The New Fiend is “a collaborative publication between Brenton Salo and Colin Smith.” Or, so says the first page of the latest volume. As for Salo and Smith, I’m not certain those are their real names. I’m pretty sure they’re a couple of jet-setting anarchists living in an abandoned nuclear silo hidden somewhere in the Cascades. They experiment with mind altering substances and run a think-tank of like-minded artistic geniuses who pool their collective mental processing power for the greater good of all humanity.
I submitted a short story called “Night Life” some time back. Salo contacted me through a custom bred carrier pigeon to let me know they accepted the piece, but that it wouldn’t fit with the theme of the upcoming issue. I sent the bird back with a cocktail napkin upon which I scrawled, “What’s the theme?” “Identity,” the next bird told me, so I shoved it in my coat, Gob Bluth style, and ran home to write something fitting. I released the bird a couple days later with a draft of “The Mastodon” on a thumb drive.
My story closes out the issue, right before a gallery of evocative portraits by Smith. The other contributors are great, by the way; Quinn Amacher stands out from the get go, and Danielle Kordani’s work is remarkably brave. You can read/view the magazine–and all the back issues–for free online. You can also download a copy of it–you know, if you’re planning on going off the grid for an extended period of time, or whatever.