Black Treacle is a new magazine edited by A. P. Matlock. The first issue came out earlier this month and can be read online at the Black Treacle website or can be downloaded, for free, in a choice of formats, including Kindle, e-pub, Kobo and Nook.
Issue #1 contains five short stories. The first one is “Rattlesnake Eyes” by Josh Reynolds. It’s the story of a mean, old bastard who dies and becomes a mean old dead bastard who is still causing trouble even though his ticker has stopped.
The second story is “Amy” by K. T. Bryski and it’s about a girl who starts a new job at the Rosewood Historic Park. The story is told from the perspective of someone, or something, that is watching her—Amy is unaware of the observation—and you do not have to read too many paragraphs before it becomes apparent that something sinister is afoot at the Historic Park.
“A Little Piece of Heaven” begins with an attempted lynching and although it is not strictly speaking a space western, it is something pretty much along the same sort of lines.
F. J. Bergmann’s “Ascending” is a pretty strange story about an escape, up a tunnel and out into the light.
Jeff Barr’s “Rain Gods” is the final story. I found this one a little harder to understand, but it’s a well written story and is so descriptive that I had to enjoy it.
Rattlesnake Eyes is my favorite story. I enjoyed the dialogue and was hooked into the story right from the start:
How dead is he?” John Bass said around a mouthful of sunflower seeds. “Is he sort of dead or real dead?
He ain’t dancing, if that’s what you’re asking,” Cestus Clay said.
New markets for fiction come and go all the time and far too many editors are actively seeking stories, but offering no remuneration in return for them. Black Treacle is not one of these markets. They pay their author’s a flat rate of $15 (CAD) per story. It’s not a great deal of money, but I think it is quite a respectable figure for a fledgling market and I am guessing that the editor is probably paying this out of his own pocket. It is always good to see a new paying market for fiction so I hope the magazine is a success.
If you want to check out issue one, read the Black Treacle submission guidelines, or just check out the site to see what’s going on HERE IS A LINK