Fiction & Essay

Hard Times In Kochtown by Rebecca Minnich


When I picked up Dickens’ Hard Times, anticipating the now-familiar and deeply craved sensation of being swept off into Victorian England, I instead felt myself uncomfortably thrust into the political present, complete with industrial carbon emissions, a school system in crisis, and increasingly brutal ideological attacks on humanitarian values.

Heaven Is Full of Windows by Steve Stern


Had Gussie Panken looked up from her machine, a movement that could get her salary docked a dollar, she would have seen what the lazy Sadie Kupla saw in the window overlooking Washington Place.

Produce by Sarah Gerkensmeyer

what you are now enjoying

I’ve started grocery shopping at one of the new, big places that takes up an entire city block, but claims to support the environment and our health and world peace and all of that.

The Woman of Porto Pim by Antonio Tabucchi

woman of porto pim

I sing every evening, because that’s what I’m paid to do, but the songs you heard were pesinhos and sapateiras for the tour­ists and for those Americans over there laughing at the back. They’ll get up and stagger off soon. My real songs are chamari­tas, just four of them, because I don’t have a big repertoire and then I’m getting on, and I smoke a lot, my voice is hoarse.

The Elimination by Rithy Panh

the elimination

Ours was a life of ease, with books, newspapers, a radio, and eventually a black-and-white television. I didn’t know it at the time, but we were destined to be designated— after the Khmer Rouge entered the capital on April 17 of that year—as “new people,” which meant members of the bourgeoisie, intellectuals, landowners. That is, oppres­sors who were to be reeducated in the countryside—or exterminated.

Waterbear by Caspar Henderson


If and when humans do establish a greater and more durable presence in space we may have the Waterbear, also called the Tardigrade, to thank.