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  • Issue Number Issue 112
  • Published Date Spring & Summer 2018
  • Publication Cycle Triannual

Founded in 1985, ZYZZYVA pulled its title from the very back of the Oxford English Dictionary, embracing the proud South American weevil and transforming it into a rather distinguished mascot. Run by Editor Laura Cogan and Managing Editor Oscar Villalon, ZYZZYVA makes near-annual appearances in the Best American series and The Pushcart Prize. Issue 13 introduced American readers to Haruki Murakami with “The Kangaroo Communiqué,” a typically bizarre and humorous story about a merchandise control manager in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Other distinguished contributors have included Amy Hempel, Adrienne Rich, Raymond Carver, and Ursula K. Le Guin. ZYZZYVA still accepts submissions exclusively by snail mail and requests a self-addressed stamped envelope for reply, but is otherwise easygoing, setting no page limits, themes, or limits on submissions—though they do ask submitters to wait until they’ve heard a response before submitting additional work.

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  • Issue Number Volume 31 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2016
  • Publication Cycle Biannual

The Spring 2016 issue of Zone 3 opens without preface or fanfare, allowing the writing to speak for itself.

  • Issue Number Issue 11
  • Published Date Winter 2006
  • Publication Cycle Triannual

Why did it take me so long to read this magazine? Like so many, I have shied away from “speculative fiction” not sure exactly what genre it might be (a controversy even among those who favor it), but what I have found here is a rediscovery of why I (like so many) was fascinated with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. And like those timeless classics read in my college days, Zahir is a journal I would highly recommend to teachers of short story and sci-fi/fantasy lit.

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  • Issue Number Issue 104
  • Published Date Fall 2015
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
ZYZZYVA’s Fall 2015 issue took me a very long time to review. Not because it was long or dense or difficult, but because I did not want to finish reading. Every time I started to write, I, like a vortex, would be sucked back into reading and my critical abilities would evaporate. I would become that teenie-bopper hiding under the sheets with a flashlight late into the early morning savoring each page, each character, each line.
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  • Published Date Summer/Autumn 2015
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Well, this is both overwhelming and embarrassing. This issue of Zymbol is the “Big Fiction Issue,” so there are “The Private Dream Notebooks of Clive Barker,” and the interview of Gail Potocki with her “Freaks of/and Nature,” and Douglas Basford on translating Valentino Zeichen’s poetry.
  • Subtitle A Journal of Speculative Fiction
  • Issue Number Issue 12
  • Published Date Spring 2007
  • Publication Cycle Annual
When I was in college, the English majors and science majors just didn't get along. Reading Zahir, I kept wondering what all that tension was about, since so many of this journal's cross-disciplined writers are able to blend their interests in creative writing and science so well. My favorite piece in this issue is Jerry Underwood's “Traveling Companion,” set in a world which is simply a very long train, constantly moving on a Track with no beginning or end in sight, inhabited by robots all named Bob (if male) or Bobbie (female).
  • Issue Number Volume 25 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2009
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
When I first read – or rather, studied – this issue of ZYZZYVA, I had no idea how to review the thing. The entire issue is in “textimage, instances in which text and image collide on the page,” and since I’ve been interested in the written word for over twenty years and visual art for only five, I ought to be excused for my quandary. On my second reading, I decided to describe what is in the journal and encourage readers pick up a copy and make their own commentary.
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  • Issue Number Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring/Summer 2013
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Zymbol is steeped in summer. A journal of surrealist fiction and poetry, this issue’s transcendence—occasionally incorporating the grotesque—appears with a tinge of nostalgia for warm days that have slipped away. With this nostalgia comes a feeling of loneliness, and an issue filled with introverted voices trying to find a connection to the world around them.
  • Issue Number Volume 28 Number 3
  • Published Date Winter 2012
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
ZYZZYVA publishes prose, poetry, and artwork from West Coast writers and artists. This regional focus is hardly limiting as this issue is made for consistently compelling reading. The stories are on the longer side, allowing the writers to burrow down into the characters, whose lives skew towards the bleary and darkly complicated.
  • Issue Number Volume 24 Number 5
  • Published Date May 2011
  • Publication Cycle Monthly
Claiming to be an "independent magazine of critical thinking on political, cultural, social and economic life in the U.S" and that "seeing racial, gender, class, and political dimensions of personal life as fundamental to understanding and improving contemporary circumstances,” Z Magazine “aims to assist activist efforts for a better future.” It is published by South End Press, and is committed to “the politics of radical social change.”
  • Issue Number Volume 26 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2010
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
ZYZZYVA, besides having name difficult to pronounce, is a triannual publication out of San Francisco and features only West Coast writers. The name itself refers to tropical American weevils and is the last word in most dictionaries.
  • Subtitle A Journal of Speculative Fiction
  • Issue Number Issue 15
  • Published Date Spring 2008
  • Publication Cycle Triannual
The stories presented in this issue of Zahir challenge the conventions of speculative fiction. Instead of tracking plots inspired by a unique idea or extrapolation of science, the reader is invited to consider the consequences of the hook at the same time as the characters.
I read this San-Francisco-based journal, an eclectic grab-bag of West Coast writing, on a regular basis, because I have a vested interest in West Coast writing, but also because I am always interested in what will show up next. The editors always have surprising delights hidden among the pages, often in their “First Time in Print” section, where debuting authors are showcased.
  • Issue Number Volume 8 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2004
The edgy fiction in Zoetrope chronicles our hard-won (if dangerously tentative) status of humanity. Primal bullies lurk throughout the stories in this issue: a family simultaneously imprisons and abandons its defenseless, unmarried kin; a man exploits a toothless orphan reduced to turning tricks by the freeway, an anonymous driver works up a deadly malice.
  • Issue Number Volume 27 Number 1
  • Published Date Spring 2012
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
This was the first issue of Zone 3 I’ve read cover-to-cover, and I was pleased with what I found. It’s an impressive, well-chosen collection of poetry and prose. Beginning with the narrative nonfiction, in “Puttanesca,” Kerry L. Malawista finds comfort in a special dish her friend made and brought to her following her daughter’s death. It is a straightforward and powerful piece that addresses and celebrates a simple gesture of humanity in the face of tragedy.
  • Issue Number Number 3
  • Published Date 2009
  • Publication Cycle Annual
Zoland Poetry is an annual review of poems, translations, and interviews edited by Roland Pease, editor of Zoland Books. In the journal, as well as at the press, Pease favors work with unusual voices and bold, unconventional imagery. These poems tend to provoke, probe, unsettle, and question. There are no cookie-cutter occasional pieces here; no easy slogans; no casual-chats turned verse; and no small contented moments in the park. At the same time, there are no dense, obscure poems intended to baffle, rather than elucidate. All of which is to say that this issue is exciting, original, and a true contribution to the reading scene.
  • Published Date June 2011
  • Publication Cycle 11 times/year
Sometimes it’s nice to get another perspective, other times it’s downright satisfying to have someone else agree with you. Ninety-five percent of the time mainstream media tells the story that needs to be heard, and when it comes to news stories, many of us hear what we want to hear anyhow. That is, we take away from a story what we want to take away from it. But if you're in the market for well-researched, articulate articles by writer-activists with true convictions (who are not afraid to speak their minds) then seek out Z Magazine.
  • Issue Number Volume 21 Number 3
  • Published Date Winter 2005
  • Publication Cycle Annual
The seventy-fifth issue of the all-West-Coast-all-the-time-journal ZYZZYVA begins with multi-page editor’s note discussing the careers of writers ZYZZYVA published for the first time, a very interesting follow-up attempt that illustrates more concern for new writers than most lit mag editors display.
  • Issue Number Volume 21 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2006
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Zone 3’s current issue is a thoroughly entertaining selection of poetry and short fiction, though if you have recently experienced a troubled relationship, this issue might not be the one for you. James Iredell’s “Custodian” gives a snapshot of an unfulfilled woman who is attracted to a coworker and fears her husband is having an affair with his new boss.
  • Issue Number Volume 19 Issue 68 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2003
ZYZZYVA, officially subtitled “The last word: West coast writers and artists,” is above nearly all else a fun magazine. They fill their back cover with letters, a good sampling of the weird to funny to cringe-inducing (for writers), and the front cover, on this latest issue, is a beautiful drawing of a lone chair in front of towering shelves of books. After the “Editor’s Note” on the fifth page, and after the 24 following pages of advertisements for art galleries and MFA programs and coffee shops all along the west coast, there’s an hilarious picture of the comedian Robin Williams (page 29), immediately after which (30 pages in), the art of the magazine begins proper.
  • Issue Number Volume 22 Issue 1
  • Published Date Spring 2007
Long before highbrow carpetbaggers followed the Silicon Valley free-market bubble west to begin San Francisco’s literary “reconstruction,” there was Howard Junker, the cantankerous eccentric who started Zyzzyva from scratch and clawed his way to a position where he could tell Thomas Pynchon’s agent to call Thomas Pynchon bad names. An original do-it-yourselfer, Junker reads every submission that comes through the transom; provides the email addresses of his contributors; even maintains one of the most informative literary blogs on the net. Junker’s reaction to foreign incursion, after several infamous softball skirmishes, has been exceptionally Southern: namely, he has continued publishing Zyzzyva almost exactly as before.
  • Issue Number Volume 24 Number 2
  • Published Date Fall 2009
  • Publication Cycle Biannual
Some lovely, carefully crafted and enticing work here, including poems by Joan I. Siegel, Lynnell Edwards, and Kate Gleason, as well marvelous hybrid work (verse, prose poem, prose) by Nancy Eimers, and Christina Mengert, who is interviewed by Amy Wright. Wright’s questions are provocative (“Do you have recurring dreams?”). Mengert’s responses to Wright’s questions are as captivating as the excerpts from her piece, “Anatomy of Ascent.” Of the reference to “true things” that appears in the work, Mengert says:
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