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When you drink from a well, remember those who dug it  — ancient Chinese proverb

I had thought to start out thanking all those who help make Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores possible, because there are many to remember and much to be thankful for.  However the paragraphs proliferated as I went  farther and farther back, and I realized the causal sequence this magazine relied upon would eventually reach the Initial Singularity, the wellspring of all and the presently impassable frontier of the past before which there is no known thing to thank.  As Carl Sagan once said about apple pies, to make a web magazine, you must first create the universe.  So, I thank the universe, and I’ll thank some of  its inhabitants as the magazine goes along.  Meanwhile, I’ll just say:

Welcome to the Main Terminal

From here you can travel out to explore the gradually expanding frontiers of Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

Visitors to and Wanderers through,
Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores,
beginning April 17, 2016

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Coming Up:

Young People of All Ages: “Noisy World Before the Door”, by Melion Traverse
Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales: “How Thomas Connolly Met the Banshee”, by John Todhunter
Young People of All Ages: “Olaf and Lars”, by Kevin Lauderdale

Here for the Reading, 2017:

You can comment on any of our stories at The Forums

For continuous access to all of 2017 subscribe here:

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March 29, 2017, Fantasy  “Sweeter Than Lead”  by Benjamin C. Kinney


She stood atop the wall and stared at the shifting black towers of the Nameless City, as if this time she might spot the shadows of its bygone masters. She flexed her toes against the rampart’s top, the basalt as cold and solid as ever. Only the wall and her vigilance held the City in check, but one of those would not last.




March 25, 2017, Literature and Media “The Essential Fairy Tale” by Sam Muller

An article on the dark side of fairy tales…



The original villainess of Snow White’s story was her mother.  Grimm Brother’s first edition was faithful to the tale they heard and recorded, the tale of a mother who orders the murder of her adolescent daughter out of jealous vanity and devours what she believes to be the dead child’s lungs and liver…


March 15, 2017, Fantasy:The River’s Daughter and the Gunslinger God“,  by Matthew Claxton

The river’s daughter had hair as long and green as eelgrass, and skin the livid white of a fish belly. Her teeth were sharp, and through her thin lips, she sometimes whispered spells and curses, for her mother had been a sorceress.

Since her mother’s departure, swathed in furs in the middle of a winter storm, the river’s daughter had not seen a single outsider to the valley. She spoke to the winds and her siblings the creeks, and she amused herself by practicing charms to change her shape.

This dwarf, this outsider who moved with such purpose, fascinated her. She watched him from silent concealment in the forest.

March 9, 2017, Science Fiction:The Fo’dekai Artifact“,  by J. D. Moyer


The Fo’dekai could write in blood, and now he had their stories in him. Thousands of them, crowding his dreams, bleeding into his waking consciousness, his mind groaning from their weight.

The first dreams were visions of a strange world, flying over blood-red deserts, black oceans, purple forests. Darren sensed a planet being constructed, layer-by-layer, in his mind.

He wanted to talk about the dreams, but no reason to be alarmed the doctor said.

No reason? He had literally dived into a dark ocean and plummeted into a black chasm. He could see, monochromatically but with precise resolution.  He could feel his short undulating tentacles, and his skin rapidly oscillating through a kaleidoscope of patterns.


Feb 27, 2017, Fantasy: “Repo Priest”, by Joel E. Roosa


“In here. Name’s Ben Wilton.  Been possessed thoiteen times now.”  She held out her crosses as if they were shields, and shuttled backwards.

            “Ma’am, it’s not a vampire.  Crosses won’t help.”  Father Belloch unlocked the decrepit old door, and let it slowly creak open.

            The walls were covered with blood-red heretical writings, curses, evil symbols, and dirty limericks. The green ooze covering the floor added a foul smell to the overall ambience. What he didn’t see was the victim in question.

            He rummaged through his backpack and brought out a small umbrella.  He popped it open and stepped cautiously through the doorway. 


Feb. 25, 2017: Eldritch:”Hollows”, by Emmett Schlenz



He was singing another song
to the rusted chain dangling from the ceiling when a black hole opened in his chest. It sucked his heart out from behind his ribcage and he knew with a ghost’s certainty, with the instinctual sympathy between the dead and those close to death, that his brother was dying.
He had not seen Michael, hadn’t been able to see another human being, since the day he died bloody in the street, listening to the screeching of wheels on concrete.



Feb. 21, 2017: Science Fiction:”Painting Clouds, by A. Merc Rustad

We cloudweavers specialize in different shapes — we collaborate and mold the textures of air and rain, cold and heat. The sun and moon are pallets to tint our canvasses.

But now the sun is dying. People no longer look at our art, our gifts, and as they stop looking, our clouds thin and fade. We grow weaker, less aware. Without our mediums, our art, what are we?



Feb. 18, 2017: Science Fiction:”Ghosts of Bunker Seven, by Derrick Boden

Her skin was mottled blue, like storm clouds on a night sky. On days when the stares got to her, she’d throw on her old military coat and a pair of sunglasses.  If it were up to her, she’d be wearing a pair of concrete shoes at the bottom of the surf. The bacteria coursing through her veins had other ideas.

And now, after all the cover-ups and slashed pensions, the brass was back. Calling for her to clean up their mess again.



Jan. 31, 2017: Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales:Thief or Felon Bold“, by Alter Reiss

She laughed.
“We are within the hill and beyond the stream that stains like blood,” she said. “I will tell you now one true thing: when you bargain with those who live within the hollow hill, you give us things which it amuses us to take, and we give back things which it amuses us to give.”



Jan. 30, 2017: Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales: “Fruits of Victory“, by Jonathan Shipley

In the darkness overhead, Ilianthe saw a point of light flash into being.

  Flash and hold steady.
Another way station in the void.
Another star, created of angel light and dragon fire.
Their victory allowed them to create stars, to reshape the Cosmos  Hundreds more would be scattered through the darkness of the heavens, and the Holdings would no longer hang cold in the lightless emptiness.  Yet victory had not brought peace.


Jan. 26, 2017: Science Fiction: In Zarbok’s Kitchen, by Matthew F. Amati

“Tell him no! Absolutely not!”

I groaned inwardly.

In my six years as sous-chef at Zarbok’s Of Aldebaran, I had told Chef Z again and again that the customer is always right.

But Zarbok was an auteur. You don’t get to run the galaxy’s only fifty-star restaurant by compromising your compound vision.




Jan. 25, 2017: Fantasy: With the Breath of his Bare Hands, by Tyra Tanner


Elu smelled demon.

It was a raw scent, like blood in the mouth. The smell that promised a belabored death, a clawing death, a fangs-upon-flesh death.

Sometimes, the memories of his ancient heroics played themselves out in his mind, and the gore colored his sight, but the scent of demon was always there.

It kept his fear alive.

And fear had kept him alive.



Jan. 24, 2017: Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales: Black Annis and the Barguest, by Sarah L. Byrne


They call me Black Annis, the village folk do.   I walk the woods alone, my voice gone dry as old leaves, and I’ve not forgotten how to make me a glamour when I need one, with claws of iron and hair like duckweed.

But what does that do against a bargeust from the lands to the north, fangs like blades, breath a bellows blast, eyes of flame?




Jan. 11, 2017: Science Fiction: A Meeting of Spirits, by Russell Adams


I just knew the lights were looking for me, so I ran for my life and forgot about that old played out Sun Lizard silver mine. Suddenly I was lying at the bottom of a fifty‑foot shaft.

I hope I got a decent funeral.

 I was instantly stone cold sober, and that’s when I figured out the lights hadn’t been looking for me. Stupid idea, aliens flying across the universe to get back a few goddamned gold nuggets.

But I wasn’t wrong thinking they were looking for something.

lead illustration: “By the Light of the Moon” digital illustration © Eugenius330   Textures courtesy of





Jan. 10, 2017: Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales: “Godmother Death”, by Kate O’Connor




At first, I thought I had been sent for her. She was so very small, barely a breath in her tiny body.   But no, it was her mother, eyes fixed on me, on the tipping point between life and death. And her mother said, “Will you look after her?”




digital painting “I Waited”, by Kim Myatt






Jan. 9, 2017: Eldritch: “Sheila Slinkypaw and the Penguin”, by Kevin J. Guhl


Gene concerned me.  He never spoke, didn’t seem to breathe, never took off his head.

Happy New Year Everyone.   We hope 2017 will be a good year for us all.

To read all the stories for 2017, you can subscribe here:

Subscribe 2017

Here for the Reading, 2016:

You can subscribe to have continuous access to all of 2016 here: Subscribe 2016

Dec 31, 2016: Science Fiction: “Life, Or Something Like It”, by J. Michael Neal


Salazar Niskanen had just initiated the burn that would take him out of the system when a voice he’d never heard before began a conversation with him.  It was his ship, and she had some unexpected news for him.


Dec 29, 2016: Fantasy: “On Rising One Snowy Evening”, by Karen Bovenmyer


When she clawed her way up out of the frozen earth she tried to gauge how much time had passed – were all her kin asleep, gone this time?  Her husband had died before his time and she had vowed never to leave her children, for death or nobody — she’s always come back when they had need of her.




Dec 28, 2016: Young People of All Ages: Dead Things, by Lawrence Van Hoof


My grandmother picks up dead things. She brings them home. Sometimes she scares people because they don’t understand. Nobody does. Except me. And that’s the scariest thing of all.


Lead illustration “Peregrine Ghosts” photograph © Dave Cox




Dec 17, 2016: Science Fiction: “The One and the Many”, by William Ledbetter

Opono had spent the entire first third of her life convincing peers and family that there was sentient life in the cosmos and she could find it. They had finally believed her, financed her, and some had even contracted future offspring to combine with hers so their lineage would have memories of the momentous occasion. She had failed them all.







Dec 3, 2016: Fantasy: “The Tears of the Dead”, by Mark Rookyard

I think Father has forgiven me now. He’s been telling me of upstairs, where people live in buildings taller even than Joe’s tunnel. He says they have ‘windows’, big holes filled with glass that they can look through and watch the City. He says there is no sludge up there, and people have soft skin and clothes that aren’t torn and muddied. He said he once saw one of the Four that came on the Ship and rule over the City with an iron fist. I don’t know what iron means…







Young People of All Ages: “Sea Full of Stars”, by Siobhan Gallagher
illustration by Alexander Rommel

Zef was finishing up repairs on the space telescope when a stream of glittering, translucent bodies passed overhead.





Mr. Pony pic 5

Hallowe’en 2016, Eldritch “Mr. Pony”,  by Stephen S. Power

The bus wheezes to a stop, the door squeaks open, and Mr. Pony trots on.

This time, the bus isn’t empty.

All the way in back, a skull mask peeks out of the last seat.

He’s always there, you just can’t always see him.

Happy Hallowe’enWendigo jagged eyes





Oct. 18, 2016, Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales: “Laila Tov — Good Night — “, by Robert B. Finegold, MD


The small sward of earth and patchwork hut where the crippled tailor and his demon bride once lived was shunned for its evil, or so the villagers would claim; but whether it was for the evil that once dwelt there or the evil that was inflicted upon it none would say.










Sept 10: Science Fiction, “Word from Home”, by Mark Rookyard






photomanips and digital illustrations by Fran Eisemann









Oct. 4, 2016, Eldritch: “My Heart Is a Prayer”, by Ryan Row

My heart is a prayer. My heart is a temple, is a church to an absent god. Is an egg for all the misery of the universe…


Oct. 1, 2016, Science Fiction: “Mobius”, by Elian Crane

If Ahab captained a starship  — a brief, lyric vision



Sept. 25, 2016, Science Fiction: “Leon’s Last Meal”, by Shayna Coplan


Leon liked human law, but not the meals it served him.








Sept. 22, Fantasy: “Hunters of the Dead” by Laurie Tom

When the wild magic meant to the win the war backfired, the king abandoned the people of the wild borderlands. Now there were only hunters between the living and the wandering dead.




Sept. 19, 2016Science Fiction: “Time Trial”, by Liam Hogan

The device appeared in his parlor.  He was only trying to make it work.  And now here he was, somewhere and somewhen, charged with perverting the  course of time and space.

Star Citizen for CRES by Enrico FrehseJuly 27, 2016: Science Fiction: How Your Mother Killed Me”, by Evan Dicken

Illustration: “Star Citizen” photomanipulation by Enrico Frehse

A quest of many lifetimes begins with a single slice


negotiations pic 1

July 24, 2016: Science Fiction“Negotiations”, by Matthew J. Streett

Where does the commercial domain end

What can it take when you’re not looking

How do you get it back










mountain farmer's pic final 1July 18, 2016: Stories For Young People from 4 to 499: “The Mountain Farmer’s Bootlace”, by David Sklar

Sometimes, when you’re planting mountains, you may not notice the little things.


June 18, 2016: Eldritch: “The Rental Heart”, by Kirsty Logan





wild nunt for magazine

June 14, 2016, Myths, Legends, and Fairy TalesThe Wild Hunt of Sliabh Mannan, by Philip Brian Hall

When a Goddess asks you to stop a God…



June 8: Fantasy“Gatekeeper, What Toll?“, by Mike Reeves-McMillan

Photograph: “The Final Gate” by Mark Humphreys




legacy by noro8 pic 2

 June 6, Science Fiction: Derelict, by Derrick Boden

What you remember when you forget everything else

Illustration: “Legacy” by Norbert





June 4, Science Fiction: Mister Bob, by Dan Campbell

Like it says on the door, when you need to know the unknowable… ask Mister Bob

Illustration: “Crab Mutant Creature“by sParzZ


June 2, 2016: Fantasy: Skinchangerby Eduardo Frajman

The price of change

Illustration by Mark Purzycki



eternity_by_puimun 1

Stories for Young People from 4 to 400: The Lady and the Moon, by Matt Dovey

Why we must love the sea

illustration by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law












screenshot-vimeo SonicalApril 25, 2016: Science Fiction,
Sonical — Locker X
     This fractal animation video was created by Brian May.  He wrote the music first.  While writing it, images of science fiction scenes came to him, and inspired him to make the video!
Sonical — Locker X has found it’s way into six festivals so far, in Germany, Australia, UK, Martinique, and Hong Kong!
Sonical Locker X images and sound  © Brian May



lacrimae knows pic 1

April 23, 2016: Fantasy,  Lacrimae Knows, by C..J. Jessop
Even in the dark, especially in the dark, she knows.

illustration by Omnia





 NASA History of the Universe

April 9: Science for Young People from 4 to 400: Touching the Stars – Primordial Hydrogen”, by J. Eckelkamp

A very short history of our universe, and a cool experiment you can do at home with Hydrogen, that very ancient element that was created just about at the beginning of the big bang — nearly 14 billion years ago.









cosmic by leozoy



April 9, Science Fiction: With the Taste of Oblivion in Her Mouth, by M.E. Garber

illustration: “Cosmic” © Leozo












dawn blossom flower 1


March 23, Fantasy: Dawn Blossom“, by John Eckelkamp







egil-by-chriskuhlmann-pic-magpieMarch 6,   Fantasy:  “The Magpie of Souls” by David Tallerman

Sword, sorcery, and enchanted castle








out of brambles title pic finalMarch 5,  Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales:  Out of Brambles“, by Leenna Naidoo

A short, spooky Halloween story to make you smile.




clockwork_vision_by_thepeakFeb 28, Eldritch:The Clockwork Sky, by Alexandra Davydova,
translated by Anatoly Belilovsky.

Repairing the World, one page at a time…

And here it is in the original Russian version:

Нажмите здесь для языковой версии русской..



Boomerang ZoneFeb. 27, Science Fiction: Boomerang Zone”, by Robert Dawson,
Illustration “Make a Wish” by Karim Fakhoury,
photographs courtesy of NASA

When even that thin lifeline is cut, what do you rely on?



silence by velocitti Feb. 17, Science Fiction, Then We Stood Still, by Bojan Ratković
Digital Painting “Silence” by Priya Johal.

An homage to the works of Isaac Asimov




she__eidolon_by_spokeninred Feb. 14, Eldritch, Lunatic, by Kate O’Connor Photograph, “She, Eidolon”, ©Jennifer Rhoades Photograph of Moon © Wyldraven

Oh, what the moon can do to you…












HDJ Immolation of Brunnhilde   Feb. 10, Interviews, A Talk with Howard David Johnson    We talk with David about his latest projects, and he shares with us special previews of his paintings of Norse mythology he’ll be sending on international tour, and images from his latest project — a fantasy book on Atlantis.  David combines media and legends to bring us his own take on the fabled city.








Feb. 10, Science Fiction: Bob, JustBob”, by Liam Hogan.  A reprise of the story of Bob, who carries a spaceship in his pocket.



artifact of a ghost peterle Jan 23, Eldritch:  Tryst”, by Brian K. Lowe — Why don’t you forsake me, oh my darling? photos of women © Peter Allert photo of stairway © stengchen photo of candle © Jeet Sen










firstfootprint on the moon titled January 14, 2016:   Science Fiction:  A Walk in the Sun”, by Geoffrey Landis  —  Reprise of the classic hard science fiction story.






January 5, 2016:    Article: A Practical Guide to the Proper Positioning of Space Stations”, by Nancy Fulda —  For those of us writing a story that includes a space station, or have a space station but just don’t know where to park it, here is a handy little article to help out.


WendigoJanuary 4, 2016:  Eldritch: The Wendigo”, by Algernon Blackwood, illustrated by Cathal Ó Hanlon and Alexandre Mahboubi.  The classic, chilling tale








Dragon Warrior, by Rob ShieldsMidnight, New Year’s Eve, 2015 into  2016.  Greetings and Happy New Year.  Here is the very first of our stories — Fantasy:  “TO THE MONSTERS WITH LOVE”, by A. Merc Rustad, illustrated by Rob Shields    A short wild ride.  Have fun!