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January 2015

Alternate Pasts: International Uchronia

Image: Kacper Kowalski, China, Wuming, Guangxi Zhuang. Stone pits cut away into the mountainous area of Wuming near Nanning.

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.

Alternate Pasts: An Introduction to International Uchronia

Uchronia is a narrative mode that has enjoyed both critical recognition and popular acceptance throughout literary history.


Above an opening in the robot's chest are the words "In the name of Jesus protect man and beast from the followers of Satan"

Distinguishing Marks: None

You had known Ramiro from the years of the First Dictatorship, those long-ago days of pick-up soccer games and fruit popsicles.

Cousins from Overseas

His pains originate in another continent. They are graver, and more ancient.

The Beast Has Died

“Juárez has died, Your Majesty.”

Saint Lionel

The smell of the cyborg-gasoline gives me a pang of withdrawal which makes my hands sweat.

Contreras’s Dream

Augusto Pinochet Ugarte and Gonzalo Leigh Meza are arrested under the charge of sedition on the evening of September 10.


You look away. The yolk’s yellow circle reminds you of an eye.


The father could no longer tolerate the oddities of that son who was turning him into the laughingstock of Assisi.


Book Reviews

Sheng Keyi’s “Death Fugue”

Reviewed by Amanda Calderon

Norman Manea’s “Captives”

Reviewed by Daniel Goldman

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Under a Different Light: Writing by Tunisian Women

Within (and Without) These Borders: Writing from the US

What Unites Us: Turkish Short Stories

A Different Solitude: New Writing from Colombia

The New French

Divided Countries

The Queer Issue VIII

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.