Many moons ago, as I was flying from one continent to another, as I lurched through each part of my journey in a dissociative miasma of exhaustion, I ended up in Frankfurt for a layover that stretched over eight hours. This was three years after 9/11, and I was a brown woman on a visa from a brown country, so security-paranoia-gymnastics dictated that I could not leave the airport. I was more or less numbed to the precise cadences of this theater, so I settled into a bank of seats in a crumbling terminal.
I laid there for a while, watching the evening slide into night through the glassed-in walls. I was unable to sleep or wake, so I opened Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story collection Changing Planes, for the first time. I bought it for my trip as I had found the title amusing, but then I came across this line and my world cracked apart like an egg.
The airport offers nothing to any human being except access to the interval between planes.
I suddenly felt very seen. As I kept reading, a burnished, glowing sensation began to pulse under my skin. On that day, Le Guin not only bottle-capped the exact situation I was in, but also parsed the complex knot of feelings I had deadened in order to navigate my long travels.
And that is what you can expect with the Wanderlust issue, with each gorgeous piece tapping into profound emotional depths that contain multitudes. The narratives thrum with movement and stasis, worlds and ethers, slippages into planes and states. But ultimately, they are tethered together by a yearning that strikes at the beating core of what Wanderlust stands for—a feeling, above all else.
- Step into “The Grief Portal” by Aun-Juli Riddle, and prepare to be cleaved into a million shards by the faceted prism of your emotions.
- Allow Avi Burton to vivify you in “Six Steps to Become a Saint.” Intertwining a taut narrative of religion, obsession, and the harrowing worth of sacrifice, Avi explores the fissures between familial ties and national identity.
- In “A Spring Divine” Armaan Kapur takes you on an epistolary journey through the roiling seas of language, art, history, and the delightfully bizarre.
- Let Lindz McLeod gently dismantle and piece back notions of who we believe ourselves to be, through “Hitchhiker.”
- Mary Soon Lee draws space and time around the gossamer frailty of human emotion in the poem “After Inventing Time Travel.”
- From the perspective of Alice’s sister in “While Alice sleeps in Wonderland,” Marisca Pichette reinvokes Alice’s adventures through a fresh, unexpected lens in her poem.
- And finally, we have a poignant essay by Kamilah Yasmin titled “Multiverse Reimagined,” that weaves between the complexities of being transported as a reader and a writer in our increasingly fraught world.
Along with the fantastic Apparition Lit team, I’m incredibly excited to share these pieces with you—these shining, mirrored universes unto themselves. And as you read this issue, I hope you find yourself being captivated by the elsewheres and the heres and the quiet in-between spaces of your choosing.
M.L. Krishnan originally hails from the coastal shores of Tamil Nadu, South India. She is currently the Marketing Director of khōréō, a quarterly magazine of speculative fiction and migration. She is a 2019 graduate of the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop, and her work has appeared, or is forthcoming in The Best Microfiction 2022 Anthology, Death in the Mouth: The Best of Contemporary Horror, The Offing, Apparition Lit, Baffling Magazine, Paper Darts, Sonora Review and elsewhere. Her stories have been nominated and shortlisted for the Stabby Award, Best of the Net, the Best Microfiction Anthology, the Bath Flash Fiction Award, and more. You can read her work on mlkrishnan.com, or find her on Twitter @emelkrishnan.
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Thank you for reading
Rebecca Bennett, Amy Henry Robinson, Tacoma Tomilson, and Clarke Doty