Category Archives: Issues

Murder or Mystery?

Stories of Life and Death

The human mind has always tried to make sense of life and its mysteries.

This is perhaps no more true than when we’re surrounded by clickbait and news bites. In a chaotic world of disasters and pandemics, we long to read a story that comes to a conclusion, where the hidden danger is revealed, and where we can finally rest easy knowing how to avoid it—until the next body turns up

This volume of murder and mystery will pull you in, have you asking who did it, and leave you an ending to ponder. The collection features the moving story of a missing boy by Mark Hood, where the old ways of a rural community reach out to the magic of the bees; a crime story by Lee Conrad of a small lake-side community struck by a years-long drought and the deadly secrets hidden just below the surface; a story by the award-winning Tristan Marajh where a trophy hunter has gone missing following internet outrage; and Paulene Turner takes us on a search through Edwardian London, from Baker Street to the East End, as Dr Watson and one Irene Adler track down the missing detective in her original novella,Too Many Sherlocks.

This volume also includes an interview with Deepa Anappara, the award-winning author whose novel, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, was named as one of the best books of the year by the New York Times and the Washington Post; as well as an interview with Elly Griffiths, the award-winning author of twenty-seven books who has appeared in the Sunday Times Bestsellers chart 19 times. 

Throughout the short stories and interviews, this volume also presents flash mysteries in just a page or two that includes the story of a mind-bending search for missing characters after the mysterious death of an author by Jeff Noon, the award-winning author of the critically-acclaimed and cult-classic novel Vurt and the metafictional Nyquist Mysteries series; a death in the workplace where words are both stolen and have the power to kill by Liam Hogan, who’s been previously included in Best of British Science Fiction and Best of British Fantasy collections; next, the horror-podcast author featured on both Creepy and The Other Stories, Georgia Cook, takes us to a dinner party hosted by a mystery aficionado who goes too far; Jennifer Shneiderman entraps us with a psychic who may be the only way to connect with a lost loved one; and finally, Jessie Seigel sends us a “Message in a Bottle” from a most notorious inmate of a historic quarantine island.

Alongside the short fiction, this volume also features the enigmatic artwork of Margriet Pronk, Rufus Krieger, Oleksandr Balbyshev, and Chris Aerfeldt—artists from across Europe who’ve been exhibited around the world and featured in collections by Saatchi

With the cover closed, you’ve earned a moment’s peace, knowing you’ve maybe made sense of the mysteries around us, until 

The next story begins…

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Dreams of the Moon Cover

Dreams of the Moon

Lunar stories of our past and future

Since before even the first words were written, the cosmic pull of the Moon has captivated humanity. It has shaped our myths, our night lives, our songs, our symbols, and indeed, our stories.

Arrive on a Moon colony under revolt against its corporate owners. Befriend a strange, yellow-eyed hound. Witness the divine meeting of Beninese celestial spirits. Uncover a suspicious murder following the 1969 Moon landing. Take a weightless tourist trip to the lunar surface. Feel the call of the tides under the Moon’s spectral glow.

This issue of the London Reader explores the Moon—both its effect on our lives and our longing for it—through short stories of our past and future from Paulene Turner, Matt Slaybaugh, Amy B Moreno, Maria Donovan, Nathan Alling Long, Sarah Oluwatomi Michaels, Pippa Gladhill, Emma Raymond, and Magdalena Stefanni.

The collection includes a special extended interview with Chris Hadfield—the former commander of the International Space Station, YouTube sensation, and author of the forthcoming novel The Apollo Murders. It also features an interview with Susan Beth Pfeffer, the New York Times bestselling author of Life as We Knew It.

Rounding out the issue is poetry and art exploring our intimate relationship with the Moon by Alison Burns, Dominic Weston, Finola Scott, Ruswa Fatehpuri, S Rupsha Mitra, Sait Mingü, Felicia Simion, Roger Leege, Gemma Campbell, and Susan diRende—including a poem by Lisa Rosenberg, the former space program engineer and poet laureate, and poems by one of Italy’s most celebrated contemporary poets, Chandra Livia Candiani, translated to English for the first time by Roy Duffield and Elisabetta Taboga.

Dreams of the Moon seeks to find the place that the Moon holds in our imaginations, in our hopes, and in our fears. The Moon has shaped our past and continues to shape our future. What now does the Moon mean to us, and how will the stories we tell about the Moon today shape our future on its surface?

Print and electronic subscriptions available now on Patreon!

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If you prefer a mobile reader, like Kindle, first, get the Kindle app:

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The London Reader is a cooperative magazine. Your donation supports the writers, artists, and collaborators who made the issue.

Raves & Resistance Cover Image

Raves & Resistance

Counterculture Stories

High in a volcano mountain-crater, a woman emerges from her clothes and slips into a festival lake and into a new moment. A punk show brings together the pierced bodies and studded minds of young radicals in a slam dance of social rejection and self discovery. A former revolutionary bomber is exposed by a more recent tragedy. An artist from 1960s Moscow looks for an audience outside the legacy of East and West. A student of the protests against the Vietnam War remembers the National Guard helicopter dropping tear gas as her final exam.

All culture begins first as counterculture. The new always arises as a rejection of the old. What is known, what is possible, is always discovered by people who push at its limits. Revelry and rebellion explore new social territory and leave cultural paths for others to follow.

This issue of the London Reader features counterculture stories by award-winning author Ewan Morrison; the Arthur C Clarke and Philip K Dick Award-winner Gwyneth Jones; the notable Patty Somlo; Peter Gallagher; the famed Russian and Hollywood filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky; Vicki Derderian; and Stephen O’Donnell. Its pages are also filled with words, poetry, and art by Kathryn Paulsen, Mark Kirkbride, Roy Duffield, Allison Whittenberg, Bryon MacWilliams, Lucia Galloway, Lorette C Luzajic, Tim Fowler, Montina Guiry, Sean Christopher Ward, Calvin Lai, and Bertone Studio, by Michiyo & Eduardo. Finally, the creative work in this volume is joined by interviews with James St. James, iconic television personality and author of Party Monster; Cat Marnell, former party-girl and New York Times bestselling-author of the memoir, How to Murder Your Life; and Ayelet Waldman, respected essayist and author of A Really Good Day. They open up about pushing back, setting trends, and seeing the world change around them.

The revolution is in every party, every festival, every political rally, every protest, and indeed, every place where people come together and connect outside the old architecture of state and capital. The stories in this volume of the London Reader are about people finding those moments of rebellion—whether small and personal in music and festivals, or big and revolutionary—and forging brave new paths into the future.

Print and electronic subscriptions available now on Patreon!

How to read the latest issue FREE
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To read a previous issue, donate an amount of your choice, and receive a download link to the PDF:

The London Reader is a cooperative magazine. Your donation supports the writers, artists, and collaborators who made the issue.

Over the Cliff

Travel Stories from Europe Beyond Brexit

“There is no need for a passport when you arrive in Melilla from Spain. This is Spain!” says the officer. 
“And when I go through the fence?”
“That would be a different matter,” he says, looking uncomfortable. As an afterthought, he adds, “You cannot use euros beyond the fence!”

Over the white cliffs of Dover, Europe is moving on without the United Kingdom. This volume visits the continent’s high mountain roads, small city streets, and new borders through travel writing, short fiction, and poetry. These travel stories from Europe beyond Brexit will make you sigh with content, gasp with surprise, pause with reflection, and laugh with delight.

This collection includes stories by Mark Anthony Jarman, Coreen Grant, Ewan Morrison, Andriana Minou, Billy Letford, Alex Russell, Renee C Winter, Kieron Blake, and Ian McKenzie. They are joined by the poetry of Katrina Dybzynska, Timothy Dodd, VC McCabe, Susanna Lang, Deborah Tyler-Bennett, and Peter David Goodwin as well as artwork from Monsie, Christopher McColl, and Ann Marie Sekeres. This volume also features interviews with the editor of the Wild Women anthology, Open Book’s Mariella Frostrup; the international-bestseller travel author, Sara Wheeler; and one of most respected travel writers, Pico Iyer.

With Brexit, the borderless map of Europe has become a little bit smaller. But for Brits, their backyard is now a whole lot smaller. Yet travel too is changing with increasing emissions and the climate crisis. Jet planes are out; trains and electric vehicles are in. Novelty international holidays are going; longer exchanges are here to stay. And “that is the essence of travel writing,” explains Mariella Frostrup. The travel stories in this volume take us out our front door, over the cliffs of Dover, and into a new day.

Print and electronic subscriptions available now on Patreon!

How to read the latest issue FREE
Sign up to Patreon to check out the latest issue in PDF.

If you prefer a mobile reader, like Kindle, first, get the Kindle app:

Once you have the app, or if you already have a Kindle device, check out the free trial of the London Reader with one click in the Amazon store:

Do you live outside of these areas? Get the PDF of the latest issue free on Patreon.

To read a previous issue, donate an amount of your choice, and receive a download link to the PDF:

The London Reader is a cooperative magazine. Your donation supports the writers, artists, and collaborators who made the issue.

Cyberpunk in 2020

Science Fiction from Dystopian Moment to Sustainable Future

Check out Cyberpunk in 2020…

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It’s 2020—now where’s my flying car?

Pat Cadigan, a founder of the cyberpunk literary movement who is interviewed in this volume, famously answered, “That’s not the future we promised you. We promised you a dark technological dystopia. How do you like it?” It’s 2020, and the dark technological dystopia has arrived. 

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The fiction in this volume takes a look at the dystopian state of the world and dares to imagine an optimistic alternative, planting seeds of hope and drawing on solarpunk themes of a habitable future powered by renewable energy, networked-collaboration, and repaired technology. Like us, these stories stand at a crossroads between climate collapse and a radically reshaped sustainable future. The dystopia envisioned by 1980s cyberpunk authors has arrived. Will we continue down this path to self destruction, or do we dare envision a better future?

This volume features a collection of multi-award-winning cyberpunk authors who move the genre away from the 80s action movie aesthetic of bakelite guns and neon-lit street races and into our increasingly networked existence facing ecological collapse.

Stories from Nebula Award-winning authors Ken Liu, James Patrick Kelly, and Cat Rambo expose the pervasiveness of the internet as it intrudes into our most private and tragic moments. Arthur C Clarke Award-winners Gwyneth Jones and Lauren Beukes offer optimistic visions of the ways technology can connect us. This volume also features stories, minifiction, and poetry from Matt Bryden, Katie Harrison, Anthony Lapwood, Rebecca Lee, Rosaleen Lynch, Syd Shaw, and Paige Elizabeth Wajda who shine the light of their screens on this dark moment, looking for the loose strands that connect us together. Art by Pavlo Baiandin, Janusz Orzechowski, Sergey Osipov, and Harry Purnama display views of the dark street-scapes of the 21st century and glimpses of how our imagination and connections to each other can offer us a way out.

This volume also includes interviews with visionary author and Hugo, Arthur C Clarke, Locus, and Seiun Award-winner, Pat Cadigan and the novelist and principal writer for the upcoming and long-awaited game Cyberpunk 2077, Jakub Szamałek. They reflect on our dystopian moment and provide their views of where we go from here while Szamałek also answers what is cyberpunk in 2077.

The writing in this volume brings us up to date from the cyberpunk of the past. It attempts to debug the interconnected nature of the internet-driven world we now live in. It springs from our fears of a climate catastrophe while at the same time offers us an alternative vision. The future that the cyberpunk authors of the 80s warned us of is here. The dark technological dystopia is only getting worse. Social media is disrupting democracies, and the climate is collapsing. If we don’t act now, there will be no future. But it’s not too late; there is still hope. The choice is ours.

Check out Cyberpunk in 2020…

Part of the proceeds from this issue supports GiveDirectly. GiveDirectly is a charitable organization that sends donations immediately and directly to those most in need. Find out more at givedirectly.org

Cover of Our Time in Quarantine

Our Time in Quarantine

Stories and Poetry from the Lockdown

In quarantine, almost everything has changed—but it has changed for all of us, all at once. As difficult as isolation is, we all share this moment. We are connected the world-over like during no global calamity that has come before. And our stories can help us navigate this pandemic in this moment. They can help us understand it through other people’s eyes. And they can help us remember how it has affected everyone’s lives.

In these stories, a magical clock that last chimed during the Spanish flu is uncovered; neighbours learn everything about each other through their facing windows; one woman’s quarantine feels oddly like a house cat’s; and ghosts of the past come to dinner when no one else can. The stories in this issue were all composed this year. They sprang from the experiences and imaginations of almost twenty different authors grappling with the pandemic.

This issue presents enchanting and affirming short stories from Yvette Viets Flaten, Emma McKee, DC Van Schaick, Amy Lord, Anna McCarthy, Coles Lee, Miriam Huxley, Gabrielle Mullarkey, Douglas W Milliken, and Rekha Valliappan. It includes moving and inspiring poetry by Victoria Fifield, Nancy Cook, Gerard Sarnat, Katrina Dybzynska, Ronda Piszk Broatch, Jen Karetnick, and Anvesh Jain, as well as art from Ann Marie Sekeres, Brenda Mann Hammack, Laisve Rose, and Leo Wijnhoven. This issue also features interviews with the multi-award-winning author Namwali Serpell, whose first novel, the intergenerational epic, The Old Drift has been called “extraordinary, ambitious, evocative, dazzling” by Salman Rushdie; and with Phumlani Pikoli, the author and multidisciplinary artist who’s been cited as an “urgent new voice in South African fiction”.

The work of these authors and artists all bear witness to the greatest health crisis of our times. Through stories, we are deciding what is essential to our lives, we are figuring out what the phrase “the new normal” really means, and we are discovering, we’re all in this together.

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Divisions

Stories of Inequality, Poverty, and Struggle

The 20s have returned with a roar. Wage inequality in the west is at its highest point since the Great Depression, and another global recession looms before many communities have even recovered from the last. What does it mean for those still struggling to thrive—or even just to survive? How do we criticise our own circumstances when it seems like someone else is always worse off? What causes the day-to-day struggles that define inequality in our lives? The answers are not so straightforward, but the pulse of the present moment can be found in its stories.

This collection brings together the beautiful and poignant stories, recollections, poems, and art of Tanatsei Gambura, Guy Prevost, Megan Carlson, Amy B Moreno, Rosa Borreale, Emily Rose Cole, Kevin Doyle, Susan G Duncan, PE Campbell, Kevin Fullerton, Leticia Mandragora, Delwar Hussain, Avra Margariti, Sorrah Edwards-Thro, Leo Wijnhoven, and George F.

What do they tell us about inequality and struggle? They say it is here, right here, as two people discuss an acquaintance’s health concerns at brunch. They say, look, it followed us from the past when forty orphans arrived in Arizona by train. They say, we can feel it, right now, when pulling tight a blanket against the indoor cold. They say it is ongoing, and it is threatening to get worse. The creative writing in this issue doesn’t have solutions, but it does have perspective, and we cannot change course until we know what course we are on.

Subscribe now to access to the most recent issue. To read a previous issue, donate whatever you want, and receive a download link to the PDF:

The London Reader is a cooperative magazine. Your donation supports the writers, artists, and collaborators who made the issue.

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Motherhood Cover

Motherhood

Stories of Love, Loss, & Life

Motherhood can be all consuming, and yet it is all too often ignored. Why do strangers think they know a bad mother when they read about one incident online? What is the first week of motherhood like, holding a new life in a hospital ward? What do you tell a child who asks about death? What can you do when insomnia and your child’s crying drive you toward the breaking point? Who would you choose if you could magically foresee your future children in every relationship? What are the lengths people will go to have children on a harsh and inhospitable planet? And what would you tell your own mother if you had one last chance? All these stories and more fill the pages within. This issue of the London Reader turns its focus to the trials of motherhood to illuminate the beating heart at the centre of the human experience.

Stories of Love, Loss, & Life features a new story from Emma Donoghue, the award-winning and best-selling author of Room, which has been made into a film of the same name, as well as short stories, personal reflections, poetry, and art from Jayme Koszyn, Louis Evans, Diana Reed, Ewan Morrison (the author of Nina X and Swung), Stacey May Fowles (the author of Infidelity), Micaela Maftei, Laura Tansley, Joanna Streetly, Kay Bolden, Rosaleen Lynch, Nora Nadjarian, Suzanne Skaar, Clare O’Brien, Wilda Morris, Glenna Meeks, Ella Otomewo, Laura Marija Balčiūnaitė, Julie Blankenship, Cynthia Gregorová, and Zena Blackwell. The Motherhood issue is introduced by Kate Everett and includes an interview with Kim Thúy, the award-winning author of Ru and Mãn.

What is motherhood? Can the answer be found in stories of community and isolation, belonging and rejection, hope and fear, love and loss and life? Open this issue, and find out.

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Existential Dread in the Digital Void

Ominous Horror Stories for the Present Moment

A second face appears in the dark of your phone’s screen; a web search for life’s purpose comes up blank; and your next right swipe might be your last. We stand on the edge of catastrophe and try to ignore the existential crisis by escaping into our devices, but our dread only deepens. This collection of ominous horror stories for the present moment sharpens its focus on the digital void.

Existential Dread in the Digital Void brings together twenty writers and artists who shine their mobile’s dying light down the darkened hallways of our times. The short stories and minifiction in this issue draw us in, like a foreboding buzzing in our pocket, and don’t let us go until their tragic or twist endings satisfy our digital itch. With a guest introduction by Ann Dávila Cardinal, author of Five Midnights, this issue features fiction from Jeff Noon, the award-winning author of Vurt; Bridget Penney; Michael Marshall Smith, winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction more times than any other author; Clare O’Brien; Simon Bestwick (with a guest foreword by Niwar Ameen Obaid); Tobias Wade; Emma Helen Reid; Claire Holahan; James Dorr; Jennifer Companik; Marie Argeris; and Ramsey Campbell, Britain’s most respected living horror writer according to The Oxford Companion to English Literature. The visual art in this issue comes from Elizabeth Barsham, Michael E Tan, Javier Rodríguez Corpa, Lyssa Omega, Joe Roberts, and the duo d’Ores&Deja. Finally, looking at the horror genre in the current era, this issue also interviews Ellen Datlow, editor of The Best Horror of the Year anthologies, and Tananarive Due, award-winning author and executive producer of the groundbreaking documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror.

The chilling visions in this issue look both inside our minds, at our existential worries reflected in our devices, and outside into the dark, at the faces of strangers lit only by the screens of their phones. These ominous stories warn us of what we should have already feared, and their intimate touch, like a fingernail under the skin, will make you shiver.

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The London Reader is a cooperative magazine. Your donation supports the writers, artists, and collaborators who made the issue.

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After the Flood

Stories and Poems for our Changing World

Tides reclaim coastal cities, forest fires choke the sky, heat waves scorch the plains, and in the eye of this catastrophe are the stories of families and communities—of fear and hope. The world faces a crisis, and we must search our souls for answers.

How can climate change fit into our stories? This issue of the London Reader re-maps the Earth with new and alternative visions of the present and the future. Stories and Poems for our Changing World faces crisis head-on, but the authors within come to many different conclusions. The cli-fi creative writing in this issue begins with pessimism, revealing the extent of natural disasters. It then revisits and re-evaluates our connection to the natural world. Finally, it finds a path forward, through calamity, with renewed ambition to make a difference.

After the Flood features an interview and fiction from Kim Stanley Robinson, the award-winning author of New York 2140 and the Mars Trilogy. The other creative works within include thought-provoking short stories from Elle Wild, Steve Carr, Hannah Wright, Kai Thomas, Katherine McMahon, Bell Selkie, and Omar El Akkad, author of American War; moving poems from Memye Curtis Tucker, Janette Ayachi, Ivy Archer, Colleen West, Matthew Gwathmey, Alice Mills, Robbi Nester, and Jill Evans; and stunning artwork from Artem Mirolevich, Christina Riley, Claire Price, David Ambarzumjan, and Ira Joel Haber, featured in the MoMA and Guggenheim.

We face a flood of unprecedented destruction. What will come after is up to us.

“A powerful intervention in our moment.”
Kim Stanley Robinson

Subscribe now to access to the most recent issue. To read a previous issue, donate whatever you want, and receive a download link to the PDF:

The London Reader is a cooperative magazine. Your donation supports the writers, artists, and collaborators who made the issue.

Subscribe to either the Print or PDF edition of the London Reader to receive four great issues per year