Fitting In: Historical Accounts of Paranormal Subcultures

Edited by Dawn Vogel and Jeremy Zimmerman

by Ali Abbas, Marina Belli, Jimmy Bernard, Elisa A. Bonnin, Maureen Bowden, Darin M. Bush, Garrett Croker, Jordan Davies, Laura Duerr, Amelia Fisher, Sean Frost, Mathew Allan Garcia, Lucinda Gunnin, Rhiannon Held, Valjeanne Jeffers, Michael M. Jones, S. Qiouyi Lu, John A. McColley, Ville Meriläinen, Timothy Nakayama, Adam Petrash, Jennifer R. Povey, Darren Ridgley, Erin Sneath, J. C. Stearns, Stuart Webb

Cover for Fitting In
Editions:Paperback - Print Edition: $ 14.99
ISBN: 978-0997793628
Size: 5.50 x 8.50 in
Pages: 370
Kindle - Amazon Edition: $ 4.99
ePub - Smashwords Edition: $ 4.99
ISBN: 9781370336906

"Once we were all just people. Our culture was only an element of our complex being. Now, we are reduced to our origins." -- Amelia Fisher, "The Children of Echidna"

No one understands being an outsider like the people who have experienced it. Mad Scientist Journal has brought together twenty-eight tales of people who have lived in a world that doesn't accept them. Some face their situation with humor, others less so. Vampires, werewolves, and changelings share space in these pages with gorgons, natukkong, jiangshi, and rokurokubi.

Included in this collection are stories from Ali Abbas, Marina Belli, Jimmy Bernard, Elisa A. Bonnin, Maureen Bowden, Darin M. Bush, Garrett Croker, Jordan Davies, Laura Duerr, Amelia Fisher, Sean Frost, Mathew Allan Garcia, Lucinda Gunnin, Rhiannon Held, Valjeanne Jeffers, Michael M. Jones, S. Qiouyi Lu, John A. McColley, Ville Meriläinen, Timothy Nakayama, Adam Petrash, Jennifer R. Povey, Darren Ridgley, Erin Sneath, J. C. Stearns, and Stuart Webb. Interior art is provided by Errow Collins, GryphonShifter, Amanda Jones, Shannon Legler, and Ariel Alian Wilson.

About the Authors

Ali Abbas

Ali Abbas is a writer, carpenter, and photographer born and bred in London. He is the author of Like Clockwork, a steampunk mystery published by Transmundane Press; Image and Other Stories, a collection of seven short stories that examine themes of love, loss, and the haunting nature of bad decisions; and Hajj--My Pilgrimage, a light-hearted and secular look at the pilgrimage to Mecca that is at the heart of the Islamic faith. His short story/love letter to London "An Absolute Amount of Sadness" was published by Mad Scientist Journal in their Fitting In anthology. You can find out what he is up to through his blog at

Marina Belli

It was love at first sight between Marina Belli and books. Then, when she was eleven, she used to skip catechism classes to go to the local library, read great stories, and try her hand with this "writing" thing. She's been a librarian, an English teacher for entry level students, an editor, a roleplayer, and a clerk for the Town Hall. She lives in a small town in northern Italy and mainly writes and self-publishes in Italian, her mother tongue, but she's forcing herself to write in English too. You can find her at

Jimmy Bernard

Jimmy Bernard is a 25-year-old writer with a degree in applied psychology. He works as an HR analyst and writes stories in his spare time. Besides writing, he plays guitar and spends most of his time reading. He resides in Belgium and visits Professor Fowler, a very old friend of his, at least twice a month, to discuss some of the new cases he has uncovered.

Elisa A. Bonnin

Elisa Bonnin was born in the Philippines, where she lived until the age of sixteen. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fantasy, writing, and going to the beach. Now, Elisa is a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, studying oceanography. She still enjoys reading and writing, and can be found working on pieces of creative fiction from time to time.

Maureen Bowden

Maureen Bowden is a Liverpudlian living with her musician husband in North Wales. She has had over a hundred stories and poems accepted for publication by paying markets. Silver Pen publishers nominated one of her stories for the 2015 international Pushcart Prize. She also writes song lyrics, mostly comic political satire, set to traditional melodies. Her husband has performed these in Folk clubs throughout England and Wales. She loves her family and friends, Rock 'n' Roll, Shakespeare, and cats.

Darin M. Bush

Darin M. Bush is an author, speaker, educator, and victim of excessive personality from Atlanta, Georgia. He also uses the word "panel" as a verb, due to his recently acquired addiction to sitting on panels at conventions, discussing science fiction and fantasy. This is his second story published by Mad Scientist Journal. His ego is accessible through his Amazon author's page, and his id is on display at

Garrett Croker

Garrett Croker studied writing at UC Berkeley and received his MFA in creative writing from Mills College. He is a monster of the genus Homo Scriptorus, a much feared species known for subsisting on caffeine-based nutrients and possessing a particularly thick epidermal layer. Find him online at and on Twitter at @garrettcroker.

Jordan Davies

Jordan Davies is 23-year-old writer from Canada's capital. When he's not typing away or with his head buried in a book, he can be found at the local skatepark, playing guitar, or walking his god Leeroy Jenkins through the woods. He's always felt like an outside observer of life more than a participant in it, like a reader to a book: one foot planted in this world and the other firmly in the realms of fantasy, but never belonging to either.

Laura Duerr

Laura Duerr is a writer, social media coordinator, gamer, and reader living in Vancouver, WA, with her husband, a rescue dog, and more cats than she'd like to admit. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Linfield College. Her other work can be seen in Devilfish Review and Fitting In: Historical Accounts of Paranormal Subcultures.

Amelia Fisher

Amelia Fisher graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2015 with a BA in Creative Writing. She also received her school's MFA award for her fiction. She is currently a recurring book reviewer with The Literary Review, and spends most of her waking hours writing, reading, and living speculative fiction. In her un-waking hours, she dreams it. She has lived in Egypt, Russia, Turkey, and the USA; these days she can most often be found in the haunted basement of her family home in Vienna, Virginia, when she isn't living out of a minivan in the woods. One day soon she hopes to embrace the minivan life full-time.

Sean Frost

Sean Frost is a software developer in Michigan, who writes comics and stories while watching horror and science fiction movies. He lives with four demanding cats and a very understanding wife. It is entirely likely that he has a few too many hobbies.

Mathew Allan Garcia

Mathew Allan Garcia is the fiction editor of Pantheon Magazine. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Mad Scientist Journal, Kasma SF,, and the Suspended In Dusk anthology from Books of the Dead Press. You can find his complete bibliography on

Lucinda Gunnin

Lucinda Gunnin is a short story author and commercial property manager in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She writes a gossip column for Mad Scientist Journal and has a published collection of short horror Seasons of Horror available at When not writing, she’s a gluten-free gamer girl, sushi lover, and cat-spoiling pet parent. Find her on Twitter @LucindaGunnin.

Rhiannon Held

Rhiannon Held is the author of the Silver series of urban fantasy novels. She lives in Seattle, where she works as an archaeologist for an environmental compliance firm. Working in both archaeology and writing, she's "lucky" enough to have two sexy careers that don't make her much money. In her proverbial copious free time, she sings in a community choir, games online, and occasionally enjoys betting on the ponies.

Valjeanne Jeffers

Valjeanne Jeffers is a graduate of Spelman College, and the author of The Immortal series; The Switch II: Clockwork; Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective; and Colony: Ascension.

Valjeanne was featured in 60 Black Women in Horror Fiction. Her stories have been published in Steamfunk!, Genesis Science Fiction Magazine, Griots II: Sisters of the Spear, and The City. The Switch II: Clockwork was nominated best ebook novella of 2013 (eFestival of Words). Her short story "Awakening" was published as a podcast by Far Fetched Fables. She is also one of the screenwriters for 7Magpies, a film anthology. Purchase Valjeanne's novels at:

Michael M. Jones

Michael M. Jones lives in southwestern Virginia with too many books, just enough cats, and a wife who knows where all the bodies are buried. His stories, many of which take place in this same setting, have appeared in anthologies such as Constellary TalesF is for Fairy, and Fitting In. The characters in "The High Cost of Answers" first appeared in "The Strange Case of Rebecca Rice," available in Like a Mystery Uncovered: Erotic Detective Stories (caution: adult material!).

The characters in "...Octopuses in the Office" first appeared in "Saturday Night Science," available in the first issue of Broadswords & Blasters (April 2017).

For more, visit him at

S. Qiouyi Lu

S. Qiouyi Lu is a writer, artist, narrator, and translator; their stories have appeared in Strange Horizons and Daily Science Fiction. A dread member of the Queer Asian SFFH Illuminati, S. currently lives in Columbus, OH, with a tiny black cat named Thin Mint. Visit their site at or follow them on Twitter as @sqiouyilu.

John A. McColley

John A. McColley claims to be a recent father of three, living at the edge of a three-hundred-acre wood. Evidence mounts that he, too, has lost touch with reality after months of sleep deprivation, spinning tales of mechanical men and magic. He reports waking many times a night to the screaming of very cute, but very angry, tiny, twin demons who demand milk and diaper changes.

Ville Meriläinen

Ville Meriläinen is a Finnish university student, award-winning author of speculative fiction, and death metal vocalist. His short fiction has appeared in various venues online and in print, including IGMS, Cast of Wonders, and Pseudopod. His musical fantasy novel, Ghost Notes, is available now.

Timothy Nakayama

Timothy Nakayama was born and raised in Malaysia and currently resides in Seattle. His short stories have been featured in various anthologies such as Fish, Lost in Putrajaya, KL Noir: Yellow, PJ Confidential, and Little Basket 2016: New Malaysian Writing. He has also written short stories in comic form, many of them featured in anthologies published by GrayHaven Comics.

Adam Petrash

Adam Petrash is a writer, poet, and journalist. He’s the author of the novella, The Ones to Make it Through (Phantom Paper Press 2015), and his work has appeared in places such as After the Pause, CHEAP POP, Devolution Z, Lemon Hound, Luna Luna Magazine, Spacecraft Press, and WhiskeyPaper. He lives and writes in Winnipeg.

Jennifer R. Povey

Jennifer R. Povey lives in Northern Virginia with her husband. She writes a variety of speculative fiction, whilst following current affairs and occasionally indulging in horse riding and role-playing games. She has sold fiction to a number of markets including Analog, Daily Science Fiction, and Third Flatiron, and written RPG supplements for several companies. Her most recent novel is the urban fantasy Daughter of Fire.

Darren Ridgley

Darren Ridgley is a journalist and speculative fiction writer residing in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His work has previously appeared in the Fitting In: Historical Accounts of Paranormal Subcultures anthology published by Mad Scientist Journal, as well as magazines including Polar Borealis, Fantasia Divinity, and Empyreome.

Erin Sneath

Erin Sneath grew up on a lake in rural Ontario. She studied film at Ryerson University, and dabbled in animation before her love of screenwriting took over. She has been a freelance video editor, a barista, a luggage salesperson, and a nanny. She once sang on tour in northern Europe with her choir. Now she lives in Calgary, Alberta, where she still writes screenplays but also horror novels and short stories. You may find her in summer tent camping with her wonderfully supportive husband, friends, acquaintances, and musical instruments in the middle of a prairie ghost town.

J. C. Stearns

After a long and failed career in alchemy yielded nothing but a time consuming and expensive formula for turning gold into lead, J. C. Stearns was forced into freelance writing to make ends meet. Currently he dwells with his wife, child, and menagerie of animals in the swamps of Southern Illinois, where he seethes with resentment against the world that has denied him the fame and glory he feels is rightfully his, and gleefully plots his revenge. His work has previously been published in Under the Bed and Selfies from the End of the World, and he is a regular contributor to Quoth the Raven.

Stuart Webb

Stuart Webb has been an active member of Transformers fandom for over a decade, writing multiple comic reviews for Since 2012, he has been running the Transformation project at, where he looks at each issue of the British Transformers comic at a weekly rate. To date, two book versions have been collected of material from the website. His hands aren't evil, just mildly confused.