Luna Station Quarterly is a speculative fiction magazine featuring stories by emerging women authors.
Now in our 7th year!

The Waiting Place or What to Do When You’re Trapped in Space

by Elora Powell


There’s a spread in Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, that’s always given me the most unsettling feeling. That’s not totally unusual. For brightly-colored, whimsical children’s books, Dr. Seuss’s body of work has a fair share of moments that veer off into the uncanny. But this moment isn’t the creepy, haunting Pale Green Pants with Nobody Inside Them, or the vaguely threatening advances of The Cat in the Hat.

No, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! takes me into the straight up existential dread of a purposeless, empty life. One minute, you’re looking at the colorful illustrations and bright, hopeful prose that have become a staple at all high school graduations; the next, you’re immersed in the eerie, twilight world of The Waiting Place.

We all find ourselves trapped in the waiting place from time to time- those moments in our lives where we are in between places and things, the uncertain formlessness where it’s impossible to see what’s ahead. There’s a certain helpless horror to it, and yet at the same time there’s also a kind of resigned peacefulness to the waiting. It’s one of those tensions that makes us human, I think.

One of the main functions of science fiction is to magnify our paradoxes, and confusion, and issues in order to better explore them.

One of the main tropes used to explore the alienation of waiting is the stranded-in-space (or time) plot line.

The very last episode of Stargate: SG-1 finds the team stranded in both space and time when Lt. Col. Sam Carter uses an Asgard device to create a time bubble around their ship to protect it from enemy fire. SG-1 is trapped for fifty years watching the beam from the enemy ship creep closer to their hull, while they wait for Carter to find a way to get them free.

It is compelling, in an achingly melancholy way, to watch the characters adjust to the new normal. To see them live out their lives, and experience the ensuing cycles of love and joy, life and death, sanity and insanity—all in  the midst of being stuck waiting for the rest of the cosmos to move around them.

The DC animated TV universe of the 1990s and early 2000s, (Batman, Superman, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, etc.), never shied away from the deeper themes of science fiction and fantasy.

In the first part of the Justice League episode, “Hereafter”, Superman appears to have died. In the second part, he is revealed to have been teleported to a future earth with a red sun. Powerless, and with only the immortal and reformed villain Doc Savage for a companion, Superman is forced to come to terms with the limits of his mortality while in a dead and barren time.

In nearly complete opposition to these deep, solemn reflections, there is Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST3K, (the newest iteration of which hit Netflix on April 14th). The ridiculous narrative of a man and his robots stranded in a satellite above earth by evil scientists weaves its way between the segments of B-movies that said man and his robots heckle. While the campy humor is plentiful and purposeful, there is something inspiring in Joel’s, (later Mike, and now Jonah), ingenuity and indomitable Midwestern snark in the face of an isolating and annoying situation.

I may not be stranded in space watching bad movies, or in time waiting for a better past or a more favorable future, but I am in The Waiting Place right now. I’m waiting to hear back from internships so I can know how and when I can move forward with my education. The question these far-fetched, science fiction situations forces me to ask myself is, what will I do while I’m in the waiting place? The question it makes all of us ask is, will we let the waiting consume us, or will we find a way to carry on in spite of the waiting, or even in the waiting?


Author Interview: Tabitha Lord

by Wendy Van Camp


Author Tabitha Lord is a woman who wears many hats. Not only is she a science fiction author, but she is also a senior editor for Book Club Babble and working on a non-fiction collection of stories connected with an awareness campaign for children with pediatric cancer.

Let me take a moment to introduce myself. I currently live in Rhode Island, a few towns away from where I grew up. I’m married, have four great kids, two spoiled cats, and lovable lab mix. My degree is in Classics from College of the Holy Cross, and I taught Latin for years at the Meadowbrook Waldorf School. Yes, I’m a dinosaur! I also worked in the admissions office there for over a decade before turning my attention to full-time writing. It’s worth noting that I didn’t publish my first novel until after I turned forty, so for anyone thinking of a career change, it’s never too late!

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I loved to write stories as a child. In fact, when I was sorting through some of my grandma’s things after she passed, I came across a whole collection of poetry and stories I’d written. It was very sweet. In my professional life I’ve written some ad copy, blog posts, and done some editing for school publications, but I had very little time or energy for creative writing.

When my children got older and the dynamics of my family shifted, I began to consider changing careers. While I pondered what was next for me professionally I took on a yearlong writing project at work thinking it would give me the change of pace I needed. Turns out it was one of the most satisfying things I’d ever done in my career. Since I was in the habit of writing every day for work, I challenged myself to write creatively every day as well. Lo and behold, when the report was finished a year later, so was my first manuscript.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

I’ve been asked to describe my book in ten words. Here’s what I came up with: Science fiction meets romance meets survival fiction meets military thriller!

What inspired you to write this book?

Thoughts for my stories come to me in different ways. Sometimes it’s a character that appears in my head, fully formed – personality, career, physical appearance, and name – ready for me to create a story around. Other times, there’s an interesting scene that builds up in my imagination over time. Or sometimes there’s a theme or idea I want to explore.

With Horizon, I had two distinct parts of a story floating in my head. The first was the opening crash sequence. It was more basic at the time of its inception – just a pilot who crash lands on a planet, and a young woman, in some kind of trouble, who saves his life.

The second part was more complex. I was playing with the idea of what would happen if one segment of an already small isolated population evolved differently, either naturally or by design, from the other. What if some had gifts that enabled them to imagine a different kind of future for themselves and their world? What if they were empathic and could sense each other’s emotions and thoughts? What if some of them could heal with their mind? How would the unchanged people feel about their neighbors? It created such an interesting premise I knew I had to find a way to make it into a story.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

There’s a big chunk of survival fiction in the first part of Horizon. Caeli is living alone in the wilderness, fending for herself, and living off the land. I grew up in a rural neighborhood until I was twelve years old and spent most of my playtime outdoors, in the woods, exploring and climbing trees. I distinctly remember the smell of pine, the quiet in the forest after the first snow, the taste of wild blueberries. I tried to call on my own childhood memories to give Caeli’s experience authenticity. And as an adult, I’ve had a few adventures that influenced this particular aspect of the story! Over the years, I’ve accompanied students on several class trips. We’ve hiked the rain forests in Costa Rica, paddled dozens of nautical miles in the open ocean off the coast of Maine, and camped in the mountains of West Virginia. I have actually tended a cooking fire, carved utensils, found edible plants, bathed in the ocean, and slept outdoors.

I’m also a medical school dropout! But my experience in medical school, and for years as an EMT, I think gives Caeli some authority as a healer. And when I wasn’t sure about a particular treatment, I’d call my brother-in-law, who did finish medical school and is a practicing physician!

What authors or books most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

This is a tough one. I love genre fiction and my shelves are filled with everything from horror, to military thrillers, to historical romance. I also appreciate good literary fiction with characters I remember long after I turn the last page. I just enjoy a good story, no matter the genre or style!

Some of my all-time favorites include The Stand by Stephen King. To me this is the ultimate apocalypse story, full of disquieting horror. Harry Potter is at the top of the list. Such incredible world building and rich characters! Outlander is fabulous. Diana Gabaldon’s dialogue is beautiful, and the relationship between Jamie and Claire is so complex and lovely. Recently I read, and loved, The Goldfinch. Literary fiction at its best! The Snow Child also really stayed with me after I finished reading. As I write this, I am staring at my library shelves and thinking, how can I leave off Barbara Kingsolver or Isabel Allende! Or my favorite Steinbeck novel East of Eden! I learn something different from each of these writers, but mostly I’m just incredibly grateful for the pleasure of reading their work. If someone asks me this question next week, I’ll probably have an entirely different list.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

The immensely talented Steven Meyer-Rassow did both the cover art and interior design for Horizon. I wanted to collaborate with someone whose style and artistry resonated with my own. Every single image of Steven’s that I could find was stunning, and when we discussed my project, I knew he really understood my vision. One of the things we talked about initially was the fact that Horizon would be a trilogy, and we’d like to “brand” the series somehow. So in addition to amazing cover artwork, Steve created a title treatment that will carry through and give all the future Horizon books a cohesive look.

Another thing we discussed was that while Horizon firmly belongs on the shelf with other sci-fi novels, it definitely crosses genres. The cover, therefore, needed to have wide appeal. It needed to be intriguing and eye-catching enough for non-sci-fi readers to pick it up, yet stylistically still fit in with its main genre.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Oh, for sure! First, finish something. A bad draft is better than no draft. Second, keep writing even when you feel stuck. Good habits will help you work through the blocks. But if I had to pick the most important thing for new writers it would be this: a first draft is nowhere near the finished product. This was shocking to me as a first-time novelist – although it shouldn’t have been! I knew edits were going to happen, but I had no idea how much work they would be. If I had to estimate, I would say that writing the first draft was only about one-third of the work. Editing and working through the business side of publishing made up the other two-thirds. What’s fun though, or at least what’s satisfying about the post-first-draft phase, is transforming the story from a rambling, exhaustive, stream of consciousness manuscript, to a work that has structure, flow, and even some artistry. I’ve learned so much about the craft of writing through editing.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

The most important thing for me, as a writer, is to tell a good story. I write because I have to get these stories out of my head and onto the paper, but I also write for my readers and fans. I hope people fall in love with my characters and lose themselves in the plot. I hope they’re transported to different worlds. I hope they open my book and time flies away. This is what I want when I read, and I hope I can provide that experience for my fans!

Tabitha Lord
North Kingstown, RI

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Cover Artist: Steven Meyer-Rassow
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Book Review: Brother’s Ruin (Emma Newman)

by KC Maguire


I know a lot of writers manage to move back and forth between hard sci-fi and fantasy without any trouble, and Emma Newman is definitely one of them. My hat is off to authors who understand the nuances of the different genres and manage to create engaging characters and develop engaging worlds whatever the genre or likely market. In Brother’s Ruin, Newman has obviously slipped a first toe into the water of what promises to be a much longer and richer fantasy series. This book is, in many ways, a prologue for a longer work. The volume is less than 200 pages, reading almost like a novella, but it introduces the key players and positions them on the chessboard in anticipation of more adventures to come.

Charlotte (Charlie) is our young protagonist in an alternate Victorian society in which magic exists and the houses of magic are juxtaposed with the nobility in government. For some, being identified as latent in magic promises rewards of financial recompense for their families and positions of power in the magical academies. For others, like Charlie, the thought of exposing herself as a holder of magic would ruin her life. She would have to leave her family, wouldn’t be able to marry, and would effectively lose her freedom. In fact, the book explores the meaning of freedom in various contexts. How free can a young woman (of secretly independent means) hope to become in any walk of this society?

There is much second-guessing of right and wrong, good and evil, strength and weakness, all set against a richly detailed backdrop of a society that is very Victorian, but where the underpinnings of the society are threatened by the presence of magic. In some ways, this work reminded me a little of Victoria Schwab’s recently completed Shades of Light trilogy. For those who like fantasy, alternate history, and a straight up good story, I’d highly recommend Brother’s Ruin. While it’s not technically a YA book (at least I don’t think it’s intended to be), it would definitely be suitable for younger and older readers alike.


Power in Translation

by Phoebe Wagner


I am currently in my fourth semester at my MFA program, and for fun, I took an Old English class. Since I’m a Tolkien nerd, this class is a delight, even if I doubt I will ever use the information in my career. Even though this column is often about my frustration with academia or the Ivory Tower, this Old English class is nearly the epitome of the Ivory Tower—something so archaic and useless to everyday life that the only place to study it would be in the ghostly halls of academia. Yet, here I am, a hypocrite and totally enjoying the earliest form of the language I’ve studied on the page for over a decade.

Since my undergraduate years, I’ve held a yearning for the old European myths, particularly Norse mythology. Through Neil Gaiman’s bibliography for American Gods, I found and devoured The Norse Myths: Introduced and Retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland. This book led me to other ancient texts, including poems I now study in my Old English class such as “The Wanderer” and “The Seafarer.” Forces combined this February when Neil Gaiman’s retelling of the Norse myths was released and currently sits on my desk until I have a devoted span of time to read it. As I study translations of Old English texts and practice translating myself, a pattern emerges. Men. So many men.

But why? My Old English class is evenly split when it comes to gender (even though my program is not), and the professor is a woman. Yet, male scholars have written all the textbooks. I reviewed my bookshelf of translations of Norse myths, collections of folklore, and books of scholarship—overwhelmingly male. Are there truly so few translations of mythology and classic literature by women or has academia failed me by simply not supplying them?

I fell down the Google hole but didn’t have much luck. The clearest list came from an imprint of Hackett Publishing’s classical studies catalog, but men far outweighed the few women in the field. The texts they translated were often women-centered classics, such as Euripides translated by Diane Arnson Svarlien. Surveying the classics imprint of Penguin, their Legends of the Ancient Norse series containing five titles were all translated by men. While the Penguin website proved impossible to navigate for the purpose of this blogpost, again, men seemed the go-to option, even in their newer editions.

The one place I regularly see women’s names pop up is fairy tale translations, such as Maria Tatar’s excellent and numerous titles. Penguin gets on board with their Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of Hans Christian Andersen being translated by Tiina Nunnally. If this observation is true, then that’s some weird sexism for you. Perhaps the gender disparity is because ancient epics are usually conceived as have to do with the deeds of men (I would argue otherwise), while fairy tales allows more room for female characters.

All of my “research” his pretty slap-dash, so dear reader, I would like to hear from you. Do translations of classic literature by women exist with more abundance? Is there a weird gender gap between the classics and fairy tales? And why? Does any of this matter today? I’ll try to come up with my own observations for next month.


Hey! We’re looking for you!

by Jennifer Lyn Parsons


Hello dear readers!

Did you know Luna Station Quarterly is in its 8th year? Awesome right?

We would love to hear your voices and have you be a part of the team. Right now, we’re looking for columnists for this very blog. Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, whatever schedule works for you.

If you’ve got something to say about the worlds of fiction, video games, comic books, illustration or just have an idea for a column written from a female perspective, we’d love to get to know you.

Fill out our application here: https://goo.gl/forms/E0VaTzSC8bjft4zA3

Don’t forget we’re looking for a volunteer Managing Editor, too. It’s an important position with a big megaphone.

If you’d like to boost women’s voices and help us amplify POC and LGBTQIA+ writers and artists and you have 3-10 hrs to spare a week, consider applying!

The details are here: https://goo.gl/forms/aAFNjnNAPlPo1jzN2


Cover Artist Interview: Priscilla Kim

by Jennifer Lyn Parsons


Today we’re featuring an interview with the artist who illustrated the lovely cover of Issue 029, the very talented Priscilla Kim! 

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your work.

I’m a genre illustrator who currently works primarily in RPGs and books. My style is largely centered around fantasy realism, and I tend to focus on portraits and heroines with a narrative element, although I’m also exploring some side paths here and there.

What got you on the path to being an illustrator? Was there a defining moment that made you decide to make art your career?

I’d drawn pretty consistently all through high school, but elected not to go to school for art, due to uncertainties about my own capabilities and desires. I didn’t decide to actually go for it until maybe ten years later, but it was more of a slowly-rising tide that eventually crested in taking a SmART School online mentorship with Dan Dos Santos, which finally tipped me over the edge into thinking I could do it full-time. (Admittedly, being laid off a few months later also helped.)

The cover of Issue 029 has gotten great feedback. What was the inspiration for Fin’Amor?

It was actually initially done as a sketch idea when Lightspeed Magazine commissioned me to do the cover for their Queers Destroy Fantasy! special issue. The editors decided to go with a different option, but I liked the idea enough to do it up later on my own. It was definitely inspired in part by Dicksee’s La Belle Dame sans Merci and by this lady and knight image by Steen (although I didn’t realize until I just looked it up now that I happened to use the same hair colors, hah – that was more based on the Dicksee painting and the actual hair of my models).

What is your dream project? If there were no restrictions on time or money what would you create?

I would paint lots of faces, mostly. But the current project I’m batting around is of a YA-oriented post-apocalyptic Arthurian take.

Because LSQ is all about stories, I have to ask. What are some of your favorite tales?

My current favorite series is Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence books. Probably my first fiction loves that I remember were Tamora Pierce’s books (the Lioness Quartet really started my love of heroines, I think, along with a few others) and Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books. I’ve also had a long-standing fondness for fairy tales and mythology.

Are you reading anything right now? And does what you’re reading/watching/listening to inspire any of your work?

Currently alternating between Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds and La Morte d’Arthur. It’s probably impossible to avoid picking up inspiration from the media I consume, but I’m not immediately aware of any direct inspirations between recent media consumption and my recent work. I do occasionally do fanart for media I particularly enjoy, like Dragon Age, Mass Effect or Life Is Strange.

Do you think that women illustrators have had an even chance of success in the field in the past? And has that changed or is it changing now?

Have women ever had an even chance of success in any field they didn’t dominate (sometimes even ones they did)? I think this is still the case, societal prejudice, unconscious bias and the long-standing tendency to favor people more like yourself being what it is. Finding any field that isn’t touched by these pervasive issues would be difficult. But I think it is slowly shifting, abetted by people talking about these issues and sites like fantasticalwomen.com and womenwhodraw.com.
Where can people learn more about you and your work? Are you accepting commissions? 
My website priscilla-kim.com is the main touchpoint for all the rest of my online presences, but I can also be found at Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/priscillakimart), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/priscillustrations), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/autumnflame) primarily, in order of descending art-focus.

I am accepting commissions right now, particularly for book covers.


Experimental Film about the Dark Side of Sharing on Social Media


Cracked Screen (dir. Trim Lamba, 2016)

Cracked Screen: A Snapchat Story is a fascinating short film, directed by Trim Lamba and starring Chantelle Levene, that documents the before and after moments of a young woman’s attack in London completely through Snaps. If I didn’t read the synopsis of the film it would definitely feel like watching anyone’s Snapchat story filled with rants, workout shots, partying with friends, and silly anecdotes. Knowing that something was about to happen that would change this woman’s life made each shoot infused with impending doom. When the attack finally happened the film took a nosedive into the dark, disturbing world that social media can become. This woman had been sharing most of her life online and felt the need to prove to the world that her attack was real by posting footage of her injury for the whole internet to screenshot and share. Her shift in confidence was the most heartbreaking part for me to witness. She went from dancing and laughing to defending herself and her story in the darkness of her room.

I feel this film definitely starts a conversation around how we use and participate in social media. Should we be so quick to share so much of ourselves and our lives with others? Do others deserve to know if we are lying or not while posting on our own social media accounts? Does our audience have the right to demand evidence authenticating our story? The film also brings into question the idea of attractiveness being the sole reason this woman felt worthy to have her own space on the Snapchat platform. Post-attack, the woman continually berates her own appearance as if to beat everyone else to the punchline. I find it interesting that her Snaps, no matter how much they are edited, are true reflections of how she feels about herself. I’m completely aware of how much people curate their lives to appear more impressive than they are in reality, but under all the curation are little bits of truth.

Cracked Screen: A Snapchat Story is currently available to watch on ShortoftheWeek. It is seven minutes that will make you think about your own relationship with social media. I encourage you to share your thoughts below. How do you feel about the medium used to tell the story? Did it make you feel more connected to the main character? Did social media help or hurt the woman’s recovery after her attack? Let’s start a dialogue because I’m sure there’s so much more to say and dissect about this topic.


Lovers of storytelling and community seek same

by Jennifer Lyn Parsons


Hello dear readers!

LSQ is going through some changes. As you may have noticed, the Managing Editor of this very blog, Cheryl Wollner, has stepped down from her post. Cheryl has been an integral part of the day to day running of LSQ and I couldn’t be more grateful to her for all her work. I’m also happy to tell you that she’ll be continuing as a regular contributor so you’ll still see her byline pop up from time to time.

As you can imagine, we now have a vitally important role to fill her on the LSQ team. We’re looking to find someone as quickly as we can, but of course a good fit is key to everything as well.

This is where you all come in!

If you want to learn the ropes and take the reins of LSQ’s blog (I have cowpokes on the brain for some reason!) then I heartily encourage you to fill out our application!

You can find out all the details there and if you know someone else who might be interested, please pass the link along!

Help us find the next person to fill this important role!


Signing Off as Blog Managing Editor

by Cheryl Wollner


I am stepping down as blog managing editor for LSQ. It has been a pleasure to work with our array of talented bloggers and editors. To all our bloggers, thank you for supporting an inclusive future for publishing. LSQ is the place for feminist genre fiction and our bloggers, published authors, editors and, of course, readers make that possible.

Though I am resigning as the blog managing editor, I will still contribute to LSQ as a monthly columnist. We need to promote female writers of speculative fiction and female writers of diverse backgrounds however we can. While I am no longer in a position to devote the time to LSQ to remain a part of the editorial team, I stand behind what editor Jennifer Lyn Parsons says to open Issue 29:

With the world as it is, we need stories more than ever. Stories that lift us up, that take us to new places, that hurt us and build us back up again. We need strong fresh voices, unafraid to go deep, to bring these stories into the light. And we need you, to be curious, to feel everything, to get past the trappings of superheroes and fairy tales and androids and timey wimey stuff to the beating heart of our shared humanity, which these stories exhibit in droves.

Welcome to year eight of Luna Station. We’ve been expecting you.

I will always believe in the power of stories! I hope you do too. Right now, LSQ is entirely volunteer. In the future, we hope to be able to pay our writers, bloggers and editorial staff for their work and dedication to a feminist future. If you like what we do, consider donating to our Patreon or buying issue 29 (or a back issue of the journal).

Keep an eye out for more information on the search for a new blog managing editor. Whoever LSQ chooses for the role will join a team of positive and creative individuals making the world a better place one word at a time.


Speculative Literature Foundation Grants

by Cheryl Wollner


The Speculative Literature Foundation wants to fund your writing project. Defining speculative literature as fantasy, science fiction and horror, the Speculative Literature Foundation offers  grants for writers working within these genres (though anything fabulist will be considered). Each grant has no application fee, and is designed to be as accessible as possible to writers of all backgrounds and income levels.

Below is more information pulled from blurbs on the Speculative Literature Foundation’s website.

Diverse Writers Grant ($500) (apply between May 1st – July 31st )

“The Diverse Writers grant is awarded annually to assist new and emerging writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, working-class writers, etc.—those whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing / publishing process”

Diverse Worlds Grant ($500) (apply between May 1st – July 31st )

“The Diverse Worlds grant is awarded annually to assist work that best presents a diverse world, regardless of the writer’s background.”

Working Class Writers Grant ($750) (December 1 – February 28)

“This grant is awarded annually to assist working class, blue-collar, poor, and homeless writers who have been historically underrepresented in speculative fiction, due to financial barriers. We are currently offering one $750 working class grant annually, to be used as the writer determines will best assist his or her work. This year, we will accept applications December 1 through February 28.”

Gulliver Travel Research Grant *not for academic research ($800) (July 1st – September 30th)

“This grant is awarded annually to assist writers of speculative literature (in fiction, poetry,drama, or creative nonfiction) in their research. This year, we will accept applications July 1 through September 30. They are not currently available for academic research, though we hope to offer such funds in the future. We are currently offering one $800 travel grant annually, to be used to cover airfare, lodging, and/or other travel expenses. Learn more here.”

Older Writers Grant (2 $500 grants awarded annually) (apply January 1st- March 31st)

“This grant is awarded annually to a writer who is fifty years of age or older at the time of the grant application, and is intended to assist such writers who are just starting to work at a professional level. The SLF offers two $500 grants annually, to be used as each writer determines will best assist his or her work. We will be accepting applications for the grant starting in January.”

For more information on deadlines and past winners of these grants, check out the grants page.