From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

CHOSEN ONES

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Dec. 2016 (Issue 60)

Here’s what we’ve got lined up for you in this special issue: Original fantasy—edited by Daniel José Older—by N.K. Jemisin, P. Djeli Clark, Darcie Little Badger, and Thoraiya Dyer; Reprints—selected by Amal El-Mohtar—by Sofia Samatar, Celeste Rita Baker, Shweta Narayan, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson; Nonfiction articles—edited by Tobias S. Buckell—by Justina Ireland, Ibi Zoboi, Erin Roberts, Karen Lord, John Chu, Brandon O’Brien, and Chinelo Onwualu; plus an original cover illustration by Emily Osborne and original interior illustrations by Reimena Yee and Ana Bracic.

In This Issue: Dec. 2016 (Issue 60)

Nonfiction

People of Colo(u)r Editorial Roundtable

I wanted to start with the idea of the origin story. Every writer has one, and it’s always interesting to hear how writers of color navigated the choppy waters of reading fantasy early on and then deciding to write it. I remember searching for myself, in that languageless sort of way we do when we’re young and don’t know the larger meaning of our search.

Fiction

The Things My Mother Left Me

Tausi sat listening to her aunts, who crowded in a circle at the far end of the room. Their dresses were a kaleidoscope of greens, reds, blues, and yellows, each worked with repeating patterns that shifted with the eye. Huddled like that they seemed to her one polychromatic beast with seven heads and fourteen limbs. None of them made an effort to whisper as they planned her life.

Nonfiction

People of Colo(u)r Editorial Roundtable

I wanted to start with the idea of the origin story. Every writer has one, and it’s always interesting to hear how writers of color navigated the choppy waters of reading fantasy early on and then deciding to write it. I remember searching for myself, in that languageless sort of way we do when we’re young and don’t know the larger meaning of our search.

Fiction

Eyes of Carven Emerald

Sunrise glinted bloody on giant tumbles of statue; it edged the palace beyond with blood. A limestone arm, severed elbow to thumb, came almost up to Alexandros’ waist. Fingers thick as logs lay scattered behind it. Sunrise glimmered in the statue’s blank, rain-filled eyes, and trickled down the pitted stone cheek. So too would Dareios of Persia have fallen, had the coward not fled.

Nonfiction

Learning to Dream in Color

I didn’t grow up dreaming in color. I dreamed in white. Not my literal dreams, the thoughts that flickered within my mind’s eye while I dozed. In those dreams I was a frizzy-haired black girl with unkempt hair and an overbite, same as I was in my daily life. Those nightly dreams were cast in […]

Fiction

Black, Their Regalia

Outside, the quarantine train was unblemished white. Where its tracks skirted populated regions, barbed wire and warning signs—DANGER! ¡PELIGRO! INFECTIOUS MATERIALS! ¡SUSTANCIAS INFECCIOSAS!—discouraged trespassers from marking the cars with spray paint. The interior was another story. In her cabin, a narrow sleeper with four beds (one for Screaming Moraine, one for Fiddler Kristi, one for Drummer Tulli, and one for their carry-on luggage, several densely packed grocery bags, and an electric violin), Tulli found graffiti scrawled near her upper bunk.

Nonfiction

Give Us Back Our Fucking Gods

Creation myths are the stuff of old, intuitive science. They are the stories that attempt to explain the source of the universe and the very beginnings of life. Creation myths are not synonymous with folktales, animal stories, or playful allegories that instill morals and values. They are, ultimately, our embellished truths—complete with fucking gods, incest, […]

Fiction

gezhizhwazh

everyone always tells wiindigo stories when they should be telling gezhizhwazh stories. that’s what this old one says.

Nonfiction

Still We Write

For me, writing is not an easy thing. Of course, there are days when everything flows perfectly, when the words dance out of me like they were always meant to exist and all I have to do is let them flow. But those days are far outnumbered by the ones when the blank page mocks […]