"The Rat and the Snake"
Short Fiction 1970 1,091 words


A sadistic man who relishes feeding live rats to his python gets a taste of his own medicine.

Included In
The Book of van Vogt 1972
Lost: Fifty Suns 1979
Witchcraft & Sorcery magazine
1971 January Fantasy Publishing
quarto Vol 1, No 5 68 pages $0.60

cover art by
Jerry Burge

Alternate Cover

Table of Contents



First appearance

As with many of Crawford's magazines, there seem to have been alternate covers for some of these issues. One can be seen here, with a gray instead of yellow background (taken from the ISFDB entry for this issue):

Knowing Crawford, though, this could signify nothing more than suddenly running out of yellow ink in the middle of the print run. ;-)

(Alternate cover image courtesy of ISFDB.)

This short-lived magazine was originally entitled Coven 13, edited by Arthur H. Landis. When sales declined, however, it was bought by William Crawford (editor and publisher of Fantasy Book and Spaceway) who turned it into Witchcraft & Sorcery until it too ceased after a few issues. (You can read more about the changeover in the editorial.)

Despite the magazine's lurid name — which might have better described as "The Modern Magazine of Horrible Hyperbole" — the majority of the tales in this magazine are fairly tame and predictable, and as is often the case with Crawford's magazines, they reflect more enthusiasm than skill. Surprisingly, the interior artwork is of a higher quality than the stories, effectively conveying the eldritch dread which the insipid fiction fails to deliver.

2 illustrations by
Robert E. Jennings

Cover & other images: Walwyn, ISFDB
Illustration images: Walwyn
Data: Walwyn
Microcosmic Tales anthology
edited by Joseph D. Olander & Martin H. Greenberg & Isaac Asimov 1980, etc.