New Blog Posts, New Deindustrial Fiction

I wanted to drop in for a quick update from your friend editor and publisher, as there are things happening elsewhere that I want you all to be aware of.

First of all, there’s new deindustrial fiction afoot! Yes, New Maps is officially up and running, with the first issue of the new deindustrial fiction quarterly shipping out. It’s funny, this is not my magazine and other than a bit of advice to its editor and publisher, Nathanael Bonnell, I have had no role in getting it out into the world, yet I feel some of the same excitement I felt when I first launched Into the Ruins. I can’t wait to read New Maps‘ first issue and to get the experience of being on the other side, as a reader opening its pages to discover exciting new worlds. I’m hoping, with New Maps, that we get a nice long run of fascinating deindustrial stories, and that the magazine ushers in the next development phase of the subgenre. You can help make that happen, and get a lot of good reading in the process, by picking up a copy of the first issue or subscribing.

What else? Well, as always, I have been busy over on my author website and blog. My latest post, “The Land Speaks,” is a musing on the ways in which particular landscapes and places play such a central and inspiring role in my writing. Before that, “The World as Mystery: Life, Here and There” kicked off what I plan as a series of posts on the mysteries of the world and universe around us. In the first post, I speculate about what kind of life might be out there on other planets—and what kinds we don’t recognize right here on our own. Expect more on this and related subjects in the future.

Of course, the site includes plenty else, from stories to essays to fragments, all for your reading enjoyment. It’s a good place to keep up with all I’m doing, all I’m thinking, and all I’m putting out into the world. So visit and bookmark, join the email list, and keep apprised of all my latest endeavors.

As a final note, if you have not yet stocked up on all issues of Into the Ruins, or if you want to gift some to friends and families, don’t forget about my ongoing sale at the Special Deals page. All fifteen back issues are $10 each, the sixteenth and final issue is $12, and all orders ship free in the U.S.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back with more later, including a future review of New Maps when I’ve received my issue and had a chance to read through it. I hope you all are well.

A Turn Toward the Outer

Editor’s Note: This is a preview of a new blog post on my author website. Click here to read the full post.

New Year’s Day may be my favorite holiday. It’s a calm and quiet day. Those rowdiest the night before are lost in their hangovers while many businesses are shut down for the day. The revelry has come to an end; the holidays are officially winding to a close; and a new year faces us all, bright with possibilities if you are willing to look, or dark with forebodings if that’s what you choose to see. It also is, for me, a guiltless holiday. I do not need to see anyone but my wife, and if I want to spend the day reading and writing, reflecting, being quiet, making resolutions—well, I can do all that, and I do not have to feel as though I am failing anyone.

Despite the quietness of it, I find the holiday an optimistic one. In that first relaxed day of the new year, I turn my attention toward my resolutions for the year and all the possibilities for who and what I may yet become. I can’t help but think of the teeming potential of the next twelve months, those 365 unfilled days whispering their promises of tasks accomplished, goals fulfilled. Of course, as is my wont, I overpromise myself: I think I will do so much, from a raft of reading goals to planned writing, exercise and cleaning and personal betterment, new studies and courses of enrichment. Inevitably, plans fall by the wayside and goals go unfulfilled—and yet still I seem to accomplish much, or at least in recent years I have.

I come into the year so optimistic, most the time, and Kate has chided me for that the past few years. It is not that she is against optimism, but that she fears my curse: the past two years I have expressed optimism about the coming twelve months and then promptly fallen on misfortune. Well, so it goes; misfortune is a mainstay of life, alongside success. You can’t win them all, but you can always hope to.

What’s odd about this year is that my usual New Year optimism is far more subdued . . . click here to read the full post at

“Exodus”: A Trip to Mars

The publication of my story “The Face of the Deep” on my author website was just the beginning of a string of new stories from me. While the next one, “Almost Home,” will be publishing soon in the final issue of Into the Ruins—very soon; stay tuned for more on that—there is another tale a bit farther out, but that you can look in your copy of right now: “Exodus.”

This is one I particularly like, and hope you will, as well. It clocks in at 17,000 words, just shy of being classified as a novella, and it’s in the forthcoming old solar system anthology, Vintage Worlds 2. What’s the old solar system, you say? Well, I suspect many of you aren’t saying that because you already know, but the old solar system is that shared world from the golden age of science fiction, where our friendly neighborhood planets—Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, and so on—sported, as often as not, breathable atmospheres and fun and fascinating flora and fauna. It was a world in which the non-Earth planets of our solar system where not lifeless rocks but instead vibrant, unique worlds chock full of aliens and adventures, and home to some of the better stories our SF authors of old could tell.

The Vintage Worlds anthology series from Founders House Publishing seeks to bring that old solar system back to life, and it succeeds admirably based on the first volume. The good news is that there are two more volumes in the works, and there is a Kickstarter campaign going right now to get them into print in the near future. My story “Exodus” is in the second volume, along with a host of excellent authors. Interested? I suggest you hit up that Kickstarter link and lock in your copies of the next two anthologies—you won’t regret it.

Want a little bit more? Well, the publisher has given me permission to share the opening scene of “Exodus” to give you all a taste of the tale. It’s below. Like I said, it’s a taste—the tale becomes much more involved as it proceeds, featuring additional alien beasts, the mysterious disappearance of a city, and the main character’s struggle to survive. Give it a read, and then go reserve your copy of Vintage Worlds 2 (and Vintage Worlds 3, while you’re at it!).

Exodus (An Excerpt)

by Joel Caris

Suffering from thirst and eager to return home to Laithos, clutching absently at her canteen, Alinda scrambled her way down the graveled bank, dirt and stone cascading down around her feet while her eyes remained locked on the middle of the sprawling, near-dry canal. A thin trickle of clear-flowing water could be glimpsed there in the occasional gap found in the mat of twisted vines and deep purple leaves that had come to mark so many of the wastrel canals veining the northern lowlands of Mars. The dry air and parching heat; the scratch of her throat; the incessant burning sun; the need for provision before her turn home; all of it drove her forward, shimmering between her and the water buried beneath those vines. It severed the thread of caution she normally bound her movements in. It blinded her to the tell-tale sign of bone-white spines peeking out from the red earth of the canal.

The creature to which those spines were attached suffered no such blindness. Buried shallow in the sand, it moved ever-so-slightly—and if only Alinda had stopped and held her breath and listened, and if the wind did not howl or mutter, and if the trickle of the water was soft enough, she would have heard it: the shifting sands, the vague way it stirred its tentacles through the martian soil. The raalech waited for anything living to cross its path, to set a foot wrong and in that instant turn into prey. She set her foot wrong and it struck.

Alinda could not say how many tentacles this raalech had; probably not more than three or four, but in that moment of attack she would have sworn to a dozen. They erupted from the ground, spraying her with dirt and grit, blinding her, and in an instant twisted around her right leg. Squeezing and flexing, they pulled on her, and in so doing the rows of bony spines—teeth—that lined the cool, fleshy underside of the tentacles plunged ragged into her bare legs, catching and tearing at her flesh and knocking her to the ground as she struggled against the creature’s grip. It happened within the briefest of moments and she had failed even to register the initial pain before the burning of its digestive fluids ejected hot into her wounds, acting as a powerful anticoagulant to speed the flow of her blood.

The raalech’s spines not only were sharp and rigid, perfect for tearing into flesh, but also hollow, holding a reserve of saliva that ejected into its prey upon attack to stimulate bleeding before transforming into a straw, the raalech slurping its victim’s blood as fast as the wounds would release it. As Alinda had learned long ago, though, she was a good bleeder—anticoagulant or no—and despite the raalech’s known thirst for blood, it could not keep up with her hemorrhaging. Its tentacles quickly grew slick with her free-flowing blood and, as she struggled against the creature, she could feel its grip on her slipping. Spiked with adrenaline and well aware that she had only moments before the blood loss would begin to fatigue her and allow the raalech to further wrap her in its vampiric grip, Alinda rolled into a crouch, leveraging her still-untangled left leg against the sandy slope of the canal and heaving herself forward with every bit of force she could muster. Feeling the pull of her attempted escape, the raalech tightened its grip on her leg but slipped against her blood-slicked flesh, its shallow spines raking through her skin as her leg tore free from its entanglement and she tumbled face first into the sandy side of the canal, rolling forward and away from the monstrous creature even as she spat out dirt and gravel, her eyes stung and watering, her vision blurred.

She scrambled, frantic, as the sounds of the raalech clawing its way free from its self-burial tore at the air behind her. Its thrashing tentacles showered her with dirt and raked across her upper thigh as she plunged forward along the run of the canal, her right leg faltering but her left leg strong. Instinct screamed at her to mount the canal’s wall and push farther into the relative safety of the surrounding desert, but a small-but-focused part of her mind zeroed in instead on the clusters of broad, purple leaves twisted in and around the canal’s piteous flow of water; if she wanted to live, she first had to gather a handful of those vines and leaves, a plant known as arethus.

Daring a glance behind her even as she continued to push through the pain in her right leg, she saw the struggling raalech using its tentacles to ratchet itself forward, but already falling behind. While its fury of limbs looked impressive and worked well to entangle its prey, the raalech’s strength lay in the element of surprise—not, given its physiology, in the quick movements of a hunter. Its numerous tentacles extended out of a small and spherical, rough and knobby base from which a mass of extremely long, thin white roots dangled. The roots dragged limp and flaccid through the sand as the creature heaved itself toward Alinda.

Seizing her advantage, she angled toward the middle of the canal, limp-running her way toward the tangled vines while assuring herself in a steady mantra that the worst of the pain would be over soon, that she had only to endure for a few more minutes to ensure her survival. Coming to the middle of the canal and within reach of the arethus, she bent and ripped up a mass of tangled vines and leaves, then pivoted and risked another glance at the raalech—still coming, but several yards away and flagging. Belonging to a kingdom of creatures that could best be described in Earth terms as a cross between plant and animal, raalechs depended on their roots to provide them a needed draw of water during their long wait between meals buried in the Martian soil. Most often found in or along the planet’s canals, the creatures pushed their roots deep into the soil to find small reserves of moisture and nutrients to keep them alive until they could feed on the blood that truly sustained them. The raalech spent most of its life buried and in wait, its only movement the interminable flexing of its tentacles to maintain their musculature, which created a steady and rhythmic—but very subtle—movement through the sand. Otherwise, it often went years without moving, except in the occasional, often futile burst of surfacing to pursue prey that had just slipped from its grasp.

Alinda angled herself back toward the edge of the canal, relieved at her adversary’s distance but not yet feeling safe. The pain gnawed at her and she knew she needed to stem the bleeding, but she also wanted out of the canal and into a greater separation from the raalech, not to mention from any others that might be buried in the sand and awaiting another wrong step. She pushed off with her good leg and hobbled as best she could on her blood-slicked, burning right leg.

Soon back at the edge of the canal but farther down the way from her near-fatal encounter, Alinda managed to boost herself up and out of the channel and onto the fine, dry sand of the surrounding desert, still clutching tight the mangled bouquet she hoped would be her redemption. Thirty yards down the canal from her, the raalech had given up its pursuit and was now methodically digging itself back into the sand to await its next opportunity to eat. She watched its oddly compelling, rhythmic movements for a moment: something of a steady back-and-forth rocking of its knobby base, assisted by tentacles on either side, the body working its way into the ground while the creature’s roots penetrated deep into the soil, searching out moisture. With a few hearty twists of her hands she crushed the mass of vines and leaves she held, releasing a sticky purple juice that she smeared over her wounds. The plant contained powerful procoagulant proteins that served to neutralize and reverse the anticoagulant effect of the raalech’s saliva—not to mention containing antibacterial and pain-relieving properties as well. Dressing her wounds and then chewing cautiously on the bitter plant, Alinda hoped it would be enough to keep away any infection—several strains of Martian bacteria were particularly fatal to humans—and allow for enough clotting to keep her from bleeding to death while providing enough relief from the pain so that she could make her way back to the village. Failure on any one of those fronts would leave her dead before the day was out.

As she cursed the red planet, her heart began to slow as a tentative sense of safety settled over her. An intense loneliness swept over her as she continued to chew on the arethus, trying to ignore the plant’s bitterness. In that moment she wanted nothing more than another human—anyone—to lean against, to weep out her stress and terror with. Breathing deep instead and waiting to see how her wounds would react, she watched the distant raalech rock back and forth, back and forth, slowly sinking its way into the sand, its tentacles occasionally slashing at the air as if it were a dancer at a rave.

There’s plenty more. Want to read it? Click here to get your copy of Vintage Worlds 2! Haven’t yet read my story “The Face of the Deep”? What are you waiting for? It’s available for free and in full right here!

The Face of the Deep

I admit this is a touch off the topic of Into the Ruins, but I assume those of you reading this blog have at least some interest in what I am up to, and the availability of new fiction. So I wanted to drop you all a line to let you know that my new, original story, “The Face of the Deep,” is now available in part on, my author website–and in full right now for purchase as a PDF file.

Mind you, this isn’t deindustrial science fiction, but you may see some themes that align, and I suspect that if you enjoy my writing at all, you’re likely to enjoy this story. I hope you don’t mind me letting you all know about it.

Here are the details from my author’s email list:

I’m very excited to be publishing an original story exclusively through my author website. “The Face of the Deep” is a story of grief and suspense, run through with elements of horror, mystery, and the supernatural.

Plunged into grief by the loss of his wife, James tends a small plot of land in a rural farming community while struggling to make sense of his life in the wake of his wife’s death. A series of strange occurrences sets his world into mystery as he works through memories of his wife, their relationship, and his own sense of failure.

There are two ways to read the story in full. The first is to be patient and to read it on the blog. I have published the first and second of three installments. They are roughly 4,000 words each and the third and final part will be published Sunday, August 2nd. At that point I will move it over to the Stories page with a link to the text in full.

The second way to read it is to be impatient and to support my writing monetarily by purchasing a high quality PDF version of it through Payhip for $1.49 (or more, if you’re inclined to help me cover fees). You’ll get the whole story at once as a downloadable file, yours for the keeping. And you’ll provide support for my further writing, which I appreciate.

Regardless of how you choose to read the story, I have a favor to ask. If you like it—a little, a lot, if you think it’s at all worth your time—please provide the link to others. Please promote and broadcast it to anyone you think might be interested. The best way to support my writing is to help me gain more readers.

I also would love to hear your feedback. You can comment on the story on the blog, or you can contact me at

I’m proud of this story. I hope you all enjoy it.

In the meantime, I am still at work on the final issue of Into the Ruins and should have further word on that for you all soon. Don’t despair, more deindustrial science fiction is on the way. And it isn’t likely to end with Into the Ruins. More on that soon, too.

I hope you all continue to have a great summer.

Take care,

— Joel Caris, Editor & Publisher

A New Place in the World

I have already announced the launch of my new author website on the Into the Ruins email list, but I wanted to give it a shout out here on the blog, as well. While it remains a work in progress, it is coming along. I have posted three blog posts, with both a somewhat strange introduction, a brief discussion of science fiction and my intentions for the new site, and today’s post about the arrival of spring at such a strange point in time. If you have not yet visited, please do me the favor of stopping by.

I will continue to post more content there, including new stories. I have a few in the works, and I expect to debut at least one of them on the new site in due time.

And if you like what you find there, or you are a fan of my voice from the magazine, please point others in the direction, as well. I would love to continue to build an audience, to continue to carry on a conversation with you all, and to continue to get my work out into the world.

Thank you all for your support and I hope to see you over at the new site soon.

The Future of Into the Ruins

The sun is streaming in through my living room window on this chilly but sunny day–the sort of day that always seems to show up at some point each February here in the Pacific Northwest. Make no mistake, it is still winter, even as spring swiftly approaches; and make no mistake, the rain will inevitably return. But it is not uncommon to get this brief respite this time of year. It is not uncommon to be reminded of the warmth and renewal that is yet to come.

I don’t know if it feels appropriate or not to be writing this post on such a day, but it does speak to coming changes. And I have some of those to announce, with a certain reluctance. I know I’ve been quiet the last few months and the newest issue of the magazine is long overdue (and we have once again skipped right from Winter to Spring due to timing). The good news is that it has arrived. The fifteenth issue, Spring 2020, is now available for order and in the process of shipping to subscribers, and the usual full details can be found in this announcement post.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that there is an important announcement in this issue in the Editor’s Introduction, which is that I will be ceasing publication of Into the Ruins after the upcoming sixteenth issue, the Summer 2020 issue slated for publication in June of this year. I make the announcement reluctantly and with a heavy heart, knowing what this project has meant to me and to many of you readers and subscribers. I also make the announcement after much thought and consideration and doubt. Despite all that, it feels necessary for me at a personal level.

The full details of why I am doing this can be found in the Editor’s Introduction of the new issue. It is not a single reason, but more a constellation of needs and desires on my part and the challenges of publishing a quarterly magazine, particularly when it is primarily (though certainly not exclusively) a one-man operation. New pursuits in my life, the desire to provide more attention and focus on my own writing, the commitments of my day job, the need to not cut short my time with my family, and other considerations have all entered into this decision. It’s not one that I have enjoyed making, as I have loved publishing Into the Ruins these past four years, and I am consistently impressed and gratified by the incredible community that has grown around the publication. This has been a profitable venture, both in terms of money and, more importantly, in terms of my own pleasure and joy, as well as the sense that I am putting something worthy out into the world and bringing a community around the creation of something enjoyable and worthwhile.

To be clear, I am not ending publication due to a lack of support. Indeed, I think there is very much a market for a deindustrial science fiction quarterly, and I think Into the Ruins has proven that. My hope is that someone else will take up this mantle–and if anyone is interested, I would encourage them to get in touch with me for advice and feedback and guidance, as well as for publicity to this magazine’s readership for a project getting off the ground. I will do whatever I can to help a new deindustrial science fiction magazine be successful.

A big part of me would love to continue on this magazine to Issue #100 and beyond. But at this moment in my life, I feel the need to step back and reevaluate where my energy is going, to prepare for personal changes, and to reorient myself during a time of change. I hope that all of you, those of you who have been so steadfast in your support of this project, can understand that need and forgive me for stepping away.

All that said, I do not plan to disappear from your life, assuming you’ll have me. I will be launching an author’s website in short order to host my writings and a personal blog, and I hope that when I soon announce that site, many of you will be willing to follow me there and keep tabs on what I am doing. Issues of Into the Ruins will remain available for sale indefinitely, with this site staying in operation for the foreseeable future. (And remember, there is still another new issue to be released in a few months.) For those of you who have subscribed beyond the sixteenth issue, I will be in touch soon to offer you a refund or provide credit for purchase of other issues of the magazine, whichever you should choose. And I have not ruled out the possibility of more Into the Ruins publications in the future, perhaps as a one-off or series of anthologies, or in other forms. Should some kind of project along those lines eventually coalesce, I will be sure to let you all know through this website and the email list. You can also continue to follow the Figuration Press website for any announcements, as any future publication projects that take place will release under that press. (I hope as well to publish my own writing in the future; stay tuned!)

Finally, if you visit the subscription page, you will see that I am now only taking subscriptions for Issues #13-16. I have also deactivated the renewal link on the renew page. However, I will be offering partial renewals to anyone who has subscribed and whose subscription ends before the sixteenth issue. Please contact me for more information and I can get you set up with a purchase link.

Publishing Into the Ruins has been a fantastic experience thanks to the incredible community that has built itself up around it. I cannot thank all of you enough for your support, your dedication, your interactions and feedback, your contributions, your personal notes and insights and kind words. It has meant so much to me. And to all the writers–of stories, of letters, of essays and reviews–Into the Ruins would obviously be nothing without you. So thank you so much, as well. I will no doubt have plenty more to say this summer in the upcoming sixteenth and final issue of the magazine, but know that this project has been a truly great stretch of my life, and you all are responsible for that.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, thoughts, feedback, concerns, or general commentary. My inbox is open, and as always, I would love to hear from you. And you’ll be hearing more from me, so stay tuned.

Thank you.

Joel Caris
Editor & Publisher

Into the Ruins: Spring 2020 (Issue #15) is Now Available!

I’m pleased to announce that the 15th issue of Into the Ruins is shipping to subscribers and is now available for purchase!

This Spring 2020 issue runs 106 pages, featuring seven great new stories of deindustrial science fiction, an Editor’s Introduction, a review of Richard Powers’ The Overstory, and an extensive and thought-provoking letters to the editor section.

The world of today is a distant memory in many of the stories within, while in others the near future brings strange surprises. Baseball still reigns supreme in New England as the rest of the world falls apart, somehow never negating the false hopes of small-town citizens. In a Greenland remade by climate change, a mysterious girl transforms the life of a strange young boy. Meanwhile, a surprising message from another solar system may hold important truths about our own civilization-while in another story, the last remnants of a perished society await in a cave, harboring their own truths about the new world outside.

These stories and more, seven total in this issue, bring us ways of imagining the future that awaits us all, asking us important questions about the realities of today, and what they may become tomorrow.

There’s something more in this issue, though, and that is a discussion of the future of the magazine in the Editor’s Introduction. It’s a hard discussion and a reluctant announcement–and the gist of it is that I will be discontinuing publication of the magazine after the upcoming 16th issue, set to be published in June. I do this with a fair bit of sorrow, but also feel for a variety of personal reasons that it’s necessary. A more complete explanation can be found in the Editor’s Introduction of this new issue, and also over at my new blog post, “The Future of Into the Ruins.”

No doubt there will be more to say about this in the future, and I am open to hearing feedback from readers and subscribers. Please visit the above post for full details. But in the meantime, there’s still a new issue to be had (not to mention another one coming in a few months) and so let’s continue on with the details.

Subscribers should be receiving their copies shortly.  Those of you who aren’t subscribers but would like a copy of the new issue can order a copy here from our store, which will ship immediately. The issue is also available from Amazon or you can purchase a digital edition of the issue at Payhip. For  international readers, you can go to the issue page for links to international Amazon sites it’s available through, or send me an email for options to purchase directly for international delivery.

If you aren’t already a subscriber, there is currently only one subscription option, which is for Issues #13-16. Is that relevant to you? Then sign up! Already a subscriber but perhaps your subscription has expired, or you’re unsure if your subscription has ended? Shoot me an email and I’ll let you know where you stand. I am asking everyone who wants to renew to contact me directly given the magazine’s limited future, but I will be offering partial renewals to anyone whose subscription expires before the final issues, so please contact me for details.

As always, I encourage readers to send their thoughts and feedback to me at, both as casual emails (rambling acceptable!) and as official letters to the editor that I can consider for publication in the 16th issue of Into the Ruins, scheduled for publication in June. Comments for contributing authors, as well, will be happily forwarded on.

Now go read the new issue and enjoy some fantastic deindustrial and post-peak science fiction.

— Joel Caris, Editor & Publisher

Into the Ruins: Fall 2019 (Issue #14) is Now Available!

I’m pleased to announce that the 14th issue of Into the Ruins is shipping to subscribers and is now available for purchase!

This Fall 2019 issue runs 105 pages, featuring seven great new stories of deindustrial science fiction, an Editor’s Introduction, and an excellent letters to the editor section.

What might the deindustrial future bring? Cut off inhabitants in a flooded California face a furious storm; the residents of an island of refuge must determine the fate of unnerving visitors; a desolate landscape is visited by a series of mysterious and haunting musical notes; and one final, critical act determines the outcome of a new Civil War.

These possibilities and more await in the pages within, weaving tales of the future that refuse to bow to the assumptions of our times and instead ask us to imagine what might come from the choices we face, and in what ways we might yet forge futures of meaning in the hard times ahead.

Subscribers should be receiving their copies shortly.  Those of you who aren’t subscribers but would like a copy of the new issue can order a copy here from our store, which will ship immediately. The issue is also available from Amazon or you can purchase a digital edition of the issue at Payhip. For  international readers, you can go to the issue page for links to international Amazon sites it’s available through, or send me an email for options to purchase directly for international delivery.

If you aren’t already a subscriber, consider signing up! Already a subscriber but perhaps your subscription has expired? Renew today! Aren’t sure if your subscription has ended? Shoot me an email and I’ll let you know where you stand.

As always, I encourage readers to send their thoughts and feedback to me at, both as casual emails (rambling acceptable!) and as official letters to the editor that I can consider for publication in the 15th issue of Into the Ruins, scheduled for publication in December. Comments for contributing authors, as well, will be happily forwarded on.

Now go read the new issue and enjoy some fantastic deindustrial and post-peak science fiction. Happy Fall!

— Joel Caris, Editor & Publisher

Into the Ruins: Spring 2019 is Now Available!

I’m very pleased to announce that the 12th issue of Into the Ruins is shipping to subscribers and is now available for purchase!

This Spring 2019 issue runs 112 pages, featuring five great new stories, an Editor’s Introduction, and another great letters to the editor section with plenty of interesting insights, considerations, and reflections on a variety of topics.

Demonstrating the diversity of deindustrial science fiction, this issue brings stories told from both the human and non-human perspective. And between Alistair Herbert’s succinct portrait of a future hunter and part one of Violet Bertelsen’s sprawling novella detailing the lives found within the future village of La Vezita, this issue contains both the longest and shortest stories yet published in Into the Ruins.

Two horror-tinged offerings from Daniel Stride and Daniel Soule—the former with a story of a forest with a thirst for human blood and the latter with one of rationalism run amok—and an adventurous tale of a special kind of magic from Clint Spivey help round out this issue.  Those five tales coupled with an excellent and eclectic letters section closes out the third year of Into the Ruins on a high note.

Subscribers will be receiving their copies in the coming days, with a number of you having received delivery already.  Those of you who aren’t subscribers but would like a copy of the new issue can order a copy here from our store, which will ship immediately. The issue is also available from Amazon or you can purchase a digital edition of the issue at Payhip. For  international readers, you can go to the issue page for links to international Amazon sites it’s available through, or reply to this email for options to purchase directly for international delivery.

If you aren’t already a subscriber, consider signing up! Already are a subscriber? Well, this is the end of Year Three. That means two things. First, a new Year Three package is available for purchase, consisting of issues #9-12 of the magazine. Second, it means the majority (though not all) of subscriptions are up for renewal. So renew today! The consistent support provided by subscriptions is critical to the success of Into the Ruins, and I want to go into Year Four just as strong as I went into Year Three. So please up your subscription for another year and keep the magazine on excellent footing. Aren’t sure if your subscription has ended? Shoot me an email and I’ll let you know where you stand.

Finally, the sharp-eyed amongst you have surely noticed that the name of this issue, Spring 2019, falls out of order with the naming convention up to this point. Where did Winter 2019 go? Well, you can find that info both in the pages of the new issue (page 11, to be exact) or on the website blog here.

As always, I encourage readers to send their thoughts and feedback to me at, both as casual emails (rambling acceptable!) and as official letters to the editor that I can consider for publication in the 13th issue of Into the Ruins, scheduled for publication in June. In particular, I would love to continue receiving thoughts and feedback on Hannes Rollins’ essay from the Summer 2018 issue on magic, religion, and superstition in deindustrial science fiction, as well as the letter responses found in both the Fall 2018 issue and this new one–as well as anything else touching upon the contents and theme of the magazine. Comments for contributing authors, as well, will be happily forwarded on.

Now go read the new issue and enjoy some fantastic deindustrial and post-peak science fiction!

— Joel Caris, Editor & Publisher

Changing Seasons

Rest assured, dear readers, I know what you’re thinking as you read of the new Spring 2019 issue of Into the Ruins being released. “Where the heck,” you’re wondering, “did the Winter 2019 issue go?” It’s a fine question—perceptive, insightful, speaking well of you—and one I’m all too happy to answer.

It’s coming. In about nine months.

Yes, I’ve taken the opportunity to alter the naming convention of the magazine. When I first launched Into the Ruins, I intended to release issues on or near the equinoxes and solstices, with the plan of naming the magazine after the season being ushered in by those astronomical events. Unfortunately, my ambitions exceeded reality and the first issue of the magazine launched in late April of 2016, about a month behind schedule. By the third issue I was a month and a half behind schedule and then two months behind by the fourth. For the most part it did not get better from there, and by the time I suffered technology-related delays with the eleventh issue, my release cycle had come to be a full season behind, with the Fall 2018 issue releasing just days before the Winter 2018 solstice—and subscribers not receiving their copies until the new year.

On a related note, my original schedule for the magazine would have seen the fourth issue releasing in mid-December of 2016 and thus being titled Winter 2016. Due to it slipping into 2017, I took the opportunity presented by the fact that winters cross calendar years and simply named it Winter 2017 instead. Yet, that always bothered me. After all, it’s the wrong name; winter is traditionally assigned to the year it starts in, not the year it ends in. Thus, a solution is born. Seeing as I’ve slipped behind schedule enough to come back into alignment with the seasonal transitions, I’m taking the opportunity to properly assign this new issue the name of the season it’s releasing into, Spring 2019, and am going to move the Winter 2019 issue forward to where it belongs: in December 2019, as the title of the fifteenth issue of Into the Ruins.

With luck, this will create minimal confusion, better align the magazine titles with the actual season of their release, help motivate me to stay on track with the schedule, and soothe my Virgo mind. And of course, for all you subscribers out there, this change in naming will have no impact on the number of issues you receive for a year’s subscription. You still will receive four issues, even if the seasons named become a little wonky for the year. As always, thanks to all of you for your ongoing support, and here’s to a great Year Four!

— Joel Caris, Editor