Queer*Welten 04/2021

Queer*Welten is a queer-feminist fantasy and scifi magazine, edited by Judith Vogt, Kathrin Dodenhoeft and Lena Richter. Issue 4 contains three short stories and an essay.
Finished on: 23.8.2021
[Here are my reviews of the other issues.]

I’m not much of a magazine reader, but Queer*Welten is an absolutely lovely magazine that offers such a wide array of topics that I always find something in it that I love, and find more than a few somethings that I really like. This issue is no exception.

The magazine cover showing an illustration drawn with biro of two circles that seem mirror images at first, but differ when you look closely at them. They show rivers, plants, insects and fish.

Im Raum steht die Wut [Fury Stands in the Room] (Teresa Teske)

A ship arrives at the space station, delivering goods. They need to be checked to make sure that only what is supposed to be is actually delivered. But there is something aboard that shouldn’t be there, officially.

This story takes on colonialism and racism and confronts the pain and anger the colonized experience, without getting stuck there, but turning towards activism. I really enjoyed reading it.

Ritterchen Vulva [Little Knight Vulva] (Jasper Nicolaisen)

Ritterchen Vulva (Little Knight Vulva) and Meerschweinchen (Guinea Pig) aren’t actually a knight and a guinea pig. They aren’t even from earth. But they do have an interest in earth and its inhabitants. And even though said inhabitants have royally screwed up everything, there may still be a chance for Ritterchen Vulva, Meerschweinchen and their new friend Schlange (Snake).

Ritterchen Vulva really is a very weird story that is told with a continuous wink and sparkle in its proverbial eye. But its slightly ridiculous demeanor does hide a more serious truth about focusing more on the process of things instead of their result.

Angesicht zu Angesicht [Face to Face] (Tristan Lánstad)

Kada has to face the final exam for Mirror Magic Studies. Mirror Magic is dangerous, but so far, Kada was lucky. But without Ronar as a mentor as usual, Kada needs to face some hard truths – and realize what isn’t true.

This was my favorite story in the collection. It perfectly uses the mirror magic set-up to think about identity and realizing who you are, choosing who you are, and being trans. Things do get pretty painful before they get better here, but it works even better for it.

Die Angst vor der Cancel Culture [The Fear of Cancel Culture] (Elea Brandt)

In this essay, Brandt outlines the history of cancel culture, how it is used to achieve the exact opposite: notoriety and fame for the supposedly canceled people, and how it has become a right-wing dogwhistle. But she also touches on how to avoid being canceled – by actually learning and apologizing.

The essay is succinct, can be easily understood and is an excellent primer if you haven’t heard much about the analysis of cancel culture (apart from the right-wing howling in the comment sections of various newspaper and beyond about how the canceled can’t say anything anymore). I have heard and read a bit about the topic myself, so there wasn’t that much new info for me here, but it’s good to have it in such a tight package.

Summarizing: Another excellent issue.

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