As the winter wind sets garbage cans rolling like tumbleweeds and snowdrifts bury parked cars along with all hope of an early spring, we invite you to maximize your hygge quotient with a hot toddy and our eighty-sixth issue.
According to G. K. “T-Biscuit” Chesterton, “Folk lore means that the soul is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels.” Well, each of this month’s four stories features an ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances. Becca Borawski Jenkins describes a world of sideshow performers where the regular dude is the odd one out. Daniele De Serto lives the dream of being a basketball superstar, with amusingly surreal results. Isaac Teile’s low-ranking henchman beats the odds, much to everyone’s annoyed surprise, and Hamdy Elgammal dares to imagine a world where humans and giant insects can fall in love. Speaking of sweet things, the charming cover art from Borda D. Adrian will melt the icicles right off your heart.
Hug it online or squeeze the .pdf.
The earth is doomed.
and we thought you might need it, too. We usually shy away from topical pieces, but Joanna Arnow’s “First week after the election” is a powerful exception.
We’re presenting it today, on its own, to spotlight its timeliness, but a large part of what makes it so effective is how it transcends the particulars of a single event and its aftermath and evokes feelings of uncertainty, helplessness, and longing–of needing to understand and be understood, and the frustrations of having those desires thwarted by internal and external forces–in a way that is timeless and profoundly, painfully human.
As one year shambles off into the sunset like zombie rhinoceros and another dawns as bright as fragrant as citrus dish detergent, we offer up this double handful of literary delights: Heather Lee Rogers’ “Gonzo Feline Dream” (read it to your cat!); Emily Weber’s “And a Time to Die” (read it while listening to The Byrds!); Martha McCollough’s “Mary Worth” (read it to someone with white hair!); C. B. Auder’s “The Bowls, the Buttons, and the Baskets” (read it to an inanimate object that actually isn’t!); Josh Epperly’s “Mutually Agreed Upon” (read it in your favorite restaurant!); and Isha Ro’s “Georgie” (read it when you’re feeling lonely!). Also worth noting is the cover art, Darin Forrest’s “Dead Reclining” (show it to a philosophical robot!)
Tickle it online or Elmo the pdf.
Hope this year is a good one for you and the world.