Issue 002 – [Winter 2021]

SSQ Issue 002

Happy Winter Solstice of 2021!

And welcome to the second issue of Starward Shadows Quarterly.

Editors’ Note:

Dear Readers,

Thank you for joining us for our second issue of Starward Shadows Quarterly! We’re delighted to share a whole new round of strange, haunting, and eldritch tales with you to help you feel just a little bit cozier this winter.

We’re also excited to bring you a new addition to this season’s issue: A Flash Feature section to highlight any thrilling pieces from our Flash Menagerie that you might have missed–or would simply love to read again! This time around we’ll be including all past flash pieces that have ever appeared on the site, but going forward, we’ll have a special feature of the past quarter’s flash: So this time you’re getting a little something extra!

To say it’s been quite a year for our magazine is the understatement of all understatements: We somehow managed to publish two full issues of spectacular cosmic horror, S&S, and everything in between—and gained plenty of loyal readers and subscribers along the way. We never expected our weird little pipe dream to have such a strong reception, but needless to say, it’s been an awesome year.

Thank you all so much for your devotion and interest. We truly hope you’ll enjoy the bizarre, fantastical tales woven between the pages of Issue Two, and we hope this is the start of a journey that will span lifetimes and generations.

Sincerely,
Desmond Rhae Harris and Erica Ciko Campbell,
Editors at Starward Shadows Quarterly

Short Fiction:

Bound to Be Bones

by Nicole Wolverton

“Ezra has friends in strange places—I wonder what strange place I inhabit in the odd configuration that revolves around her like planets to a sun.”

Three Excerpts From the Ego

by Kyle Miller

“As I crawled through on hands and knees I felt the warmth of nostalgia blooming in my chest, and then there I was, or once was: my own corpse, not yet bones.

It’s not at all like looking at yourself in the mirror.”

How Many Shots

by Amelia Weissman

“Seneca had been eight years old when she watched the news with rapt attention as the rollout of testing centers began and queues formed that stretched for miles, filled with people desperate to get a quick answer to the giant question:

What am I supposed to do with my life?”

A Cold, Callous Shell

by Chase A. Folmar

“The waste you spew with your wayward tongue will not be allowed to flourish here! There is no place in Iskalruun for things as useless and poisonous to the mind as dreams.”

Worm Man

by Trevor Newton

“. . . A few days ago I got the gall to look in the window of his car while he was inside.

Full of wet, muddy dirt, it is. And when you see him driving down the road? Sometimes he’ll pack his mouth full of it.”

Far Side of Heaven

by Theo Kogod

“‘We’re not going anywhere without our daughter!’ I shout. 

The lights flicker. I watch fear crinkle the captain’s scales. Then blackness, pure and all-consuming. 

Black . . .”

Chance

by Jordan Legg

“‘You also gotta win.’

“So I’ll win.”

I laughed. ‘Seriously? With this thing?'”

Flash Features:

Concerned that your favorite bite-sized slices of fiction from SSQ were gone in a Flash?
Not to worry–check out this showcase of every stunning exhibit that’s come out in our Flash Menagerie since its inception.

To Have, And To Hold
by Ray Daley
[Click to Read]

Wretchbane Midnights
by Erica Ciko Campbell
[Click to Read]

In the City of Shrieking Ottomans
by Tara Campbell
[Click to Read]

Ouroboros
by Liam Hogan
[Click to Read]

Stitched
by Emilian Wojnowski
[Click to Read]

Feasts and Frolics
by Lena Ng
[Click to Read]

A Final Note From the Editors:

Dear Readers,

In honor of the literary icon who inspired so many of the works that spoke to us for this issue, we’d like to share a little seasonal quote from Lovecraft himself:

“It was the Yuletide, that men call Christmas though they know in their hearts it is older than Bethlehem and Babylon, older than Memphis and mankind.”
The Festival by H.P. Lovecraft

You can read the full story online here.

And if you’d like to venture out from The Festival and find even more wonderful stories to chill your bones this winter, we also highly recommend that you read Thomas Ligotti’s “The Christmas Eves of Aunt Elise”, found in Tales of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe.

We at Starward Shadows hope that this season revitalizes you with a newfound sense of strength and empowerment: May you walk away from SSQ Issue 002 with a feeling of infinite possibilities and limitless inspiration to carry you into the new year.

As always, we give our endless thanks to everyone who has supported this project and all the promising authors featured here!

Sincerely,
Desmond Rhae Harris and Erica Ciko Campbell,
Editors at Starward Shadows Quarterly

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