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Mithila Review 13: The Journal of International Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mithila Review 13: The Journal of International Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Mithila Review 13: The Journal of International Science Fiction & Fantasy

179 pagine
2 ore
Mar 29, 2020


Mithila Review publishes excellent science fiction, fantasy, poetry, reviews, excerpts, and articles from award-winning and emerging writers around the world.

Issue 13: Table of Contents


"Mid-Term Ecolit Examination Paper" by Priya Sarukkai Chabria
"Sorcerers’ Highway" by Theodore Singer
"The Breaking" by Vanessa Fogg
"Young Witch, Old Witch" by H. Pueyo
"Haunted Castle on the Midway" by Donna J. W. Munro
"Strange Recollections of Brook Farm" by Hannah Frankel
"Sparrow" by Yilin Wang


"Rose Glasses over Mercury Mirrors" by Lynne Sargent
"Ghost Apples" by Mack W. Mani
"Pilot Narratives," "Soul Lanterns," and
"Odysseus Grins at Fate and the Gods" by Adele Gardner
Mary Soon Lee How to Question Asteroid 16 Psyche
"Lee Patroclus" by Mary Soon
"Afterwards" by Mari Ness


'“All true knowing is mutual...”: Notes on Vandana Singh’s Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories' by Ishita Singh
"A Delicate Magic: Iona Datt Sharma’s Not For Use in Navigation" by Gautam Bhatia
"Avatar: An English-Italian Anthology of Contemporary Science Fiction from India" by Chaitanya Murali
"Science Fiction Writings in Punjabi: The Contemporary Scenario" by D. P. Singh

Mar 29, 2020

Informazioni sull'autore

Mithila Review is an international science fiction and fantasy magazine founded in late 2015. We publish literary speculative fiction and poetry (science fiction/fantasy), film and book reviews, essays and interviews from across the world. A hypertext of original narratives and home of the translated from around the globe, Mithila Review is also an inquiry into the process of translating and the craft of storytelling.Every issue of Mithila Review has been made possible by generous contributions from our readers, contributors and patrons. Please subscribe to Mithila Review and become a patron to be part of, nurture and support this open, diverse and vibrant community.What we publish?Mithila Review features speculative arts and culture that encompass literary and artistic works in the broad genre with supernatural, fantastical or futuristic elements i.e. science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, horror, alternative history, magic realism, uncanny and weird. Learn more.What is Mithila?“Mithila is a referent. It is a symbol. It can speak to the times when we have felt that we don’t quite belong. It can speak of the times when we have felt the urge to lurk away and disappear or the times we’ve felt the need to stay. It can speak to the time when we liberated our anger and pain in ways that have only fed the creative river within us. Mithila Review is space for our collective celebration and playful engagement with language. We hope that it can speak in all kinds of ways.” — Ajapa Sharma, Editor

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Mithila Review 13 - Mithila Review

The Journal of International Science Fiction & Fantasy 

Issue 13, March/April 2020

Founding Editor & Publisher

Salik Shah



Twitter: @MithilaReview

Facebook: MithilaReview

SoundClound: MithilaReview

Patreon: MithilaReview

Community: Asian SF/F

Mithila Review © 2017-19. Copyright to poetry, fiction and non-fiction belongs to their respective authors. Cover art by John Glover.


Editorial: A World Without Hospitals

Salik Shah


Mid-Term Ecolit Examination Paper

Priya Sarukkai Chabria

Sorcerers’ Highway

Theodore Singer

The Breaking

Vanessa Fogg

Young Witch, Old Witch

H. Pueyo

Haunted Castle on the Midway

Donna J. W. Munro

Strange Recollections of Brook Farm

Hannah Frankel


Yilin Wang


Rose Glasses over Mercury Mirrors

Lynne Sargent

Ghost Apples

Mack W. Mani

Pilot Narratives

Adele Gardner

Soul Lanterns

Adele Gardner

Odysseus Grins at Fate and the Gods

Adele Gardner

How to Question Asteroid 16 Psyche

Mary Soon Lee


Mary Soon Lee


Mari Ness


All true knowing is mutual...: Notes on Vandana Singh’s Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories

Ishita Singh

A Delicate Magic: Iona Datt Sharma’s Not For Use in Navigation

Gautam Bhatia

Avatar: An English-Italian Anthology of Contemporary Science Fiction from India

Chaitanya Murali

Science Fiction Writings in Punjabi: The Contemporary Scenario

D. P. Singh

About Mithila Review


A World Without Hospitals

In the season finale of Star Trek: Picard (2020), scientists scan, map and transfer a complete neural image of Jean-Luc Picard’s brain substrates to an artificial body—a lab-grown golem—right before his biological death.

After Picard returns to real time from a massively complex quantum simulation, he is told that everything works in his new body; the brain abnormality responsible for his biological death has been corrected.

You haven’t made me immortal? Picard asks, hesitatingly.

They haven’t; they have designed a cellular homeostasis algorithm programmed to kill him in a few years. 

I wouldn’t have minded another ten, Picard says. Twenty?

Picard is too modest to admit that he wouldn’t mind immortality after all. Our body is replaceable in the far future; the captain might outlive the franchise for all we know. 

Star Trek: Picard bids a touching farewell to the sentient android, Data, who seems to believe that the ultimate criterion for humanity is death. That death is the ultimate prize; it makes us human. Bad writing, I’d say.

At the time of writing this editorial, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 had claimed 27,417 lives. The toll has already risen to 33,976 today. Were these deaths preventable? Yes—if the world wasn’t so broken.

In an ideal world, everybody will be healthy. There will be no need for a doctor in a future world where bodies can be replaced, limbs and organs regenerated. Where every home, every transport vessel is equipped with AI medical bots and sickbays, there is no requirement for a hospital—every home, every vehicle can serve as a hospital in case of an emergency. While the Star Trek future is still far, we are on the verge of a medical, biotechnological revolution right now.

Technology alone won’t solve all of our problems. We have to adapt to the present and changing times, and respond faster; we have to reinvent, rewrite and retool nearly all of our laws and institutions to save the wildlife and environment. Do not forget that we are part of this fragile ecosystem, we’re the wildest of all animals. The rich and the poor, we’re all alike: fallible, vulnerable, prone to corruption of body and soul, and death. 

Nobody knows for sure what the world during the coronavirus pandemic or after the pandemic will become. We have to make use of the tools at our disposal—access to decades of research, stories and experiences—to shape and demand the future we want. Do you want access to healthcare to be a privilege or a worldwide, universal right? Do you want to live in a totalitarian, surveillance society or do you want to fight for a free, just, peaceful, prosperous and united society? Be careful. Be kind. Be wise. Your decisions and choices will affect everyone and everything that keeps our planet alive, not yet dead.

The contents of this issue of Mithila Review is being released online for free all at once. If you can, please donate and support us:

Stay safe, stay indoors. Work from home, if you can. Don’t panic. Stay strong.


— @salik

March 30, 2020

New Delhi


Mid-Term Ecolit Examination Paper

Priya Sarukkai Chabria

Priya Sarukkai Chabria is a writer, poet and translator. She has written several books, including Clone, Dialogues and Other Poems, Not Springtime Yet, and Generation 14. She is the editor of Poetry at Sangam.



I. Why was the term ‘Mother Earth’ used across literatures?

III. In Hindi and Tamil literatures ‘patal’ and ‘paathala’ respectively refer to the underworld. What kind of creatures were said to inhabit these areas?

III. Why was the Rig Vedic Vak Devi, Goddess of Articulation of All Life, implored to ‘let the hem of your skirt sweep over me’

IV. Why is light associated with revelation in all literatures?



Throughout the subcontinent, forests deemed ‘sacred groves’ were not allowed to be felled. The widely implemented concept of ‘Restorative groves’ is its current version. 

Fossil images of trilobites ‘traffic jams’ in 480 million-year-old oceans reveal migration is intrinsic to life. 

The koala was not always an endangered species. Their fingerprints are so indistinguishable from humans that they were, on occasion, confused at a crime scene.

Early medical texts recommend deer as suitable companions for ‘disturbed’ maidens due to their gentleness which was regarded as an offshoot of the animals’ virtual color blindness to all hues except blue.

Fungi warp our sense of time as we cannot accurately date when they are born or die.

Deep time mappings of the Antarctic revealed 3% of the ice in these glaciers was penguin urine.

Climate Change documents of the early 21st-century state a cyclone would diminish within a week after landfall.

Macaques were noticed gazing at sunsets and similar spectacles while ignoring distractions like fruiting trees—which indicated they were wonderstruck and lost in awe. 

The Cuckoo Agenda was the name given by the ultra-nationalists of rich nations to climate refugees.

The bears’ sense of smell is 2,100 times better than that of humans. Black bears could follow a scent trail 32 kilometers away, now it is up to 18 kilometers.

Luring fish back to dying coral reefs through their recorded calls induced reefs to flower with color and become vibrant ecosystems.

Switching to micro livestock and Insect Agriculture especially of arthropods, crickets and cockroaches has made a substantial impact on world-wide environmental conservation and food security.

Archeological findings of submerged towns off the eastern coast of India testify to repeated mentions in royal records of ‘gigantic waves that swallowed cities’ i.e. tsunamis.

When astronauts first saw The Blue Planet from space 70% of the Earth’s surface was covered by water; it is now 73%.

6000-year-old trees still exist on Earth but their locations are kept secret.



Diving river dolphin

Plastic waste islands

Dew on lotus leaf

Silence of caves 

Fracking industry

Peacock’s shimmering dance

Tumbleweed’s tenacity

Burning tyres

Spreading banyan tree

Scent of first rain

Tangled leaf shadows

Untreated sewage

Salt-encrusted migrants

Pollen flecked bees

Species-crossing pathogens

Wheeling eagle

Mantling stars

Building the Wall

Abandoned chrysalis

Pole star wander



Invocation: Spirit of Water *

Make me dew that touches all

without distinction.

Like snow-flakes let my perfect structures yield

to the melt of being.

As an underground river flowing during drought,

make me draw from secret sources.

Sweet and salt, estuarine,

let differences mingle in my blood.

Tidal courage, I call upon you to return after the ebb:

Spirit of water, give me hope.

Print on me oceans covered with sky;

when fiery fissures open, remind me of life.

Fill my marrow with glacial ice that cuts

rock to nourish springs.

Add one more wish to this:

Make me a mountain lake,

calm and deep,

that reflects light.



*Invocation: Spirit of Water by Priya Sarukkai Chabria was first published in Dialogue and Other Poems (Indian Academy of Literature Golden Jubilee Imprint, 2005).

Sorcerers’ Highway

Theodore Singer

Theodore Singer grew up in Durban, an East Coast melting pot of Zulu, Indian and British culture, in South Africa. He currently lives and teaches English in the Middle East. He is the author of Jabberwocky: A Novella, which won the Best Indie Book Award in 2016. His story, The Fourth God, appears in The Society of Misfit Stories (September 2019). Sorcerers’ Highway is his second magazine publication.

The truck has been grinding endlessly through the white heat of the desert since dawn, and for almost half the morning Reth and his brother Bayne have been debating the respective merits of the forms of boxing practiced in two different cities. It’s Reth patriotically arguing for Bladestone’s knees and sandaled feet, with hands tied behind the back, and Bayne for the elbows and forehead of Four Bridges.

By all the gods of all the inland tech cities, and by the force of sorcery venerated by the coastal dwellers, is there no end to this inanity? I found it vaguely interesting the first time round, but they’ve been over and over the same ground for hours. I’d put on my headphones, but etiquette forbids that I be unsociable and cut myself off from a conversation in which I’m supposed to be taking part. Fortunately, I volunteered for extra driving duty, so I’m not expected to say too much.

Unfortunately though, Reth has now remembered my presence. I sometimes wonder how someone with so little in common with me can be related to me. He only pays me attention to torment me. After all, I’m just the scrawny orphan cousin, not particularly good at anything worthwhile, employed by my uncle out of charity. I’m a free target whenever Reth feels like boosting his ego.

What do you think, Berek? he asks with a bully’s sneer.

I don’t know, I say. I’ve seen both types of matches and it seems like any kind of hit would be nasty.

Well, he says, with great self-satisfaction, you know all about being kicked, don’t you?

That was a year ago, when my uncle sent me down to the gym to tell Reth that he was needed at the shop. He refused to come until I got into the ring with him. I had no idea what I was doing, and almost instantly took a heavy sandal to the head. I was out cold for a minute, and I think Reth was genuinely worried—not because he cared about me, but because he might get into trouble with his father. Once I came to, however, he led the chorus of derision that all Bladestoners seem to reserve for men who lack physical prowess.

I should be grateful to him, though, because it was after that blow that my power started to manifest itself. Growing up in a tech city far away from the coast, with no sorcery practiced whatsoever, makes you repress your abilities, but the kick must have shaken something loose.

Reth is still talking, but I’ve tuned him out, and suddenly come back to an awareness of what he’s saying. …can’t take a kick to the head, and my father says you’re no good at business either. You’re only OK to do stocktaking and cleaning and working the counter, stuff even a woman can do. By the god of Bladestone, you’re fucking useless.

Ah yes, the great Bladestone catalog of male virtues—beating people up, ordering people around, fixing things, playing sports, and making lots of money. If you don’t have at least one of those skills then you’re not worth shit.

But I am worth shit. I’ve known that since the night after the knockout, as I lay in the dark in my little room and felt the power within me and watched the faint sparks

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