Zahir

Tagged: Publication

US low-paying literary magazine which ran for 28 quarterly issues from Summer 2003 to October 2011. It was published by Zahir Publishing, Encinitas, California and edited by Sheryl Tempchin. It was initially a Print Magazine with twenty quarterly issues from Summer 2003 to Winter 2009. From issue #21 (January 2010) it became an Online Magazine, retaining its quarterly schedule but ceased with issue #28 (October 2011). Material published online appeared in the annual anthologies Zahir Anthology 2010 (anth 2010) and Zahir Anthology 2011 (anth 2011), both edited by Sheryl Tempchin, which reproduce all of issues #21-#28, without the artwork.

The contents run through the whole spectrum of speculative fiction from science fiction to fairy tale. Zahir carried the subtitle "Unforgettable Tales"; the title references Jorge Luis Borges's "The Zahir" (in El Aleph, coll 1949, as "El Zahir") (see Basilisks). Science fiction makes up only a small part of the contents, most of which are Fabulations, stories more dreamlike than substantial, but there is surprisingly little experimental fiction or Slipstream. Most are straightforward storytelling, and most of the stories that qualify as science fiction are quaintly old-fashioned, many reading as if they were refugees from a 1950s Galaxy – such as "The Hole" (Spring 2005 #6) by Gregory Douglas LeMieux, in which a hole appears in an apartment wall that seems to open up to some other Dimension. "Darkness and Distance" (Winter 2005 #8) by Mary Patterson Thornburg is a brief sequel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818). Others are more contemporary, decorating old tropes with new glitter. "The Moons of Jupiter" (Winter 2005 #8) by Brian Biswas concerns a man who believes he can travel psychically to the Jovian moons (see Jupiter). "Swimmers" (Summer 2006 #10) by Victor A Gallis takes an alternate view of Time. Zahir is a quiet read; nothing revolutionary, but giving old ideas new respect. [MA]

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