From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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July 2021 (Issue 69)

In this issue’s short fiction, Lulu Khadim keeps loved ones close even beyond the veil in “A Softness of the Heart,” and Benjamin C. Kinney takes us through delightfully layered visions in “I Would”; for flash fiction, Dustin Katz brings the horror and the tension with “To My (Final) Girl,” and in “There Will Be a Question and Answer Period After Your Inevitable Demise” Marika Bailey challenges tropes that reach far back into history; for poetry, we have “How to Find Yourself Again” by Beth Cato and “Paladin” by Lisabell Tay. Plus an interview with The Return of the Sorceress and Velvet Was the Night author Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Enjoy!

In This Issue: July 2021 (Issue 69)

Nonfiction

Editorial: July 2021

CY: How is it July already? This month I’ll be teaching at the Cascade Writers Weekend, along with Wendy Wagner, who our readers know and love as the editor of our sister magazine, Nightmare. Wendy and I have been friends for more than a decade—we read at each other’s weddings! Years go by without us getting to see each other in person. While the Cascade workshop is online this year, I’m so excited that we get to teach together.

Flash Fiction

To My (Final) Girl

You wanted to buy the house. Could you at least admit that? You looked at the dark wooden floors and the bay windows, and you said, “This is the one.” You didn’t mind at all that our neighbors refused to approach the property, would only wave from across the street as they jogged by. It didn’t even slow you down when our agent got around to disclosing what had happened in the house before we lived there. That has nothing to do with us, you said.

Nonfiction

Editorial: July 2021

CY: How is it July already? This month I’ll be teaching at the Cascade Writers Weekend, along with Wendy Wagner, who our readers know and love as the editor of our sister magazine, Nightmare. Wendy and I have been friends for more than a decade—we read at each other’s weddings! Years go by without us getting to see each other in person. While the Cascade workshop is online this year, I’m so excited that we get to teach together.

Fiction

A Softness of the Heart

Aunt Violet had been sick for a long time before she died. The doctor said cancer, but Louise’s Aunt Sinna said it was a soft heart. Louise was inclined to agree, knowing little of this cancer business. Anyway, Aunt Sinna never, ever lied.

Author Spotlight

Poetry

How to Find Yourself Again

decide, in the ignorant way of children / that now’s the time to grow up / fold away your dreams / along with your wings

Poetry

Paladin

Shrive me, beloved, / for I have exhausted / the bellows of / this particular life.

Flash Fiction

There Will Be a Question and Answer Period After Your Inevitable Demise

We hope the manner of your death has been pleasing to you. You’re confused, perhaps. Uncomfortable? This period of adjustment is necessary—optimal—for your full post-life experience. Contrary to your expectations, there are no angels here, no mead hall with feasting warriors.

Fiction

I Would

I had only one defense against a woman who knew me. “Fine.” I layered venom into my voice, to make her think it a hard-won concession yet again. “I’ll prophecy for you.” Queen Iroda stood alone by the parapet, a dark silhouette against the mountains. The scant light caught the gold embroidery on her robe and the perfect braids of red and silver that draped down her chest like chains.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

My books are very different, and I think for someone who has only read one type of story from me it can be a bit shocking to see how much things can change from one book to the other. Velvet Was the Night is absolutely a noir set in a time and place most people don’t know about. This is the era when the Mexican government is torturing, killing, and beating activists. The CIA is assisting the government because they want to fight communists in Latin America. It’s a grim, dingy setting, full of conflict.