Winters of our Discontent: December 2020

There’s only so long the before the return of the sun.

But until then the nights will be long and dark, and the viral tide that sweeps our world brings a surge after every ebb. Even our political culture, so full of acrimony and denial, seems capable of only faltering steps toward a better future.

This December, The Fabulist presents fantastical fictions that provoke, pick apart and go deep on the strange dreams, shape-changing paranoia, and mythic shadow-selves of a nation, and a world, that’s struggling to emerge from a long and very deep freeze.

In darkest winter, stories are the fire in the hearth that light up the night, warm our interiors and fortify us for all that’s yet to come.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

The Fabulist Words & Art presents:

“Winters of our Discontent”

December 2020 • Vol. 14, No. 8

“The Wedding Exit & Others,” by Kyra Simone, collects five one-page stories composed primarily from words culled from the front pages of daily news sources. The result is a set vivid fantasias that could be read as mythic shadows of contemporary life. (Dec. 8)

In “Mirrors of an Artificial Mind,” Maui-based artist Michael Powers fed 600 modern portraits into a neural network, which the AI saw, as if through shimmering depths of water, as a series of dreamlike and goblinesque “reflections.”

Elena Gomel’s “The Rattlesnake” looks through the eyes of the gorgon, whose rageful vengeance against male sexual violence becomes a terrifying mirror of her own wounded heart. (Dec. 19)

Electoral conspiracy theories and antivax paranoia cross into a bizarre parallel plane in “Covid 23–31 as Seen From the Conterrestrial Pre-Launch Command Center,” by Phillip Lawless. (Dec. 25)

We at The Fabulist wish you and yours a happy and healthy winter holiday season. Sol Invictus!

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