A Review of The Famished Road, by Ben Okri

Ben Okri's Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road frequently has been compared to Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, a not dissimilar work. Closer scrutiny reveals the facile utility of this comparison, but readers of Márquez unfamiliar with Okri will find much to like—even love—in The Famished Road. Read more »

Animal Husbandry, fiction by Jeff Fleischer

* “Nothing about it’s right,” Herm Dublin said, smiling at his friends while still regarding the animal in his arms with a sense of horror. (“Animal Husbandry” first appeared in Printer’s Row Journal) AT AROUND TWO in the afternoon, on an otherwise unimportant Tuesday in June, Herm Dublin’s prize heifer gave birth. It happened the way […] Read more »

The Broken Line, Chapter 44: Face the Truth

(Missed the last chapter? Read 43: Molesting Vines) “WELL, THIS IS just peachy.” I blink in the light, unsure where I am. I was running through the woods along the edge of a river, water rushing over stones, air fragrant with water and pine. Now my whole body aches. Did I fall? My eyes adjust […] Read more »

A Review of Pirate Utopia, by Bruce Sterling

If the philosopher Rousseau was correct in observing our common lot might be improved through tweaking the structure of Western civilization, then the attempt by the cast of Sterling's alternate history reveals truths absurd and grim—even heartbreaking—not much stranger than our current improbable political milieu. Read more »

A Review of Other Places, by Karen Heuler

Heuler weaves the familiar and unfamiliar together; even within the discomfort of an unfamiliar space, you’ll find reassurance in traits that are universally human. Heuler effortlessly captures the tension between the self and the other in ways that are fresh, engaging and (occasionally) amusing and challenge the assumptions we make about physical spaces. Read more »

The Absence Of Cows, fiction by Kristen Falso-Capaldi

illustration to The Absence of Cows, short story by Kristin Falso-Capaldi

“MA? MA!” My mother has been staring at the cows all day. Well, to be truthful, she's been staring at where the cows used to be. They disappeared while we were sleeping last Thursday. They were beautiful beasts, really. Brown or black with a white stripe that wrapped around their bellies. My mother has always loved the view from her front porch, even before the cows came; she once told me that living out here was like being surrounded by a painting of field and sky and nature going about its business. It bothers her, this absence of cows. Read more »

A Review of A Natural History of Hell, by Jeffrey Ford

book review of A natural history of hell by Jeffrey ford, at See the Elephant Magazine

A Natural History of Hell, by Jeffrey Ford, from the enterprising and frequently delightful Small Beer Press, brings together 13 very diverse examples of Ford's work, all of them except the opener, “The Blameless,” first published in various venues over the past four years, including one Shirley Jackson Award winner, the delirious Japanese yakuza weird slayride “A Natural History of Autumn.” The polished assurance of the prose is breathtaking, while the evocation of character is completely natural. Read more »

A Review of Cassilda’s Song: Tales Inspired by Robert W. Chambers’ King in Yellow Mythos, edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.

book review, cassilda's song, published by Chaosium Inc.

(the) King in Yellow cycle/co-Mythos created by Lovecraft precursor Robert W. Chambers (...) has also risen in popularity in the wake of the Lovecraft boom, and now Chaosium has revisited it with Cassilda’s Song, “a collection of weird fiction and horror stories based on the King in Yellow Mythos created by Robert W. Chambers—entirely authored by women.” Read more »

A Review of The People in the Castle: Selected Strange Stories, by Joan Aiken

Joan Aiken, over 50 years and more than 100 books for adults and children, mixed elements of the supernatural, folklore, fairy tale, and alternate history spiced with mordant humor in a style worthy of applause from Strunk and White. For readers unfamiliar with Aiken's work, its ice-and-stars clarity, naturalism, and unerring dialogue can be described as hypnotic... Read more »

A Review of The Language of Dying, by Sarah Pinborough

by Lauren Colie The Wasting Agony of Waiting The deep kernel of anger that has since burned you hollow. The petty betrayals and muddled affections of a broken family. The wordless sorrow of watching parents, those mighty Titans, crumbling in like a rotten egg, stinking, seeping into nothingness. Sarah Pinborough holds aloft: death. In your […] Read more »

Swansong for Trump, fiction by Marleen S. Barr

* “Hitchcock knew that birds have power. As a bona fide fairy god mother, I fraternize with fantastic creatures—such as fire-breathing trumpeter swans.”   “But Paul [Manafort, the former Trump Campaign Manager] didn’t know how to play the Trumpet—Maureen Dowd, “Open Letter From Mr. Trump” –New York Times, August 21, 2016, 11 “Donald J. Trump […] Read more »

The Lawn Fairy War, fiction by James Van Pelt

GRACE LILY WHITE parted the curtain to peer through her kitchen window into Ashley Tombley’s yard. She squinted. Are those gargoyles? Yes, they are! It was bad enough that Ashley moved in, pulled up the grass, replaced it with black and gray gravel, and then tore down the nice, white picket fence so that she could erect a black, cast iron one, but now, gargoyles? Read more »