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Listen for announcements.
Emergency instructions say the only things you need to worry about are
(1) Fire (2) Medical Emergency, and
The Police are dancing under the red lights
without their heads

Evacuate the car, onto the steel track
the air tastes like pennies down here and if you
   hold my hand tight enough maybe we can
      avoid the third rail
         the crackle of electricity, the swiveling light of a stranger’s flashlight

Just a bit further,
Survival is always a pinprick of light just out of reach, isn’t it?
   With our knees in the mud and sewage,
      we could pray,
      ask for a better second chance
         Assassinate our former selves

The tunnel’s just dark enough for a confession
don’t be shy
   Begging is a form of worship
      Worship, too, is a form of begging
         They never tell you that
            there is always more to lose

See the cameras? The scintillating eyes of a million strangers
waiting for you to fall
Hands up where they can see
like you’re reaching for the stars
   like you’d let them
      turn you to ash for a glimpse of god.

Angela Liu is a Chinese-American writer from NYC. She researched mixed reality at Keio University in Japan and now works in IT consulting and Japanese-to-English translation. Her stories and poetry are published/forthcoming in The Dark, Nightmare Magazine, Fusion Fragment, Uncanny, and Clarkesworld, among others. Check out more of her work at or find her on Twitter/Instagram @liu_angela.
Current Issue
29 May 2023

We are touched and encouraged to see an overwhelming response from writers from the Sino diaspora as well as BIPOC creators in various parts of the world. And such diverse and daring takes of wuxia and xianxia, from contemporary to the far reaches of space!
By: L Chan
The air was redolent with machine oil; rich and unctuous, and synthesised alcohol, sharper than a knife on the tongue.
“Leaping Crane don’t want me to tell you this,” Poppy continued, “but I’m the most dangerous thing in the West. We’ll get you to your brother safe before you know it.”
Many eons ago, when the first dawn broke over the newborn mortal world, the children of the Heavenly Realm assembled at the Golden Sky Palace.
Winter storm: lightning flashes old ghosts on my blade.
transplanted from your temple and missing the persimmons in bloom
immigrant daughters dodge sharp barbs thrown in ambush 十面埋伏 from all directions
Many trans and marginalised people in our world can do the exact same things that everyone else has done to overcome challenges and find happiness, only for others to come in and do what they want as Ren Woxing did, and probably, when asked why, they would simply say Xiang Wentian: to ask the heavens. And perhaps we the readers, who are told this story from Linghu Chong’s point of view, should do more to question the actions of people before blindly following along to cause harm.
Before the Occupation, righteousness might have meant taking overt stands against the distant invaders of their ancestral homelands through donating money, labour, or expertise to Chinese wartime efforts. Yet during the Occupation, such behaviour would get one killed or suspected of treason; one might find it better to remain discreet and fade into the background, or leave for safer shores. Could one uphold justice and righteousness quietly, subtly, and effectively within such a world of harshness and deprivation?
Issue 22 May 2023
Issue 15 May 2023
Issue 8 May 2023
Issue 1 May 2023
Issue 24 Apr 2023
Issue 17 Apr 2023
Issue 10 Apr 2023
Issue 3 Apr 2023
Issue 27 Mar 2023
Issue 20 Mar 2023
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