Hiraeth Books July 2020 Newsletter

The Road Not Taken

Sometimes it is difficult to find perspective when one is subjected to massive change and shock that is both dismaying and discouraging. The current circumstances in this country are a case in point. One sees what’s going on, but finds it hard to understand. What’s true, what’s real, what’s false? Yesterday [the last day of June] I considered at length, and recalled some relevant passages from elsewhere, and this is what I posted on FB:

One has to wonder, now, whether John Keats had Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and other cities in mind, when he wrote this in his “Ode on a Grecian Urn:

“And little town, thy streets for everymore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou are desolate, can e’er return”

And this, from “Ozymandias,” by Percy Bysshe Shelly:

“And on the pedestal, these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”


But who will write of the epitaph,  on the broken stone that stands on this,  our beloved land: “Her people surrendered to the barbarian hordes without a fight.”

Keats and Shelley had the advantage of after-sight. They could look back into time and see what happened. We of the current era have no such advantage. We’re going through the same process that destroyed other civilizations, but we can’t see it because the events themselves, being current, withstand projection and analysis. This is why history “repeats.”

Well, enough doom and gloom. Despite appearances, this is a pretty good world, with solvable problems…if we could just stop yelling at one another. After all, it’s very difficult to hear with your mouth open. So: onward and upward, then.

We are pleased to announce the winners of the latest Drabble contest for Drabble Harvest. They are (drumroll, please):

First Place: Ancient Astronauts Bid "Adieu" By Art Gomez
Second Place: "Cleanup Crew" By Melissa Mead
Honorable Mention: "Go Home Aliens" By Debby Feo
Honorable Mention: "For Those We Left Behind" By Lauren McBride

Drabble Harvest #16 containing these and other drabbles will be published on 1 August 2020. Be sure to stop by and check it out.


The theme for this contest is “Diplomatic Immunity for Extra-terrestrial Visitors.” The contest is open now. Guidelines can be read at this link.

We are also pleased to announce three new publications:


In these pages you will find lighter yet serious stories. You’ll meet a woman whose apple pie stops an interstellar invasion. You’ll learn what really happened at the start of the Book of Genesis, and watch it happen again with At-om and Effa. A disagreement on Venus is addressed by a woman who looks like that goddess. The true purpose of cats is revealed, as is the plight of the Peepees. Some food for thought; some noogies for laughter.


This issue includes the M. X. Kelly Page, the Ken Poyner Page, and reviews of the collections Postcards from Space and the Elgin-nominated Planet Hunter. Included too are speculative pieces about Heracles and Persephone, as well as voices
familiar and fresh.

Tanner—human but with a Motic DNA splice that turns her blue—wants to find out why, after a millennium of space travel, humans are no longer going out into space. Now that she works for the Historical Institute, she has the authority and the funding to conduct an investigation on Earth. But there are subtle and violent forces at work there, and she and her new-found companions must soon flee for their lives.

Complicating her assignment is internal turmoil at the Institute. A rogue faction is trying to take control of the seven Families that manage it, and has ordered Tanner’s death. Meanwhile, Tanner’s sponsor is trying to protect her and yet defend herself. With enemies all around her, Tanner has to put her life into the hands of an unlikely quartet of allies.

Finally, a reminder that another anthology is still open: DRABBUN! Here’s what that’s all about:

Hiraeth editors Teri Santitoro and Wes Alexander have created a new minimalist poetry/storytelling form called Drabbun. This form combines the qualities of a drabble (which is a story containing exactly, precisely, 100 words) and a haibun, which is a poem that includes a short narrative story punctuated by a relevant haiku. Eh voilà: Drabbun!

As mentioned earlier, we are doing an anthology of Drabbuns. It is now open for submissions. Please go to our Guidelines (there’s a dropdown under More in the toolbar that will take you there).

Without further ado, then: browse, read, buy, enjoy. If you have any questions or comments, send them to us at sdpshowcase at yahoo dot com. See you next month. And please, from all of us at Hiraeth Publishing, stay safe.

Tyree Campbell
Writer and Managing Editor