“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”

—Maya Angelou

 [ Issue 2015.34; Cover art © 2015 Carmen Moran ]

Issue 2015.34

Short stories

Novelettes

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We too are impressed and delighted by the power of literature, even fiction in the little corner of literature that is our contribution to the speculative genres. Stories that have the power to imagine an empty world and remind us of what we have, what we love, what we stand to lose. Stories whose power is to hold up the fierce and the beautiful, the elements that fill us with fire and lust to keep living, however old and tired we may be. Stories that have the power to remind us of the horrors and atrocities of history, even of the “good guys” who “won” and wrote that history. Stories that we have to read again, because we were too busy loving the writing the first time to realize the punch to the throat the actual content was giving us.

As I’m sure you know, we’re celebrating a decade of publishing these sorts of story this year, and before the end of 2015 we’ll have a new anthology to share with you—thanks to the dozens of people who funded us through Indiegogo last month to make this possible. As well as fifteen reprints of selected, representative stories from the last ten years, we’re going to include a similar number of new pieces, to celebrate the future of TFF as well as our past. These new stories will be more experimental and unusual in form—we want to try some new ideas. We want some stories that are audacious, irreverent, poetic, that play with genres and media and styles. We still have a few slots for this sort of story, if you’re interested in contributing, although we’re going to have to fix our final table of contents by mid- to late-October or thereabouts.

In the meantime, we’re about to close the Mediterranean-themed horror anthology, co-edited by Valeria, although we’re still open to authors from North Africa and the Near East, or micro-stories in Mediterranean languages.

And for today, I’m very excited to leave you with five new stories, and ten beautiful illustrations: stories of hope, despair, of the past, of the future, of death and of rebirth. Thanks and congratulations to our authors A.J., Anthony, Curtis, Omi and Simon, and artists Carmen, Martin, Michael, Miguel and Pandalion. This is an outstanding issue, and a perfect tribute to our tenth anniversary year.

More coming in December! Speak to you then.

Djibril al-Ayad, September 2015

Comment on the stories in this issue on the TFF blog.

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