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Welcome to the Winter Solstice 2022 issue of Eternal Haunted Summer.

Eternal Haunted Summer was launched thirteen years ago, in the late summer of 2009. I had been a writer my entire life, but only around 2009 did I find the courage to begin submitting my work to book publishers, magazines, and journals.

I should not have been surprised at what I found. Fantasy and science fiction and mystery and romance venues were (and are) plentiful. But venues geared specifically towards Pagan, polytheistic, and witch-related fiction and poetry were (and are) few and far between. Sure, I could release a Pagan-friendly fantasy tale through one of those venues; no one bats an eye at Gods and Goddesses striding across a fantasy landscape. But the assumption on the part of the publisher (and likely the reader) is that everything in the story is make-believe — even the Gods and the Goddesses and the spirits and the hero’s faith. 

And the other genres? Even less likely to take a story featuring a non-traditional spirituality. Religion, in most science fiction, is for aliens; the Others, not rational humans who have embraced science. Magical cozy mysteries are fairly common, but not many publishers will look at a set-in-the-real-world murder mystery featuring a coroner who is also a priestess in service to Anubis. Or a romance where one of the characters is a devout Heathen who makes regular offerings to Frigg and Freya.

And so Eternal Haunted Summer was born. A place where Pagans and polytheists and witches (and non-Pagans with a love of the old myths) could feature their short stories and poems and essays with those of a like mind and similar beliefs and practices. EHS has grown steadily over the years, due entirely to the wonderful contributors whose works fill its digital pages. Without their creativity and talent, EHS would not exist; it would have disappeared long ago.

This thirteenth anniversary special edition is a celebration of their work. I love every piece that appears in Eternal Haunted Summer, and I just wish that I could have included them all here. These poems, essays, and short stories range from tragic to triumphant, from exciting to despairing, from comic to horrific, from grotesque to sensual, from erotic to subtle; here you will find odes to terrible Gods, exciting tales of adventure, melancholy meditations on creation, and wonderings at the nature of human and divine hearts.

The Best of Eternal Haunted Summer will also be released as an ebook and a trade paperback. As of this writing, the book is in the final stages of editing, and will be available no later than the middle of January 2023. I’ll add pre-order and buy links here as they become available. Both the digital and print editions will be sold through all of the major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple/iBooks, and Kobo. It is my hope that sales of The Best of Eternal Haunted Summer will allow me to increase the payment to contributors in future issues.

I hope that you find the best of Eternal Haunted Summer as inspiring as I do. I am excited to see what the next thirteen years have to offer.

Rebecca Buchanan

Editor and Founder, Eternal Haunted Summer

Winter Solstice 2022