Despumation: The act of throwing up froth or scum; separation of the scum or impurities from liquids; scumming; clarification.
Those are the dictionary definitions of the word. I will add that it is also the name of a very exciting new magazine on the block. Edited, illustrated, and conceived by Kriscinda Lee and Anthony Everitt, Despumation has the look and tone of a heavy metal album. This is good, as that’s what they’re aiming for.
See, this is a digest of short fiction; not horror specifically but stories that are inspired by metal, based on metal songs, and forged in the fucking fires of metal! That being said, most of the tales between the covers are of the dark variety—it’s metal, remember? Most have a surreal slipstream narrative quality, that makes them read like music videos in word form. Lots of shadow and blur, robes and demonic imagery, rhythms that jar your spine and skull.
In “Brothers & Sisters,” Dustin LaValley shows us that the lines between fans and tribal family are not that far apart, if they are at all. T.J. Tranchell spells out heavy metal tragedy in “Nail Shitter,” and Mary Goff’s nightmare prose poem, “Inspiration,” is haunting . “Basement,” by Ben Gwin, is an expose of the demons that live inside a fractured young woman. And Nathan Meyer’s “Severed Ties” is a furious collage of riotous violence and fear.”The Light from Dead Stars” is a great darkly sci-fi read, written by two fellows who know a bit about it: Stephen Jansen and former Hawkwind bassist/keyboardist, Harvey Bainbridge.
The vibe, tone and look of Despumation is exactly as they warn you—it’s metal. And it’s great. Being a metalhead most of my life (although not into the really heavy shit that the kids prefer these days), I love the whole idea behind this magazine. I hope it works and they keep putting out issue after neck-snapping, head-banging, horns-throwing issue. Give them a chance and get ready for some interesting reading.
Despumation is available through Despumation Press.