Queer*Welten 01/2020

Queer*Welten is a queer-feminist fantasy and scifi magazine, edited by Judith Vogt, Kathrin Dodenhoeft and Lena Richter. It contains four short stories and an essay.
Finished on: 14.2.2021

Queer*Welten fills a gap in the German SFF scene by having an explicitely queer-feminist mission. That in itself would be reason enough to support it any way you can. But fortunately it’s not all the magazine has to offer – it gives us a wide range of stories that probably has something to offer for everyone.

The magazine cover showing a colorful word cloud in the shape of an heart.

Nebelflor [Veil of Mist] (Annette Juretzki)

A series of killings draws Korja, a woman specialized in supernatural murders, to the village. But most of the men in the village are suspicious of her and not interested in her help, quite to the contrary.

The story is written in the second person, which is rather unusual. But that part worked very well for me. Other than that, the language of the story is a little too stilted for my taste. I did like the story itself, though.

Die fortgesetzten Abenteuer des Spaceschiffs Plastilon [The Continued Adventures of the Spaceship Plastilon] (Jasper Nicholaisen)

The Spaceship Plastilon travels the universe to help the weak and fight the evil.

This humorous poem mixes English and German in a very fun way, making lovingly fun of the many space operas and the grand adventures. Rhythmically, it starts a little better than it ends, I thought, but take that with a grain of salt – I’m no poetry expert.

Feuer [Fire] (Lena Richter)

Tarnik runs away from home, yet again, in an attempt to tame the fury that rages inside him. This time he takes refuge in the morgue. To his surprise, he finds an injured Amazon warrior there.

A lot of world-building went into this story. Quite impressive given that it is a short story and maybe a detail here and there could have been streamlined. But I absolutely enjoyed this story and would definitely read a sequel.

Die Heldenfresserin oder Mythos, destruiert [The Hero Eater, or Myth, Destroyed] (Anna Zabini)

Penthesilea has a story to tell – a story about men loving women, about men killing women, about herself.

This story was my absolute favorite of this collection. Stylistically it is very interesting, a mix of dialogue and lyricism that seems very fitting when considering Greek mythology, but with very modern touches. It shows how the narration about femicide have barely changed, but that they can be. It really gave me goosebumps – and made me look forward even more to Zabini’s first novel that is already in my to-read pile.

Von Orks, Briten und dem Mythos der Kriegerrassen [Orcs, Britons and the Martial Race] (James Mendez Hodes)

In the first part of this two-part essay (a translation of this article) (the next part is published in the next issue of the magazine), Mendez Hodes examines the racial and colonialist stereotypes, especially about so-called martial races, that went into the creation of orcs.

This essay is well-researched and explains the complicated real-world racial politics that play into the Lord of the Rings, and by extension into fantasy at large that is so hugely influenced by LotR. I never realized that Martial Races was such an Asian-specific stereotype, but it absolutely makes sense. Looking forward to the second part.

Summarizing: a really nice collection that bodes well for this new magazine.

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