Issue #1

“Having lost his mother, father, brother, and grandfather, the friends and foes of his youth, his beloved teacher Bernard Kornblum, his city, his history – his home – the usual charge leveled against comic books, that they offered merely an easy escape from reality, seemed to Joe actually to be a powerful argument on their behalf.”
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon

“Science fiction is always good for taking your mind off how bad things are.”
Pretty Monsters, Kelly Link

“I have claimed that escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which ‘Escape’ is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?”
JRR Tolkein

Introduction

Fiction

Dancing Lessons by Aaron Polson
The man was dead and the girl was twelve.

Nor Youth Nor Age by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
We had resorted to variable ageing in desperation. Our son had left us with no money. When the new Progresista government in Portugal threatened to deport Subee back to Bangalore, we had no choice but to disappear. We traded in our youths for new identities, senior discounts and social security pensions. It was the only way to stay together.

The VC and her BFFL by Spencer Koelle
“Am I dead yet?” Lilly Moore wheezed.

The Last Man After the War by Erich William Bergmeier
The three strangers came up on the deck and skulked in through the door. They were thin and pale and in the harsh light of the kerosene lamp the lines on their faces were as deep as dried up river bed. Clara motioned for them to sit down at the table while Raymond stood rigid in the corner with the handle of the shotgun pressed into his armpit. The man’s eyes moved around the room as he took stock of the empty shelves and the dishes stacked beside the sink. Clara had just finished putting the last of their food in the cellar before the family arrived and Raymond was thankful for that. It meant there would be no trouble.

Flowing Shapes by Rajan Khanna
“Wan She is a path. Not a series of distinct teachings. To step on that path is to begin a journey.”

You Can Get Anything You Want at Simon’s Place by Gary Cuba
“My God, it’s a quantum suicide machine, isn’t it?” I said. “Where’s the trigger?”

The Passion of the Vampire by Ericka Kahler
The pain was more intense this time. He swore he could feel every cell tearing apart. Mordecai glanced down. There should be blood, to go with that much pain, but all he saw was a faint twitching in time with his agony. “You haven’t gotten to the painful part yet,” he heard Claudia say.

The Paper Man Escapes the Great Broken Heart by George Potter
Roderick Brown, my office door says Rock n’ Roll Detective.

Poetry

Life Gone On by WC Roberts
Heat Made Simple forgot to mention
how the flesh drips like a wax dummy
when taken to extremes.

Persephone by Kelsey Willis
Persephone in the middle of the field,
her white arms gathering bright flowers to her,
threading them into vines and
crowns of the earth.

Dust Particles by Samuel Mae
(we crave memories, you and I,
but no longer each other)

Caravan by Marian Lee Sable
Within the moonlit walls and silvery buildings
of the City of Loulan is a diminished oasis
eroding to gray ruin in the cold shock of dawn
balanced on the flip of a coin I find in tumbled stones.

Wings by Edgar Mason
Above the smoking city,
see the clear blue sky.

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