"The Rustic Ladder" in Bourbon Penn

My story "The Rustic Ladder" is part of the new issue, which just went live today.

This story really came about, a couple of years ago now, as a result of a number of discussions about the differences between magical realism and fantasy. Gene Wolfe famously said magical realism is simply fantasy written by someone who speaks Spanish. It's a funny quip, but not the most helpful... I've never been a fan of strict or exhaustive boundaries and definitions of things like this, but I do like to go back to the distinction given by a professor of mine. We were studying, especially, the Boom writers, and in that context she explained that in Spanish-language fantasy, the fantastical or uncanny aspect is the source of the story's conflict. In magical realism, however, the fantastical elements are simply a part of the everyday lives of the characters, and the conflict arises from other sources, often related to themes of colonialization and (sub-)development. With that distinction, and with those online discussions fresh in mind, I wrote this story to explore how I might take those themes.

Bourbon Penn is free to read online, or you can order a Kindle copy or POD physical copy through the site.