“Révolutionnaires, nous l’étions, hommes et femmes, animés par une telle force de volonté, et une telle volonté de force.”

—Maya Jribi

 [ Issue 2018.45; Cover art © 2018 Saleha Chowdhury ]

Issue 2018.45

Flash fiction

Short stories


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This quarter is for stories of quiet rebellion. We sit and listen to those who did not storm the Bastille or mount royal heads on pikes, but who took steps toward changing the world in smaller ways. Not necessarily less important rebellions—and maybe ones less likely to lead to a terreur or a reactionary backlash. Our storytellers remind us that the very fact of surviving can be a radical political act. That simply being who you are, in the face of overwhelming societal pressure to conform, is a violent, and justified, act of self-defence. That sometimes the fight is an uphill struggle just to be treated as a full, adult, human being with agency and responsibility over your own body. (Congratulations to our sisters in the Republic of Ireland for winning one such battle this week!)

And of course we are treated to stories of seasoned fighters and tales of derring-do, of savage man-eating monsters of yore, and of grim alien planets and the tragedies that unfold there. There are glimpses into possible futures, and dreams aching with pasts that never were. Stories that are beautiful because they could be true, or that are terrible because they could not. Maybe it makes a nice change from the waking world around us and its relentless stream of true horrors that has barely abated the last couple years.

It’s been a busy month here at Futurefire.net Publishing in the meantime, with this issue coming together just as advance review copies of Making Monsters were sent out to review journals, and we’re very close to finalising the manuscript for the printers. We have a busy summer of reading and events ahead of us—maybe we’ll see some of you at a launch or festival some time?—as well as some new ideas percolating behind the scenes. Watch this space!

And so thanks to Rebecca, Meryl, A., William, Omi, Donyae and Colleen for the fabulous stories and poems; and to Cécile, Saleha, Toeken, Rachel, Laura-Anca, Katharine and Pear for a particularly lovely crop of illustrations in this issue. Enjoy the read, and see you again in the summer.

Djibril al-Ayad, May 2018

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

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