“Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we must all take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.”

—Rep. John Lewis

 [ Issue 2021.59; Cover art © 2021 Fluffgar ]

Issue 2021.59

Short stories



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There are times when it’s hard to remember that things don’t always get worse, but it helps to remind ourselves that there is a dream of a better world that we fight for. Sometimes we can look back on horror, on repression, on injustice, from a place of relative safety.

The stories and poems in this issue include a lot of tales of small hope, snippets of progress, steps on the road to healing, or compromises that allow at least the continuing possibility of a better future. There is intense ugliness and pain in the world, but there is also fierce beauty, and the little things that help us to carry on: family, traditions, ritual, honor, passion, and even revenge. What they have in common is that they neither completely distract us from the grimness of the world, nor submerge us in dystopian nihilism, but combine unflinching grit with that glimmer of promise. Whether epic fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, solarpunk or space opera, written art can warn at the same time as it warms…

So let us enjoy the heartening work of Aimee, Alexandra, Anshritha, Clark, Devin, J.D., Jamie, Katherine and Naethan, as well as the gorgeous illustrations by Carmen, Cécile (bis), Dr. T., Eric, Fluffgar, Miguel, Naethan and Toeken. The work never stops, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also play.

Djibril al-Ayad, October 2021

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

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