Review: Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #46

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is one of those magazines that I’ve wondered about for a long time, but only recently got around to reading–and it’s been a pleasant and unexpected surprise. I picked up a 4-issue print sub (I’m old-fashioned in my reading, and like it on paper), and received my first issue soon after.

The above, brightly colored image comes from the e-book cover, but if you’re going down the print avenue, you’ll get your hands on a nice black and white zine that looks like this:

Now, setting aside for the moment that within the USA they offer a Choc City subscription, where you can have each issue delivered with a good chocolate bar to eat–and exactly how I didn’t see that when I was subscribing, I have no idea–I want to get straight into what you’ll find on the inside.

LCRW is a magazine that really demands to be read at least once, because frankly, it’s different to any other genre magazine I’ve encountered to date. Compared to the more commonly read US publications, or even the somewhat quirkier Canadian magazine On Spec, LCRW is a more whimsical and romantic publication. The stories in this magazine aren’t pounding their way from a frenetic start to a heart-stopping conclusion, but rather, they’re meandering along a green path on the way to the end of the story, and you’re accompanying them as they go–and here, that journey really is the point. The stories do come to satisfying conclusions, but there’s a real slice-of-life feel to what’s going on here, even when the stories deal with the strange, supernatural, or magical.

(This also tells me that, in all seriousness, I’ve been sending them entirely the wrong stories from my work on the occasions I’ve submitted myself. But if any of what I described above sounds like the fiction you like to write, and you’ve lamented that there isn’t a home for it, then I would suggest you click the link at the end, and get your hands on an issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. It might just be the market you’ve been looking for.)

While I enjoyed every story in this issue, and would certainly recommend it to someone who’s looking to read something a little different to their usual short-fiction fare, two stand out as my favourites — the first of those is You’ll Never Get Away With This by Gillian Daniels, a real-world early 20th century adventure fantasy concerning a would-be master criminal and his pursuits of his victim-biographer. I found the unfolding story and the interaction between the two characters wonderfully entertaining, and I would say it’s worth the price of admission for this story alone.

The second is The Fisherman’s Braid by S.E. Clark, a fantasy tale rooted in love, friendship, and loss. This story resists my efforts to pin down exactly what it is, without describing it in detail–and I have no intention of spoiling the story here by trying to do that. But I can tell you that it’s warm, it’s emotional, and it’s riddled with the kind of details that normally send my aphantasic brain into something of a tailspin–but the details belong here so well that they layered into something welcoming, and led me gently into a story that is heartwarming, yet riddled with complex emotion.

But these two are genuinely highlights within a magazine that, for me, doesn’t have a weak story in it. If you’re coming into it without expecting what LCRW has to offer, as I did, then it may take your brain a beat or two to settle into the kind of music they’re trying to play–but once you find yourself moving along with their rhythm, I think you’ll have a wonderful time with it.

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet is available from Small Beer Press, where you can buy single print issues, or subscribe to their electronic, print, and print-plus-delicious-chocolate editions, to name just a few of their wide-ranging options.

Get yourself a copy of LCRW now!

One thought on “Review: Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #46

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *