Continuing in the vein of finally getting around to reading magazines that have my stories in them, I recently finished Issue 10 of Mystic Signals. At least I finished this one before the new issue was out! Mystic Signals is a print compilation of all the stories that have appeared in the two most recent issues of online magazines Sorcerous Signals and The Lorelei Signal. It’s available from Amazon, but you can also read it for free at the link above.
Each issue of Mystic Signals, a quarterly publication, features two “print-exclusive” stories in addition to the online content of the parent magazines, and my story “The Shoemaker’s Daughter” was one of these. My favorite story in the issue I read was the other print-only story: “The Exchange Box”, by Terry W. Ervin. Sallie is a single mother on welfare who’s offered a chance at some quick, legal money. All she has to do is place her hand into a mysterious box. But each encounter with the box comes at a cost, and it’s not clear to Sallie whether the force connected to the box is generous or malevolent. I liked how the box’s true nature remained ambiguous until the very end of the story; I didn’t know which way it was going to turn out. And I also liked the compassionate but also realistic portrayal of how difficult it is even for intelligent, well-intentioned people to pull themselves out of poverty, even with a stroke of unnaturally good fortune.
I also liked Lauren LeBano’s “The Strawberry Banshee”, about an unpopular teenage girl and the dangerous creature she harbors; and “On the Reproductive Habits of Elves”, by Edward W. Robertson, an entertaining examination of why long-lived elves seem to have so few children, and whether everything about elven culture is all that it appears to be.
Issue 10 of Mystic Signals is still available, if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet!