In Fiddleblack #4, you may find there is no real thematic element shared among the entries. The styles of writing are diverse, and very different for this publication. There’s no strict antipastoralism, little mention of heartland and country. More self this time, really, and partly concept horror. A whole year into the publishing world, we’re expanding and looking toward a misson-meld of the ontological, speculative and literary, all the while keeping a number-one love for work that still looks deeply into place.

We’re planning for fewer entries per digital issue—a handful, let’s say. Strange thing to do, you might think. But the goal is that you read everything each time around, without putting off “the long one” until you forget and end up read something published by someone else. (Apologies to the folks who submitted great work this last round and were turned down with love.)

This isn’t a true reprisal against standard-length content. On this end, we’re hard at work on the first Fiddleblack annual: Apparitional Experience. It’s in hardcopy format that we’ll offer you a lengthier read. For now, focus on #4 and its various explorations. Each piece was chosen for the less than plainspoken way it works through its arc or premise and says what it needs to say. In particular, Todd Grimson’s entry feels whorled and narcotic. A full, if technically brief, execution of our mission statement.