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Letter from the Editors
Aleksandra Hill, Kanika Agrawal, Rowan Morrison, Zhui Ning Chang, Isabella Kestermann, and Sachiko Ragosta

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Coming soon: excerpt of Liar, Dreamer, Thief and an interview with its author, Maria Dong!

Interview with Naseem Jamnia
Questions by Aleksandra Hill

Excerpt: The Bruising of Qilwa
Out from Tachyon Publications

Fiction

High Performer
Jason Pangilinan

Wayback
Leslie What

Human Trials
Madeleine Vigneron

Ace of Knives
E. A. Xiong

Mappamundi
Angelisa Fontaine-Wood

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Wayback

By Leslie What | https://www.khoreomag.com/author/lesliewhat/ | Leslie What
Edited by Sachiko Ragosta || Narrated by - || Produced by -
Violence, war, animal cruelty, death, intergenerational trauma
4500 words

We are driving to Big Bear Mountain because my father is an engineer at Rocketdyne and says he wants to celebrate the moon landing. Except that we take this same trip every year so it doesn’t really feel like a celebration. Big Bear is only two hours away, but we’ve been stuck inside our station wagon most of the day. Everyone is hungry, cranky, tired. My parents grumble at the winding road while the kids fight from the bench seat. There is nothing to look at besides sky and fir trees. As the eldest and only girl, I supervise Basil, Cary, and the baby, who is dead and smells like diarrhea. It has charred wood skin and green moss where its eyes should be. My mother has brushed its hair so much that what’s left is troll-doll frizzy. Sometimes we think the baby is a girl and sometimes we think it’s a boy with its thing rotted off. We don’t know its name or age. Whenever we ask, our mother washes our mouths with Ivory soap. She loves using soap and telling us we’ll be sorry when our father gets home. Basil, the middle child, is the troublemaker, so he’s the sorriest. 

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Leslie What is a caregiver, grandmother, Oregon Book Award Finalist, and Nebula Award-winning writer whose MFA thesis examined authenticity and humor in Holocaust narrative. Before growing old she worked in New Orleans as a professional maskmaker and has also enjoyed gigs as a tap-dancing gorilla, pet sitter, and charge nurse. She's written for an alternative weekly and performed commentaries for public radio. Her work has appeared in Asimov's, Parabola, Lilith, Los Angeles Review, Best New Horror, Calyx, Fugue, SciFiction, Sunday Morning Transport, and more, and has been translated into Spanish, German, Russian, Japanese, French, Italian, Hungarian, and Klingon. She is the daughter of German and Russian refugees. www.lesliewhat.com
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