Issue Eight – February 2023

February is the month of Zeno’s Paradox. In much of the Northern Hemisphere, winter is stretching itself out for another cold, gray month (or two); in the Southern, summer has started to fold itself up and put itself away. We’re already halfway through, but the two weeks that remain feel like they’ve always been there, and always will be, slicing themselves smaller and smaller so that there’s always a little while longer until March. If grief was a month, it would be February: the grief of a pandemic that’s never quite over, a parent’s illness, a death without reconciliation, a story that no one else was ready to hear.

We make oases where we can, and here is one we’ve carved out here in the middle of the shortest and most endless month. We have fourteen new stories for you. A market where nightmares are bought and sold and traded, and a museum to preserve all that those in power would like to see destroyed. An intelligent school building and a retired military vehicle that prove to be more than what they were programmed to be. A troll who comes to embrace her grief, and a painter who learns to let his go. A thousand story scenarios to be trapped in with your unrequited love, and a single alternate version of yourself who made the decision you didn’t. The last Historian who is unwilling to give up on what can still be preserved, and a guide to surrendering what is beyond your keeping. What’s left behind when a person loses the augmented senses that made them who they were, and what lies ahead when we let our fragile world roll away down a careless path. A year in which even stars must turn by human demands, and last but not least, a truly fun-damental party-cle.

Stay as long as you need to; we’ll be here when you need a place to pause.

[Want the ebook? Buy it here!]

Quiche Lorraine

rich, filling; worth lingering over with a second cup of coffee

Still Life with Slain God and Lemon – Anne Leonard (1,173,words)

Lunar Drifter – Eliane Boey (3,038,words)

The Museum of Erased History – Maria Hossain (2,541 words)

The Willingness to See Things Through – Mob (3,437 words)

Fruit salad with vanilla honey coconut cream

something sweet for the lighter appetite

The Omniscient Codex to the Perfect Relationship – Uchechukwu Nwaka (1,915 words)

Alternate – Kristen Koopman (2,399 words)

An Aging Military Vehicle Comes Out of Retirement – K.S. Walker (4,616 words)

Omelette with orange capsicum, courgette, purple onion, and tomato

a colorful and hearty variety

The Diamond Twenty Thousand Times Bigger Than the Ritz – Rose Biggin (4,450 words)

The Year of Rebellious Stars – Tanvir Ahmed (4,794 words)

The Dream Market – Monte Lin (3,700 words)

American-style pancakes

sweet toppings or savory, short stack or tall; you’re sure to find whatever you choose here delicious and satisfying

Where Are You Right Now? – Rodrigo Culagovski (1,230 words)

Great Mother Broth – Sarah Jackson (2,706 words)

In Lieu of Natural Habitats – Brian Hugenbruch (983 words)

Unusual Times – Gail Ann Gibbs (3,539 words)