As a literary magazine of “magical realist and experimental works,” this issue teems with imaginative stories, poetry, and a play. Magical realism wowed Europe before it hit the United States with so much force. This issue will tickle the mind with the ingenuity and refreshingly original, even zany pieces. Who needs brain-altering drugs when reading this can be a mind-blowing experience?
The very first story is “When the World Ends” by Nicole Miyashiro. It features not scientists in white coats or monsters or bombs, but a photographer having an encounter with an old girlfriend. The twists in this ten-pager make it seem both shorter and longer – so much packed in so few pages that are consumed so quickly. In fact, that is the rule throughout. “Slab City” by Laura Joyce Davis is about an aging motorcycle mama who picks up a man for companionship, among other motives. It packs a punch in more ways than one. “Pest,” an amusing short-short, where bugs creep out of nowhere, by Ravi Mangla, is a young man’s ode to his girl, who in her hair uses the “same oil used in low quantities in roach motels.” Lesley C. Weston might take the cake with her story, “Too far the sea,” about not a mermaid, but a “half-shark.” Be careful – there might be some tragic endings!
This journal is so refreshing that some readers might forget to take their Prozac; anyone whose mind can make the leap into this magic would find it well worth the seven dollars it takes to buy this issue. It has a dreamy front cover of blue and purple blobs, titled “Underwater Things,” by Jim Fuess – just the right sort of inhabitants of this zoo!