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Fantastic Women Sold Out

Issue #33, Fall 2007

As Ursula K. Le Guin says, "We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains." That's just what we wanted: new maps. Putting together this issue was a fairy-tale experience—in the best way. (No babies, witches, elves, or unicorns were harmed in the making of this magazine.) Contributing editor Rick Moody played the role of Special Advisory Editor, lending not only his knowledge and enthusiasm, but an essay on the mother of modern fabulists, Angela Carter, with whom he studied at Brown. Our wishes for stories and poems by the best women working in the realm of the fantastic were granted by Rikki Ducornet, Kelly Link, Stacey Richter, Miranda July, and many others. So slip into a pocket universe, drive through a family's home, witness a juggler's balls turning into women, and of course, squirm as a little girl gets lost in the woods.

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Jane Avrich

THE LIFE OF CARDS • 'The Two of Spades is not a baby. He is fat and horny.
YOUR HOROSCOPE BY BLAKELY AND JORG • The snap pea habit has got to stop.

Aimee Bender

LEMONADE • They were like a sculpture: Bitch plus My Friend plus Her Boyfriend on Mall Bench.

Kate Bernheimer

WHITEWORK • This is where I found myself: in a fairy-tale cottage deep in the woods. And I had no use of my legs.

Judy Budnitz

ABROAD • We drank bottles and bottles of wine, and I was fascinated by the way she ate, pulling things apart with her fingers and sucking out their insides.

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

THE YOUNG WIFE'S TALE • Where am I? she wondered, and at the very moment the question arose, she felt beneath her palms the cool, papery surface of a birch. She was lost in a stand of ravishingly white, naked trees.

Mary Caponegro

THE REWARDS OF A HUMBLE PROFESSION • Once I was practicing my juggling act and the balls turned before my eyes into women--three rather diminutive women curled into fetal position but otherwise exquisitely formed.

Lucy Corin

MICE • Finally what it comes down to is that grossness overwhelms the overall adorableness of mice. I try to resist, but in the end I just won't let them take over my stuff.

Rikki Ducornet

THE DICKMARE • She is lovely, vitreous and permeable, her bottom globular. Aroused, she is luminous in the dark. No one, she muses, has noticed these things for a very long time.

Julia Elliott

THE WILDS • A bubble of musky ammoniac air enveloped their home like a force field, and the second you dared step through it you felt dizzy; a hundred arrows whistled around your ears.

Samantha Hunt

BEAST • If I tell him, though, maybe he could build a special door for me. He's handy like that. A door that doesn't require opposable thumbs.

Shelley Jackson

WORD PROBLEM • He was carrying someone's death. It was not heavy, since it was mostly air, but it was big, and an awkward shape.

Miranda July

ORANGES • 'Are you anyone's favorite person?'

Kelly Link

LIGHT • A long, lubricated conversation followed about over-the-counter shadows. Everyone was in agreement that it was almost impossible to distinguish a prosthetic shadow from a real one.

Stacey Levine

THE GIRL • Her hair was short and gathered to points, like whitish brown fur. The girl stood in the hallway near the man who currently owned her, who kept her on a parents' leash.

Miranda F. Mellis

THE COFFEE JOCKEY • She flounced all the way to the piers where two guys had killed a swan. She saw the swan brought back to life; a vampire swan. They were filming a post-reality show. The vampire swan was played by Harrison Ford.

Lydia Millet

THOMAS EDISON AND VASIL GOLAKOV • Curiously, as the translation illustrates, the beginnings of the rift between master and domestic can be traced to an elephant execution on Coney Island.

Alissa Nutting

HOT, FAST, AND SAD • I am the only woman in the kettle, which strikes me as odd. I'm voluptuous and curvy; I can quite understand why someone would want to gobble me up. The men do not look so delicious.

Stacey Richter

THE DOLL AWAKENS • On the first day Miss Pretty was out of the box, the two continued with what they kept referring to as 'a little chemistry action' for several hours.

Julia Slavin

DRIVE-THROUGH HOUSE • Miss Cutler's '52 DeSoto still smelled like Holsteins on a clover diet at dusk. I walked alongside the car as she inched through the front hall and parlor.

Gina Zucker

A HARD WORKER • In the office light she gleamed pink and gold all over, even orange in some places, such as her ears and nipples; her skin seemed lit from inside and I wondered if this was a trick the Janssen brothers were playing.

Rae Armantrout


Willa Carroll


Thalia Field


Tedi López Mills


Lucia Perillo


Paisley Rekdal


Anne-E. Wood


Rick Moody

THE ANGELA CARTER WORKSHOP, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND • A former student looks back on his class with one of literature's great fabulists.