We have kings on our minds this winter. Gnarled, groping, greedy things—bound to fate by blood and other...viscous materials. Although Joffrey Baratheon seems to fit this bill, we aren't talking about his kind. No, friends. We're talking about the kind that swim in their own sorrows, basking in the moonlight of misfortune (Not Joffrey, truly). Honored Reader, we're talking about rat kings. Rat kings are nature's own works of twisted fate: common black rats melded together by knotted tails 'til death do them part. Three. Five. Eight. As many as thirty-two rats have been found conjoined in this manner. The running theory is that, as the rats squirmed beneath the earth to escape the cold, their tails became irreversibly entangled. Although the factual existence of rat kings is debated, those purportedly found have all been killed to be preserved in alcohol for exhibition. Yikes. Rat kings are beings inextricably linked with misfortune. What do rat kings have to do with this magazine? Well, we're of the mind that all true terrors begin with just a bit of bad luck. One misstep in an unlit room. One well-intended, malformed connection. In fact, we've selected a poem on the very topic. Welcome to Novel Noctule. Our aim is to promote the work of horror writers and artists, both emerging and established. Our mission is to blur the lines between speculative and literary fiction, for we believe that the horror genre has an infinite capacity to explore the deepest fissures of human consciousness. To me, this tiny, independent horror magazine means unanimity. It means that we've determined to peer into the blackness behind our eyes through a lens of shared experience, if only for a moment. And so, by reading this, you've elected to join us on a journey. The road ahead may be dark but, as the history of the world writes, darkness often begets illumination. We hope that you continue to grow with us. Cheers, Jacqueline Dyre Publisher | Editor-in-Chief
Artwork by the Novel Noctule team.