I have a subscription to Realms if Fantasy. It’s pretty much my favorite magazine. I was very happy when it failed to die last year, and I am always glad when I get a new issue in my mailbox.
I enjoyed June’s issue, and I like the way the stories fit together. I read it for the fiction, so I’m not going to bother reviewing the nonfiction sections.
The magazine opens with "Desaparecidos" by Aliette de Bodard. The story is set in South America, and it’s about fallen angels and junta victims. The pacing is a little slow for my taste, but the setting is incredibly vivid and the emotional content resonates.
Next up is "Sultana Lena’s Gift" by Shweta Narayan. This is set in Persia, in the same steampunk-flavored world as the author’s story in Shimmer’s Clockwork Jungle issue. I like the fairy tale told in the story better than I like the story itself. I wasn’t certain who was supposed to be the main character, and I didn’t like where the story went. However, the writing is very evocative, and the setting elements really hold the story together.
"The Well of Forgetting" by Meredith Simmons kept the reader too distant for my taste, especially toward the end. The prose was solid, the world was well done, and the core idea was interesting, but the story just didn’t sing for me.
"The Hearts of Men" by T.L. Morganfield is my favorite story in this issue. It’s a re-imagined Aztec myth set in the old west. Everything about it worked for me. The pacing was great, the world was immersive, the characters felt real, and I love the ending.
"Fallen" by Bruce Holland Rogers is a dark, contemporary fantasy in a world where angels are falling from the sky. I like the piece’s conversational tone, but the character felt a little flat to me.
Overall, it’s a good issue of a good magazine. I enjoyed every story in this issue, and if you don’t have a subscription, you can pick up a copy in your local bookstore.