Profile of David Sakmyster

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This profile moderated by David Sakmyster.


David has been writing fantasy and horror stories since high school, an interest likely to have some genesis in the fact that his father read him Poe and Lovecraft before bed as a young, impressionable boy.   After the nightmares subsided, he went on to publish several dozen short stories, one novel, and a non-fiction account of an actual haunted castle on Seneca Lake.  He lives with his wife and daughter in upstate NY, and is working on several new novels, as well as several screenplays. 


Novels: Twilight of the Fifth Sun - Dragon Moon Press, 1998

Short Stories:

Internal Affairs - to be published in Withersin #3 (Apr 2008)

Turning Time - published in Abyss & Apex #23

Ladders - published in ChiZine #33

The Red EnvelopeL. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest Vol. XXII; (reprinted in The Best New Romantic Fantasy of the Year 2)

Chain Letter  - Futures Mystery (Sep-Oct, 2005)

Restoration - Paradox #5

Past Tense - Would That It Were (Jan, 2003)

Guardians - Distant Worlds, (2002 Short Story Contest Winner)

Rescue Shelter - Frightnet (2002)

The One Below - Mythos Collector, (2002)

Vestige - The Boundless Realm, (2001)

Hotline - Crimson, Jan. (1999)

Seeker - Black Moon, (1997)

Double or Nothing - Plot Magazine (Spring, 1996)

Under Hypnosis - Spellbound, (1995)

Tour Guide - Manifest Destiny #1 (1993)

Checkmate - Gothic Light (1993)

The Reunion - The Venetian Quarterly, 1993

Non-Fiction:  The Belhurst Story - iUniverse, 2002


Tangent Short Fiction Review

In "Ladders" by David Sakmyster, Charles Lang is a Retriever. In fact, Charles is the Retriever; he has a monopoly on it, having invented the job. Charless job is simple. All he has to do is go up the ladders and bring down the people whove strapped themselves to the top, alive or dead. You see, the city Charles lives in is impossible to leave, and there are rumors that if you build your ramshackle ladder high enough, you might see a flash of green, the hint of a mountainside "Ladders" is reminiscent of the sort of urban fantasy that China Mille is renown for and is the standout story in an issue packed with excellent fiction. Theres something genuinely bleak about Charless plight and something oddly medieval about his job and his pragmatism towards itboth darkly amusing and oddly movingall set in a mundane hell of the denizens' own making.

Tangent Short Fiction Review

Turning Time by David Sakmyster is told in two parts, the present with Marcelle as an adult and mother of nine-year-old twins and a flashback to when she was about her children's age. Both follow the events leading to an old family custom. The story takes place in both the U.S. and Madagascar and spans the point of view of several generations. The title refers a custom called the Famadihan. Explaining the details of it would probably give away too much, but what I can say is that its not a custom for the faint of heart. It takes the innocence of a child, first Marcelle and then her children, to truly appreciate what is needed for the ritual and to do it without fear or questionsomething we adults often have trouble with. Ultimately, Turning Time is about honoring your roots and staying in touch with your heritage. Its also the most macabre story in this issue. While it isnt scary in itself, the focus of the plot is a bit disturbing if you think about it too hard. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the story. Marcelle is engaging, and it was really cool to get a window into a heritage and way of life so different from my own.