Ideomancer Speculative Fiction, Volume 10 Issue 2, June 2011

“Rendered Down”, by Cory Skerry, is a modern selkie folktale. Miranda is a young woman who works at a clothing store in a mall. She is fat, and she doesn’t like having to manage people’s expectations, their fake sympathy, and the other consequences of being big. She wishes she was thinner, and wishes skinny cute guys would give her more attention. She stops at a beach on the way home from work and sees a perfect boy lying on the rocks. She notices his seal pelt lying nearby. She knows what she’s seeing, and the plot unfolds from there.

Miranda is a well-drawn viewpoint character. Her thoughts and feelings are a little bit stereotypical, but they feel authentic in spite of that. The use of the selkie myth is relatively light, which works well in the story. It’s mostly about Miranda and her struggles, not about the selkie per se. The selkie myth is not only a metaphor in the story, so it is a spec-fic piece.

“A Letter From Northern Niaro”, by Alter S. Reiss, is set in China in the year 410.  Shen Xa-Xhu narrates it in a letter to his brother Lian. Xa-Xhu works as a bodyguard for a businessman named Huang Ba, and is traveling to Deep Spring village with him on business. Xa-Xhu gets roped into a tiger hunt there. A child has been killed by the tiger by the time Huang Ba’s group arrives, and a servant is missing. The widow Li, with whom they dine and whose servant is the one missing, tells them of tigers who change into humans and gives them silver bullets. The rest of the story concerns the hunt and its aftermath.

I like the setting of the story, and I didn’t mind its epistolary form. There is something stilted about the story though. The narrator’s descriptions are extensive, and while they often add vivid detail, they also sound overdone at times, as if the elder brother is trying to impress the younger (Lian) with his writing, and I found that distracting. I wasn’t sure if the writer was using a slightly stilted style on purpose or not, perhaps as a way to remind that the correspondents were not writing in English? Those who don’t mind the style will enjoy the story. Others might find it hard to get through.

“Chrestomathy”, by Anatoly Belilovsky, is not really a story. It’s more of a postmodern collage piece. It begins with Pushkin’s duel with Georges d’Anthès in 1837, presented as an excerpt from The Reluctant Revolutionist, by Nabokov (not a real book in our world). In this version of the duel, Pushkin survives. In reality, he was mortally wounded and died two days later.

What follows are excerpts from Nabokov’s novel and other invented works by Pushkin, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe, Nikolai Gogol, and others. It’s very confusing. I think there is a thread in it about slavery—several of the excerpts mention it. Perhaps the this story-collage is meant to map Pushkin’s influence on other writers in a new way? I had to do some quick research just to comprehend the first page, and understanding the rest at any depth would require time I’m just not ready to put in. I’m just not fascinated enough by the game that’s being played here. I come to fiction magazines for stories, not po-mo puzzle pieces. If I had more knowledge readily at hand I might have enjoyed this piece more or found it clever instead of tiresome and impenetrable. Maybe.

This is one of those pieces that strains slipstream to a degree I’m not sure I’m comfortable with. To me, it’s a po-mo lit-fic somethingorother that is not really any species of story. Slipstream is supposed to be for stories, narratives of some stripe. At least that’s my take. Whether this piece belongs in this ‘zine is up to the editor of course.  It’s certainly within the fantastic broadly defined. I’m not sure what to call it or where it belongs. I just didn’t find it very much fun. I might have, with a little more help, or a little more humor.

This entry was posted in September 2011 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Ideomancer Speculative Fiction, Volume 10 Issue 2, June 2011

  1. Your style is really unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from.
    Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark
    this blog.

  2. Blythe says:

    Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your articles.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that
    cover the same subjects? Thank you so much!

  3. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through
    Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I’m going to watch out
    for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    A llot of people will be benefited from your writing.


  4. Winfred says:

    It’s very easy to find out any matter on web as compared
    to books, as I found this paragraph at this web site.

    My web-site … hack tool, Winfred,

  5. Some truly quality blog posts on this site, stored to
    my bookmarks.

    My web blog … home remedies for Acne,,

  6. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted
    keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know
    of any please share. Thanks!

  7. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog post or vice-versa?
    My blog covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.

    If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

    Here is my blog post: music press release distribution

  8. Igot this web site from my pall who informed me regarding this web page and now thhis
    time I am browsing this web page and reading very informative content att this place.

    My web page :: Download Ios 8 Beta

  9. se x tapes says:

    Amazing! Its in fact amazing piece of writing, I have got
    much clear idea regarding from this article.

    Stop by my web site se x tapes

  10. Debora says:

    When choosing your pressure washers, look into hot water, cold water and steam pressure washing equipment to see which will suit your cleaning needs best.
    It is a good idea for you to choose a drain cleaning service that offers an emergency number.

    Buildings fitted with glass require gentle watch as a lot of pressure can break the glass.

  11. Thanks for some other informative web site. Where else could I
    get that kind off info written iin such an ideal method?
    I have a project that I’m simpply now operatting on, aand I have been at the look out
    for such info.

    Take a look at my blog :: ios 8 beta download for iphone

  12. This is a topic that’s near to my heart… Thajk you! Exactly where arre your contact details though?

    Have a look att my webpage … download iios 8 beta (

  13. It’s enormous that you are getting ideas from this
    paragraph as well as from our dialogue made at this time.

    Take a look at my blog – iphone ios 8 download

  14. Keep ?n working, ?reat job!

    ?ere ?s my homepage: renew notary in florida

  15. Howdy! I know this is kind of off topic but I
    was wondering which blog platform are you using for this
    site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because
    I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform.
    I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    my web page best wordpress themes responsive

  16. Everything is very open with a clear description of the challenges.
    It was really informative. Your site is useful.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Feel free to surf to my page; outdoor wicker furniture toronto

  17. Simply want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your
    post is simply excellent and i can assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up
    to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the
    rewarding work.

    Check out my web blog – Fashion dresses for women

  18. Hey there ar? using WordPress for you? site platform?
    I’m new to the ?log worl? but I’m trying to get started and
    create my ?wn. D? you require any c?ding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  19. Hi there! Thiss post couldn’t bee written any better!
    Looking aat thos post reminds me of my previous
    roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this.
    I’ll forward this information to him. Fairly certain he’ll have
    a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  20. Hair Removal says:

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox
    and from now on every time a comment is added I receive four emails
    with the same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me
    from that service? Thanks a lot!

  21. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but
    your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come
    back later. All the best

    Take a look at my page: owl christmas tree decorations

  22. Sonia says:

    Superb blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring
    writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m
    a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go
    for a paid option? There are so many options out
    there that I’m totally confused .. Any recommendations?

  23. Yahoo says:

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day.
    It’s always helpful to read through content from other writers and practice a little something from other web sites.

  24. On Nov 25, Al Ahram state newspaper reported three women were sexually assaulted during anti Morsi demonstrations by hundreds of men.

  25. Thanks for another informative blog. The place else could
    I am getting that type of information written in such an ideal approach?
    I have a venture that I’m simply now working on, and I have been on the
    look out for such information.

  26. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve really loved browsing your weblog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing for your rss feed and
    I hope you write once more soon!

  27. Excellent goods from you, man. I have be aware your stuff prior to and you’re
    simply extremely wonderful. I actually like what you have received right here,
    certainly like what you are saying and the way in which by which you are saying it.
    You make it entertaining and you continue to
    take care of to stay it wise. I cant wait to learn far more from you.

    That is really a terrific website.

Leave a Reply to best wordpress themes responsive Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>