“No eres ‘provida’ si permites que tus ideas morales y religiosas estén por encima de la seguridad de las mujeres.”

—Beatriz Serrano

 [ Issue 2018.46; Cover art © 2018 Eric Asaris ]

Issue 2018.46

Short stories

Poetry

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Sometimes it feels like it’s a bad day for the heroes. In a fantasy novel that would probably be the penultimate act or the middle volume: some good guys die, the secret weapon breaks, the villain is smarter than we think and sees through the great plan, or treason brings the whole mission to its knees. We’ve certainly felt that way in recent years. But sometimes it’s just a bad day all round—the heroes could certainly do with a bit of luck eventually, but maybe things aren’t great for the villains either. The big boss may be stupider than we thought and didn’t have a grand plan in the first place; dictatorships and evil empires can be especially prone to treason or malfunctioning secret weapons. Sometimes everything going to hell can be the precursor to—not the heroes, but the masses getting their shit together and doing something about the tyranny we’ve been bemoaning for all these years.

This issue is full of bad days: we have loneliness, alienation, sea monsters, curses, tyrants, regicide, apocalypse, hopelessness. But behind all these troubles there are societies, characters and monsters willing to give refuge, companionship, flirtation, persistence, protection, education. Maybe not always enough to fix the problem, but we never lose hope. And we also have villains whose victims escape, whose repression of resistance is never enough, whose powers or allies turn against them, and worlds where the wonders, horrors and monstrosities aren’t as one dimensional as we might have thought. These are fierce stories, and our heroes are persistent.

So even if it’s not a very hopeful time, maybe we can console ourselves that the bad guys aren’t winning every battle either, and so long as we don’t stop fighting, nothing’s over yet.

On a lighter note: you may have seen that the latest print book from FFN, Making Monsters: a speculative and classical anthology, co-edited by Emma Bridges, will be published on Sept 1st, 2018. If any readers happen to be near or passing through London on the evening of Sept 6th, please do drop into our book launch party. If you’re not, follow the promotional blog carnival on Twitter or FB, for lots of interviews and other material, social media games, and the chance to win free copies and other goodies. We really can’t wait to share all these stories and other short pieces with you!

Djibril al-Ayad, August 2018

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

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