I’ve got a post on stories from Speculative Magazines. I don’t often see posts for speculative magazines, and I’d like to talk about some of my favorites. Authors in magazines are often where well-known authors have honed their craft. C.L. Clark, the author of the Unbroken, started out in many magazines, including Uncanny Magazine, the publisher of many of the stories I’m sharing with you today.
Please check out these authors and the magazines!
Chinelo Onwualu tells a woodsy and folkloric world with descriptions as sharp as the heels featured in the story. My favorite thing about it is this is a post-apocalyptic world where its gods accidentally destroyed everywhere else but the African continent. The descriptions are sharp and bloody, where sprites are described as walking trees carved out of ice.
Two sisters both have the sight at their Inn, where creatures of all magical abilities stay. When a man walks in with a woman with ‘heels so sharp they’re like weapons’, they know he’s trouble.
Here, I found magic. It’s easy to read but felt like I needed more. This is a world where poverty is eradicated, healthcare is free, and people have magical abilities. Instead of a world of tragedies, one tragedy (or accident as it’s called) created happiness. I don’t see that often in fantasy. The picture is bigger in this story.
This story is about a pilot looking for her child, but her child is a spaceship instead of a real child. I thought it was unusual and strange, but there’s something about it that reminds me of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. It’s also one of the first few speculative stories I’ve read where characters ask each other’s pronouns.
This story is raw, and I mean that. It tells the tale of a deer woman who asks her lover to kill for her. Set in contemporary North America, a man is drawn in by Deer Woman. He’s a chef that soon becomes wrapped up in her rage and turmoil for the genocide of Native Americans. The anger and the raw emotions that Deer Woman feel simmers until the very end.
I’m going to be as cheesy as possible here. This short story, named Charms, was so charming. It’s such a whimsical ride, and honestly, it wasn’t enough for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every piece of it, but this is the type of story I wanted to see published as a novel, whether traditional or indie.
This story starts with a woman opening the daily paper, which enfolds a report on Spellcasting Suffragettes and the wizards lost in the war. Charms, herbs, and boiling tea. Gothics, black aesthetics, brimstone, and magical institutions. That’s what this novel feels like. It’s witches vying for their rights, fighting for their reputations and worth. In this world, women’s magic is used as the point of interest. Dislike and disgust, for their magical abilities, is disguised as misogyny.
Legends rise from the broken places, from stories and memories
This story tells us of ‘Daughters of the night.’ This is told through verse, and it is a lovely and brutal story. We’re told of a journey across the waters with the sudden knowledge ‘before they trapped us.” These daughters are described as ancestors, seemingly otherworldly and sentient in this world. It almost feels like the sword full of ancestral screams from P. Djeli’s Clark’s The Ring Shout. This piece seems to invoke the feelings of the past in poetic prose.