A Fire Rooster Crows Steam Through the Ice and Welcomes a New Year

Come close, traveler, and sit by the fire.  This is our 2017 Winter update.  Stay warm with the words and images we've provided.  Hear the crackle of sticks and smell the smoke as our fire blazes in the moonlight.  If you have some speakers or a pair of earbuds, you can even hear our voices inside your mind.  But we are all a bit mad here, so you may hear other voices too....

We are pleased to announce our new audio section!  Our first offering is Hip Squared, a pop-culture podcast hosted by John Beechem and his younger brother, Troy Kremer.  John and Troy talk about everything from the mainstream to the underground, independent, weird, old and local.  You can catch up on all five episodes, and come back every week for a new conversation. Like us on Facebook to find out when new episodes are posted. We plan to post the newest one each Friday. 

Also make sure to listen to the archives of the American Fantastic Radio Hour, a mix of music, storytelling, poetry and conversations recorded at ARTxFM studio in Louisville, KY.  There are seven episodes to keep you entertained.  And be on the lookout for American Fantastic Theatre, an upcoming project that will include audio versions of John Beechem's stories and poems.  More than just a reading, these will include genuine story-telling by John with character voices, emotions and will be an experience that can be enjoyed wherever you are.  Listen through the website, or get the Soundcloud app for mobile use.  Episodes of the American Fantastic Radio Hour already feature John's story-telling in case you'd like to hear what these will be like. 

 Blue moon, I see you standing alone.

Blue moon, I see you standing alone.

Caleb Beechem returns with a set of new photos including this haunting image of the moon, altered with a blue hue, giving an impression of cold solitude.  You can also find a picture of a frozen leaf with the strangest crystalline ice surrounding it and an image of a storm cloud bending the sun's rays.  We are glad Caleb has survived Portland's severe winter and taken advantage of the frozen oddities it's presented.

 The Downward Spiral.

The Downward Spiral.

Mike Maes reveals the depth of a downward spiral, one more functional than most we encounter.  Be sure to go to Mike's gallery to see two excellent samples of wild-life photography including a mallard flying down into water and a gorilla peeling a label off of a cardboard box.  It's good to see the world through eyes so clear and in search of beauty in all places.

 PARAGON, a super-hero gaming character illustrated by Dordji

PARAGON, a super-hero gaming character illustrated by Dordji

Dordji has painted two new illustrations, both inspired by his love of table-top role-playing games.  The first is PARAGON, a character created by one of his gaming family members.  Representing all that is right and true, PARAGON is an inspiration to us all.  If your tastes fall closer to the monstrous side of things, Dordji has also illustrated a cloud giant, devouring the first of a very unfortunate group of adventurers.

 This Cloud Giant knows what he wants and he knows how to get it.

This Cloud Giant knows what he wants and he knows how to get it.

And finally, John Beechem has posted the first part of a short novella (or a long short story--it's the internet, so who cares?).  It's titled That Stone Could Begin to Crack and part one is The Reunion.  Alan and Julie are fraternal twins, but as different from each other as many brothers and sisters.  In a moment of mundane desperation, Julie reaches out to Alan, and they begin to mend a relationship that was torn apart by a war that has followed him home.  As their friendship rekindles and their connection deepens, Alan suggests a surprising but hopeful treatment for his PTSD and some of its baggage--a psychedelic trip using psilocybin mushrooms.  This story is based in part on actual scientific research and exploration conducted by veterans.  The conclusion, Part 2: Beneath the Shade of the Mushroom's Cap, will be published this Spring. 

Thank you for visiting American Fantastic!  If you'd like to support us, become a member on Patreon or visit our Merch Store (tee-shirts and books now available).  Tell a friend who you think would get a kick out of our website.  Artists may submit original content (of any kind) to americanfantastic@gmail.com (poke John at jbeechem2000@gmail.com if you do not get a timely response).  

And remember, when reality becomes a burden, enjoy a sojourn into the fantastic...