Springing to Life!

by Melanie Lamaga

In Celebration Of The Child by Henri Rousseau. 1903

In Celebration Of The Child by Henri Rousseau. 1903

It’s been a sluggish winter for us (and everyone we know), but here at the Metaphysical Circus, we have emerged, reborn with the equinox as nature intended. In fact, we are feeling monstrously good, and, like a freakishly large baby with a bouquet and a harlequin, we come bearing gifts.

This weekend we bring you the swan song of See the Elephant Magazine, Issue One: Errantry, an incandescent story by Elizabeth Hand, with an original illustration by Ryan Schultz!

Earlier this week, we published Paul St. John Mackintosh’s review of the wildly weird and wonderful novel Experimental Film by Gemma Files. Not to be missed.

Next week, I am delighted to announce, we will begin the countdown to See the Elephant, Issue Two: Love and War in the Slipstream. Apologies for taking so long getting this issue out, but folks, when faced with a choice between doing it on time or doing it right, we all know which is the higher road … especially when you’re the boss. I think you are going to find it was worth the wait, and to make up for tardiness, we’ve made the issue extra fat. We will be publishing the cover art, TOC and a sneak peak story in the coming week, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I hope the buds of spring are unfurling in your hearts and minds, as well your back yards. Thank you for being part of the Metaphysical Circus. Your support means everything.

Errantry, fiction by Elizabeth Hand

“Errantry” originally appeared in Conjunctions 48, 2007.

“The Folding Man’s stuff was always like that. Things that were never quite what they seemed to be. Sea anemones with eyes and wheels, body parts—vulvas were a popular theme—that sprouted fingers, exotic birds with too many heads and hooves instead of feathers…”

illustration of Errantry, short story by Elizabeth Hand

Illustration © Ryan Schultz, 2015

I WAS HANGING OUT IN Angus’s apartment above the print shop, scoring some of his ADHD medication, when Tommy Devaraux ran upstairs to tell us he’d just seen the Folding Man over at the Old Court Grill. This was some years after the new century had cracked open and left me and my friends scrambled, even more feckless than we’d been thirty years earlier when we met as teenagers in Kamensic Village. The three of us had been romantically involved off and on during high school and for a few years afterward, held together by the wobbly gravitational pull exerted by adolescence and the strange, malign beauty of Kamensic, a once-rural town that had since been ravaged by gentrification and whose name had recently been trademarked by a domestic housewares tycoon. Read more »

A Review of Experimental Film by Gemma Files

by Paul St. John Mackintosh

Cover Art of the Novel, Experimental Film by Gemma FilesCreep Canadian Cinerama

Gemma Files has been accumulating awards for years, and Experimental Film is one of her latest, best and most personal demonstrations why. The story is constructed as a first-person scenario for an experimental film by failing Toronto film school teacher and sometime critic Lois Cairns – or at least, that’s what she is at the opening of the book.

Gemma Files was once rated one of the “Top 10 Coolest People in Canadian Cinema” for her film reviews, and her narrative is richly grained with insider knowledge and cinebabble (plus some charming snark in passing at American colonization of Canadian cinema.) The construction, in a classic cinematic three acts, allows the author to play all kinds of games with voices, pacing, perspective, that she splices together into a narrative that keeps jumping tracks on you with sickening lurches. Read more »

Cabinet of Wonders: Choices


vintage poster, public domain

Web fiction reviews by Lauren Colie

Choice: escape or remain. Run or rise. In this Cabinet, we take a look at options. Do we stay on the boat, or step out into the sun?

A Review of Not By Wardrobe, Tornado or Looking Glass, by Jeremiah Tolbert at Lightspeed Magazine

Of course, she didn’t say that if her rabbit hole did arrive, she wouldn’t be coming back. She still had to pay rent for the time being, after all.

One of the many great things about being a ravenous bookworm is the immense depth and variety of imagination. So many grand worlds, grand travels, all from your favorite sunny chair. You know all the potential and all the options — there’s no way to choose a favorite. They’re all a smashing good time. Read more »