Another in my series of reviews of literary journals. More information about these reviews can be found here.
Popshot Quarterly is an illustrated magazine of poetry and fiction, published since 2009 in Britain. (The subscription page lists its rates in pounds, not dollars, and British spellings are used even in the stories about America. I found all that kinda refreshing.) The publication does not appear to have any association with an educational institution.
What they say about themselves: “In June 2008, the idea for a poetry and illustration magazine materialised as a result of picking through the literary shelves of the now deceased Borders. There was a feeling that the world of poetry was driving itself into an elitist and fusty no-through road, and we wanted to do something about it... With the launch of Issue 7, we started talking about the introduction of short stories and flash fiction into the magazine, as well as poetry. In October 2012, with the arrival of our eighth issue, Popshot relaunched as ‘The Illustrated Magazine of New Writing’ firmly positioning itself as a literary magazine that champions new writing across the globe.”
Issue reviewed: Autumn 2019 (The Fantasy Issue)
Genre: Since the issue I read was dedicated to fantasy, my perception of this journal’s genre might be a little skewed. But as most of the stories were short, fast-paced, and had clear resolutions, Popshot does appear to have a solid pop sensibility while still maintaining its literary credibility. The illustrations accompanying each story or poem definitely made this one of the most fun journals I’ve read so far.
One Story I Really Liked: A tough choice, since just about every story was memorable (in case you can’t tell, I really like Popshot). But in keeping with my approach to these reviews, I’ll give a shout out to “For the Splendour with Which She Shines” by Jen Lua Allan, which provides an interesting perspective on prophets and the art of prophecy.
Helicopter Rating: Three Explosions. There wasn’t much action or conflict in the stories, but the settings in each were highly imaginative and engaging.
Profanometer: Sonovabitch. I noticed the stories about America or Americans featured more profanity than other stories. Says something about my country, or at least how my country is perceived in Britain.