Luna Station Quarterly is a speculative fiction magazine featuring stories by emerging women authors.
Now in our 8th year!

The Print Edition is now LIVE!

by Jennifer Lyn Parsons


Thank you all for your patience while we sorted out the issues with our printing service!

Those of you wanting a beautiful hard copy of Issue 031 can now have your wish fulfilled!!!

The best place to go is the direct purchase page. We get the most financial support when you buy that way. Here’s a coupon code for 10% off: YG3XASCL

If you prefer, you can purchase the print copies through Amazon as well.

Want more details on the issue? Just visit the Issue 031 page.

Thanks so much for your support!


Issue 031 is now live!

by Jennifer Lyn Parsons


Stories are part of what make us who we are. They help us take the temperature of the human spirit. Right now women all over feel like the world is out to get them (and some cases, it is) or that they don’t matter. It’s times like these where LSQ feels more important than ever.

We’re here to tell stories. Tales written by women writers whose voices are diverse, amazing, beautiful, funny, harsh, and everything in between. I invite you in to read what this group of women has to say.

Think these stories and the others on this site are important? Buy a print copy or digital edition. Support us on Patreon. Spread the word about us. We’ll be here regardless, but with your help we can amplify these voices and empower the women who write them.


Watch this space!

by Jennifer Lyn Parsons


Issue 031 will be here soon!

Due to the Labor Day holiday in the US (and I do hope all your laborers of every stripe get some rest this weekend) we’re putting a slight delay in releasing our next issue. Watch for a new batch of stories on Tuesday!

In the meantime, I welcome you to enjoy the many fine issues here on the site, and if you’re traveling, be safe and consider taking along one of our digital editions!

Thanks so much for your support of LSQ and have a great weekend!!!


ISSUE 030 IS LIVE!

by Jennifer Lyn Parsons


Hello dear readers!

We made it through the wilderness! Ain’t no mountain high enough! We come to you with awesome news!

Issue 030, after a significant delay, is now live and ready for you to read! The stories are beautiful, touching, creative, magical, mysterious things of wonder and I couldn’t be prouder to get them out to you.

Life takes twists and turns, however, and some things can’t be helped. Suffice to say, delays like this are not something I plan on repeating any time soon. However, I will say a huge THANK YOU to everyone for your messages of support. LSQ is not going anywhere and all and sundry are safe and sound.

And now, the stories! Start of with the lovely “The Joy of Baking” by Holly Lyn Walrath and then allow it to carry you into the next story and the one after that and onward.

Want to support LSQ and the authors we publish? You can do that easily! Here are a couple ways:

  • Buy a copy of the issue! Paperback (discount code: 594VATZS gets you 10% off) and Digital Editions are available (and if you buy direct from us, we get the most support).
  • We have a Patreon page. Some wonderful souls have joined us there and you can, too. Rewards are there waiting for you!
  • Spread the word! Tweet, post, link, etc. The more people that find us, the better.

Thank you all once again for supporting us! Now go read some great stories!


PUBLICATION UPDATE!


Hello everyone.

Thank you so much for your patience with our delay. We just got the print proof in, the digital versions of the issue are in production and we should be live with the new issue by July 1.

Everyone is fine, life is still a bit off-kilter, and we can’t wait to get this new issue out the door and in your waiting hands.

Thanks again for your kindness and patience. Keep an eye out for our next announcement!


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

by Jennifer Lyn Parsons


Hello dear readers!

There has been a massive, ongoing emergency within the LSQ family. Everyone is safe, but the repercussions have meant that our blog has been on a temporary hiatus.

Even worse, Issue 030 has been delayed until next week.

My most humble apologies for this. In our 8 year history, this has only happened one other time and I do my personal best to make sure such a thing only happens very rarely.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the issue and some announcements soon!


Baba Yaga

by Cathrin Hagey


Baba YagaOn April 26, 1986 reactor number four at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in northern Ukraine exploded, throwing up enough radioactive material to contaminate much of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe. Thousands of people were evacuated from the 30 km Exclusion Zone, abandoning homes, schools, entire villages, and a way of life.

Inside and outside the Exclusion Zone, the reduction of human activity has led to the rebound of plants and animals, particularly large mammals, since the initial loss of life. The area is regularly evaluated by government workers and researchers from around the world; it is explored, illegally, by risk-taking adventurers in what seems to be this millennium’s new frontier—abandoned cities more phantasmagorical, with their crumbling infrastructure and skeletonized machinery, than a wild west ghost town. The Exclusion Zone has also become the home of old women who defied orders to remain in Kiev after resettlement, or who refused to leave in the first place. These women are now referred to as “the Babushkas of Chernobyl,” and the eponymous film about them, directed and produced by Holly Morris and Anne Bogart, focused a light on their enigmatic lives.

The Babushkas are beyond child-bearing age and its risks. Their village homes are, in many cases, mere huts. In their isolation they remind me of the Russian fairy tale character Baba Yaga, for what is a crone but a woman alone, or with one or two of her kind, deep in the woods, in a hermit’s hut with hung-dry herbs and an iron kettle bubbling on the fire, spitting drops of the broth of some creature’s bones.

Baba Yaga is the same as Mother Nyx, the mother of the world, another Life/Death/Life Goddess. The Life/Death/Life Goddess is always a creator Goddess. She makes, fashions, breathes life into, she is there to receive the soul when the breath has run out.¹

Ironically, the grandmothers of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are robust compared to their age cohorts who did not remain and have, in many cases, died from broken hearts. These women are in their 70s and 80s, they farm and hunt, brew moonshine, bake, and smoke. Their strength and humor belies the invisible danger that lurks in the water, the soil—everywhere. They aren’t unaware of the risks, just not impressed by them. They lived through the purges of Stalin and the horrors of WWII and are determined to continue living in their homeland, applying their skills and their accumulated wisdom to the job of living as their mothers and grandmothers had. While they live, they are reminders of the healing power of being where you most want to be and doing what you most want to do.

In the Exclusion Zone, the danger of radiation, the invisible omnipresent menace, is real and deadly. And like Baba Yaga’s brand of magic, it attracts uninvited visitors willing to risk harm in order to seek the thrill of exploring hidden wild places where beasts and mysterious old women live.

Baba Yaga’s domain is the forest, widely acknowledged as a traditional symbol of change and a place of peril, where she acts as either a challenger or a helper to these innocents who venture into her realm. In Western tales, these two roles are typically polarized, split into different characters stereotyped as either “witch” or “fairy godmother.” Baba Yaga, however, is a complex individual: depending on the circumstances of the specific story, she may choose to use her powers for good or ill.²

It is tempting to think that the wild place of the Exclusion Zone, where it can be imagined life is reduced to its enchanting elements, is a good place to be. The kind of temptation that emanates from Baba Yaga’s realm.

…one of the traditional Russian fairy tale endings, used in lieu of the more optimistic, “…and they all lived happily after…” [is] “they all lived as happily as they could, until they died.”³

A line that applies to each of us, inside and outside of Baba Yaga’s wood.


  1. Pinkola Estés, Clarissa. Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype (New York: Ballantine Books, 1992), 114.
  2. Pilinovsky, Helen. “Russian Fairy Tales: Baba Yaga’s Domain.” Journal of Mythic Arts, accessed April 22, 2017, http://endicottstudio.typepad.com/articleslist/baba-yagas-domain-by-helen-pilinovsky.html.
  3. Pilinovsky, Helen. “Russian Fairy Tales: Baba Yaga’s Domain.” Journal of Mythic Arts, accessed April 22, 2017, http://endicottstudio.typepad.com/articleslist/baba-yagas-domain-by-helen-pilinovsky.html.

Linda Medley and the Fabulous “Castle Waiting”

by Jennifer Lyn Parsons


I’ve been a lapsed comic reader lately, which has made me a bit sad. I thought I might share a favorite of mine with you, in hopes that talking about it will rekindle my interest. If this goes well, expect to see quite a bit more comic talk, because oh have I got some awesome comics to share. But I digress.

I’m here to talk to you about Linda Medley and Castle Waiting which is one of my hands down favorite comics of all time. This book is one of those rare treasures that can be summed up with a simple word: charming. Most books you might describe thusly tend to teeter on the edge of crying, but not Castle Waiting. Here, there is both sly, deftly handled humor, and glimpses of deep emotions and hurt, but all wrapped in a package so irresistible and full of warmth that you’ll keep turning the pages and wish there was more when you get to the end.

Now that I’ve started what amounts to a sales pitch, I’ll step back a bit. Castle Waiting is set in a seemingly typical fairy tale medieval-style world, but in many ways it feels quite modern. Perhaps it’s the way the characters are portrayed, even the less human looking ones of the bunch. Speaking of which, among the denizens of this crumbling old castle, there is a stork who runs the place and tries to keep up with repairs. There’s an imp who taunts a saucy, bearded nun (she’s amazing and quite willing to share a sandwich with him). There are a load of equally interesting and wonderfully rendered characters, but I don’t want to spoil the fun of discovering them on you. And then there’s the castle itself, full of sprites and brownies and the stories it holds in its bones.

“A fable for modern times, Castle Waiting is a fairy tale that’s not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil, but about being a hero in your own home.” That’s what the official description says and perhaps that’s part of what pulls me toward this book, the idea of being a hero of the every day. From Lady Jain, pregnant with another man’s child and on the run from her husband, to the quiet Iron Henry, to the sweet Simon, all the characters have their own special stories and Linda Medley draws and writes them with wonderful realism.

Linda Medley is currently working on the next installment of this marvelous book and I cannot wait. But there’s a hitch in the proceedings, the bane of any artist or writer: Linda has some hand problems going on. What’s more, she’s another wonderful artist who makes her own way through the world and dances that financial tightrope along with her fellow freelancers.

So, if you go out and read Castle Waiting and love it the way I do, I highly encourage you to support Linda and her work.

She’s got a Patreon, a GoFundMe, and you can buy her artwork on her Etsy shop. Of course buying copies of Castle Waiting and giving them to everyone you know would be lovely, too.

I hope by now you can tell how passionate I am about this comic book. I hope you go check it out soon and definitely let me know if you fall for it like I did, long ago and far away.


Review: Q-T-Pies, by Balogun Ojetade


I was gonna talk to you all about all sorts of topics related to this book, like intra-race relations, misogyny, black women in horror, all those good things…but the more I read Q-T-Pies the more I just kept thinking…

“This isht is [bleep] up.”

Repeating over and over again like a broke record. Now, that’s not a bad thing—in fact, that was pretty much my first thought reading Beloved as a teenager. Yes, with swear words. Well, probably more like “this mess is [bleep] up.” But you know what, I like it.

Q-T-Pies is book zero in the Savannah Swan files. Who that glorious person is you’ll learn later, but for now let’s talk about this early case. The novel starts out with a poignant short essay regarding the emergence of black horror in the current United States administration, and regardless of what side of the spectrum you fall on if any, it’s a good read. From there, we learn this story is set in Atlanta, and a new pop-up restaurant has opened. Run by three incredibly intelligent, alluring, sexy, beautiful black women, this new joint specializes in selling barbecued pot pies…wait a minute.

Barbecue pot pies? A pop-up diner? Atlanta? Wow, this may be the southernest I’ve felt in a while. In previous reviews of horror works set in the south, I have advocated doing something a lil’ different–no more bayou witches and oversimplified witches for a while. So for a story to take place in modern Atlanta and tackle with the issue of fad dining and gentrification? Fantastic. Oh, if you’re not sure what a pot pie is, well, it’s…a pastry dish filled with veggies and or meats. Damn, I made myself hungry. The first half of the novel deals with feedings of various kinds and does a great job of assaulting your senses with smells, tastes, and interesting visuals that will make your mouth water and occasionally make you gag..

Forgive me for straying, but we learn that our intrepid hero reporter Derrel Lacey is on the beat. At this point you might be thinking, “hmm, we focus on female-centric works here” and yes, the protagonist is a man. But this plot is very much driven by women to the point where poor Derrel might as well be a side character in his own story. Ojetade gets us involved and does the great trick of revealing who the real protagonist here is as we start the second act into the third. Hint, but it ain’t the three aforementioned ladies…

Oh yes, what about these alluring sirens? Well, would it be a spoiler if I told you these immaculately described creatures are up to something shady? How about they are evil? Okay, they’re…well, they’re not vampires. I wish the book had expounded more upon their true natures because as described, they are basically perversions of science and magic wrapped up in mythology and it’s a little much. All I’m saying is I can see us hashtagging this on Instagram in the future. But how do we know they’re evil Because they are repeatedly described as inhumanly beautiful and intelligent.

Okay, that’s not fair. I don’t think it was Ojetade’s intention to set up these successful black women as the antagonists to the not-very-successful and kind of bumbling black man. This had me going back and forth for a bit–we have seen the trope before of ambition making people evil, but something weird happens when it’s implied to women. It implies that if women start reaching beyond their means, some kind of vicious karma and/or demon is going to smack them back to earth like a “oh no you don’t!” This can be spun around as symbolism like, say, patriarchy or aspects of kyriarchy holding women down. Here, it’s kind of an accident but just looks…well, it looks that way. Fortunately, as I said this book is very female-driven, so we are presented with a number of character archetypes that will let you focus on Ini, Dalmilola, and Chioma as the villains.

So, you might be wondering by now, seems pretty stock but good so far. What’s the messed up part? The isht being bleeped up is when we start to unravel just what the three sirens are, and their plans for Derrel. They’re not good plans. Similar to when I mention Beloved above, the messed up part is the cruelties inflicted upon Derrel and other characters is pretty shocking. Would it be more shocking if this involved white characters? Not more shocking but definitely on a different level. Q-T-Pies exists in a very real universe where we don’t have hashtag-woke conversations about supporting black business and community. No, here we have three black…beings inflicting damage on another black person, and a black female hero to save the day (that is Savannah Swan, if you haven’t caught my drift).

Unfortunately, we meet Savannah proper quite late in the novel, so to talk too much about her would be massive spoilers. And that would suck, because I definitely think Q-T-Pies is worth picking up. It is a quick read and will give you plenty to think about, salivate over, and maybe keep you up at night the next time a hot, trendy new restaurant opens up in your neighborhood. You just never know sometimes…pick it up from Amazon here, and if you’re ready to just delve into the weird world of Savannah Swan, start here with A Haunting in the SWATS

 


Food: More Than for Eating

by Kristen Julia Anderson


A new crock-pot, rice cooker and hand mixer sit above the cabinets in our kitchen. A brand new, still unused food processor is tucked in a corner between an end table and a kitchen table. My husband and I live in a small 1 bedroom apartment and the kitchen (refrigerator, sink, and stove) is built into one side of its hallway. The other side is a wall and the door to our bedroom. Cabinet space is scarce, as is counter space. We make it work though and, when time allows, cooking is one of our favorite hobbies to do together despite the space limitations of our hallway kitchen.

When we first started dating, we decided to make homemade potato pancakes together. I didn’t even have a stand-up grater, just a small hand-held one that is more meant for shredding cheese more than anything else. Making the potato pancakes took double the time we anticipated, but it was time we spent together, getting to know one another. Food is a part of our relationship: making food, eating food, and even talking about food.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why, when we aren’t sure what we want to watch on TV, we’ll search for a food show to watch. They are not only enjoyable to watch, but they introduce us to new cuisines, educate us about food and food prep, and inspire us to try new flavors – to be bolder, more comfortable with our own cooking, which is especially important given our dairy and gluten restrictions.

Some of our favorites food shows to watch include Chopped, Good Eats, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Parts Unknown. Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode about Thailand was an undeniable influence on our decision to visit Chiang Mai during our honeymoon to the country. It’s also where I realized my food bravery is far less than my new husband’s.  I may have tried durian (a fruit that when opened smells like dirty socks) but I drew the line at eating insects – he, on the other hand, went for it.  Luckily we never came across a restaurant serving the blood soup Mr. Bourdain eats on the episode.

Food – it fills our bodies with nutrients, and our minds with memories so strong they become a part of not just what we eat, but how we relate and connect to others. Food is a central to so many families and traditions. It unites new friends and can build relationships between strangers. Trying foods, especially those unfamiliar or from a different culture, is a way to reach beyond ourselves and embrace the beauty of our differences.  I hope that the food my husband and I make, serve, and eat as we grow as a couple not only serves to strengthen our relationship, but that we, as people, are enlightened, continually, through the diverse flavors and food of our vast world.