The theme of this “unthemed” issue was Living After the Fact. No, seriously. There’s only one story where there’s a stretch to reach that theme. And even that story makes it, sorta.
Hey, let’s pretend that the coincidental theme of the theme-free issue is the one that sums up the past year; the one that catches the true spirit of the times. That would mean that this year was all about living on after, moving beyond our past. Which makes sense on a small scale (my pet died, my relationship died), and on a Grand Scale, since I think we’ve finally moved past the Recession, and …uh…we all lived beyond 2013. Shit. I thought something Big had happened this year, but now my whole point has turned into a hole point.
Luckily, I have some gay pr0n to distract you with!
Bear-y Christmas, Here’s to Many More, by Kimyō Tabibito: A triad celebrates their own special Christmas
The King of Eternal Flame, by kiyala: The Pheonix King returns after a year of burning, but parts of his memories are missing. Important parts.
Strange Lexicons, by Ogiwara Saki: In four (4!) parts. This is a really interesting contemporary fantasy novella, with a spoken magic system to rival any other such I’ve ever heard of.
My Life in a Blueberry Pie, by Dr. Noh: A short and sweet tale of reunions and dealing with life after war.
Throw Away These Numbers, by Himawari: A very science-fiction (with very realistic science!) 2-parter. I liked the setting and the characters, but found the romance to be a bit on the tepid side, and the plot to be slow.
The Last Battlefield, by Kagaku no osomatsu: Another tale dealing with living on after war. This one a medieval Commander who had never let himself play with his ‘favorites’ before.
Terra Incognita, by Iron Eater: In FIVE parts. We revisit the land of Naar Rhoan, and Riaag Bough-Breaker and Sarouth White-Hair who live there. The land where orcs are trying to civilize themselves, learning to eat bread, and in this tale, fighting the ghosts of both the past and the present.
Everyone goes through the door, by Hyakunichisou 13: A relatively standard ghost-hunter-style story. Has it’s own nice little spin, and it was good.
Our Lives in These Empty Spaces Aside, by shukyou: In three parts. A dark tale of a guy, or his childhood bully, and their reunion. Fairly well-written and intense, and hot, but a little…I don’t know. Worth reading.
Holding Out, by Kougyoku: Some friends with benefits work on relationship issues while edging.
Diamonds in His Pockets, by Renaissance Makoto J.: In four parts. The best of the lot. There’s a Prince, and another Prince, and a Quest to save a princess, but nothing is quite what it seems, and…actually, maybe everything is exactly what it seems, once you figure out what that is. Whatever. Hilarious. And hot. And wonderful.