Volume 4
Number 4



Literature of Mythic Proportions

Cover by Teresa Tunaley
Teresa Tunaley chose the entrance to the Autumn woods as the entrance to this issue. She's also responsible for suggesting and designing the magazine cover format. Likewise, she crafted the aspen leaves strewn about the magazine for the season.

Autumn Issue

Leading this issue are three fictional commentaries on culture and conflict. You might say it's the Autumn of our discontent. There's also quite a variety this issue, our largest yet in fact (hence the temporary two-column layout). This quarter features intercession for the future, erasing the past, a fall and an intended fall... well, if you want the other themes, you must keep reading. Before that - a few announcements:

First, the Winter Awards Issue will feature staff pieces and the Retro Awards, which honor pieces we've published in our past issues. Second, the new MYTHOLOG Community, including the MYTHOLOG Forums: We're carrying on a collaborative story there, and running an Interstitial Short Fiction Contest. Want to know more? Read on, or click here. Finally, the MYTHOLOG Store is currently offering up MYTHOLOG mugs and blank 160-page MYTHOLOG journals. These and the other items there make excellent presents and fun ways to enjoy the season. Now, on to the current issue...

- Asher Black, Editor-in-Chief.      


The Worldkeeper's Circlet by Arwen Spicer

What a pleasure when a story reaches out and confronts the reader. This one is about the very meaning and making of myth, seemingly so distant and yet able still to ask us what we truly value.

The Egg by M.H. Joyce

This is a story about what war does to the survivors, and about what we need versus what we are supposed to need. Teresa Tunaley illustrated this piece.

We Painted Red by Eric C. Stever

How easy it is to be caught up in doing what seems right, in protecting ourselves and our way of life - in driving back the things that make us feel unsafe. Stever's fiction asks the question: When we demonize others, what has happened to our own faces?

After the Fall by Bill West

How the world of children begins like the original world -- the world of origin -- the Edenic world from which, somehow, we have fallen. Have we not each been offered, and likewise offered to the innocent (whether as adults or as other children), an intimacy with - a "socialization" into - the brutal world of man? Perhaps that's why this story reads itself to us in the second person.

Jack and the Magic Hat by Charles S. Cooper

Life seems, sometimes, like a competition between the interests of people who either view others as prey, or else just want to escape. This story is new, but the main character feels familiar. A traveller, searching for something elusive. Many of us, feeling equally lost, search with him.

The Cloud that Would Not Rain by Swapna Kishore

"If we can talk to the gods, and the gods can talk to the cloud, maybe we can talk to the cloud directly." A simple question, and perhaps it's not either/or. But when all else fails...

Erasure by Sarah Ann Watts

"I feel I want to rub everything out and start again." Have you ever felt that? If you could - if it were in your hands to do so - what would you? Here, Sarah Ann Watts has brought you what you need.

Stairs by Elizabeth Scott

Is there a person you've lost (and aren't there many ways to lose people), and you simply can't bear it? What would you do to bring that person back? Elizabeth Scott frames the question like this: How desperate, how frail, is the human heart? Teresa Tunaley illustrates this one.

And the Moon Sees Me by Sarah Frost Mellor

A very nice piece of erotica. And we'll say no more. :) OK, well maybe not "nice". This is, after all, what the moon sees. Shhhh.

Turtle Car in the Mountains by Daniel Ausema

Art by M.P. MannA bizarre look at the future and freedom. Illustrated, and the illustration featured on the issue's face, by Mary Pat Mann.

The Storyteller Game by Mark Allan Gunnells

Ever wonder what the gamers and fantasy nerds are really doing in that booth in the back of the diner? Or gathered in that comic store basement on Friday nights - without dates? [Editors Note: "Hey, if tough guy Vin Diesel is a gamer nerd poster child, it has to be interesting."] Gunnells just keeps giving us a glimpse of this world, and we love him for it.


The Autumn Queen by LaShawn Wanak

Sometimes, thinking about Autumn, we grieve, if we're thoughtful, for all things dying, but we must also look forward with delight. Today, when I woke smelling the rain, I felt like this. Fall is a time of soft flannels, mugs of warm cider, walks through leaf-strewn woods, orange moons, and the smell of oak embers at night. Wanak reminds us of our lovely visitor. Illustrated by Teresa Tunaley.

A Fourth Lesson in Magic by Kristine Ong Muslim

How do your lovers grow? Muslim's poem explains one way. A lesson in gardening, this. And cooking your own homonculi.

Staff Pieces

The Old Man by Mary Pat Mann

There's another world beneath the surface and within our own, and the lives we live are layers that sometimes never touch, and sometimes just brush against each other. MP Mann gives us a glimpse at what looks back at us across this breach, and how we each call to the other for something out of reach.

The Spinning Bowl by John D. Ritchie

Ever find yourself daydreaming, and then wonder how you got to where you are? Have you looked around, and the ordinary that became magical now seems ordinary again? That's what happens to John D. Ritchie in this tale of perhaps the nexus of all magic.


MYTHOLOG in the Media

A story quotation from MYTHOLOG, and yours truly, the editor, has achieved the singular distinction of being an example in A Skeptical Look at the Abstract Syntax Approach to Word Meaning by Stephen Wechsler (University of Texas at Austin): "A fox," he gloated to the housekeeper once hed had off his coat. "A little one, too." -- Gifts (Black Asher series) by Asher Black. Asks Professor Wechsler, "How can He wants off his coat be prevented?"



As we mentioned above, you are cordially invited to further discussion of the arts, myth, literature, publication, film, and other such topics in the MYTHOLOG Community Forums. Interested in picking an editor's brain? Want to interact with other readers, authors, and visual artists? Care to join the ongoing collaborative story? Just click on Community here or above. Incidentally, we're running a contest; to get the details, however, you must visit the Forums.


Post-Reading Tasks

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The Worldkeeper's Circlet
Arwen Spicer
The Egg
M.H. Joyce
We Painted Red
Eric C. Stever
After the Fall
Bill West
Jack and the Magic Hat
Charles S. Cooper
The Cloud that Would Not Rain
Swapna Kishore
Sarah Ann Watts
Elizabeth Scott
And the Moon Sees Me
Sarah Frost Mellor
Turtle Car in the Mountains
Daniel Ausema
The Storyteller Game
Mark Allan Gunnells
The Autumn
LaShawn Wanak
A Fourth Lesson in Magic
Kristine Ong Muslim
The Old Man
Mary Pat Mann
The Spinning Bowl
John D. Ritchie

MYTHOLOG in the Media


Submit for Spring Issue

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Interns & Volunteers

Working for a magazine is a great way to gain exposure, experience, and add professional credits to your portfolio. We have a number of openings for extraordinary folk that include:

  • Associate Editors
  • Proofreaders
  • Illustrators
  • Graphics Designers
  • Web Programmer

Let us know if you've got the stuff of heroes.



Submit for Spring Issue

You've spent all that time polishing it. It's got a plot. It's got scintillating dialogue. It's got a real ending. And the theme is universal. Have we got a job for you! Envision your piece in these pages, payment in the bank, and our gratitude. We're looking for a few good stories, and poems, and reviews, and graphics, and essays, and flash fics, and graphic shorts, and ... did we mention genre? That's because the genre doesn't matter. If it's got a universal theme - passionate love, the quest for survival, the fear of the dark... we're interested. Just read the guidelines and leave it on our doorstep. We'll take very good care of the little fellow.



Newest Associate Editor
John D. Ritchie, who has joined us as one of the Associate Editors, can be found, assuming you have lost him, in a sleepy little place called Dubai. He has been hanging out there for over ten years now and it's turned into a habit. Besides editing, John writes for a living because he is too lazy to do any other real work and because somehow people keep taking pity on him and publishing his stuff. John could become a beach bum, but he lacks the ambition and drive to achieve that kind of focused lifestyle. These are John's words, but it makes us think he's a perfect addition to MYTHOLOG's international staff. Welcome aboard, John!