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"When I was little, I didn't have an imaginary friend, I had an imaginary bully. She was a little girl of my age, who looked just like me, and took great delight in being cruel. This included doing things to make my parents furious, like punching my little brother. One day, when I was about thirteen, Ludwig showed up and wrapped all two hundred of his copper-bladed arms around this evil version of me. There was a warm light, like a camera flash made of lava, and then she was gone."
-- Sam Fleming, "Ludwig"
Are they in our imagination, or are we in theirs? Mad Scientist Journal has brought together twenty-six tales of people with uncertain existence. These accounts range from cheerful to dark, stopping off at frequent points between. Imaginary friends share space with witches, monsters, nightmares, and maybe a few things that have not yet been dreamed.
Included in this collection are stories from E.D.E. Bell, Jade Black, Die Booth, Maureen Bowden, Veronica Brush, Jacob Budenz, Sam Crane, Matthew R. Davis, Julian Dexter, Sam Fleming, Troy H. Gardner, Kiki Gonglewski, Lucinda Gunnin, Neil James Hudson, Blake Jessop, Vivian Li, Tucker Lieberman, K. K. Llamas, Christine Lucas, M. Lopes da Silva, Ville Meriläinen, Jennifer R. Povey, Lizz-Ayn Shaarawi, Kayleigh Taylor, Jieyan Wang, and E. R. Zhang. Interior art is provided by Errow Collins, America Jones, Leigh Legler, and Ariel Alian Wilson. Cover art by Luke Spooner.
About the Author
Dawn Vogel has been published as a short fiction author and an editor of both fiction and non-fiction. Her academic background is in history, so it’s not surprising that much of her fiction is set in earlier times. By day, she edits reports for historians and archaeologists. In her alleged spare time, she runs a craft business, helps edit Mad Scientist Journal, and tries to find time for writing. She lives in Seattle with her awesome husband (and fellow author), Jeremy Zimmerman, and their herd of cats.
Jeremy Zimmerman is a teller of tales who dislikes cute euphemisms for writing like “teller of tales.” His fiction has most recently appeared in 10Flash Quarterly, Arcane and anthologies from Timid Pirate Publishing. His young adult superhero book, Kensei, is now available. He is also the editor for Mad Scientist Journal. He lives in Seattle with five cats and his lovely wife (and fellow author) Dawn Vogel.