In this issue:
The stunning Queen of Swords by cover artist Tais Teng guards the gates to this issue’s brave new worlds and words.
In ‘The Bicolour Spiral’ by Matthew Hughes, the ever-popular Erm Kaslo explores hostile planets, tracks treasure hunters, and seeks stolen fortune. Matt’s futuristic Sam Spade leaves no bloodstained stone unturned in this space opera of mystery and murder.
Life itself spirals with being and absence in ‘Watershakers’ by Christi Nogle and ‘The Birthday Party’ by Melisa Gregorio as children witness the ephemeral made real — and the real made memory.
And words themselves whirl and twirl — and crack open secrets — as poets Patti Pangborn and Sarah Summerson explore the hidden spaces of family life.
Mike Carson, runner-up for the SiWC Storyteller Award, continues the exploration of memory and family in ‘Deep Water’, considering the limits of responsibility in fragile relationships.
Meanwhile, Rina Piccolo, in ‘Double Flush’, reminds us that being human sometimes just means looking out for number one.
It’s buyer beware in ‘Life4Sale’, an epistolary tale for the digital age by Raven Short Story Contest winner Michael Donoghue. And threads of desire and longing stitch lives together in ‘Dannemora Sewing Class’ by runner-up MFC Feeley.
Two historical heroines return as we rejoin Toinette — ‘La Bergere’ — at the gates of seventeenth-century Paris in part two of The Shepherdess by JM Landels, and Frankie Ray and her chum Connie brave the no-less-imposing gates of Monument Studios in part four of Mel Anastasiou’s The Extra.
Abandon the humdrum and enter these realms of wonder and adventure if you dare …