This January, join us as we travel through new worlds in an issue dedicated to divergent histories and uchronias. The stories in this issue present historical events with a twist, asking what if? Sweden’s Karin Tidbeck posts an otherworldly explanation for a town’s disappearance and France’s Xavier Mauméjean wonders how a matinee idol’s accident might have changed the face of international cinema. Mexican writer Bef describes a confrontation between Emperor Maximilian I and the digital ghost of Benito Juárez while Argentine Hernán Vanoli delves into the world of a female soccer gang protecting the reanimated cyborg of Lionel Messi. Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro pictures Portugal’s King Dom Luís II’s escape to Brazil while Aldo Nove tells the peculiar life story of St. Francis of Assisi from the perspective of his nephew Piccardo. From Chile, Jorge Baradit explores what might have happened if Allende had thwarted the coup attempt of 1973, and Peruvian Jorge Eduardo Benavides describes an allohistorical Peru in which Shining Path defeated the armed forces.

Our special thanks to guest editor Gabriel T. Saxton-Ruiz for opening these allohistorical worlds to us.

Elsewhere in the issue, we present a selection of new Romanian writing by Mircea Horia Simionescu, Razvan Petrescu, and Tatiana Niculescu Bran, guest edited by noted translator Jean Harris.

New Romanian Fiction

The Agent

“Little lady, do you have a craving for cozonac?”

The Ditch

The shovels’ dull thud mixed with the steady patter of rain.


As a child, he suffered from the disease called humility. Poor man!

Book Reviews

Sheng Keyi’s “Death Fugue”

There are moments of real clarity and elegance in "Death Fugue."

Pedro Zarraluki’s “The History of Silence”

Pedro Zarraluki’s "The History of Silence" is concerned with negative space: with absences, with things that can be defined only by what they are not.

Norman Manea’s “Captives”

Navigating the narrative threads of "Captives" is a bit like trying to make it through a hedge-maze while blindfolded, drunk, and asleep.