Jessica Phelps’ second effort in my fiction workshop was a draft of “The Witch House”—I knew, with little work, her story was publishable. Phelps’ voice is full of wit—“My aunt is a witch. Well, she was. Now she’s just dead.” What’s wholly unexpected is just how upsetting the story becomes.
Read it in Nightscript, the journal that proved me right. “The Witch House” is the second short story Phelps ever wrote and the first she’s published. I hope best ofs take note, and editors, too—she’s working on stories three, four, and etc.—call for them now! I only hope to ride the coattails of my protégé. And, indeed—
a story of mine, “The Beasts Are Sleep,” appears in the same issue. My story introduces a character, Laura, who features in the novel I’m currently—slowly—writing. The story’s a slasher—teenagers, woods, ridiculous amounts of murder. I’m not sure how it fits in with the issue, but I’m glad editor C. M. Muller found a place for it.
Nightscript no. 3—or III, as it’s styled—includes a bunch of authors who’ve written stories I like. Clint Smith, John Howard, and David Surface; there’s quite a few authors I didn’t know. I’m impressed with Rebecca J. Allred’s tale “When Dark-Eyed Ophelia Sings.” It’s fantasy (a romance), and I don’t particularly like fantasy, but it’s really good. Vivid. Unresolved. I dig it.
Okay. So. Nightscript is a great looking annual journal with a Munch fetish “featuring tales by some of the finest contemporary scribes.” What’s not to like?