The April 2023 issue of Worlds of Possibility is now available for subscribers! If you would like to get a copy, you can subscribe at any time on juliarios.com and visit the April issue page to download it in ebook and PDF formats.
In case you somehow missed it, I launched the Worlds of Possibility anthology Kickstarter yesterday! In just over 24 hours, we're already 40% of the way to the minimum funding goal! This means it's looking pretty likely that I'll be able to make stickers of the spellbooks illustration in Alexei Collier's story from this issue! And since we reached 25% on the first day, I'll be releasing that story publicly later today! If you haven't already checked out the Kickstarter page, please do, and please share it with anyone you think might be interested!
Okay, onto the issue!
This second issue of 2023 features four stories, five poems, and three original pieces of art.
Below is the editor's note I included in this issue.
Welcome to the April 2023 issue of Worlds of Possibility. Spring has sprung in my part of the world and all the trees and flowers are in bloom. Here are some dogwood blossoms in my neighborhood.
This issue is all about springtime. Mostly that means growth, change, and new beginnings, but sometimes it means witches dancing in the moonlight, as in “Walpurgis Eve” by Laura Theis. Walpurgis is the feast of Saint Walpurga, celebrated on the night of April 30th and the day of May 1st. In several Nordic countries today, people light bonfires on the night and have picnics outdoors during the day. In Germany, historically, it was a night much like Halloween in the US a century ago. Young people would go out and create mischief. The poem’s narrator mentions her father worrying about that, but not about the other traditional German folklore around the night: that it’s a time when witches from all over the land convene. I love the joyful slyness in this poem, and I was delighted when Jessica P. Wick agreed to create an original block print illustration to go with it.
“Cloud Zoo” by Moriam E. Kuye also involves people running outside to engage in some magical merriment, but in this case it’s tired parents instead of sly young witches, and they’ve gone off to cavort in the clouds instead of around a bonfire.
“Magic Systems for the Future” by Lynne Sargent asks us not to give up when global problems seem dire, but instead to do the work to come up with new solutions. Priya Chand’s story “The Migration of Birds Through the City of Glass” seemed like a perfect thing to pair with it, since the story features a future society (in a time when climate change has become more dire) doing the work and making changes to help support what nature is left. And then, of course, we move from people helping birds on a large scale, to people helping birds on a much more intimate scale with S N Roy’s delightful poem about nesting bulbuls on an apartment balcony, “Hosting the Beckhams”. This poem features an original illustration by Ninad Dahake.
Of course, spring is a time to commune with trees, too. In “Heirloom” by Avra Margariti, a young olive tree dryad must balance the pull of her family grove with her desire to connect with the wider world. Meanwhile, Marisca Pichette’s “indehiscent” is a poem about becoming a sycamore tree.
We wrap up with one more story and poem pairing. “6 Must-Have Sentient Spellbooks (and How to Find Them)” by Alexei Collier is illustrated by Julia Kim, who you may remember from her previous illustration of a cat on a rocket powered bike for “A Saturday Out” by Lena Ng in the August 2022 issue. This story, like Lynne Sargent’s poem, invites us to write our own magic. Create the world you wish to see. It felt fitting to follow that, and to close this issue, with a poem by Jean Goulbourne, all about the act of writing poetry.
There are content notes at the end of this volume for anyone who wants to check. Although my goal for Worlds of Possibility is to publish works that soothe, inspire, and delight, I recognize that many subjects are difficult for different readers at different times, and I encourage you to make informed decisions about what you choose to read and when.