Permafrost

This series of reviews of literary journals and genre magazines has become quite irregular, yet I’ll keep it going until it no longer interests me. As of today, I’m still interested.

Permafrost is a literary magazine founded by the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in 1977. The journal publishes an online and print edition every year.

What They Say About Themselves: “As the editors of the farthest north literary magazine, we’ve chosen an unconventional, expansive place to live. That, too, is what we seek in your submissions… Like many people, we’d rather read an interesting failure than something safe and boring, but interesting successes are really what we’re after here. Engage us. Challenge our perceptions. Increase our capacity for empathy. Make us aware of prejudices we didn’t know we had. Teach us how to see beauty in the way that you do.”

Issue Reviewed: 42.2 (2021)

Genre: Mostly literary realism, although there’s a good deal of speculative work as well

One Story I’ll Remember Not to Forget: “Elevation,” by Alfredo Lafarga. Alex struggles to hike up a mountain after receiving a cryptic voicemail message from a woman who knows his brother. A convincing tale about two people who love a man they know doesn’t deserve to be loved.

Exploding Helicopters: Three Explosions. Most stories were very engaging.

Profanometer: Dammit. Not as many four-letter words as I find in other literary journals.

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