Volume 5 Number 3
|Steve Cartwright provided our cover this time out, dubbed "The Philosopher", because it captures the goals of the philosophical impulse - the plunge into meaning. Steve has done art for everything from magazines to tavern napkins, and was awarded the 2004 James Award for his cover art for Champagne Shivers. He recently illustrated the cover of Cimarron Review. Steve's online gallery is here.|
For the Summer we decided to try an experiment - limit the wordcount to 1000. Far from seeing a reduction in either the amount or quality of literature, we've turned out an issue with fifteen carefully selected works. Included are two special features, Lily Ann Hoge's treatment of relationships (Love is Strong as Death) and Diana Woods' expression of life and vitality (Gypsy Woman), specially selected to round out the issue with work of a slightly higher wordcount. We're leading off with an outstanding sequel commissioned of Gerri Leen. Grab an iced tea or a lemonade and cool down by reading a few hot works of short fiction. And if you're subject to chills, let Sarah Rakel Orton's erotica warm you up. Read on, friends...
Selective Memory by Gerri Leen
Gerri Leen is back with a sequel to last issue's excellent work, The Weight of Things Forgotten. We asked her to see what she could do, and it certainly paid off. This is myth, in a classical setting, about the settlements we make in order to live with one another and ourselves. That is the subject; the vehicle is the stuff of gods. (996 words)
The History of a World: Eight Stories by Scott Munro
We get a lot of stories telling us how the world works. That's what myth does, neh? All of them represent a point of view, a set of assumptions and, of course, they have to. Few of them get beyond the ideology of the moment and intepret the larger sweep of the unfolding drama of man and the world. Man and the world: that's what Scott Munro's piece does in eight astoundingly concise vignettes. Wow. (738 words)
The Haircut by J. D. Bradley
This editor used to walk with his grandfather and pick up nuts and bolts, bits of wire, screws and roofing nails, and other sundries along the roadside. We'd then take them home and put them in separated trays in the garage. It was great exercise, good for concentration, a lesson in frugality, and an excellent way to always have the right part on hand. More importantly, there was a bond and an introduction to the world of men that simply can't be replaced. JD Bradley tackles a more common experience that is every bit more powerful than basic maintenance and grooming. (965 words)
Special Feature: Gypsy Woman by Diana Woods
Youth is the obsession of our people, and the world of adults has long since been marginalized by the young up and coming celebrities (Yuccies?) - the shallow Paris Hiltons of the world. Adulthood seems to begin somewhere roughly between 25 and 35, when it begins at all. The world is not getting older; it's getting younger; it's adults who are getting older. You will not find stories like Diana Woods' tale on nightly television, accompanied by crowds and music. For that, you have to click on Gypsy Woman above. If you do, you will see what the adults are doing when the kids are off posing for the cameras. (1041 words)
Phosphorus by Sarah Hilary
Do we ever really remember, past a certain point, what it's like to be creeped out as kids, or not to be when perhaps we should have been. Sarah Hilary's flash fiction is reminiscent of the dreams you might have after a childhood screening of "The Blob". (301 words)
Elusive Art by Tristan Moss
When Joan Osbourne crooned "What if God was one of us?" she reinvigorated in popular culture what the champions of the Incarnation, like St. Athanasius the Great, had articulated some two thousand years ago. Tristan Moss's story successfully proposes the same scenario. What if God identified with our weaknesses? (636 words) If you missed Tristan's piece Scaffolding in our Winter 2005 issue, we can't commend it highly enough.
Little Red by Sarah Rakel Orton
This was the first piece we accepted for the issue. We took one look at it and said, "absolutely", "of course", and simply "yes". Orton's fairy tale erotica is distinguished by its unflinching viscerality. We think you'll feel it too. (810 words)
Warrior by Mark Allan Gunnells
The world is full of enemies. The world is full of enemies, and we must either be afraid or violent. That is the assumption that has grounded our culture for the last couple of decades. It is the primary topic of television fiction in all genres, the primary selling point of our equally entertaining "news", and dominates the world of our children's pastimes. Gunnells, takes a step back and looks with humor and irony at the meaning of heroism at such a time. (993 words) This is Mark's seventh publication in MYTHOLOG, and he has carried a piece every issue for the last eight, including the honor he received in the Winter awards issue for Workday Adventurer. He actually has his own place in the archives and is the reason that honor was created. Frankly, we hope he never stops. Keep them coming, Mark!
The name of the moon by Sarah Ann Watts
Psychologists define integrity as the ability to maintain your own identity in the face of overwhelming opposition, from society, your culture, those you love, peers, from the world. Unlike integrity, mental illness is culturally defined - it is the collection of assumptions about what is real that typifies a particular people, for a finite time, in an individual culture. Sarah Ann Watts gives us a look at integrity in the context of mental illness, using each concept to illuminate the other. (500 words) If you missed Sarah's piece in the Autumn issue, be sure to read Erasure.
Something Nasty in the Woodwork by R. S. Pyne
Seeing the world from under four feet tall, from pre-adulthood, allows for some unusual perspectives. That's when you decide that adults either get what's going on or they don't. And if they don't, can you really tell them? They just don't know anymore what nasty things lurk in the small world. (500 words)
Comfort Food by B. D. Ferguson
Anyone who has worked the graveyard shift can identify with the surreal lifestyle that results. BD Ferguson's piece gets it right - that sort of amiable indifference to and acceptance of the extraordinary that typifies the night set and ends with the sun. (695 words)
The Green Mist by Cath Smith
A promise is a promise, and a deal with the other side is even more binding. Cath Smith gives us a fable that, believe it or not, could be just as helpful in the corporate boardroom as the Lancashire dales. (714 words)
The Night the Mermaid Stole the Moon by Donna Quattrone
The bitterness of parting, and what life looks like when shaped by bitterness: that's what Donna Quattrone's story addresses. But she also tells us how the world and its demands make for our most difficult partings. This is a tale of the demands of our jobs disguised as merfiction. (857 words) If you read the previous issue, you'll also remember Donna's poem, Selkie Love.
Our Wings by Kurt Kirchmeier
You don't go far today without realizing the world is changing, we're changing. The old adage that 'everyone said that in all times' isn't making us go back to sleep anymore. Kirchmeier's flash fiction is really a poem about the penultimate generation. (175 words)
Special Feature: Love is Strong as Death, Jealousy is Cruel by Lily Ann Hoge
Marriage is a compromise between your life and the life of another. Let anyone tell you otherwise, and either they haven't been married long, or won't be. Sure, it's more than that; much more; but it's always that - always a negotiated arrangement of boundaries and overlapping lives. It is a life composed of lives. Lily Ann Hoge explores, quite effectively, what happens when the one thing begins to devour the other. This is a modern myth about matrimony. (3628 words)
The History of a World: Eight Stories
The name of the moon
Something Nasty in the Woodwork
The Green Mist
The Night the Mermaid Stole the Moon
Love is Strong as Death