This has been an incredible year for THE DARK SIRE literary magazine and it’s all thanks to you, the readers: the fans of Gothic, Horror, Fantasy and Psychological Realism. We knew you were out there. We knew that the corporate publishers were not satisfying your reading needs. And that’s what we at TDS set out to do, because we, like you, are fans of that peculiar brand of fiction that graces our pages. We want you to be as entertained reading our magazine as we are putting it together for you. So with a new year of our publication just about to start, let’s take a quick look at the kind of stories that we set before you during this, our inaugural year.
In Issue 1, we gave you the Gothic stories of W.C. Mallery (Grave) and Mike Zimmerman (Chambers). One was a classic gothic offering and the other pushed the envelope. Tainted Love by Gina Easton was the kind of horror story you wouldn’t find in another magazine. It’s subject matter would have upset too many corporate types. And in The Village - Part One: The Squire by David Crerand, we gave you something unique, the first in a series of stand-alone vampire stories.
But did we stop there? No. We looked for and found the kind of poetry that exemplifies the dark nature of our publication. You love the dark. So do we, and it’s there in these poems: The Dice Throwers and Haishutsuryou (Output) by Gregory Kimbrell; Vampyre by Sarah Brown Weitzman; Beneath These Boards by Michael Thomas Ellis; Hell’s Love of Heaven’s Hatred by S. M. Cook; and Standing Watch by Katherine Nelson-Born.
We also included art work: Shadow Still by Christian-Rhen Stefani and Preston Castle Play Room by Dee Espinoza.
And to cap off that first issue, we added the serializations, Vampyre Paladin by Brenda Stephens and Kyuuketsuki by S. M. Cook in an attempt to fill your plate with the kinds of literature you relish, but can’t find on the magazine racks.
But Issue 1 was so good, how could we better ourselves? We didn’t have to. There was more than enough quality writing coming from quality authors to insure that we had another issue packed full of horror and gothic for those genres aficionados.
In Issue 2, we presented The Village - Part Two: The Three Apprentices by David Crerand; A gothic tale, Kettering Hall, by John Kiste; a frightening gothic-horror piece, Night Harvesters by Frances Tate; and more horror in the form of A Metamorphosis by Amanda Cram and The Mask by Carl Hughes.
Not to be outdone, we presented spine-chilling poetry: A Red Witch by Clay Hunt; A Brother’s Revenge by C. Christine Fair; Silence by Bartholomew Barker; and The Reaper’s Revelation by Ethan McGuire.
And for those who like a visual chill, we gave you: Rorschach by Doria Walsh; Lonely Soul by Paula Korkiamaki; and The Gaurdian by Dee Espinoza.
Last but not least, Brenda Stephens (Vampyre Paladin) and S. M. Cook (Kyuuketsuki) continued their serializations, bringing us further into their vampire realms.
In Issue 3, we were fortunate enough to feature the art work of Shaun Power. His pastel paintings were truly haunting: We Have the Power in Our Hands (cover), Never Speak to Strange Psychopaths, Leave a Light On, The Grove, The Way to Merriaden, Somehow I’ll Find My Way Home, One Dark Night, Ring a Ring O Roses, You Have No Idea What You Have Done, A Fleeting Glimpse, and Just a Walk in the Rain.
These paintings were interspersed throughout the masterfully crafted stories and poems of the issue. For the first time, all four genres were represented. David Crerand returned with The Village - Part III: The Baroness, the only Horror story in the issue. Representing Gothic was Once Bitten: A Vampire's Lament by Maureen Mancini Amaturo. Psychological Realism was alive and well in Sharps by Ian Richardson and Lifetime Guarantee by Andrea Goyan. That leaves Fantasy for Gregory J. Glanz and his story Shroud of Darkness.
Ironically, and not to be confused with the former, we also printed a poem called The Path of Darkness by Andrew Oram. That poem set the tone for the others, which included Bone-Man by Jessica Van de Kemp, The Vision by Gregory E. Lucas, and Progeny by Michael Walker.
Of course, the serializations by Brenda Stephens (Vampyre Paladin) and S. M. Cook (Kyuuketsuki) brought the issue to a strong end, making the reader thirst for more vampire fiction.
In our final issue of the year, Issue 4, we featured the horror stories of Leilani Ahia (Innards) and Gina Easton (Skin Tight); the Psychological Realism stories of Darlene Eliot (Pigeon) and Jeremy Zentner (In Service); and the Fantasy stories of Anthony Santiago (The Heart of Living Flame) and the second in the fantasy trilogy by Gregory J. Glanz (Descent Into Darkness). And let’s not forget The Village - Part Four: The Orphan by David Crerand.
In Issue 4 we gave you more gothic and horror poetry with The Wolf Confesses by John Grey, Maybe There Is a Devil by Daramola O. Femi, Come Back by Dee Espinoza, Erebus: Darkness by Krista Canterbury Adams and If You Have Ever Known a Monster by Leland James.
And we did not skimp on the artists, either. We gave you the works of Dena Simard, Shaun Power, Kibbi Linga, Juhi Ranjan, Brian Michael Barbeito, and Lam Jasmine Bauman.
And then we added a third serialization to our list with The Last Summer by Frances Tate. Between the new serialization and the established ones by Brenda Stephens (Vampyre Paladin) and S. M. Cook (Kyuukestuki), our first year of publication went out with a bang - like the finale of a grand fireworks display in July.
If you have enjoyed reading the stories as much as we have enjoyed finding them and presenting them to you, then our first year was a complete success. But we are not stopping here. We have plans that will further entertain you and supply you with that horror, gothic, fantasy and psychological realism reading fix that we all love and need. There are more good stories, poems, art, and serializations to come. If you think our first year was great, just wait until you see what happens next.
Don’t miss year 2. Subscribe now! We will make you look under the bed, yet.