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Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet--No. 22 by Gavin J. Grant & Kelly Link
Edited by Gavin J. Grant & Kelly Link
Cover Artist: Derek Ford
Review by Sam Tomaino
Small Beer Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 1544-7782
Date: 24 June 2008

Links: Magazine Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #22 is here with stories by Carol Emshwiller, William Alexander, Charlie Jane Anders, Becca De La Rosa, Eileen Gunn, Alex Dally MacFarlane and others.

That most literary of genre magazines, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, is here with #22. The stories are a mixed bag, as usual, but overall, the magazine is worth reading.

The issue starts with "Love Might Be Too Strong a Word" by Charlie Anders. This tells of the love between Mabirelle and Dot lo Manaret. They are two life forms on a ship called the City that is on its way to a new home for its passengers. Mab and Dot can apparently interbreed but they are two very different life forms. Dot is a "pilot" and Mab is a "daily", well below his class. Anders gives us a number of kinds of life-forms, each with different pronouns and hermaphroditic in this truly unique, fascinating piece.

Next comes "Going to France" by Maureen McHugh which is the only story I found disappointing in this issue. It starts promisingly, but I found the ending incoherent. Caleb Wilson's "American Dreamers" is really three little stories about Americans who look at things a little differently. Ellzy Tarburton uses inventions to fight crime and solve life's ultimate mystery. Roger Townsend Rogers finds a very different way to express himself artistically. Elijah Nile and Clement Beauchamp are musical composers with a fierce rivalry. All this combines for some fun little stories. The "Mike's Place" in David J. Schwartz's story is a bar in a world where a truly big corporation has gone bankrupt. The people affected find refuge in this bar in this hilarious satire.

Jeremie McKnight writes of a doomed love between the title characters of "The Camera & the Octopus". Cara Spindler tells a story backward, but very effectively, in "Escape". Archie has been rejected by his fiancée, Philomena, and finds a way to get out of town. William Alexander's "Away" is, conversely, about a man coming home. Herman has been away for seven years and finds difficulty relating to his family in this darkly, disturbing tale.

"Vinegar and Brown Paper" by Becca De La Rosa is narrated by a woman who entertains two notorious characters in a nice, little two-page story. One of my favorite writers, Carol Emshwiller, contributes "Self Story". Told from the point of view of students taking a writing class from a very difficult teacher (whose initials are C.E.), Emshwiller, once again, demonstrates why she's the best at what she does.

"Snowdrops by Alex Dally MacFarlane is a beautiful little tale about the daughter of winter and her own progeny. Jodi Lynn Villers' "The Honeymoon Suite" is a brief mood piece about an individual wondering about life. "To a Child Who Is Still a FAQ" is a series of questions and answers from Miriam Allred interwoven with a story about a child's aunt and her strange relationship with her boyfriend. In "Portfolio", Mark Rigney's narrator looks back at a summer spent with his grandparents and the deep effect his grandmother's art has on him. I liked this story quite a bit. The issue ends with "Dearest Cecily" by Kristine Dikeman. This is a very funny tale, told in epistolary fashion between two women who develop an "earnest" competition.

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, is recommended to those that want a more literary bent to their reading. It holds a unique, but needed, place in the genre.

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