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Publishing takes a supernatural turn on the World Wide Web
Coven Pride was created by Robert Arellano, visiting lecturer of English and a noted hyperfiction author. The on-line literary magazine was launched in earnest this summer to help authors around the world get a fresh or unusual perspective on their surroundings by creating tales that begin in familiar environs and depart for the strange and sometimes frightening. It is a craft that noted Providence author Howard Phillips Lovecraft employed in most of his works, using anagrams to rename the cities in which his stories were set. Anagrams are prominent in Coven Pride, which itself is an anagram for Providence.
"There is a sense of hunger on a societal level for a collective myth and a chance for people to participate in the creation of collective myths pertinent to real experience," Arellano said. "The Internet is an opportunity to imbue that collective experience of myth."
Each week, authors from around the world submit articles about roaming werewolves, alien visitors and subterranean monsters. "It is clear that a lot of these stories were not written specifically for Coven Pride. They were written before this, possibly without a specific forum in mind," Arellano said. "With Coven Pride, there is now a forum.
Coven Pride evolved from earlier efforts by Arellano to use the Internet as a distribution tool for two fictional characters who provided advice and spun tales that departed from the usual. "This time last year it was an individual project that started accepting submissions," Arellano said. "It has now matured. In that process, which came about organically, a recognition of what I wanted to work on, a literary magazine specializing in weird tales or fiction with unusual themes, came about."
Strange tales are a part of Arellano's Latin American roots. "My heritage is `magic realism,' the potential for the supernatural or non-ordinary to happen in reality," said Arellano, who is of Cuban descent.
Unlike traditional literary magazines, Arellano believes there is a communal experience that surrounds a World Wide Web literary magazine. "Coven Pride is part archive, part weekly magazine, part cauldron ... with the whole greater than the parts," he said.
Coven Pride is not Arellano's first foray into magazines distributed through the Internet. He has also published LSD-50 from an FTP site. "I had to do this (Coven Pride) not only as a writer, but as a teacher, since I was going to be encouraging my students to find alternative means of publishing," said Arellano, who teaches a hyperfiction class at Brown.
Coven Pride is now accepting submissions at: