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Opening Lines

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Opening Lines

Story illustration by Michael Neno“Kiefer dropped down the rabbit hole. Deep inside his head he knew the descent into empty darkness was just another shot at teasing Death, an opportunity to rub shoulders with the Reaper. He sucked in a breath, filling his lungs with foul air as he swung from the edge of the trapdoor, arms and fingers straining with the effort.”

Opening paragraph from “Down the Rabbit Hole” by Lesann Berry, episode two of the Alternate History Archive, from The Digest Enthusiast book six, June 2017. Illustrated by Michael Neno.

Opening Lines

International Science Fiction #1 coverSelected from a digest featured in The Digest Enthusiast book six:

“Do you remember the year the Acme Publishing Corporation published in installments Witchcraft for Beginners? I do, and very well too, because it was the year my brother disappeared.”
–“Witchcraft for Beginners” by F.C. Gozzini International Science Fiction Nov 1967

Alec Cizak’s Atomic Fuel

Breaking GlassWriter and filmmaker Alec Cizak was interviewed for the article on POD/digital digests that appeared in The Digest Enthusiast book four. Book six presented his story, “Atomic Fuel,” with an illustration by Brad Foster. The story begins like this:

“Sal Bridgewater sang along to a Nirvana tune on the classic alternative station, assured his empty passenger seat he didn’t have a gun.”

In May 2017 Alec and I partnered on the revival of his fiction journal Pulp Modern. We are working on the third issue of the rivival now, due in late June/early July. Also in July, Down & Out Books will release his latest novel, Breaking Glass, which continues the lives of characters introduced in the earlier Down on the Street (D&O 2017). DOTS was outstanding, so I’m eagerly awaiting Breaking Glass.

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Manhunt No. 1 coverSelected from a digest featured in The Digest Enthusiast book six:

“I handed the guy the note and shivered a little bit because the guy was as big as they come, and even though he had a belly you couldn’t get your arms around, you wouldn’t want to be the one who figured you could sink your fist in it. The belly was as hard as the rest of him, but not quite as hard as his face.”
“Everybody’s Watching Me” by Mickey Spillane Manhunt Jan 1953

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Selected from a digest featured in The Digest Enthusiast book five:

“Their women came first.

“One was a blonde, one a redhead, one a brunette. They were tall, extremely so; as though height had been a determining factor in their present status. Among others. They were beautiful, in a spectacular fashion. It was not a friendly sort of beauty. Their blue-painted eyelids were held far down over their eyes; not in modesty, but in a sort of supercilious disdain. As though rejecting the stares they were long since used to receiving.”
“The Black Bargain” by Cornell Woolrich Justice Vol. 2 No. 1 January 1956

Opening Lines

Worlds of Fantasy #4 cover
Worlds of Fantasy #4 cover by Gerald Facey

Selected from a digest featured in The Digest Enthusiast book five:

“A crimson sun was sinking slowly in a pale-blue sky. Another evening was drawing on over the undulating hills of Macedon, and the tall poplars seemed to nod approval in the gentle breeze which rocked them to and fro,”
“World of the Ancients” by C.D. Ellis Worlds of Fantasy #4 1951