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Published: “Vastarien: A Literary Journal” – Vol. 1, No. 1

To quote someone or other: It is finished. After three years of planning, preparation, and intensive editorial work by Jon Padgett and me (and a handful of additional key individuals), the first issue of Vastarien is now available. Early responses from readers are enthusiastically positive. Both print and Kindle editions can be purchased through Amazon.

As previously announced here, the journal is framed as a source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti as well as associated authors and ideas. Its spirit is captured by a key passage from Ligotti’s classic short story “Vastarien,” telling of a special book that embodies an impossible otherworld,

a place where everything was transfixed in the order of the unreal. . . . Each passage he entered in the book both enchanted and appalled him with images and incidents so freakish and chaotic that his usual sense of these terms disintegrated along with everything else. Rampant oddity seemed to be the rule of the realm; imperfection became the source of the miraculous — wonders of deformity and marvels of miscreation. There was horror, undoubtedly. But it was a horror uncompromised by any feeling of lost joy or thwarted redemption; rather, it was a deliverance by damnation. And if Vastarien was a nightmare, it was a nightmare transformed in spirit by the utter absence of refuge: nightmare made normal.

The journal includes nonfiction, literary horror fiction, poetry, artwork, and non-classifiable hybrid pieces. Public interest and support have proved to be intense and widespread: Our Kickstarter campaign earlier this year blew the roof off by bringing in more than three times our stated funding goal. This has enabled us to pay pro rates to our contributors for the first three issues. The second and third of these issues are currently in the works. Not incidentally, Vastarien is the flagship project of Grimscribe Press, founded and operated by Jon.

Here’s the TOC for the first issue.  Also be sure to see our website. And again, you can purchase the first issue at Amazon.

 

Vastarien: A Literary Journal

Volume 1, Number 1

Foreword to the Polish edition of Teatro Grottesco (Okultura, 2014)
(Previously unpublished in English)
Thomas Ligotti

The Gods in Their Seats, Unblinking
Kurt Fawver

The Nightmare of His Art: The Horrific Power of the Imagination in “The Troubles of Dr. Thoss” and “Gas Station Carnivals”
W. Silverwood

Affirmation of the Spirit: Consciousness, Transformation, and the Fourth World in Film
Christopher Slatsky

Try the Veal
Robert Beveridge

How to Construct a Gun from Your Own Flesh
Michael Uhall

“Eccentric to the Healthy Social Order”: Inversions of Family, Community, and Religion in Thomas Ligotti’s “The Last Feast of Harlequin”
Michael J. Abolafia

“They say I should kill myself and not try to spoil their enjoyment in being alive”: An Interview with Thomas Ligotti
(Previously unpublished in English)
Wojciech Gunia

Wraiths
Wade German

Eraserhead as Antinatalist Allegory
Colby Smith

The Theatre of Ovid
Aaron Worth

The Alienation of the Self: Marx, Polanyi, and Ligottian Horror
S. L. Edwards

Strange Bird
Ian Mullins

Solar Flare
Paul L. Bates

Night Walks: The Films of Val Lewton
Michael Penkas

Infinite Light, Infinite Darkness
Martin Rose

Nervous Wares & Abnormal Stares
Devin Goff

My Time at the Drake Clinic
Jordan Krall

Notes on a Horror
Dr. Raymond Thoss

Singing the Song of My Unmaking
Christopher Ropes

 

Kickstarter campaign for “Vastarien: A Literary Journal”

 

Some time ago here at The Teeming Brain, I announced the birth of a new literary journal titled Vastarien, to be edited by Jon Padgett and me, and to be framed as “a source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti as well as associated authors and ideas.” We launched a website, www.vastarien-journal.com, where we published submission guidelines and started receiving stories, poems, articles, essays, and artwork. Jon and I then spent many months and countless hours responding to these submissions and crafting the first issue. Jon also retained the services of artist Dave Felton and designer Anna Trueman to create a stunning cover.

Yesterday we launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover the costs of the first three issues. It reached its funding goal today, in a total of 27 hours. In fact, we have now surpassed that funding goal, and we will soon be announcing some stretch goals. This is a wonderfully affirming response that shows what a high level of interest and excitement there really is for such a publication.

The Kickstarter campaign has nearly a month left. This means you can still become one of our backers. We have created an attractive set of rewards for different pledge levels. At the campaign page you can also read the full table of contents for Volume 1, Issue 1. Consider yourself invited:

 

Kickstarter – Vastarien: A Literary Journal

 

(BONUS NOTE: We’re also now accepting submissions for issues 2 and 3. The submission period will close on March 1.)