KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.


20 Days It'll Be Seven Years: John Graham Mellor

I miss Joe Strummer. So do a lot of fans I suppose, but I just realized this morning that in less than 20 days it'll be seven years since he passed. Is that math right? Seven years? Wow. For me it was one of those pop-culture hammer moments where one remembers where one stood when they heard the news.

I was standing behind the line in my waterfront kitchen-carryout, making breakfast or maybe lunch for a bunch of frostbiting Laser-class sailors, and I wondered why the radio was playing so much of The Clash. Crushed, I walked around in a daze for the rest of the day. The week actually. Played a lot of the Mescaleros, the Clash, listened to endless raspy interviews on the local alternative and college radio stations. Of course I also remember my Mom waking me up and telling me John Lennon was shot and killed, but the Beatles and John Lennon were sort of abstract to me at the time because I was so young. Joe Strummer was personal. The Clash was bloodstuff, the music I sweated and danced my ass off to at parties in friends' basements drinking cheap beer--along with bands like The Specials, Black Flag, Elvis Costello and so many others.

Strummer was a complicated man and by no means a saint, but he was a master of reinvention, talented, and very funny. I admire his constant artistic reinvention.

If there are five people you can meet in heaven, I want to meet Joe and shake his hand.