Welcome to July 2020 issue of The Fabulist, where we’re kicking things off with two Independence Day fictions that use fantastical storytelling to invert, subvert, and transform some central American myths and realities.
Julieta Vitullo’s “Drone” puts an unnerving and eerie spin on an all-too-plausible tale of a young military family struggling with PTSD and the bitter aftermath of America’s endless wars overseas. The story’s themes of social neglect, military privatization and moral disassociation could be right out of the day’s news headlines, and come together in a strange but inevitable climax.
Also on July 4, Elizabeth Gonzalez James returns with “Zenith,” the second installment of her “My Fantasy America” series of short vignettes about imaginary U.S. cities. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities,” James’s prose is at once deadpan satire and a loopy, hilarious sendup of American class divisions and aspirations.
“They Speak,” by Sarah Illius, is a gloriously alienated DNA twist of speculative poetry that may very well be a close observation of a female human teen by some sort of abstracted collective intelligence. Whatever the case, we are absolutely thrilled to have it in the queue for July 11.
We added a luminous, insightful and unsettling art feature to our lineup on July 17 — “Bio-Incursions: Artworks by Lino Azevedo” asks hard questions about the ways technology integrates itself into our lives.
Our July 18 feature, “St. Dymphna’s Quartet,” by Tom Charles Bair III, brings a gleeful, disjointed sense of absurdity, determination and everyday surrealism to real-life issues of emotional and mental illness.
On July 25 we’ll close out the month with “Transit Plans” and “Colonization Treatise: Update,” two science-fictional poems by Tom Holmes that lift the oceans “into stationary orbit over the earth,” and listen for messages sent over billions of years.