Novella-length pieces this time. I don't read many pieces like that. Francis King and (perhaps the weakest) Marina Warner are joined by 5 authors I've not heard of before. They're all good.
In Christopher Chambers' piece, set in New Orleans, a lot happens: a gun is fired, someone's tattooed, a dog's run over, a woman's picked up, she offers drugs, they're stopped as a roadblock, go to a bar playing live music, their parked car's vandalised, he walks home, gets asked for money by kids, turns his back
Richard Lea's "Step by Step" is a story with traces of SF, war, break-ups, and metafictional interruptions like this "But what's with the sandcastles, you ask. What's all this about Miss Miggs? Here we are walking briskly down the hill behind a man with a gun in his pocket - not too close now, or he might see us - and suddenly we've jumped horses, we've switched sides, and it's all daddy and mummy and swings and piggy-backs. What's with all the kiddy talk?" (p.50). My favourite.
Other stories' settings include Shanghai, Sumatra, Sudan, the Caribbean, and a Tehran where intellectuals returning from the West get caught up in protest marches.
The magazine's prizewinner by Jill Widner interests me because it's from a novel in progress. 3 other excerpts have already won prizes (published in the North American Review, etc), and 4 others have been published (in Asia Literary Review, etc).