From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Mar. 2021 (Issue 65)

In this issue: Original fiction by M. Shaw (“Man vs. Bomb”) and Hal Y. Zhang (“Arenous”); flash fiction by McKinley Valentine (“The Code for Everything”) and Donyae Coles (“Close Enough to Divine”); poetry by B. Sharise Moore (“Black Beak”) and Priya Chand (“Dragonslayer”); and an interview with Charles Yu.

In This Issue: Mar. 2021 (Issue 65)

Nonfiction

Editorial, March 2021

In the March issue of Fantasy Magazine . . . Original fiction by M. Shaw (“Man vs. Bomb”) and Hal Y. Zhang (“Arenous”); flash fiction by McKinley Valentine (“The Code for Everything”) and Donyae Coles (“Close Enough to Divine”); poetry by B. Sharise Moore (“Black Beak”) and Priya Chand (“Dragonslayer”); and an interview with Charles Yu.

Flash Fiction

The Code for Everything

Izzy hugged her knees to her chest, her stomach a tight ball of humiliation. She was out on the verandah, sinking into a saggy floral couch. The city was doing its ridiculous Melbourne-summer thing, where the night was hotter than the day, and heat radiated off the asphalt in waves. She’d left the party to “get some air,” which was code for “cry where no one can see you.” You had to know the code for everything, that was important.

Nonfiction

Editorial, March 2021

In the March issue of Fantasy Magazine . . . Original fiction by M. Shaw (“Man vs. Bomb”) and Hal Y. Zhang (“Arenous”); flash fiction by McKinley Valentine (“The Code for Everything”) and Donyae Coles (“Close Enough to Divine”); poetry by B. Sharise Moore (“Black Beak”) and Priya Chand (“Dragonslayer”); and an interview with Charles Yu.

Fiction

Man vs. Bomb

Watch. The starter pistol sounds. The man takes off running. Five seconds later, the bomb takes off after him. The man is young and strong, for a human, but his legs are short. He’s naked and doesn’t have much hair, even on top of his head. His genitals swing frantically, like a smaller, more terrified version of himself, as he runs from the bomb.

Author Spotlight

Flash Fiction

Close Enough to Divine

Mona watched them with dark, darting eyes as they dipped and tripped over the makeshift dance floor in the stuffy basement. Their laughter sounded high and clear, silky strands of hair catching the dim light and refracting it into a million shimmering sparkles. She gripped her cup, the plastic cracking between her fingers, the piss-warm and piss-taste beer threatening to overflow. Careful, careful, she chastised herself, easing her grip, forcing herself to relax. To ignore that itchy feeling between her shoulder blades. The tingling at her fingertips that drove her to something. Was it one of them? She puzzled over it while she watched, her eyes catching everything.

Poetry

Black Beak (a Nonet)

Kongamato has breath like tendrils / of leathery fog.

Poetry

Dragonslayer

The knight shone brighter / and smiled wider than the / princess who would be his / bride and said, “I have done / It. I climbed the cliffs until / the clouds wove fog from / my breath.

Fiction

Arenous

It starts with the patch of skin behind her right ear, where her too-large turquoise glasses frame sits awkwardly, an unbalanced seesaw upon her nose. While finishing a requisition report, she scratches there unconsciously, and her nails catch on something hard and thin, coming back with a flimsy yellow patch the size of her nail, translucent and slightly elastic.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Charles Yu

I’d written poems as a kid, and I took poetry workshops as an undergrad at Berkeley. But I didn’t make a sustained effort at writing until my mid-twenties, after graduating from law school. Instead of studying for the bar exam, I found myself at the bookstore every day, reading story collections. Going into a new career as a lawyer, I think I was searching for a creative release valve, some private headspace I could carve out. So I started writing little things in the margins of notepads, or sending emails to myself with scraps of language. My first pieces were very short, weird experiments. I don’t even know you could call them stories.