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Edited by Carl Engle-Laird

The Ways of Walls and Words

, || Anica and Bienvenida pass prayers and small comforts through the gaps in the prison walls. Incarcerated by the Inquisition for the faith she won’t surrender, Anica longs for solace for her family and freedom for herself. And Bienvenida, heir to her mother’s Nahua magic, now practiced out of sight of the Spanish religious authorities, will trade a great deal for the fragile chance at friendship and snippets of poetry.

Skin in the Game

Three kinds of people live in Zombie City-La Boca Del Diablo: the zombies, los vivos, and the ghosts. Officer Jimena Villagrán, not truly at home with any of these groups, patrols the barrio for stalking monsters. Magic con men and discarded needles make this beat hazardous enough, but the latest rash of murders threatens to up the ante by outing the horrors of Jimena’s personal history. “Skin in the Game” contains scenes and situations pertaining to police brutality, which some readers may find upsetting.

A Cup of Salt Tears

, || Makino's mother taught her caution, showed her how to carve her name into cucumbers, and insisted that she never let a kappa touch her. But when she grows up and her husband Tetsuya falls deathly ill, a kappa that claims to know her comes calling with a barbed promise. "A Cup of Salt Tears" is a dark fantasy leaning towards horror that asks how much someone should sacrifice for the one she loves.

In the Sight of Akresa

, || Claire's lover has no tongue. A slave liberated from a heathen temple, Aya cannot tell the story of her stolen voice, or of her and Claire's unfolding love. She cannot speak her pain, her joy, or her sorrow. And if she sees that which eludes the blind goddess of justice, she cannot bear witness. "In the Sight of Akresa" is a tragic fantasy romance from debut author Ray Wood.

The Litany of Earth

, || The state took Aphra away from Innsmouth. They took her history, her home, her family, her god. They tried to take the sea. Now, years later, when she is just beginning to rebuild a life, an agent of that government intrudes on her life again, with an offer she wishes she could refuse. "The Litany of Earth" is a dark fantasy story inspired by the Lovecraft mythos.

Anyway: Angie

, || Reza's job has put her in the face of every kind of death. Thanks to her guns, her car, and her dapper style, she came through The Bad Years alive, but since losing Angie things haven't been right. Tonight's job threatens to bring the worst terrors of that time skittering back to life. "Anyway: Angie" is a new urban fantasy story with more than a touch of horror from rising star Daniel José Older, set in the world of his upcoming Bone Street Rumba series.