Today is Support Our Zines Day. In the words of its founder, Damien G Walter:
Our ‘zines need support. Professional ‘zines rely on subscriptions to pay their staff and the writers who make the stories. Smaller ‘zines often rely on donations just to cover their costs. But with the speed of life in the 21st Century it can be difficult to remember to renew subsciptions or make donations to the ‘zines who’s work we enjoy.
So. We need to do something to remind ourselves how much we love our ‘zines of all kinds and want to support them. We need a ‘Support our ‘Zines Day’. (SOZD) A day when everyone who has enjoyed reading and listening all year subscribes / donates to their favourite publications. We need to promote it as far and wide as we can and let all readers of ‘zines join in.
I was going to make a list of ‘zines, but I realised this would be, er, long and that I was bound to forget someone. Instead, here’s a couple of stories I enjoyed recently:
- “The Festival of Tethselem by Chris Butler in Interzone: in the city of Tethselem stands the Figure of Frozen Time, a strange artifact–and it is said that, if it’s removed from its place, it will be as if it had never existed. But, nevertheless, a group of thiefs with their own agenda are determined to steal it… This had an intriguing idea at its heart, and the plot was carried to a resolution I didn’t see coming but that made perfect sense.
- “Blood Dauber” by Ted Kosmatka and Michael Poore, in Asimov’s: Bell is a zoo guardian, paid a pittance to do a job he loves–while his wife fumes at their poverty. But when Bell finds a strange insect and starts experimenting with it, things are bound to change in the zoo… This totally didn’t go where I expected–in a really good way. Bell is a fascinating though not always likable character, and the scientific speculation was pretty interesting (usually, I’m bored pretty quickly with it, but here it’s handled well and adds to the value of the story).
- “Tending the Mori Birds” by Caroline M. Yoachim at Fantasy Magazine: mori birds are harbingers of death, taking flight on the day of a person’s birth, and returning on the day of their death. Prem has been the guardian of the birds all his life, the one who bears witness to the deaths; but he finds himself strangely fascinated by the scarred neighbour who keeps watching him…. Another one that totally didn’t go where I expected. I loved the concept of the mori birds, and the language of the story is beautiful, carrying you from beginning to end.