April 19, 2013
HILOBROW is pleased to present the twentieth installment of our serialization of J.D. Beresford’s Goslings (also known as A World of Women). New installments will appear each Friday for 23 weeks.
When a plague kills off most of England’s male population, the proper bourgeois Mr. Gosling abandons his family for a life of lechery. His daughters — who have never been permitted to learn self-reliance — in turn escape London for the countryside, where they find meaningful roles in a female-dominated agricultural commune. That is, until the Goslings’ idyll is threatened by their elders’ prejudices about free love!
J.D. Beresford’s friend the poet and novelist Walter de la Mare consulted on Goslings, which was first published in 1913. In May 2013, HiLoBooks will publish a beautiful new edition of the book. “A fantastic commentary upon life,” wrote W.L. George in The Bookman (1914). “Mr. Beresford possesses the rare gift of divination,” wrote The Living Age (1916). “It is piece of the most vivid imaginative realism, as well as a challenge to our vaunted civilization.” “At once a postapocalyptic adventure, a comedy of manners, and a tract on sexual and social equality, Goslings is by turns funny, horrifying, and politically stirring,” says Benjamin Kunkel in a blurb for HiLoBooks. “Most remarkable of all may be that it has not yet been recognized as a classic.”
That mood of the night had suggested to Eileen the idea of a single cause which seemed sufficient to account for the revivalist tendencies of Miss Jenkyn and certain other women in Marlow. Fear was presented as a simple explanation, and Eileen, like many other philosophers who had preceded her, was too eager for the simple and inclusive explanation.
At first the revivalist tendency was feeble and circumscribed. Twenty or thirty women met in the schoolroom and talked and prayed by the light of a single, tenderly nursed oil-lamp. The absence of any minister kept them back at first; the less earnest needed some concrete embodiment of religion in the form of a black coat and white tie.
But when the rain came in early October, came and persisted; when the beeches, instead of flaring into scarlet, grew sodden and dead; when the threat of flood grew even more imminent, and the distraction of physical toil almost ceased, this little nucleus of women was joined by many new recruits, and their comparatively harmless prostrations, lamentations and worshippings of the abstract, developed into an attempt to enforce a moral law upon the community.
Millie Gosling, returning to Marlow in mid-October, gave the religionists splendid opportunity for a first demonstration.
Millie returned with a bold face and a shrinking heart. She had fled from Wycombe because she could not meet the taunts of the women who had so lately envied her as she rode, prime favourite for a time, in the Dionysian landau. A great loneliness had come over her after she was dethroned; she needed sympathy, and she hoped that Blanche might be made to understand. Millie came back from over the hill prepared with a long tale of excuses.
She found her sister perfectly complacent.
Blanche was a fervent disciple of Jasper Thrale and machinery, and Thrale had anticipated Millie’s return and in some ways prepared for it. At odd moments he had preached the new gospel, the tenets of which Blanche had begun to formulate for herself.
“It’s no good going back to the old morality for a precedent,” had been the essential argument used by Thrale; “we have to face new conditions. If a man is only to have one wife now, the race will decline, probably perish. It is a woman’s duty to bear children.”
Eileen, Blanche and a few other young women had wondered that he made no application of the argument to his own case, but his opinion carried more weight by reason of his continence. Even Miss Jenkyn could not urge that his opinion was framed to defend his own mode of life, and, failing that casuistical support, she had to fall back on the second alternative of her kind, namely, to assert that this preacher of antagonistic opinions was either the devil in person or possessed by him — a line of defence which took longer to establish than the simple accusation of expediency.
So Millie, returning one wet October afternoon, found that no excuses were required of her. Blanche welcomed her and asked no questions, and Jasper Thrale and Eileen came to the little cottage in St Peter’s Street at sunset and treated the prodigal Millie with a new and altogether delightful friendliness. It was understood that she would return at once to her work in the Mill. But in the school-house opposite another reception was being prepared for her.
The more advanced of the Jenkynites were for taking immediate action. Prayer, worship, and the acknowledgment of personal sin fell into the background that evening, Millie appeared not as a brand to be saved from the burning, but as an abandoned and evil creature who must be thrust out of the community if any member of it was to save her soul alive. Every one of these furious religionists could stand up and declare that she was innocent of the commission of this particular sin of Millie’s, and every one was willing and anxious to cast the first stone.
The meeting simmered, and at last boiled over into St Peter’s Street. A band of more than a dozen rigidly virtuous and ecstatically Christian women beat at the door of the Goslings’ cottage. They had come to denounce sin and thrust the sinner out of the community with physical violence. Each of them in her own heart thought of herself as the bride of Christ.
The door was opened to them by Jasper Thrale.
“We have come to cast out the evil one!” cried Miss Jenkyn in a high emotional voice.
“What are you talking about?” asked Thrale.
“She shall be cast forth from our midst!” shrilled Miss Jenkyn; and her supporters raised a horrible screaming cry of agreement.
“Cast her forth!” they cried, finding full justification for their high pitch of emotion in the use of Biblical phrase.
“Cast forth your grandmother!” replied Thrale calmly. “Get back to your homes, and don’t be foolish.”
“He is possessed of the devil!” chanted Miss Jenkyn. “The Lord has called upon us to vindicate his honour and glory. This man, too, must not be suffered to dwell in the congregation.”
“Down with him! down with him!” assented the little crowd, now so exalted with the glory of their common purpose that they were ready for martyrdom.
Miss Jenkyn was an undersized, withered little spinster of forty-five, and physically impotent; but, drunk with the fervour of her emotion, and encouraged by the sympathy of her followers and the fury of her own voice, she flung herself fiercely upon the calm figure of Jasper Thrale. Her thwarted self-expression had found an outlet. She desired the blood of Millie Gosling and Jasper Thrale with the same intensity that women had once desired a useless vote.
Jasper Thrale put out a careless hand and pushed her back into the arms of the women behind her; but she was up again instantly, and, backed by the crowd, who, encouraging themselves by shrill screams of “Cast them forth!” were now thrusting forward into the narrow doorway, she renewed the assault with all the fierce energy of a struggling kitten.
“I shall lose my temper in a minute,” said Thrale, as he took a step forward and, bracing himself against the door frame, drove the women back with vigorous thrusts of his powerful arms.
To lose his temper, indeed, seemed the only way of escape; to give way to berserk rage, and so to injure these muscularly feeble creatures that they would be unable to continue the struggle. But the babble of screaming voices was bringing other helpers to his aid, chief among them Lady Durham, and her cold, clear voice fell on the hysterical Jenkynites like a douche of cold water.
“Clara Jenkyn, what are you doing?” asked Elsie Durham.
“Millie Gosling must be cast forth,” wavered the little dishevelled woman; but this time there was no response from her disciples.
“That is a question for the committee,” replied Elsie Durham. “Now, please go to your homes, all of you.”
Miss Jenkyn tried to explain.
Elsie Durham walked into the cottage and shut the door.
Inside, Eileen and Blanche were trying to reassure the trembling Millie. Outside, the Jenkynites were suffering a more brutal martyrdom than that they had sought. The tongues of the new arrivals, the fuller-blooded, more physically vigorous members of the community, were making sport of these brides of Christ.
But the women of Marlow were to learn afresh the old lesson that religious enthusiasm is not to be killed by ridicule or oppression. Jasper Thrale understood and appreciated that fact, but the policy he suggested could not be approved by the committee.
“This emotion is a fundamental thing,” he said to Lady Durham, “and history will show you that persecution will intensify it to the point of martyrdom. There is only one way to combat it. Give it room. Let them do as they will. The heat of the fire is too fierce for you to damp it down; you only supply more fuel. Fan it, throw it open to the air, and it will burn itself harmlessly out.”
Elsie Durham shrugged her shoulders. “That’s all very well,” she said. “I believe it’s perfectly true. But they make you the bone of contention. If it were only Millie Gosling — well — she might go. We could find a place for her — at Fingest, perhaps. But we can’t spare you.”
“I don’t know why not,” returned Thrale. “I never intended to stay indefinitely. You can carry on now without me, and I can fulfil my original intention and push on into the West.”
“My dear man! we can’t, and we won’t!” said Elsie Durham. “You are indispensable.”
“No one is indispensable,” replied Thrale.
“Bother your metaphysics, Jasper!” was the answer. “We are not going to let you go. ‘We’ is the majority of Marlow, not only the committee. We’ll fight the fanatics somehow.”
The majority referred to by Elsie Durham was fairly compact in relation to this issue of retaining Jasper Thrale, and included the two greater of the three recognizable parties in the community. Of these three, the greatest was the moderate party, made up of Episcopalians, Nonconformists and a few Roman Catholics, who found relief for their emotion one day in seven either in the Town Hall or Marlow Church, in which places services and meetings were held — the former by certain approved individuals, notably Elsie Durham and the widow of the late Rector of Marlow. The second party in order of size included all those who either denied the Divine revelation or were careless of all religious matters. The third party — the Jenkynites, as they were dubbed by their opponents had drawn their numbers from every old denomination. The Jenkynites were differentiated from the other two parties by certain physical differences. For instance, the Jenkynites numbered few members under the age of thirty-five; very few of them were fat, and very few of them were capable field workers; they were hungry-eyed, and had a certain air of disappointed eagerness about them; they looked as though they had for ever sought something, and, finding it, had remained unsatisfied. In all, there were some seventeen women who might have been regarded as quite true to type, and about this vivid nucleus were clustered nearly a hundred other women, many of whom exhibited some characteristic mark of the same type, while the remainder, perhaps 40 per cent of the whole body, had joined the party out of bravado, to seek excitement, or for some purpose of expediency.
Among the last was Mrs Isaacson, who was the ultimate cause of the Jenkynite defeat.
Ever since she had passed her examination in farm supervision, Mrs Isaacson had exhibited an increasing tendency to rest on her laurels. She had grown very stout again during her stay in Marlow, and complained of severe heart trouble. The least exertion brought on violent palpitation accompanied by the most alarming symptoms. The poor lady would gasp for breath, press her hands convulsively to a spot just below her left breast, and roll up her eyes till they presented only a terrifying repulsive rim of blood-streaked white, if the least exertion were demanded from her, and yet she would persist in the effort until absolutely on the verge of collapse. “No, no! I must work!” she would insist. “It iss not fair to the others that I do no work. I will try once more. It iss only fair.”
At times they had to insist that she should return home and rest.
And as the winter closed in, Mrs Isaacson’s rests became more and more protracted. Jasper Thrale grinned and said: “I suppose we’ve got to keep her”; but there was a feeling among the other members of the committee that they were creating an undesirable precedent. Mrs Isaacson’s example was being followed by other women who preferred rest to work.
Heart weakness was becoming endemic in Marlow.
Then came the news that Mrs Isaacson had joined the Jenkynites. The seventeen received her somewhat doubtfully at first, but the body of the sect were in favour of her reception. Possibly they were rather proud of counting one more fat woman among them; the average member was so noticeably thin.
Even the seventeen were satisfied within a fortnight of Mrs Isaacson’s conversion. She had a wonderful fluency, and she said the right and proper things in her own peculiar English — a form of speech which had a certain piquancy and interest and afforded relief and variety after the somewhat stereotyped formulas of the seventeen.
But early in December, before the floods came, Mrs Isaacson was convicted of a serious offence against the community. One of the committee’s first works had been to store certain priceless valuables. Tea, coffee, sugar, soap, candles, salt, baking powder, wine and other irreplaceable commodities had been locked up in one of the bank premises. In all, they had a fairly large store, upon which they had hardly drawn as yet. It was not intended to hoard these luxuries indefinitely. After harvest a dole had been made to all the workers as acknowledgment of their services, and it had been decided to hold another festival on Christmas Day.
Mrs Isaacson, with unsuspected energy, had burglariously entered this storehouse of wealth. She had found an accessible window at the rear, which she had succeeded in forcing, and, despite her bulk and the delicate state of her heart, she had effected an entrance and stolen tea, sugar, candles and whisky.
She was, indeed, finally caught in the act; but her thefts would probably have escaped notice — she worked after dark, and with a cunning and caution that would have placed her high in the profession before the plague — had it not been for Blanche.
It seems that Mrs Isaacson had formed the habit of staying up in the evening. She pleaded that she could not sleep during the early hours of the night, which was not surprising in view of the fact that she slept much during the day; and as she was diligent in picking up or begging sufficient wood to maintain the fire, there was no reason why Blanche and Millie should offer any objection. Thrale had rigged up a dynamo at the mill now to provide artificial light, and the girls’ hours of work were so prolonged that they were glad to get to bed at half-past seven.
By eight o’clock Mrs Isaacson evidently counted herself safe from all interruption.
She might have continued her enjoyment of luxury undiscovered throughout the winter if Blanche had not suffered from toothache.
She had been in bed and asleep nearly two hours when her dreams of discomfort merged into a consciousness of actual pain. She sighed and pressed her cheek into the pillows, made agonizing exploration with her tongue, and tried to go to sleep again. Possibly she might have succeeded had not that unaccountable smell of whisky obtruded itself upon her senses.
At first she thought the house was on fire. That had always been her one fear in leaving Mrs Isaacson alone; and she sat up in bed and sniffed vigorously. “Funny,” she murmured; “it smells like — like plum pudding.” The analogy was probably suggested to her by the odour of burning brandy.
She got up and opened the door of the bedroom.
Mrs Isaacson slept on a sort of glorified landing, and when Blanche stepped outside her own door she could see at once by the light of a watery full moon that her lodger had not yet come to bed.
The smell of the spirit was stronger on the landing, and Blanche, forgetting her toothache in the excitement of the moment, stole quietly down the short flight of crooked stairs. The door giving on to the living-room was latched, but there were two convenient knot-holes, and through one of them she saw Mrs Isaacson seated by the fire drinking hot tea. On the table stood an open whisky bottle and two lighted wax candles.
Blanche was thunderstruck. Tea, whisky and candles were inexplicable things. The thought of witchcraft obtruded itself, and so fascinated her that she stood on the stairs gazing through the knot-hole until a sudden rigour reminded her that she was deadly cold.
She did not interrupt the orgy. She crept back to bed, and after much difficulty awakened Millie.
The sound of their voices must have alarmed Mrs Isaacson, for the girls presently heard her stumbling upstairs. They stopped their discussion then, and Blanche’s toothache being mysteriously cured by her excitement, they were soon asleep again.
Neither of the girls spoke of their discovery to anyone the next day, but Blanche returned to the cottage at half-past four, when Mrs Isaacson was at a meeting over the way, and explored her bedroom. She found a small store of tea, sugar and candles under the mattress — the whisky bottle had disappeared — and so came to an understanding of Mrs Isaacson’s self-sacrificing insistence that she should perform all work connected with her own sleeping-place — it could hardly be called a room.
After consultation with Millie, Blanche decided that she must inform Jasper Thrale of the contraband.
“She’s been stealing, of course,” he said. “I suppose we shall have to bring it home to her.” But he laughed at Blanche’s indignation.
“She’s stealing from us!” said Blanche, who had developed a fine sense of her duty towards and interest in the community.
“Oh, yes! you’re quite right,” said Thrale. “I’ll inform the committee at least, the non-Jenkynites.”
The five non-Jenkynites were furious.
“We must make an example,” Elsie Durham said. “It isn’t that we shall miss what the Isaacson woman has taken — or will take. It’s the question of precedent. This is where we are facing the beginning of law — isn’t it? Somebody has to protect the members of the community against themselves. If one steals and goes unpunished, another will steal. We shall have the women divided into stealers and workers.”
“What are you going to do with her?” asked Thrale.
“Turn her out,” replied Elsie Durham.
“The Jenkynites won’t let her go,” said Thrale raising the larger question.
“We shall see,” said Elsie Durham, “But that reminds me that we must catch the woman flagrante delicato; we must have no quibbles about the facts.”
Thrale agreed with the wisdom of this policy, but refused to take any part in either the detection or the prosecution of Mrs Isaacson. “They’ll say its a put-up job if I have anything to do with it,” he argued.
The Jenkynites blazed when Rebecca Isaacson was finally caught and denounced. The culprit, when caught in the act of entering the bank premises had made a slight error of judgment, and pleaded the excuse that she was a sleepwalker and quite unconscious of what she was doing; but she afterwards adopted a sounder line of defence. She made full confession to the seventeen, pleaded extravagant penitence with all the necessary references to the blood of the Lamb, and displayed all the well-known signs that she would become fervent in well-doing after the ensanguined ablutions had been metaphorically performed.
The Jenkynites were enraptured with so real a case of sin. They had been compelled to content themselves with so many minor failures from grace that the performances were becoming slightly monotonous.
The “Sister Rebecca” case was refreshingly real and genuine, and they meant to make the most of it. Also, this case gave them occasion to assert themselves once more against the opinions of the community.
It must not be supposed that the seventeen deliberately adopted a practical and apparently promising policy. They were not consciously seeking to obtain civil power as were the priests of the old days before the plague. The seventeen had no sense of the State as represented by the community; they were without question perfectly sincere in their beliefs and actions. Their fault, if it can be so described, was their inability to adapt themselves to their conditions. They were as unchangeable as the old lady who had died sooner than be permanently separated from the glories of a house in Wisteria Grove. She and the seventeen and many other women in Marlow were demonstrating that rigidity of opinion is detrimental to the interests of the growing State. The same proposition had been clearly demonstrated by a few exceptional individuals in the old days, but progress was so slow, the property owners so content, and the average of mankind so intensely conservative, that their arguments received no attention. For every man who believed in the broad principle of maintaining an open mind, there were ten thousand who were quite incapable of putting the principle into practice. With these women in Marlow the conditions were completely changed. Moreover, women are by nature more broad-minded than men in practical affairs. Where intuition rather than the hard-and-fast methods of an intellectual logic is being brought into play, new and wonderful possibilities of adaptation may enter the domain of politics.
The Jenkynites and such individuals as the late Mrs Gosling became suddenly conspicuous in the new conditions. The type that they represent cannot persist. They are the bonds on a vigorous and increasing growth; the tree will grow and burst away all inflexible restraints.
In Marlow the new and vigorous growth was the sense of the community. The majority of the women were realizing, consciously or unconsciously, that they must work with and for each other. The Jenkynite affair served the committee as a valuable object-lesson.
Mrs Isaacson was free to do as she would while the discussion raged. Imprisonment would have been utterly futile. The committee did not wish to punish her for her offence against common property, they merely wished to rid themselves of an undesirable member and to make public announcement that they would in like manner exclude any other member who proved herself a burden to the community.
The Jenkynites were characteristically unable to comprehend this argument. They had their own definitions of heinous and venial sins, definitions based on ancient precedent, and they counted the fault of Millie Gosling in the former and that of Rebecca Isaacson in the latter category. They were not susceptible to argument. As they saw the problem, no argument was admissible. They had the old law and the old prophets on their side, and maintained that what was true once was true for all time. In their opinion, changed conditions did not affect morality.
If the need for labour had been great, the affair might have been shelved for a time as of less importance than the dominant economic demand which takes precedence of all other problems. But although the floods had not yet come, there was not enough work for all the members of the community, and this comparative idleness readied upon the importance of the Isaacson case in another and probably more influential direction than the abstract consideration of justice and humanity.
The women had time to talk, and a new and fascinating subject was given them to discuss. And they talked; and their talk ripened into action. The affair Isaacson, which included also the affair Jenkyns, was brought to a climax at a mass meeting in the Town Hall.
RADIUM AGE SCIENCE FICTION: “Radium Age” is HILOBROW’s name for the 1904–33 era, which saw the discovery of radioactivity, the revelation that matter itself is constantly in movement — a fitting metaphor for the first decades of the 20th century, during which old scientific, religious, political, and social certainties were shattered. This era also saw the publication of genre-shattering writing by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sax Rohmer, E.E. “Doc” Smith, Jack London, Arthur Conan Doyle, Aldous Huxley, Olaf Stapledon, Karel Čapek, H.P. Lovecraft, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Philip Gordon Wylie, and other pioneers of post-Verne/Wells, pre-Golden Age “science fiction.” More info here.
HILOBOOKS: The mission of HiLoBooks is to serialize novels on HiLobrow; and also, as of 2012, operating as an imprint of Richard Nash’s Cursor, to reissue Radium Age science fiction in beautiful new print editions. So far, we have published Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague, Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail (and “As Easy as A.B.C.”), Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt, H. Rider Haggard’s When the World Shook, Edward Shanks’s The People of the Ruins, William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land, and J.D. Beresford’s Goslings. Forthcoming: E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man, Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage, and Muriel Jaeger’s The Man with Six Senses. For more information, visit the HiLoBooks homepage.
SERIALIZED BY HILOBOOKS: Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague | Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail (and “As Easy as A.B.C.”) | Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt | H. Rider Haggard’s When the World Shook | Edward Shanks’ The People of the Ruins | William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land | J.D. Beresford’s Goslings | E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man | Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage | Muriel Jaeger’s The Man With Six Senses | Jack London’s “The Red One” | Philip Francis Nowlan’s Armageddon 2419 A.D. | Homer Eon Flint’s The Devolutionist | W.E.B. DuBois’s “The Comet” | Edgar Rice Burroughs’s The Moon Men | Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland | Sax Rohmer’s “The Zayat Kiss” | Eimar O’Duffy’s King Goshawk and the Birds | Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Lost Prince | Morley Roberts’s The Fugitives | Helen MacInnes’s The Unconquerable |
Geoffrey Household’s Watcher in the Shadows | William Haggard’s The High Wire | Hammond Innes’s Air Bridge | James Branch Cabell’s Jurgen | John Buchan’s “No Man’s Land” | John Russell’s “The Fourth Man” | E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” | John Buchan’s Huntingtower | Arthur Conan Doyle’s When the World Screamed | Victor Bridges’ A Rogue By Compulsion | Jack London’s The Iron Heel | H. De Vere Stacpoole’s The Man Who Lost Himself | P.G. Wodehouse’s Leave It to Psmith | Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game” | Houdini and Lovecraft’s “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs” | Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Sussex Vampire.”
ORIGINAL FICTION: HILOBROW has serialized three novels: James Parker’s The Ballad of Cocky The Fox (“a proof-of-concept that serialization can work on the Internet” — The Atlantic); Karinne Keithley Syers’s Linda Linda Linda (which includes original music); and Robert Waldron’s roman à clef The School on the Fens. We also publish original stories and comics. These include: Matthew Battles’s stories “Gita Nova“, “Makes the Man,” “Imago,” “Camera Lucida,” “A Simple Message”, “Children of the Volcano”, “The Gnomon”, “Billable Memories”, “For Provisional Description of Superficial Features”, “The Dogs in the Trees”, “The Sovereignties of Invention”, and “Survivor: The Island of Dr. Moreau”; several of these later appeared in the collection The Sovereignties of Invention | Peggy Nelson’s “Mood Indigo“, “Top Kill Fail“, and “Mercerism” | Annalee Newitz’s “The Great Oxygen Race” | Flourish Klink’s Star Trek fanfic “Conference Comms” | Charlie Mitchell’s “A Fantasy Land” | Charlie Mitchell’s “Sentinels” | Joshua Glenn’s “The Lawless One”, and the mashup story “Zarathustra vs. Swamp Thing” | Adam McGovern and Paolo Leandri’s Idoru Jones comics | John Holbo’s “Sugarplum Squeampunk” | “Another Corporate Death” (1) and “Another Corporate Death” (2) by Mike Fleisch | Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer and Frank Fiorentino’s graphic novel “The Song of Otto” (excerpt) | John Holbo’s graphic novel On Beyond Zarathustra (excerpt) | “Manoj” and “Josh” by Vijay Balakrishnan | “Verge” by Chris Rossi, and his audio novel Low Priority Hero | EPIC WINS: THE ILIAD (1.408-415) by Flourish Klink | EPIC WINS: THE KALEVALA (3.1-278) by James Parker | EPIC WINS: THE ARGONAUTICA (2.815-834) by Joshua Glenn | EPIC WINS: THE MYTH OF THE ELK by Matthew Battles | TROUBLED SUPERHUMAN CONTEST: Charles Pappas, “The Law” | CATASTROPHE CONTEST: Timothy Raymond, “Hem and the Flood” | TELEPATHY CONTEST: Rachel Ellis Adams, “Fatima, Can You Hear Me?” | OIL SPILL CONTEST: A.E. Smith, “Sound Thinking | LITTLE NEMO CAPTION CONTEST: Joe Lyons, “Necronomicon” | SPOOKY-KOOKY CONTEST: Tucker Cummings, “Well Marbled” | INVENT-A-HERO CONTEST: TG Gibbon, “The Firefly” | FANFICTION CONTEST: Lyette Mercier’s “Sex and the Single Superhero”