The Winter 2012 issue is The Rag's second issue. The selections in this issue both expand on some of the themes developed in the first issue--alienation, the death of the American Dream--and push into new territory. One of the strongest thematic currents connecting many of these stories is power and control. This is an era where our society's innovations and technology, rather than imparting to us increasing freedom and control over our lives, instead exert increasing control over us. This theme is perhaps visualized the fullest in Garth von Buchholz' sci-fi story "Make Mad the Roaring Winds," which follows Darcy Lim, a human resources officer who's wrapping up a very long commute--a 3-year journey to a colony on one of Jupiter's moons. Trapped in his solitary space capsule on an immoveable trajectory towards its destination, Darcy's fighting to gain a modicum of control over his life and destiny, and suicide or insanity have come to look like decent options.
"They can watch me, they can listen to me, they can read my writing and they can even monitor my bio functions, but they can’t read my thoughts. It’s the last dominion of human privacy, the limitless playground where anything can be formulated and anything can be materialized. And if your thoughts are wise enough, and strong enough, well, they can even begin to give you powers that no one knows you have." -- from "Make Mad the Roaring Winds" by Garth von Buchholz
The full lineup is as follows:
"Zombie Night" by Justin Reed
"Make Mad the Roaring Winds" by Garth von Buchholz
"Kill Whitey" by Wes Trexler
"A Clash" by Melissa Ragsly
"Into the Light" by C.R. Penn
"D-Gen" by Timothy Ghorkin
"You Take Care Now, Mary Jones" by Lynn Levin
"The Leaves are Falling" by Tony Zito
"Elkhart, Indiana" and "Coney Island in Limbo" by Lisette Eileen Cheresson
"Elegy for the Skid Row Men of Old Portland" by Nathaniel Hunt
"What to Expect" by Sarah Bridgins
Featuring original artwork from Alex Eckman-Lawn and Veronica Chen
Cover art by David Rankin.