where the Earth’s atmosphere thinned and life suffocated and burned. It was up here, when there was no going back down, and there was no peak in sight, that he began to wonder, that he began to realize. Even then, there were a couple of revelations yet in store. Continue reading

“Seven Heart Beats” by Josh Reynolds

Isaac Clay hauled in a rattling, wheezy breath. His chest pouched jerkily beneath the bed-covers and his thin, tight flesh looked like wax paper in the lantern light. His eyes were closed and turned inward, lost in old times and foggy dreams. He hadn’t said nary a word in a week, and likely wouldn’t in what little time he had left. The breath he’d just dragged in slid out from between his thin lips in a shrill whistle, as if eager to escape the confines of his worn-out body. Continue reading

2015 Publication Schedule

Here is the schedule for 2015:

SpringMarch 24th 2015
SummerJune 23rd 2015
FallSeptember 22nd 2015

There is going to be a podcast as well. The release date hasn’t been finalized but more than likely it would be sometime in December to close out the year. Take a read of last month’s Editor’s note for further details.


Editor’s notes

Eight issues in the bag; Black Treacle is two years old. Though I wanted to have 24 issues out at this point, I’m really satisfied with what’s been produced so far.

But I am going to try something different for 2015.

If you’ve been reading the Editor’s notes (Everyone reads the Editor’s notes, right?) you probably know that I lament about submission volume all the time.

I’m going to pull the trigger on something I mentioned in the last issue.

Black Treacle will switch to three-times a year model and the pay-rate will double. Keep an eye on the website and twitter for the publication schedule but more than likely publication will follow a spring/summer/fall pattern.

There will also be a Best-of podcast at some point next year.

Have you read Dangerous Visions by Harlan Ellison? I really like the format of that anthology. I’m planning following it for the podcast. More specifically, I’ll do an Editor’s introduction and speak on why I picked the story/article for publication & close with a paid Author’s afterword.

Hopefully, these changes will stimulate submissions.

Normally, this would be the paragraph where I talk about the stories being published this month but I want to keep you in suspense for another few hours. Table of Contents for #8 will be published later today (11/30/2014)

Thanks for reading,

A.P. Matlock
Editor, Black Treacle Magazine