Black Denim Lit #8: Return to Waypoint 5: [December, 2014]

Front Cover

 The December, 2014 issue edited by Christopher T Garry features 160 pages of never before seen stories from ten new authors, creating narratives that are variously dark, cynical, inspiring, violent and longing. Black Denim Lit is a monthly journal of fiction available on the web and eReaders.

“Cataclysm” by Madeline Popelka (The death of a cat brings about the end of the world); “The Things We Hide” by Clarissa N G (Yuen deals with a haunting while mourning); “Return To Waypoint 5” by Josh Roseman (Kage seeks dangerous answers about family and connections at an old space port); “Bit by Bit” by Cheryl McAlister (An unlikely pairing highlights the need for connection); “The Patchwork Girl” by Zack Miller (A post-pandemic world doesn't change needs of a girl missing a family); “Searching” by Lisa Shapter (Three men decide the fate of a lost corpsman); “Establishment” by Ken Poyner (The local watering hole isn't just for the bone and protein crowd); “The Degenerate” by Joe Christopher (A young working man finds an unlikely reason to change direction); “Maybe This’ll Be the One That Finally Gets Me” by Ben Spies (A veteran recounts his experience in the gulf coast disaster); “Gathering Gold” by Julie Reeser (Mae deals with loss of her mother and transition to a new life)
This draws from fantasy, crime, science fiction and straight drama for our selections. Such genre variety is brought together under the common thread of rich characterization. In all the stories this month, these are human beings at odds. Whether facing a gun, an alien, the choice to live or to die or the vastness of space, each of these players respond from a very deep place of truth. And regardless of which genre can be applied, the authors have surprises in store. 

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Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

 Joseph Christopher - Joe is an MFA student at Rutgers University Camden, NJ. He also performs in and writes for a sketch comedy web series called Living in 8 Bits. His most recent work appeared in Every Day Fiction.


Julie Reeser – Julie lives by a bubbling stream in Montana. She is the straight man in the comedy duo of her marriage. Her recent flash story can be found in Issue #2 at Timeless Tales Magazine. She can be found on the web – Persephone Knits (Blogspot) or on twitter@abetterjulie


Lisa Shapter - Lisa is an alumna of the Bread Loaf Young Writers’ Conference and a member of Codex Writers’ Group. She has worked as an editor’s assistant for a major press, at several libraries, and has completed her apprenticeship to an antiquarian book dealer. She lives in New England and is completing a series of novels set in this story’s universe. She is a member of the Dramatists’ Guild of America. Noted stories: “Planet 50” in Black Denim Lit (forthcoming February 2014); “Searching” in Black Denim Lit; “Planet 38” in Four Star Stories (Summer 2013)


Zack Miller - Zack quit his job in tech support to go back to college. He's currently in the Creative Writing program at University of Louisville. His close companions are a rabbit and a stray cat.


Clarissa N G – Clarissa is a Singapore-based writer and a Curtis Brown Creative student. She's also a recipient of the National Arts Council grant. Her short stories have won several awards, and been published in The MacGuffin, Needle In The Hay, Math Paper Press and Writing the City. She is currently working on her first novel.


Madeline Popelka - Madeline is a Wisconsin native. She recently graduated from Yale University, where she studied physics and creative writing. She currently spends her weekdays on a job in software. She occasionally posts to twitter@MadelinePopelka


Cheryl McAlister - Cheryl received her BFA from RISD and an MFA in Visual Culture from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a former Associate Professor of fine arts, an award winning painter, and a published illustrator whose work has appeared in Cobblestone Magazine and several textbooks for children. These days, Sheri lives on a hobby farm in central Vermont with her husband, Rick, where they produce much of their own food and regularly find new ways to become dirty and exhausted.


Ben Spies - Ben works for a nonprofit organization in Chicago and is in a band every so often. His work has appeared in Curbside Splendor and his fiction zines, No More Coffee and Tape Hiss. He can be found on his porch with a beer.


Josh Roseman - Josh Roseman (not the trombonist; the other one) lives in Georgia. His fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Escape Pod and the Crossed Genres anthology Fat Girl in a Strange Land, among others. His voice has been heard around the fiction podosphere as well, including on Escape Pod, Pseudopod, the Dunesteef, the Drabblecast, and all of the District of Wonders podcasts. Find him online at, or on Twitter @listener42.


Ken Poyner - Ken in the last forty years has appeared in more than 100 periodicals, both in print and on-line, such as The Alaska Quarterly Review, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Café Irreal, Cream City Review, The Journal of Microliterature, Mobius, and The Watershed Review. He has been nominated for at least three Pushcart Prizes and not won a single one. He is married to Karen Poyner, one of the world’s premier power lifters, and holder of more than a dozen current world powerlifting records. He is also the animal parent of four rescue cats and two brazenly self-satisfied fish.