As relayed via the introduction from best-selling author and academic Brian Evenson, Death Flex, now funding on Indiegogo, is a book that proves “there is nothing new under the sun,” and yet there’s always more to the story, especially when that story is spun from the centuries-old journal of an executioner.
Nuremberg headsman Franz Schmidt was a man revered in spite of his trade. At once pious and a healer, as well as a dealer of death and punishment for the German courts, Schmidt became immortalized through his journal, a now significant piece of historical record detailing hundreds of executions and punishments throughout his career spanning the end of the 16th century and the dawn of the 17th.
The authors in this latest addition to the Pilum Press “New Voices” series reanimate the truths and details of Meister Franz’s diary through the lens of fiction in more ways than one. Stories spun by newcomers Brian Renninger, J.B. Jackson, Lester Glover, and John Daker are backed by more tales from Alexander Palacio and C.D. Crabtree, and further explorations courtesy of Jack Vance critic Paul Rhoads, and Appendix N historian Jeffro Johnson. Death Flex promises to be a fantastic, uncompromising collection of stories and explorations into the Schmidt’s world and the world of death itself, as only the cutting edge of modern speculative fiction can.
From the noir-like strains of Daker’s “Entry 90” to “Thirty-One Blows,” Renninger’s spin on a startling chapter in Schmidt’s life, Pilum has another winner of an anthology that is sure to leave readers enraptured, speechless, and perhaps even curious about the gruesome origins of these many striking stories. The campaign ends on June 20th, so back while you can!