Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet - No. 24 - July 2009
by Gavin J. Grant, Kelly Link
Edited by Gavin J. Grant, Kelly Link
Cover Artist: Matthew Kirby
Review by Sam Tomaino
Small Beer Press ISBN/ITEM#: 1544-7782
Date: 27 July 2009
Links: Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Lady Churchillís Rosebud Wristlet, that most literary of magazines is here with #24 and itís another good one.
The issue begins with "Eleven Orchard Street" by Alexander Lamb. To earn the money for a fancy watch, Ben takes a job delivering a package to the address in the title. When he gets there, he is briefly invited in by a couple named Roger and Anne in what is an oddly unsettling experience. This sets up a change in Benís life in this very effective story.
In Liz Williams' "Dusking", Emily's parents have died and she has gone to live with an aunt in the town of Blackheath. In this town, young couples participate in a custom called "dusking". Dusking is going out when the moon is full or new with colored globes to attract and capture spirits. Emily wants to do this but is told by her aunt that she is too young. Eventually, she does go out dusking with a respectable young man named Tristan. Her past starts to catch up with her in this unique, well-written tale.
In "Tornado Juice" by Jasmine Hammer, our unnamed narrator has a girlfriend named Kaiko who has "the most beautiful hair on the world", but there is more to her hair to that. If one winds a strand of her hair around oneís forehead, one can visit another world. Kaiko is displeased when she finds out the narrator has been using her hair without her permission. This was another eerie, unsettling piece.
"Superfather" by J.W.M. Morgan is told from the point of view of Harold, a young boy with a father who has an odd, idealistic view of life. He works for the federal government on a special project involving the president and congress surviving a nuclear winter aboard submarines under the ice. Harold worships his father but not everyone does in this affectionate, beautiful story.
Dicky Murphy's "The Magicianís Umbrella" is a short-short about a magicianís attempt to impress a date and was a fun read.
If you want another reason the distrust funeral homes, then "Leave the Dead to the Living" by Alissa Nutting will give you one. Our narrator opens the story by casually telling us that her friend smokes the hair of the dead. He actually gains insight from the dead but that if he smokes the hair of the living? We find out in another distinctly different tale.
"A Story Like Mine" by Eve Tushnet is actually eight stories of varying lengths that all involve facial scars. Tushnet puts them all together in a very satisfying whole.
"The Broken Dream Factory" in the story by Dennis Danvers has been closed but a former worker there still believes in it and does something about that. Danvers contributes one of those unique pieces that would only go in this magazine, another reason to like it.
Last of all, there's "The Magicianís Keeper" by Anya Groner. Ophelia has been living with a man just called "the magician" until he is arrested. She is treated as a victim and psychoanalyzed and much more in yet another well-written tale.
Once more I recommend Lady Churchillís Rosebud Wristlet. It provides a unique dimension to our varied genre.