Review by Dawn Vogel: The Shattered Queen by Jaym Gates

Jaym Gates’s collection, The Shattered Queen & Other New Mythologies: A Broken City Miscellany (Falstaff Books, 2016), is a collection of 26 short prose pieces, some of which are more lyrical or poetic than story, and others that create entire worlds in the span of scant few pages. Of the pieces, half are reprints, while the other half are new to this collection.

While all of the pieces are beautifully written, some of the stories stuck with me longer than others. “First Step, Last Breath” tells the story of explorers in over their heads. Using a parallel structure, the reader slowly comes to understand more and more of the truths behind this story, and its inevitable ending.

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Dawn Vogel Reviews Glittership Winter 2017

Glittership began as a podcast for reprints of short stories with LGBTQ characters and themes. Recently, however, they have begun publishing some original stories as well. As of 2017, Glittership is also available in ebook format in advance of the audio versions of the stories.

The first of these collections, Winter 2017, features four original stories and three reprint stories. There’s a range of speculative fiction encompassed in these stories, including high fantasy, sci-fi, and more, similar to other spec fic publications.

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A Project We Want to Support: Problem Daughters

Dare as seen in The Future Fire no. 26 (© 2013 Eric Asaris).

BAD NEWS:  UPDATE

Statement on the Dissolution of the Problem Daughters Anthology

Unfortunately, the Problem Daughters project has been canceled, and Nicolette Barischoff and Rivqa Rafael have parted ways with Djibril al-Ayad and FutureFire.net Publishing. This decision was extremely painful, and not taken lightly in consideration of the many wonderful, generous people who helped us get to this point. Unfortunately, the ideological differences between the involved parties have proved insurmountable, leaving us no choice but to end this collaboration.

We apologize to all of you who feel let down by this decision — our backers, our potential contributors and just anyone who wanted to read this book. We did, too.

Everyone who backed the project will be contacted as soon as possible so we can arrange a refund. We ask for your patience as we undergo this process.

Once again, we thank you for your support, and apologize for this inconvenience and disappointment.

Nicci and Rivqa

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A Short Story by Betsy James: The Good Neighbor

Good Neighbors by Betsy James with permission.

We were leaning on the fence of the bull’s pasture—me, and Dres, and Yebbe who lives upladder from my place—and my uncle Yanle was bleeding the bull. The bull was young and big, he spent his days harking and pawing and hooking left and right. My uncle was a little, bald, bleak man, yet the bull stood for him patient as a heifer while he nicked a leg vein and filled a clay jar with blood.

The blood was for me. Tomorrow I was turning twelve, and my uncles would make me a man. I wouldn’t live at home any more but in the Holds with the other men, I’d have my own good neighbor, and Dres and Yebbe would still be just kids.

But until tomorrow we were all kids. My eldest sister had given me Suka to mind, so we wouldn’t go into the bull’s pasture and pretend not to be afraid while Uncle bled him. We had to stay on the village side of the fence with Suka crowing and dribbling and trying to crawl into the pasture herself.

I held on to the back of her shift. “No, no.”

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