Category: Trembling With Fear

Trembling With Fear 05/15/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. We publish both new and established writers with many becoming familiar faces and being an ongoing open market, we are always after material. Submissions don’t have to be horror, they can be dark sci-fi or fantasy or some other aspect of the speculative fiction field. Nor are we averse to a touch of noir or a dark thriller. Humour is also welcome!

Dear all, changes are afoot. First, good news on the house front. We’ve found a house, had our offer accepted and things are in motion – though I know that can still be at a snail’s pace. And the other news – this summer will see me reach my fifth year with TWF. When I stepped away from the day job last year, I thought it would free up my time to cope with both my own writing and Horror Tree and everything else. But things don’t go as planned. I will admit openly here to having a horrible time with the menopause – that word which you are not supposed to mention – and the effects of that have been hitting me hard for some time. In addition, the time I had planned to slot all projects into has simply not materialised and I have reached the point where something has to give.

For me, I have realised it is now time for me to step down from editing Trembling with Fear. I will be around until the end of June, by which time someone else will have taken over these reins, and I will also see through the 2021 anthologies but after that, I will sink into the background. Though I might send in the odd drabble! I am not going from Horror Tree itself completely, however. I will continue with the Indie Bookshelf posts and behind the scenes prep the review posts sent in. I have also said that if ever there’s an emergency, I will do what I can to help.

So, I would like to say thank you to everyone for all your wonderful stories and friendship. I have got to know many fantastic writers through TWF, and it is a time I will never regret. The only thing that remains is for me to ask – is there anyone out there who would like to take on this role? If you’re interested, please let Stuart know.

Beelzebub by Hilary Ayshford is our first story in Trembling With Fear. This is such beautiful writing despite the horrific tragedy which unfolds as you read it. Innocence and vulnerability shine through with the use of first person POV and this makes it all the more heartbreaking.

Citrine Screams by Tess P. is a dark sci-fi with a very bleak time-controlled scenario. More sci-fi please.

Risen by DJ Tyrer delivers some great atmosphere with his depiction of the stirring graveyard.

The Road by Simon Kewin has some lovely scene setting in the introduction and a nice twist at the end. But this is not a ‘lazy’ twist, the story flows into it without jarring.

I hope you enjoyed our stories, now send us yours!

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

First off, I’m going to say that Trembling With Fear wouldn’t exist today without the help of Steph. I don’t say that lightly. She’s truly made TWF what it is and I’m both terrified and excited for where we’ll be going from here. I’m also thrilled that she is still staying part of the Horror Tree family!
So, yes, we are going to be open to a new head editor that will be helping with:
– Reviewing stories as they come in for inclusion.
– Light editing advice if warranted.
– Scheduling the posts and writing intros for them in WordPress.
– Helping with our yearly Anthology release.
If this sounds like something that you would be interested in and passionate about, please do reach out today on our contact form or directly to [email protected]!

Okay. With being in between classes I’ve been starting to plan out some of the upcoming changes for HT. We’re currently reevaluating our hosting plan in order to speed up the backend of the site and the front end on mobile as well as how our theme works. (We’ll likely be keeping it but adapting it for speed and usability on mobile devices.) Things are progressing, slowly. There are also three areas that we’re currently looking to expand though there might be a small pause as we work through TWF editorial changes. We’ll see! 🙂

Finally, if you missed it last week: we heard some REALLY good news. The latest Top 101 Websites for Writers are out in the current Writer’s Digest. Below is the cover and our inclusion!

We’re still working on sorting having a weekly round up on our Horror Tree’s YouTube channel. Please, subscribe to the channel, like the video, and comment on the video if you like it and email any suggestions or thoughts in!

For those looking to support the site, we’ve recently launched a Ko-Fi and always have our Patreon going.

As always, I hope you had a great weekend.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 05/08/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. We publish both new and established writers with many becoming familiar faces and being an ongoing open market, we are always after material. Submissions don’t have to be horror, they can be dark sci-fi or fantasy or some other aspect of the speculative fiction field. Nor are we averse to a touch of noir or a dark thriller. Humour is also welcome!

The house hunting continues, more than a few visited, a few offers made, and more than once beaten to it, not to mention estate agents telling us porkies! I won’t lie, it is proving stressful and I fully intend to stay put for a while when we finally find somewhere before we do what we hope will be our final move. It’s been a touch distracting as far as writing goes but I’ve been soldiering on and my metal inspired found poetry collection, Metallurgy, is nearing completion. The cover is almost done – I’m working on the back of the wrap at the minute – and I’d like to give a shoutout here to Wayne Fenlon who provided a couple of base images for me to work with. I’ve also submitted a few folk horror stories to submission calls promoted on Horror Tree! I hope your writing is going a lot smoother than mine.

The first story in Trembling With Fear this week is The Scream by James Rumpel. This is the sort of story to tell around the campfire when the night is dark and the owl screeching. The ending also gives it that cyclical nature which makes the listener wonder – could it happen again?

One Animal’s Predator by Eric Netterlund adds a lovely bit of atmosphere in the woods, incorporating the senses, not just sight but sound and smell, always gives a story depth.

Quicksand by Christina Nordlander shows us what you would do to survive – and would you lie about it? Exactly how moral or truthful are we?

Under the Bed by Kevin McHugh takes a well-used trope but adds a slight twist at the end to bring the difference.

I hope you enjoyed our stories, now send us yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

First week out of finals and I’ve been super busy doing… Busy work. Not much fun but things that have been needing to be done. I’ve cleaned up some internal broken links on the site. I also found every (I hope) instance that referenced internal links as HTTP instead of HTTPS. Not fun to report on but well overdo!
We had a couple of hiccups on the next Trembling With Fear release and are doing a quick revision before ordering proof copies. (Which might have been done by the time you read this!)
Also, we heard some REALLY good news. The latest Top 101 Websites for Writers are out in the current Writer’s Digest. Below is the cover and our inclusion!

We’re still working on sorting having a weekly round up on our Horror Tree’s YouTube channel. Please, subscribe to the channel, like the video, and comment on the video if you like it and email any suggestions or thoughts in!

For those looking to support the site, we’ve recently launched a Ko-Fi and always have our Patreon going.

I hope you had a great weekend.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 05/01/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. We publish both new and established writers with many becoming familiar faces and being an ongoing open market, we are always after material. Submissions don’t have to be horror, they can be dark sci-fi or fantasy or some other aspect of the speculative fiction field. Nor are we averse to a touch of noir or a dark thriller. Humour is also welcome!

Well this has certainly been a week! With the rights for my books back, I’ve now signed with Brigids Gate Press and The Five Turns of the Wheel, Bottled and Paused will all be back around May/June! Not only that but they’re publishing two more of my books – both folk horror – Reborn in October and The Woodcutter in January next year. So yes, there’s been some happy dancing in the Ellis household. We are also moving again, the second of our planned 3 moves towards our ‘final’ home and have a buyer BUT we do need to find somewhere and it’s a bit of a frenzy in the old market. Might end up pitching a tent in a field!

And before I turn to TWF, I’m going to do the shameless maternal plug here, this time for my son and his singing partner’s first single which is available on Spotify. You can listen to Sleeping Seaglass by Dullan (aka Dylan Ellis!) and Annabelle Johnson here. (FYI it’s not metal! 😊 )

The first story this week in Trembling With Fear is Drone Attack by K.W. Roberts. I really liked the voice of this story, set up as a very casual and conversational missive to friends, the method allows the tone to change as the situation deteriorates. A clever way of developing mood.

Bad Hair Night, 1921 by Mike Rader brings in the historical setting of twenties London. I do like different time settings, it allows for so much variety. How about the French Revolution or perhaps Louis XIV, the Sun King, the Spanish Inquisition (nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!) and then Hannibal or Caesar. So many ways to twist horror into history!

Cycles by Quinn Parker takes the desire for revenge to a level with an outcome neither party was prepared for.

The Special by RJ Meldrum shows you should be wary of regulars when you visit the local pub. Don’t make a sound!

I hope you enjoyed our stories, now send us yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Did a bit of work on the Mailchimp newsletter. Made it easier to update and did a little bit more for tying it in directly to the domain which should allow for it to more easily be received by everyone. Still have a couple more steps to do but progress is being made!

The latest anthologies… Might be on pause only because I need to upload them to our account to order proofs and it is my final week of my current MBA class so am a bit slammed outside of an already busy work week. Next week, expect some real progress! (Or, at least, hopefully, proofs being ordered.)

We’re still working on sorting having a weekly round up on our Horror Tree’s YouTube channel. Please, subscribe to the channel, like the video, and comment on the video if you like it and email any suggestions or thoughts in!

For those looking to support the site, we’ve recently launched a Ko-Fi and always have our Patreon going.

I hope you had a great weekend.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 04/24/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. We publish both new and established writers with many becoming familiar faces and being an ongoing open market, we are always after material. Submissions don’t have to be horror, they can be dark sci-fi or fantasy or some other aspect of the speculative fiction field. Nor are we averse to a touch of noir or a dark thriller. Humour is also welcome!

I recall last week setting myself a target for the TWF anthologies and met it! Wrap versions of covers are now with Stuart, it’s all ticking along nicely!

I’ve also received the rights reversions for my books and stories so can move forward to getting those back out. I hope to be able to share more solid news in the not too distant future (much is being done in the background!). Last weekend saw me take part in a couple of podcasts, one Writers on Wax with Joshua Marsella where I talk about music, writing and all sorts. I also took part in Edward Lorn’s From the Desk: UK panel alongside Ross Jeffery, Janine Pipe, Antonia Rachel Ward and E himself, which was good fun.

Reading matter has included charity anthology Waves of Mutilation from Sarah Jane Huntington which is an excellent collection of short stories written to support a great cause. Win win. I also read the dystopian Femlandia written by best-selling author, Christina Dalcher. Do you realise we published her in TWF not so many years ago? I’m now working through Joshua Marsella’s Hunger for Death, have just picked up Avra Margariti’s The Saint of Witches for #NationalPoetryMonth (also a TWF alumni!) and hope to dive into Below by Laurel Hightower very very soon!

Trembling With Fear starts this week with The Dog that Comes in by Dan Murphy. A great slow build horror using a very normal situation. There are no heavy-handed info dumps, just a well-paced, step-by-step towards the horrific ending.

The Wrong Monster by S. C. Fisher is a bit of a what-if story. We all know about monsters under the bed but this takes a natural reaction into a very dark ending.

Cheat Day by Jennifer Canaveral allows a person’s instinct to override the position they find themselves in. Perhaps a warning to those who diet!

Rim-Shot by Will H. Blackwell Jr mixes gives us an end of life story but one announced in a different manner to the usual hourglass.

I hope you enjoyed our stories, now send us yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Folks, for our mailing list, we’re back on MailChimp. I’m not sure how we’re going to afford it quite yet though I was sick of SendFox just failing to get the newsletter out to people. Hopefully, everyone who is subscribed will start seeing it show up again as of last/this week.

The full cover wrap of our anthologies are done for the year! We’re inching forward to proof copies. Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks they’ll be ordered.

We have a new video up on Horror Tree’s YouTube channel. This is a roundup of our weekly calls and we plan on having this as a continuous video going forward, IF you like it. Please comment on our post or video with your thoughts!

For those looking to support the site, we’ve recently launched a Ko-Fi and always have our Patreon going.

I hope you had a great weekend.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 04/17/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. We publish both new and established writers with many becoming familiar faces and being an ongoing open market, we are always after material. Submissions don’t have to be horror, they can be dark sci-fi or fantasy or some other aspect of the speculative fiction field. Nor are we averse to a touch of noir or a dark thriller. Humour is also welcome!

Life is trundling on and I was buried in the final formatting of Horror Tree’s Year 5 Anthology and the More Tales from the Tree companion. Now that I have page counts for these, I can turn the cover into a full wrap and we can finally upload. I’m allowing myself a week from today to get my end of things over to Stuart – nothing like putting yourself under pressure is there?

On a personal note I’d like to wish my youngest, Rhonwen, happy 21st birthday for yesterday and also get well soon to my eldest, Bethan, who has gone down with covid, a gift from our recent Ghost gig I think. Surprisingly, my own test has shown negative! Despite this result for my daughter, the concert was well worthi it – our first live gig since lockdown and it was a brilliant show.

I’ve continued my set 3 hours of writing time for three weeks now and it’s yielding tangible results. Things are getting finished, projects are moving on! Not worrying about word counts and merely focussing on time has been incredibly freeing. However, with bills hitting the heights they are, I am horribly aware that my writing time and the time I can give to Horror Tree might be curtailed as I seek more active income so I need to complete as much as I can before this happens! I have managed one or two formatting jobs recently, so that might be the way I will go – it is something that allows me to balance to my day. As an escape from all this, obviously I read! So, over to Trembling With Fear!

Our first story is Medical Waste by Chelsea Roth. This is a medical horror based on fact and then twisted, if you google teratoma, you will certainly be presented with some rather off-putting pictures. In this story, the horror of such a tumour is melded with the disturbances of the mind which can lead to only one grotesque – but strangely logical – conclusion.

Banshee Karaoke by Hillary Lyon has a great punchline and is a drabble where the title adds an extra layer to the story.

Notes from a Funeral by Kevin McHugh completely redirects his story with a simple whispered ‘what if’. This nuance adds so much and brings the reader’s imagination into play.

The Skull by Mike Rader is a clever shape poem which makes me want to try something similar!

I hope you enjoyed our stories, now send us yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

At the time of writing this, we haven’t changed newsletter providers, though I think I’ve got one I can fit into the budget. I’ll be back to working for free on the site but the fact that so many of you aren’t getting emails at the moment will make fixing this problem worth it. (So, hey, if you ever want to sponsor the newsletter with a book ad, do reach out!) 😉

We have one of the two anthologies formatted and ready to go and are now proofing the second. I think we’re going to be good to go for launching quite soon! There is a lot in the works at the moment and I’ll hopefully be sharing some of that with you soon!

For those looking to support the site, we’ve recently launched a Ko-Fi and always have our Patreon going.

I hope you had a great weekend.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 04/10/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. We publish both new and established writers with many becoming familiar faces and being an ongoing open market, we are always after material. Submissions don’t have to be horror, they can be dark sci-fi or fantasy or some other aspect of the speculative fiction field. Nor are we averse to a touch of noir or a dark thriller. Humour is also welcome!

This last week has been very up and down for me in the light of recent events. I know some might expect me to refer to the incident so I will – but briefly and I will not go into the trigger for all this; that information is available elsewhere. After the closure of Silver Shamrock Publishing, I am currently in the process of re-homing my books and I do have a place for them and hope to announce soon. And one thing I have learned is that communication between authors and publisher is key. Silence can only undermine trust.

The other thing I will say publicly is that I acknowledge and thank Ken McKinley at SSP, together with Kenneth Cain and Kealan Burke for all the support I have received from them and for giving me the break into the book world. For a publishing company to end this way is heart-breaking and I wish everybody involved from fellow authors to Ken McKinley my best wishes for the future. And thank you, thank you, to everyone who messaged me to check in, offer support and make suggestions.

And to finish on a very positive note, there was nothing but support for the authors affected by the closure. Resources were compiled and made available for us to find publishers. Publishers contacted authors, as did readers and other authors. Everyone got involved to help our suddenly homeless books. This was the side of the community I loved to see. With that in mind, Horror Tree will be creating an Indie Bookshelf Special in a few months on which I hope to include books which have been rehomed, news of works in progress, publishers’ spotlights for all those who stepped up and special mentions for the individuals who took specific practical steps to help us. I’ve got a certain amount of information already but if anyone would care to nominate someone who has been active in this manner, drop me a line and they’ll be included.

Our first story in Trembling With Fear is Programmed by Katherine Kerestman. This takes a chilling look at the reliance of the human race on the information – true or not – coming from the internet. Technology is harnessed to, in theory, make life easier for us. But does it? This is such a horribly plausible concept and a very clever way to make us stop and think before it’s too late. Another clever touch is the use of the characters’ first names – when you take that onboard it takes the story to a whole new different level.

Neighborhood Watch by Steve Patchett plays with viewpoints, not through voice but direction of gaze. Who exactly is the voyeur? Who is dead? A piece to make you think as you play the scene back and forth. A story told through the senses.

Petals Don’t Lie by Pauline Yates carries the intention of malice, plants a scenario in your head which you won’t resolve until the last line.

The Woodchopper of Doorn by J J Munro is written against the backdrop of a Europe at war and its consequences. I enjoyed this as it sent me off to google Monro’s references and I found this little video of Kaiser Wilhelm II and his woodchopping activities here.

I hope you enjoyed our stories, now send us yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

As mentioned above, Silver Shamrock Publishing is no more. If you were an author who was negatively impacted by this and don’t use Twitter or have been avoiding social media since it happened. We’ve compiled a brief list of some of the resources being made available to you to find a new home for your work. I’m sorry that you have to go through this. If you’re active on social media, I’m sure that you’ve seen all of these already.

Steph didn’t mention it above but we’re in the next phase of compiling the yearly ‘Trembling With Fear’ releases! Progress is made and things are looking good. I’m also working with our newsletter guru Holley Cornetto on a few of our other side projects and have been toying around with a completely different direction for our website’s theme change. We’ll see how that goes. I’m still trying to figure out how to budget changing our newsletter provider back to Mailchimp.

For those looking to support the site, we’ve recently launched a Ko-Fi and always have our Patreon going.

Last reminder: if you’re a fantasy or science fiction lover who is also obsessed with wrestling, please reach out to me directly on our contact form or social media.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Unholy Trinity: Ones and Zeros by F.M. Scott

Our church worships at the altar of the Unholy Trinity. Its gospels are delivered as a trio of dark drabbles, linked so that Three become One. All hail the power of the Three.

Ones and Zeros

The thrust, the firepower, the ones and zeros.  The flawless timing of every component, every brain involved.  The money.

Meritok Corp., with this mission as a trophy of its holdings, a token to the planet that owed its progenitor the spoils of a man who reflected the promise of global community, bankrolled the Juliette.  Andries sat in its cockpit, waiting to depart asteroid Murnau-8 with samples of the blue ore detected by a previous probe.

Outside the window, a purple cloud advanced.  Sensors warned 1,000 feet, 500, 100…  Fixed, angular faces poured from it.  Cabin lights went out like candles.

Gray

Backup power and communication failed.

An hour passed, then another.  Ignition failed, countless times.

Murnau-8 turned away from the Sun, snuffing out all ambient light.  Andries sat strapped inside the Juliette, playing a loop of his life movie, his conquests.  And failures.

Shining a penlight, he fumbled for the case under his seat.

The Gray Pill.  Chemical execution in a vitamin-sized caplet.  Three time-release phases—sedative, paralytic, heart stopper.  Less than a half hour.

Dark tranquility cupped Andries.  Like clockwork his muscles became leaden, breath labored.  Above him hovered a glowing face like those he’d seen through the window before.

Wait for It

The asteroid mission he’d funded, supervised, and flown solo as his money and legal machine stipulated, had dissolved.  It sank under last-second failure, marooned him in the land of a blue ore whose gases promised repair for an overheating Blue Planet.

Barely conscious and fading under the paralytic phase of the Gray Pill, Andries felt the jolt of ignition as the Juliette’s power returned—the result of commands queued up before it blinked out.

He lifted off, managing a feeble, resigned laugh as the spirits of this rock returned him to a desolation encased in the artifacts of his kind.

 

F.M. Scott

F.M. Scott is from Tulsa, Oklahoma.  His stories have appeared in Apple in the Dark, The Horror Tree, The Killer Collection Anthology (Nick Botic Horror), Sirius Science Fiction, The Tulsa Voice, and The Rock N’ Roll Horror Zine.

WEBSITE: www.fmscott.com

TWITTER: @fmscottauthor

INSTAGRAM: fmscottauthor

Trembling With Fear 04/03/2022

Welcome back to Trembling with Fear, our online flash zine. We publish both new and established writers with many becoming familiar faces and being an ongoing open market, we are always after material. Submissions don’t have to be horror, they can be dark sci-fi or fantasy or some other aspect of the speculative fiction field. Nor are we averse to a touch of noir or a dark thriller. Humour is also welcome!

Last Sunday saw the clocks go back and was also Mother’s Day (UK). My lovely family bought me a book. This was Thomas Tryon’s The Other. I’d already read – and loved – his Harvest Home, and have wanted this one for a while. I read it in one day. It really is excellent, unlike the British weather. After a wonderful week which was almost summery in nature, it started to snow as I typed up this editorial, sigh. I have however, kept to my writing routine and finished the first draft of my current novella WIP. I don’t do umpteen drafts, this one will probably just be a couple. I’m pretty pleased with how it’s gone so far.

Other reading matter has included one of the most crazy – in a good way – books on the indie scene: The Wicked Rex of the West by Ward Nerdlo and Daron Kappauff. A mashup of The Wizard of Oz and Jurassic Park, it’s pacy and gory (I’m not normally one for lots of gore) and just really great fun. Which makes me think, could some of you give us a mashup or two for TWF? It’s something I can’t remember seeing here.

Our first story in Trembling With Fear is Under the Cover of the Night by Martin Lochman. Along streets you run, hearing the voice of the pursuer as he writes his script, imagines that of his prey until you realise someone else is directing the scene and it’s not what you thought. Cleverly done.

Hide by Quinn Parker takes us into the mind of a child, their concerns, their fears. Good choice of sentence lengths in this one to add to the sense of creeping dread.

Maggie’s Diner by Wayne Fenlon tells the story through dialogue, the tone and word choice reflecting the mood perfectly so that you can imagine the scene with absolutely no need for any description. Lovely work.

The Immortal by RJ Meldrum leads the reader in a completely different direction of thought and delivers a great punch line which I’m sure will make you smile.

I hope you enjoyed our stories, now send us yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

We have 4 biggist projects in the works right now that I’d really like to tease you on. Unfortunately, I’ve been sick the last week (not with THE plague but a cold nonetheless which has wiped me out.)
Just as a reminder that last week on Steph’s suggestion, we now have a Ko-Fi as another way to donate to the site. While I still find Patreon the easiest way to keep track of things, I’m always happy to make things as easy as possible for anyone looking to contribute to the site’s future!

Offhand, if you’re a fantasy or science fiction lover who is also obsessed with wrestling, please reach out to me directly on our contact form or social media.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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