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Summary: Farrago's Wainscot, 2009

Summary: Farrago's Wainscot, 2009

Farrago's Wainscot was a quarterly ezine devoted to "experimentation, decay, and the problems with form". The fiction editor was Darin Bradley, with assistance from Jason Grissom and Berrien C. Henderson. They published several pieces of fiction each issue, lots of poetry, and some nonfiction of quite diverse nature. Four issues appeared in each of their three years of operation. It was a challenging and interesting source of quite a variety of stuff.

I counted a total of 25 new stories, one novelette, the rest shorts (one short-shorts), for some 85,000 words of fiction, a vast increase over last year. My favorite story was Forrest Aguirre's "The Non-Epistemological Universe of Emmaeus Holt" (July), by Forrest Aguirre. An astronomy professor disappears, and his private observatory is discovered to be strangely decorated, with representations of visible stars and with curious narratives/poems/etc. associated with them. The story manages a sort of connected weirdness that by the end is emotionally affecting as well, while ever mysterious. I also like S. J. Hirons's "A Nameless Deed" (April), about a town with an odd custom: a Promise Auction, and how the arrival of a stranger and a young man’s foolish decision end up changing his and his intended’s future. And Berrien C. Henderson's "Dirt Roads and Ka" (January), in which a young backwoods boy encounters a strange old woman. Jonathan Wood's "Ephemera" (December) is intriguing SF/mystery/horror about a woman who can read others' minds, even after their death, and uses that ability to help solve crimes.But it all comes at considerable personal cost. Other stories that struck my eye came from Neil Ayres and E. Sedia, Toiya Kristen Finley, Matthew Kressel, Mari Ness, Autumn Canter, Rae Bryant, and Eden Robins.

I counted 10.5 stories by women (42%), comparable to the usual totals at the site (39% last year, 44% the year before). Perhaps 7 stories could be called SF, as well, 28%, all in all consistent with the 'zine's three year history. (But many of the stories, each year, were odd enough that they could have been categorized differently.)
Tags: 2009, webzines, yearly summaries
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