Magazine: Astounding Frontiers #1


Astounding FrontiersAstounding Frontiers, issue #1

Astounding Frontiers is a magazine put out by Superversive Press.  “Superversive” is the name of a recent literary movement you may not be familiar with.  This quote from author L Jagi Lamplighter serves as a nice, quick summary:

You know how subversive means to change something by undermining from below? Superversive is change by inspiration from above.

Her website has an index of articles that delve into the topic more deeply.  The first 2-3 articles, which I’ve just read, give a good overview of the Superversive movement’s philosophy and writing ideals.

Unfortunately, if you’re interested in writing some Superversive fiction, you can’t submit to Astounding Frontiers, as the magazine is invitation-only.

Short Stories

The Death Ride of SUNS Joyeuse by Patrick Baker.  A futuristic battle depiction.

Riders of the Red Shift by Lou Antonelli.  A space crewman delves into his grandfather’s past.

According to Culture by Declan Finn.  A man rescues his kidnapped daughter.

Stopover on Manta Colony by Erin Lale.  Colonists are getting depressed and committing suicide.

Watson’s Demon by Sarah Salviander.  An advanced creature torments a human scientist by manipulating his experiment.

First Episodes of Serials

Nowither by John Wright.  This story begins with a long infodump, (which I think is a recap of one of the author’s novels) but it is a very interesting infodump.  There are portals that take people to alternate-history versions of Earth.  In one of them, a Mesopotamian civilization (Babylonian?  Assyrian?  I can’t remember.) didn’t collapse, conquered the entire planet, and forcibly replaced all local cultures with its own.  The civilization was the first to discover the portals, and now seeks to impose its culture on all alternate Earths as well.  This particular serial episode is a really weird fight scene.

In the Seraglio of the Sheik of Mars by Ben Wheeler.  A marriage is arranged on an Arab-populated Mars.  The setting and culture in this story seemed detailed and believable, but to me, this could have been a historical fiction set in an Islamic country.  The Mars aspect never came into play.

Galactic Outlaws by Nick Cole and Jason Anspach.  This was a compelling story, but in my mind, I couldn’t seem to separate the setting from the Star Wars universe.  At the time, I didn’t know this was intentional on the authors’ part.  They are writing a series of books titled Galaxy’s Edge, where they are trying to capture the spirit of the original Star Wars, without any proper names that could get them sued, of course.  I plan to look into this series further.  I’ve just downloaded a free short story, and I’ll start there when I need a break from my quests.


  1. Lamplighter, no thank you!
    I tried the first of her “Prospero’s Daughter” trilogy and barely made it through. Not bad writing but both the content and the style were definitely not what I wanted.So anything with her at the forefront I already know isn’t something I want to read…

    1. She’s not actually one of the editors of the magazine, which I may have implied above.

      I hadn’t heard of the Prospero’s daughter. I’ve recently read one of her stories in Lyonesse, which I’ll be reviewing soon, and it wasn’t one of my favorites, but wasn’t the worst story in the collection either.

      I thought their philosophy of writing might be right up your alley.

      1. Ahhh, I might have skipped over some itty bitty details when reading your post 🙂
        I saw Lamplighter says X, then Magazine blah, blah, blah. And I made the leap that she was directly involved.

        It wouldn’t surprise me if the actual magazine WAS up my alley. That being said, the magazine format just isn’t for me. I’m not a big fan of short stories by random authors. I prefer short stories to be all by one.

        1. I’m not sure whether or not you’d like this particular issue. You might be interested in Lyonesse (even if they did include a Lamplighter story), which I plan to review next week. They have a subscription service where they email you a story weekly, I think.

          I can understand preferring single-author collections. Even if you get a variety of themes and genres, at least you get consistent quality.

  2. […] is another magazine in the superversive tradition, which I mentioned in my review of Astounding Frontiers.  Unlike Astounding Frontiers, Lyonesse has open submissions periods, so if you’ve written […]

  3. Superversive Press has about three open submission calls on its website, They’re for short story anthology books. 🙂

    1. You’re right, I forgot about those.

  4. […] In the Seraglio of the Sheik of Mars by Ben Wheeler.  This serial began in issue #1.   […]

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