January 14th, 2010

Summary: Electric Velocipede, 2009

Summary: Electric Velocipede, 2009

John Klima's Electric Velocipede again appeared twice  this year, with one double issue. John had planned for three 2009 issues, but only two made it out. The magazine is now perfect-bound, and very attractive. The mix of fiction and poetry and nonfiction, and the general style and "feel" of the magazine remains similar to past years.

The 2009 issues were Spring (numbered 17/18), and Fall (numbered 19). There were a total of 27 stories, two novelettes, the others short stories, four of them "short-shorts". Total word count about 115,000. These numbers are generally consistent with 2008. Usually, Electric Velocipede is more willing than many small 'zines in the field to published the occasional novelette, and more prone to publish fairly standard SF, though for the past couple of years, particularly this year, the SF content has been down a bit. It remains a strong and entertaining entry in the field.

My favorite story came from the Spring issue, Toiya Kristen Finley's "The Death of Sugar Daddy", about a girl growing up in Nashville, and seeing both her neighborhood and her skin change ... a metaphor is literalized about memory and culture and loss. Other strong work included Merrie Haskell’s "Sun’s East, Moon’s West" (Spring), which mashes up more than just the title-hinted fairy tale in giving a miller’s daughter a quest to rescue her beloved bear husband; and A. C. Wise's "A Mouse Ran Up the Clock" (Fall), a steampunkish story about a maker of clockwork creatures enlisted into the service of his Emperor, not very happily. I also enjoyed stories by Mark Teppo, Caroline M. Yoachim, Katherine Mankiller, Mercurio D. Rivera, and Yoon Ha Lee.

12 of 27 stories were by women, or about 44%. That's less than last year, but 2008 included an all-women issue. 9 of the 27 stories were SF, 33%, consistent with 2008 (35%).