Queer*Welten 07/2022

Queer*Welten is a queer-feminist fantasy and scifi magazine, edited by Judith Vogt, Kathrin Dodenhoeft and Lena Richter. Issue 7 contains three short stories and an essay.
Finished on: 25.12.2022
[Here are my reviews of the other issues.]

This issue of the magazine didn’t work as well for me as the previous issues. The stories were okay, but also rather forgettable, and the essay rambled a bit too much and never really got to the point. They mention a bit of trouble with the publication in the editor’s note, so let’s chalk it up to that and hope that the next issue is better again.

The magazine cover showing a smiling Black witch with rainbow-colored hair and a trans flag dress sitting sideways on a flying broom, an orange and white cat next to her.

Medusas Lachen [Medusa’s Laugh] (Iva Moor)

Stheno talks to Euryale about their sister Medusa and what happened to her. Stheno is very angry, and worried about Medusa. She wants the real story to be heard.

Medusas Lachen reminded me a little of the story about Penthesilea in the very first Queer*Welten. Though the style is different, and it is about another mythological figure, the intent is the same – and in direct comparison, I’m afraid that Die Heldenfresserin did it better than Medusas Lachen. That being said, I liked this re-interpretation and it had some details that I definitely wasn’t aware of in the original myth, so it’s certainly well done.

Die gläserne Tochter [The Vitreous Daughter] (Lisa Jenny Krieg)

The narrator is about to have a baby and on the run. She didn’t want that child, not really, she was hired to carry it. But now that it is almost here, she can’t bear that thought anymore.

Die gläserne Tochter is really short, and I think I would have liked it more if it had taken a bit more time to expand on its world. I found it mostly confusing, and then it was over.

MGM & Baby Ray (Aisha Ella Dismond)

Friday nights are fight nights in the octagon, and Marlo is getting ready to fight. She wants to make enough money to live another day and maybe get new cyberlegs for Paz, her oath sister, her family. And when she realizes that the superhot and mysterious Stevie Ray will watch her fight, her motivation goes up another notch.

MGM & Baby Ray takes some familiar elements and stitches them together into something new, but not all that exciting. I enjoyed reading it, that’s for sure, but it is not a story that stuck in my memory.

Euer Happy End ist mein Alptraum. Queere und transhumane Ich-Erzähler*innen in phantastischer Literatur [Your Happy End Is My Nightmare. Queer and Transhuman First-Person Narrators in Fantasy Literature] (Liv Kątny)

In this essay, Kątny looks at non-human narrators who are used to tell stories in the first person and that challenge our usually unquestioned perceptions and frameworks of looking at the world.

The essay examined quite a few different narrators and their stories, but I never really got the feeling that I found the argumentative thread that should connect them. More than once I was confused about what Kątny tried to say, and I’m used to academic texts. I think the text would have needed one more editing round where the central focus is really chiseled out of the material. As is, it left me shrugging in the end.

Summarizing: a weaker issue, but that’s what happens every once in a while.

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