WilderUtopia celebrates world culture and literary expression, and our inspiration sources from folklore, myth, and storytelling, as well as the rituals and traditions of the many peoples on the planet.
The Artist & The Octopus - Reading Excerpt from Stephen T. Vessels
One of Stephen T. Vessels' best stories, "The Artist and the Octopus" was featured as the heart of the Santa Barbara Literary Journal's Volume 7-Oh Fortuna. Stephen, an extraordinary writer and human, left this realm on August 27, 2021. The story featured his own art, and it was in honor of this story that an octopus found its way to the cover of the volume. Published in 2021, the reading presented here was done by Jessica Aldridge.
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The Literary Labyrinth of Stephen T. Vessels
In September 2022, The Fifth Fedora, Weird Noir & Stranger Tales was published by Borda Books and WilderUtopia Books in honor of the late Stephen T. Vessels, literary fiction writer, poet, visual artist, and musicologist. This is Part One of an interview conducted with him by Jack Eidt of WilderUtopia. The interview took place at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference in 2019.
To be sure, Stephen's work operates on the razor's edge of surreality, with a sneaking dark side that you might understand better if you imagine yourself upon opening his books pushing through a curtain and appearing in a landscape unrecognizable, fantastic maybe, populated by people who may appear as monstrous, entities who seem innocent enough, but what lurks on the other side is something one would have to keep reading to find out. I've been considering the term he used himself, a literary mystic. Try and explain what that means - I dare you.
In addition to the latest anthology, the following works of his are mentioned:
"The Artist and the Octopus, " Oh, Fortuna! Volume 7, Santa Barbara Literary Journal, August 2021.
The Door of Tireless Pursuit, A Labyrinth of Souls Novel, Shadowspinners Press
The Ruptured Firmament, A Labyrinth of Souls Novel, Shadowspinners Press
Stephen was known to write all of his drafts longhand and produced hundreds of drawings using the same pen he wrote with. His stories have also appeared in, among other publications, a Shadowspinners anthology, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and Grey Matter Press’s Equillibrium Overturned. He received the Best Fiction Award from the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, and in 2014 was nominated for an International Thriller Writers award. His collection, The Mountain & the Vortex and Other Tales was published by Muse Harbor.
Shadow Spinners also just published his science fiction masterpiece: The Fall of the Messengers.
Corridor of the Surreal: Silver Webb and Jack Eidt Talk 'City of Illumination'
Jack Eidt talks with Silver Webb on his surreal trip to the Underworld story "City of Illumination," published by Borda Books in Delirium Corridor, A Dark Anthology, curated by Max Talley. It includes fifteen tales of psychological suspense, altered states, noir crime, and the surreal.
Featuring authors Zane Andrea, John Reed, Shelly Lowenkopf, Sacha Wamsteker, Jesse Krenzel, Genna Rivieccio, Jack Eidt, Trey Dowell, M.M. De Voe, Stephen Vessels, Fred Williams, Silver Webb & Max Talley. Available for purchase here.
Silver Webb on Santa Barbara Literary Journal: "Jack Eidt is master of the tsunami. One of those prose waves that starts at your ankles and builds slowly, not via twenty-foot wall of water, but an inexorable flow of words, so descriptive, immersive, wry, and serious, that before you know it, you are picked up off your feet, there is no other option but to let the current take you. And thusly, Jack has taken me into acid trips in the desert, cliff-climbing to find the sun, into the sewers of Los Angeles to face the dark goddess of the underworld, through the sights and sounds and stink of political unrest and brothels and hostels in South America. Quite literally, there have been moments when I’ve read his work and felt like I was losing my breath. It is that good. And that challenging." READ MORE...
Courting Delirium: Max Talley and his Dark Zeitgeist - WilderUtopia
Jack Eidt from WilderUtopia.com had a chat with novelist Max Talley about the recent book he curated and contributed two stories to, called Delirium Corridor, A Dark Anthology, from Borda Books/Santa Barbara Literary Journal.