From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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June 2022 (Issue 80)

In this issue’s short fiction, Fatima Taqvi gives us happy endings where none are expected in “Baba Nowruz Gives His Wife a Flower Only Once a Year,” and Sara S. Messenger’s “Potemora in the Triad” is an earth-shaking kind of coming-of-age story; in flash fiction, Victor Forna explores cosmic consequences in “rat/god”, and revenge could be quite tasty in “The Magical Sow” by Wen Wen Yang; for poetry, we have “Georgia Clay Blood” by Beatrice Winifred Iker and “noonday reflections” by Doriana Diaz. Plus we have essay “Oral Storytelling and Culture as Personal Canon” by 2022 Nebula finalist Suzan Palumbo. Enjoy!

In This Issue: June 2022 (Issue 80)

Nonfiction

Editorial: June 2022

In this issue’s short fiction, Fatima Taqvi gives us happy endings where none are expected in “Baba Nowruz Gives His Wife a Flower Only Once a Year,” and Sara S. Messenger’s “Potemora in the Triad” is an earth-shaking kind of coming-of-age story; in flash fiction, Victor Forna explores cosmic consequences in “rat/god,” and revenge could be quite tasty in “The Magical Sow” by Wen Wen Yang; for poetry, we have “Georgia Clay Blood” by Beatrice Winifred Iker and “noonday reflections” by Doriana Diaz. Plus we have essay “Oral Storytelling and Culture as Personal Canon” by 2022 Nebula finalist Suzan Palumbo. Enjoy!

Flash Fiction

rat/god

The rat was a god, but you had no idea. You found it snapped in half on the trap you set, dead.

Nonfiction

Editorial: June 2022

In this issue’s short fiction, Fatima Taqvi gives us happy endings where none are expected in “Baba Nowruz Gives His Wife a Flower Only Once a Year,” and Sara S. Messenger’s “Potemora in the Triad” is an earth-shaking kind of coming-of-age story; in flash fiction, Victor Forna explores cosmic consequences in “rat/god,” and revenge could be quite tasty in “The Magical Sow” by Wen Wen Yang; for poetry, we have “Georgia Clay Blood” by Beatrice Winifred Iker and “noonday reflections” by Doriana Diaz. Plus we have essay “Oral Storytelling and Culture as Personal Canon” by 2022 Nebula finalist Suzan Palumbo. Enjoy!

Poetry

noonday reflections

the day i realized you weren’t just for me anymore / but you were now for someone else too / i found dry sweat in every sheet and skin crease

Fiction

Baba Nowruz Gives His Wife a Flower Only Once a Year

My mother tells me all the wrong stories. In our hut beneath the cypress trees, my mother opens up at story time. She steps away from her apron and her broom, her heaps of marjoram and pennyroyal, her pestle and her mortar, and her ingredients for medicinal soups. She throws off her scarf, and oils our hair with fragrant sedr oil. We keep company with her stories as the wolves outside howl their song to the moon. Just as their ancestors have and as their descendants always will.

Author Spotlight

Poetry

Georgia Clay Blood

I marched through sanctified fields / those fields / in Georgia

Flash Fiction

The Magical Sow

When I was small, my mother told us a story about a talking fish who granted wishes. I got the family sow, who doesn’t. “Something’s wrong with Little Sister,” I whispered to the sow. Her ears perked. “Tell me.”

Fiction

Potemora in the Triad

There are always three: the father, the unfather, and the child. That’s why Vriskiaab threw my unfather off his back after she bore my baby sister, or so Vriskiaab tells me when he stops in the shade of a dune, his massive scales warm under my calves and the tail of him stretching behind me for leagues. My baby sister is soft and crimson-tacky in the crook of my arm.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Oral Storytelling and Culture as Personal Canon

As writers, we’re commonly asked which authors have influenced our work. As a follow-up question, we may be prompted to discuss movies, TV series, media properties, etc. that have been impactful in shaping our writing. These are valid questions that shed light on our creative impetus, style, and tastes. That said, such questions often give me pause. In responding, I must make the decision to provide what I perceive as the expected answer, or challenge the assumption that the major influence on my writing has been my consumption of narratives in a physical or visually recorded form.