Queer*Welten 05/2021

Queer*Welten is a queer-feminist fantasy and scifi magazine, edited by Judith Vogt, Kathrin Dodenhoeft and Lena Richter. Issue 5 contains three short stories and an essay.
Finished on: 5.10.2021
[Here are my reviews of the other issues.]

I’m really happy with my Queer*Welten subscription. Each magazine is different in tone and style, and there’s always something to discover. There’s really nothing more you could hope for.

The magazine cover showing a painting of a futuristic greenhouse with a cupola, a pool and pillars with plants winding around them.

Stadt der Sündigen [City of Sinners] (Romy Wolf)

The rapture has happened and the angels tried to make life on Earth a little better at first, but the human-angel relationship has grown a little contentious. Salome is one of the people left on Earth. She has the ability to make people dream, possibly forever. For one case, she needs guidance, though, and turns to her old friend Leah.

I liked this story with its world-building and I liked Leah and Salome and their tense relationship with each other. But I didn’t quite fall in love with it. There was just that last necessary bit of excitement and emotional connection missing for me.

Das letzte Marzipanbrot [The Last Marzipan Bread] (Rebecca Westkott)

When another episode of migraines strike, the protagonist imagines herself as a unicorn who runs through her day with the help of a glowworm.

The plot summary for this story is hard to write because it is so unusual. It doesn’t have a traditional plot, instead tries to capture the experience of being chronically ill. And it is fantastic. Weird and funny and very critical of society. I really enjoyed reading it.

Rechter Haken [Right Hook] (Jol Rosenberg)

Nori is a clone in a world that treats them as interchangeable and cheap sources of labor. But he has given himself a name, and he ran away. But even though he finds a group of revolutionaries, not everybody among them is on-board with clones.

Nori is part of a larger project the author is working on, but this story gives us a good glimpse into the world he lives in and the way he has trouble adjusting to life outside the clone community, so to say. I’ll be curious to know what further happens with him.

Historisch korrekte Drachenreiter [Historically Accurate Dragon Riders] (Alex Prum)

In this essay, Prum takes a look at the argument of historical accuracy when it comes to diversity in fantastic fiction. They don’t focus on how history was much more diverse than people like to believe, instead they look at world-building itself and how people rarely reflect what made the middle ages the way they are and whether those elements are also present in their world. In a very thorough way, they show that introducing a fantastic element into our world changes power balances and cultures in such a profound way, any question of “accuracy” becomes patently ridiculous.

Summarizing: Again a really good mix of content and styles.

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