Queer*Welten 06/2021

Queer*Welten is a queer-feminist fantasy and scifi magazine, edited by Judith Vogt, Kathrin Dodenhoeft and Lena Richter. Issue 6 contains three short stories and an essay.
Finished on: 27.8.2022
[Here are my reviews of the other issues.]

This issue of Queer*Welten is probably not the strongest issue they published so far, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things to like in it, not at all. It’s definitely a good read and the short stories are so different, I assume that at least one will appeal to everybody.

The magazine cover showing the drawing of Black trans man in shorts and an open pink jacket. He is wearing a helmet that could be for water or for space, behind him is a glowing jellyfish and stars or waterbubbles.

Mutter Finsternis [Mother Darkness] (Nora Bendzko)

Morpho is a wind fairy in trouble, lost in a dangerous area of the forest. When he runs into Mother Darkness, he knows that she has come to take him. But maybe he has a chance to convince her otherwise.

This was probably my favorite of the stories in this issue, a cautionary tale of climate change and its destructive effects (or at least that’s how I read it) that might be a tad too individualistic in its search for a solution. But its world-building and slightly eerie atmosphere made up for that for me.

Die gayte Fee [The Gayed Fairy] (Janus Reihmann)

Sitting on a park bench and looking at his crush, he doesn’t know if or how he should approach him. Stuff like that is never easy, especially not when it’s the first time he has a crush on another boy. That’s just when the gayed fairy turns up to help things along.

This story was supersweet and cute, a real fluffy, soul-soothing bit. I was a little irritated by the moniker “Gayte Fee” [which I awkwardly translate as Gayed Fairy] because it feels like there is a joke, a pun in the phrasing and unusual grammtic contstruction that I just don’t get. But other than that, this story is pure sugar.

Schimmer im Staub [Shimmer in the Dust] (Miou Sascha Hilgenböcker)

Just outside of the city, people barely survive by scrounging and scavenging. When a chance presents itself to be brought into the city, it’s a chance for a better existence. But decisions have to be made.

This story was interesting, and I liked that it takes on classism, but I couldn’t quite get into it. Something kept me at arms length to the characters, and I think it just took me a little too long to understand the world this is set in.

Wovon träumen Androiden? [What Do Androids Dream of?] (Aiki Mir)

This essay looks at how speculative fiction can change (and where it already did) to be more queer and queer-inclusive, to blur gender lines and think further.

This essay is a good read, making some good points (and referencing the Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy a lot, always an advantage) – but to me, it felt a little too familiar. But then again, I’ve been thinking about gender and genre fiction for a good long while now, and probably shouldn’t take me as a reference. As a more introductory text, it is definitely well done.

Summarizing: A nice collection, albeit maybe not the strongest issue.

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