Issue 4 begins with the end of the world and moves on from there. From the unromantically magical view of Ragnarøk in the lead story "Unbound" to the curious history of squid in "A Man of Kiri Maru", this issue is steeped in mythos, the old familiar tales and some new ones, mixing cosmologies from around the world—and from other worlds as well. But the focus, be it of prose, poetry, or art, is always on the human—on the clashes between imagination and reality, on choices and redemption, on what the Other can tell us about ourselves.
Unbound by Brittany Reid Warren; Q&A by Nik Houser; Flip Lady (1986) by Ladee Hubbard; The Dancing Aliens by Mithran Somasundrum; Daya and Dharma by Shweta Narayan; Long Winter by Night by D. Elizabeth Wasden; Unfinished Stories by J(ae)D Brames; The Thirst by Kerry Hudson; Vore; or, Levity in Dungeons by Adrian Versteegh; How Ramona Saved the Ducks by Allan Richard Shapiro; Forests of the Night by Abigail Hilton; Stiletto by Ian McHugh; How's Your Sister? by Anne Goodwin; A Man of Kiri Maru by Laura L. Sullivan; Maya's World by T. F. Davenport.
Unlike Red Tape, the Yellow by Lida Broadhurst; Ghosts of Sweaty Air by Jim Pascual Agustin; Teaching Assistant by Ward Crockett; Jesus Fucks an Atheist and Calls It Love by Lisa Feinstein; To a Skylark by Rose Lemberg; Quack by Brian Beatty; this infants spine by Zac Carter; Flotsam, 1968 - Extant by Matthew Keuter; Note to J. by Matthew Keuter.
What Kafka Knew by Christy Rodgers.
The Strangers Are Tuning by Jesse Lindsay (cover); Mortality by Adam Ramirez; Writing the Harvest by Lisa A. Grabenstetter; Hidden by Rossana Reginato; Shaula by Tree DeAngelis; The Sheep by Ursula Vernon; The Catoblepas by Lisa A. Grabenstetter; Werewolf by eric orchard; Idolomantis diabolica by Jesse Lindsay; Bird Liquor and the Boastful Ghost by Joseph Larkin.
Julia grew up in Illinois but now lives in San Francisco. She would probably be a linguistics professor if she and academia hadn't had a falling-out a while back; after seven years working as a peace activist instead, she's currently exploring new directions -- or in other words, she's (mostly) unemployed. Besides GUD, she has edited for Night Train and NFG. She likes to think she's open to enjoying work in any genre, but admits that she probably has higher standards for some than others. Good characters are the best hook.
I curated this one, so of course, I think it's absolutely excellent! :) Beautiful things in many genres, work with substance, uncommon pieces... I didn't start with a theme, but I think I ended up with 'mythos', more or less -- not that it's all fantasy (most of it isn't) but somehow mythos entered into a lot of what I chose (and what, sadly, had to be pruned from my shortlist), one way or a crooked nother. Not that it isn't grounded; I'm a believer in that saying that the goal of literature (and art, whether the saying says it or not) is to show us what it means to be human, and humanity is also what it's all about, in all its weirdness. (When putting together the art collage for our subscription page, Kaolin pointed out that for art at least, the theme seemed to be 'eyes' -- I think that fits.) It's an odd thing, being a curator/Instigator; I didn't write the words or draw the art, but I sure am proud of it all!