The Fifth Fedora: Amazing and transformative tales of the Fifth Dimension, that thrive in the world of Lost Souls, Fallen Angels, Shapeshifters, Extra-Planetary Dragons, and Lucky Charms. from an assortment of writers, now available from Borda Books and WilderUtopia Books is The Fifth Fedora: An Anthology of Weird Noir & Stranger Tales, curated by Jack Eidt and Silver Webb.
We’re excited to feature these talented writers and friends of Stephen T. Vessels, to whom this anthology is in honor of. Following is an audio version of Jack Eidt’s “Nutcracker and the Shape Shifter,” from EcoJustice Radio.
Congratulations, she answered. Tori remembered their first St. Andrews meeting after he died. All she could see of Arthur were heat ripples shaped like outlines of dismantled doll parts. Later, he got his parts back, but had a hard time keeping himself together. His hands kept falling off while they talked. His legs would drift away like leaves in a pool, and he’d have to lean over and catch them. Sometimes his torso disappeared without warning. In those days, she needed far harder stuff than Blue Label to see Arthur, and she attributed the visual disturbances to old-fashioned tripping balls. As years went by, their shared friends started to pass, and Arthur grew more solid. Tori put two and two together. She thought she did, anyway. — Zane Andrea
For a large man, Roscoe was very good at disappearing. And I don’t mean in the usual, one day he’s around, losing too much money at the poker table, and then the next he’s nowhere to be found sort of way, although he did that too. What I mean is that one minute he’s there lounging on the sleeper sofa eating a bag of pretzels in a locked room, and the next, when you (meaning me) turn your back for half a second in reaction to the anachronistic clanging of a phone attached to the wall—okay, maybe it was a full second. Who still has a land line these days?—he’s gone. Poof. Nada. — Christina Lay
When Rolf, the blond-blue-eyed son, tore apart the old maps Uncle used as wrapping paper, they could see his creation, a statue or doll three feet tall with a round head, grotesque face, goggle eyes, and a red mouth with razor teeth. The children gasped when they saw it.
“This doll is something else, Uncle,” said Gundert. He knew his wife was not thrilled with the gift.
“What is it?” asked Rolf, standing back from it. He did not seem impressed either.
“Rolf,” said Uncle, “this chap will be leading the revolution.”
“What sort of revolution?” countered Susana, an émigré from Cuba who did not approve of revolutions, generally, though her family stuck it out for decades.
“I think young Rolf is more about tactics,” added Uncle, with a wide smile as he pronounced his words almost toward the living room ocean view picture window, the invisible audience of the beyond, where the sun would shortly begin to gain strength and take back the balance of light in the world. “This celebratory fellow, he is called Kugelkopf. He is a sort of clown, a trickster, and his spherical head is a nod to the entire planet. He is among us to upend established orders that must be overcome.”
Stephen T. Vessels is an author of science fiction, dark fantasy, and cross-genre literary fiction. His earliest inspirations were the horror films of Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Vincent Price, and science fiction films like Ib Melchior’s “Journey to the Seventh Planet.” Later he encountered the legendary Modern Library anthology, “Tales of Terror and the Supernatural,” which he read in the back seat while his parents drove through Texas. In 2012 he received the Best Fiction award from the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, and in 2014 was nominated for a Thriller Award. He published The Mountain & The Vortex and Other Tales, The Door to Tireless Pursuit, and The Ruptured Firmament.
Transformative tales that thrive in the world of Lost Souls, Fallen Angels, Shapeshifters, Extra-Planetary Dragons, and Lucky Charms. From an assortment of writers, now available from Borda Books and WilderUtopia Books is The Fifth Fedora: An Anthology of Weird Noir & Stranger Tales curated by Jack Eidt and Silver Webb.