Shared World (Ginther, Chomichuk, Ball, Gillespie)

By Luke A. Dondo

It was a cozy evening of strange stories, and I’d be lying if I said I slept without nightmares of beetles and rats.

Three of the four authors of Shared World, an anthology of weird tales set in a realm comprised of sprawling cities, of cannibal huntresses, of thieves and ghosts and gods, on December 13th, 2023, treated members of the Guild to readings of three stories from their latest published work. It was an excellent display of horror, a shining example of fantasy; piquing, and odd, and imaginative, and thoughtful, and unique: these descriptors lingered, latched to me. Quality storytelling of course was a factor as well, and, noting the backgrounds of the authors who were present—Ginther, an author of multiple novels and short stories, an award-winner; Chomichuk, an illustrator and writer, an award-winner; Johnathan Ball, PhD, writer of “stranger fiction”—a blend of horror, science fiction and fantasy influenced by experimental literature—it’s no wonder I was captured so. Their readings had my skin crawling for the hour-odd duration of the Zoom call—or maybe it was just the beetles (yikes). I was delighted, engaged, and thoroughly entertained. 

And writers rejoice. If you are a writer of fantasy, a toiler in tales of sword and sorcery, the creators of Shared World encourage you to keep your eye on for future submission opportunities. 

“Not regurgitation but innovation,” urged GMB Chomichuk when on the topic of expanding their world. “What’s good about imaginary maps is that you can always change the border.”

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