Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet – No. 28 – January 2013
Edited by Gavin J. Grant, Kelly Link, Jedediah Berry, Michael J. DeLuca
Cover Artist: Junyi Wu
Review by Sam Tomaino
Small Beer Press Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1544-7782
Date: 27 December 2012
Links: Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet is the kind of magazine that you want to read slowly. Read a story. Put the magazine down. Absorb what you have just read. Then, after a while, read another story. Repeat. After more than a year's absence here is issue #28 with more of their very different stories.
The issue begins with "Coffee with Count Presto" by Michael Penkas. Our narrator receives an invitation for a "One Man Audience for a One Man Show" he is to "witness the Amazing Eric, formerly Count Presto". He is directed to a coffeehouse where he meets the title character and finds out what happens to a magician who reveals his secrets.
"Killing Curses, a Caught-Heart Quest" by Krista Hoeppner Leahy is a tale rich in myth and invention. Petech is a curse-killer, a power inherited from his mother when she died. When the power enters him, his teeth become interlocking iron and aluminum. He can reverse any curse but death. He becomes friends with a man named Midas, whose classic curse was removed by his mother. He marries a walking tree and she gives birth to their daughter. But a mottle plague that kills trees brings changes to all their dreams. Few stories are as imaginative as this.
"Notes from a Pleasant Land Where Broken Hearts Are Like Broken Hands" by Kevin Waltman takes place in some future in which society is run by Seeohs and their Mangers (Get it?) and the only alternative is to be a barbaric Cackler who just laughs and throws excrement around. While the story itself was well-written, I found the premise a little too hard-to-believe.
In "Akashiyaki (Octopus Dumplings, serves two)" by Erica Hilderbrand, Kento is following around an an octopus that he has allowed to escape from his brother's restaurant. They have some strange adventures and form a bond. Nice little heary-warming story.
"Springtime for the Roofer" by Brian Baldi is a real oddity. A roofer is working at his job and can't help but notice some robots below, playing tag. He is annoyed that they are not playing it right. We not only see into his mind but those of the robots playing the game. Another interesting, unique tale.
"Vanish Girl" by Andrea M. Pawley seems to take place in some sort of future after some sort of society-destroying disaster. Cora lives her life solely to accumulate credits so she can take a drug called mesco, She lives in an invisible house that has been taken over by an evil woman named Faryn. She is a friend to Jude who used to be rich. A series if events results in her changing her situation for the better. A well-drawn little character story.
"Neighbors" by Kamila Z. Miller is also told by a woman named Miss Strand whose family has fallen on hard times. She is interested in two men, a giant named Fulwen and a slender, quiet man named Grantler. Both are interested in her, but who should she choose? A beautifully-told little fantasy.
Finally, there is "The Book of Judgment" by Helen Marshall. An angel has been keeping tabs on Jane Austen. He is a great admirer of hers and has conversations with her. He also relates his talks with a warrior angel, Azrael, and how people are characterized in the Book of Judgment. But who is this angel? Ah, that is what makes this a good story.
Once again, if you want something completely different, subscribe to Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet!