Speculative Fiction Magazine Review: Baffling Magazine (Issues 1-4)

Baffling Magazine Issue 4
Baffling Magazine Issue 4 (Cover)

Baffling Magazine, a quarterly magazine from Neon Hemlock Press, publishes speculative flash fiction that celebrates and explores Queer identities and experiences.

This post is unsponsored. All opinions are my own.

Baffling Magazine (official website) features speculative flash fiction from Queer voices and experiences. Since October 2020, the magazine has published a wide range of new and familiar voices including A.Z. Louise, Avra Margariti, Izzy Wasserstein, Brent Lambert, Jen Brown, Mari Ness, and more. The first four issues (the latest released earlier this month) have impressed me with their gorgeous prose and boundary-pushing ideas.

One of the first issue’s stories — Merida, Yucatan, 2060 by Jewelle Gomez — features the character Gilda (a Black lesbian vampire) from Gomez’s The Gilda Diaries. Jennifer Mace’s Birds Are Trying to Reinvent Your Heart (from issue 2) brims with lovely atmospheric imagery. Up and coming writer Jen Brown graces this venue with her spectacular piece, Bandit, Reaper, Yours, in the third issue.

Baffling Magazine (Issue 3)
Baffling Magazine Issue 3 (Cover)

As with other speculative flash fiction venues, like Fireside Fiction and Arsenika, Baffling’s contents stand out for its dedication to amplify underrepresented voices and experiences. Baffling’s fourth issue is no exception. A drag queen visits the fish that grants his wishes in Christopher Caldwell’s An Island in His Splendor. The first sentence in Our Days of Tear-Stained Glass by Avra Margariti is enough to reel me in (pun not intended.)

Baffling Magazine’s masthead: Dave Ring (publisher & co-editor), Craig L. Gidney (co-editor), and Gabriella Etoniru (associate editor).

Take note; queries should be sent to bafflingmag@neonhemlock.com. Baffling Magazine isn’t accepting submissions until December 2021.

You can support the magazine through their Patreon. Issues 1-4 will be published into an anthology for November 2021, which you can pre-order here.

Check out Neon Hemlock Press here.

For more speculative fiction magazine recommendations, check out my review of The Deadlands (Issues 1-3), my Queer magazine recs, and my Queer SFF short fiction recs.

Author: Brahidaliz Martinez

Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. They’re a submissions editor for Uncanny Magazine. Their various areas of interest include intersectionality in apocalyptic and disaster films, Artificial Intelligence, writing for animation, YA SFF, and LGBTQ+ representation in children’s media.

Pronouns: he/they
Location: DC Metro area

Twitter: @brahidaliz


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