Short Story Magazine Review: khōréō Magazine volume 1, issue 1

Rating: 5 out of 5.

5 powerful, necessary, important, emotional stars!

Buy the first issue or subscribe here!

I was incredibly fortunate to be able to have received a copy of the first ever issue of khōréō Magazine to read and review on my blog. I finally finished it and let me just tell you that it was deeply, deeply emotional for me. khōréō is starting to publish these stories on their website starting yesterday!!! So you can start reading them immediately!

If you haven’t heard of khōréō magazine yet, you should immediately check out their website. They are a brand new magazine about migration and speculative fiction. They write about themselves so beautifully on their website, but I will share it here for ease:

Any act of migration, whether voluntary or forced, requires a recalibration of self-identity. We are defined, after all, by the environment that surrounds us: people, language, food, smell, sound. To change any one of them may be disorienting; to change them may leave us adrift. What better medium to explore this sensation than speculative fiction, where the author must create a new world for the reader to inhabit?

As a member of Asian diaspora myself, I’ve often struggled with a sense of belonging. A disorientation of how to be connected to who I am and who my family is. It was made even more confusing by the fact that I have absolutely no connection to the side of my family that makes me a woman of color. To see people who look like me celebrate customs I have never heard of or seen before. It is all very confusing, but all of that confusion is very characteristic of people of any diaspora. But learning other people’s stories, though never quite the same, make me feel less alone.

That is where khōréō comes in. khōréō is the magazine that I never knew I needed, sharing the stories that I didn’t realize could touch my heart so much. I spent a good portion of my time reading this shedding tears alongside the words. There is no way to really explain what it feels like to finally start being seen, and told that it is okay for you to be 100% you, even if you get some of other people’s story wrong. Of course it is an endless and continuous journey, but khōréō has given me a piece of it, and I am in love with that feeling. Thank you.

BONUS

I already mentioned it above, but like other short story magazines, all of these stories will be available to read for free on the khōréō website at a later date. Excitingly you can read the first story to be published for free on their website starting yesterday. Please enjoy The Frankly Impossible Weight of Han by Maria Dong.

About the Authors

All of the authors who have a space in this first issue are wonderful. I want to make sure they get some attention. You may have heard of some! If not, check out their websites below and a brief bit of author bragging from the khōréō website.

Jennifer Hudak is a speculative fiction writer fueled mostly by tea. Her stories appear in venues such as PodCastle, Flash Fiction Online, and Apparition Lit. Originally from Boston, she now lives with her family in Upstate New York, where she teaches yoga, knits pocket-sized animals, and misses the ocean.

K. Victoria Hernandez is a speculative fiction writer and aspiring ecologist. In 2018, she graduated from the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop, and has since published work at Daily Science Fiction and Cotton Xenomorph, with more pieces forthcoming in 2021. The granddaughter of Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants, Hernandez’s heritage often informs her writing, as does her experience as a woman, a science nerd, and a really fidgety child. She currently lives in Southern California with her family and her friends who, for whatever reason, have decided she’s just funny enough to keep around.

Shingai Njeri Kagunda is an Afrofuturist freedom dreamer, Swahili sea lover, and Femme Storyteller hailing from Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently pursuing a Literary Arts MFA at Brown University. Shingai’s work has appeared in Omenana, The Elephant, Fractured Lit, and Fantasy Magazine. She has been selected as a candidate for the Clarion UCSD Class of 2020/2021, #clarionghostclass. She is also the co-founder of Voodoonauts, an Afrofuturist collective for Black writers.

Maria Dong’s (she/her) short fiction has been published in or is forthcoming from Augur, Nightmare, Apparition Lit, Fusion Fragment, Decoded Pride, and If There’s Anyone Left. She was featured in the 2018 Pitch Wars showcase and is agented by Amy Bishop at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. When Maria’s not enjoying southwest Michigan’s exquisite craft beer, she can be found on Twitter at @mariadongwrites or on her website, mariadong.com.

Iona Datt Sharma is a writer, lawyer, and linguaphile, and the product of more than one country. Their first short story collection, Not For Use In Navigation, was published in March 2019. Their other work can be found at www.generalist.org.uk/iona and they tweet as @singlecrow.

C. H. Hung grew up among the musty stacks of public libraries, where she found a lifelong love for good stories and lost 20/20 vision for good. She possesses a stubbornly rational soul intersecting with an irrational belief in magic, which means her stories are often as mixed up as she is, melding the plausible with myth and folklore. Read more at www.chhung.com.

Big Takeaway

Everyone should check out khōréō. It was deeply personal to me, and I hope that it can be for others as well. If you are a member of any diaspora, this is for you. Your magazine. Read it, check it out, cry with me.

Have you heard of khōréō yet? Have you read anything by any of the authors featured in issue 1? Are you interested in reading some of the stories? If you are, please let me know how you like them, I would absolutely love someone to cry with me.

Does this magazine sound interesting to you? Want to remember how seriously you need to read it?! Pin it so you will never forget!