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Fence – Winter/Spring 2007

In a preemptory explanatory note, Fence’s editor seems slightly apologetic – and certainly nostalgic – as the magazine’s move from its New York City birthplace to the suburbs is explained. It may seem shocking that any journal as cosmopolitan as Fence was willing to migrate at all. Occasional bouts of realism may provide inroads into the altering psyche of the editors: they both mention children.

In a preemptory explanatory note, Fence’s editor seems slightly apologetic – and certainly nostalgic – as the magazine’s move from its New York City birthplace to the suburbs is explained. It may seem shocking that any journal as cosmopolitan as Fence was willing to migrate at all. Occasional bouts of realism may provide inroads into the altering psyche of the editors: they both mention children. Is there a reluctance to play with life’s more fundamental elements? Perhaps. Thankfully, Fence’s fiction has by and large stayed loyal to its traditionally eccentric roots. Here are stories about dogs who write words on dry-erase boards and enter the corrupt world of small-town politics (“Dazzle Gets Political” by Scott Bradfield), a Karen Russelesque take on feral children and one owner’s bout with the SPCA (by Ken Foster, titled, aptly enough, “Feral Children,”), a cinematic history of war propaganda in film that takes several audacious turns toward the absurd (“Cinéma Vérité and the Collected Works of Ronald Regan” by Brad Cran), and a sequence by Christopher Janke called “Structure of the Embryonic Rat Brain,” which is almost as odd as it sounds. Oftentimes Fence’s playful quirkiness gets the better of the work, especially in the case of the poetry; then again, the journal’s teasingly coy take on our creative efforts has been its hallmark for over a decade. Is it possible that it is already pining for the big city? Any journal would find the transition from big buildings and wild parties to pruned shrubs and strip malls challenging, but if any journal can pull it off, it’s Fence.
[www.fencemag.com/v9n2/]

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