Eternity Now! | Jeff Bezos's 10,000-Year Plan

Josh Marcus

Over the course of a week at the end of 2020, the air tens of thousands of feet above the North Pole heated 100 degrees in what’s known as a sudden stratospheric warming event. This phenomenon, which scientists predict could become more common with climate change, wobbled the great atmospheric turntable of the jetstream, sending waves of Arctic air towards the U.S. Two months later, Winter Storm Uri arrived, blanketing...

The Underlying Issue | Fiction

Pete Segall

Slaughter Rule My son said he wanted to play baseball. I didn’t know if he really wanted to do it or was just being charitable: I had a lot of free time that summer. His teammates were changelings, gnomes, humanoids. The whole outfield were creatures out of Herodotus. A boy with a German Shepherd’s head; a boy with a face in the middle of his chest; a boy with his...

The Late Year | Fiction

Lily Meyer

Hester learned to be frank from her father. At home, he rarely spoke. Every day after school, though, Hester did her homework in his office at the Fairfield Park-n-Shop, where, if she sat beside the heating duct in the spare consultation room, she could hear his conversations with the nurses as clearly as if she were sitting between them. With them, he was voluble. Hester learned about illegal abortions, fallen...

Objects of Desire | Fiction

Clare Sestanovich

  The two of them live in a small apartment, small enough that it is impossible to ever be truly out of sight. In the room that is both the living room and the bedroom, there is a lofted bed. They have learned, faster than they anticipated, to navigate the ladder in half-sleep, when one of them needs to pee or retrieve a glass of water or confiscate the cat’s...

The ISIS Beat | Why Caliphate and Everyone Else Got It Wrong

Rozina Ali

In March 2019, I arrived in eastern Syria to witness the demise of the Islamic State. The movement had been largely defeated, having surrendered major cities like Raqqa and Mosul. All that was left of the Caliphate, which had gripped our collective fears for the past six years, were a few square miles of desert along the Iraqi–Syrian border. The towns here appeared to be deserted. Car doors were left...

The End of the Road | Nomadland, My Mother, and the Frontier's Broken Promise

Mitchell Johnson

For the first few months of the Great Recession, I was glued to cable. When I got home from school, I would turn on the news, usually CNN, to check in on the financial collapse. The same people were on TV all the time: sobbing families and defensive bankers, Hank Paulson and Octomom. Reporters toured abandoned Las Vegas cul-de-sacs in search of the average American. Jon Stewart seemed always on...

“Speak to the Moment” | Art and Culture under Trump

Blair McClendon, Jenny G. Zhang, Matt Christman, Merve Emre, Rosemarie Ho, Sasha Frere-Jones, Sophie Haigney, Tausif Noor

In 2016, grand predictions were issued about the fate of art under the new regime. The culture would suffer, dragged into the morass of Trump’s gaudy, ’80s flair — his ill-fitting suits, overlong ties, and overcooked steaks. Or no — it would usher in an artistic renaissance, a flourishing, heady underground. Comedy might be dead, but things were looking up for punk.  Four(ish) years later, it’s time to prematurely diagnose the...

Mr Blythe Esq. | FICTION

Amber Medland

Typing I   Today my boss handed me an envelope, then a stamp, and told me to lick it. My online therapist, Susan, says that my inability to set appropriate boundaries indicates low self-confidence. I am convinced that Susan is a bot. I reply: I do not have low self-esteem. What I have is impeccable manners. Julie and I used to live together. She wants me to get a real...

New Sheriff in Town | Law Enforcement and the Urban-Rural Divide

Jonathon Booth

Big Harris Rood had spent his life growing cotton on a plantation near Lumpkin, Georgia. He had been free from bondage for less than a year when three white robbers arrived outside his cabin late one night in early 1866. After a brief argument, Rood killed the leader, driving an ax into his skull. The next day, the dead man’s father swore out a warrant and traveled to the Rood...

[A Moment Breaking Loose from the Past Becomes the Voice Inside Your Head] | POETRY

Jackie Wang

Where in this architecture of dust will you find the space to build a house that does not split? There I see your hand trying to escape the raw activity of laying stones Formations will spryly emerge the dampened loam shaped into something terrible From the mud she tells me, “Some days I wake up laughing because these forms are so unnecessary” “Some days I wake up crying because these...

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