Journal of Unlikely Observances Issue 12.5, April May June 2016


Table of Contents

The Death of Chaos by anne m. gibson
Old Customs by Rajiv Moté
The City & the Man; the Man & the City by Joshua A. Dilk
Little Government Gets Us Nowhere by Rhonda Eikamp
“Fear Death By Water” by Arkady Martine
Ship of Fools by Heather Morris
Burning Day by Charles Payseur

Editors’ Note:

Ah, Spring! Winter’s reluctant release as the river’s ice cracks and breaks away, as the year’s new leaves unfurl and flowers push up through the warming soil. Insects emerge from dormancy, bears crawl forth from the earth, and baby raccoons fill the wildlife rehab centers. The world explodes with color and sound. And we mere humans can’t help but celebrate the renewal of the earth in a thousand myriad ways, from the colorful celebrations of Holi to the resurrections of Jesus, Mithras, and Dionysus; from the Feast of Fools to the dances of Beltane. And of course, April Fool’s Day: a day of tricks and jokes, of inversions and the breaking of rules.

Winter, as just about everyone reading this should have heard by now, is always coming. But Spring breaks those frozen chains. Spring cheats Death; Spring hopes eternal.

The Journal of Unlikely Observances is Unlikely Story’s third April Fool’s Day mini-issue. This year, we bring you stories that celebrate celebrations, stories of hope and self-discovery and renewal, and of putting the past away. Stories of tricks played, and of tricksters played as well.

And let us ask, Dear Reader: What better day to celebrate April Fool’s than the last day of June (or is it the first day of July where you are? O Time, trickster even unto the end!)? No matter. Together, let us cheat Time itself, and Time’s vicious, tyrannical side-kick, Deadline.

Every day can be April Fool’s Day, if you let it.

chicken break

Cover art by Linda Saboe





Announcing The Journal of Unlikely Observances ToC

It may not be April Fool’s Day anymore, but it’s still April, so it counts, right? At long last, we’ve made our final decisions for Unlikely Story #12.5: The Journal of Unlikely Observances. Now we’re delighted to unveil (in no particular order) the ToC:

Burning Day by Charles Payseur
The Death of Chaos by Anne Gibson
Old Customs by Rajiv Mote
Fear Death by Water by Arkady Martine
Little Government Gets Us Nowhere by Rhonda Eikamp
The City & the Man; The Man & the City by Joshua Dilk
Ship of Fools by Heather Morris

As always, we had tough choices to make in selecting the final line up. We received many excellent stories, so thank you to everyone who submitted work. We thoroughly enjoyed reading your pranks, your celebrations, your transformations, and your rebirths. The Journal of Unlikely Observances is going to be fantastic, and we look forward to sharing it will all of you soon!




Foolish April

At Unlikely Story, we take April Fools very seriously. We had every intention of sticking with tradition and having a new issue out to celebrate the day. Obviously, that isn’t going to happen. But don’t despair! The Journey of Unlikely Observances will still be published, just not on April 1st as originally planned. We have a handful of stories from February 28 & 29 to read and respond to, along with the stories we’re holding for further consideration.

Unfortunately, at this point, we’re not entirely sure when we’ll be able to get the issue published. Day job demands are eating up a lot of time, hence why we’re running behind. We’ll do our best to keep folks updated as we go along, and we apologize for the delay.

Thank you to the authors who are still waiting to hear from us for your incredible patience, and thank you to all of our readers as well. We promise that when it appears, the issue will be a fantastic one, and worth the wait.



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Submissions Open

Submissions are now open for our April Fools’ Mini-Issue — The Journal of Unlikely Observances.

This time around, we’re looking for short fiction of up to 2000 words that explore the rituals and festivals and symptomology from which April Fools’ Day derived. For more details, see our guidelines: http://www.unlikely-story.com/submission-guidelines/fiction-submissions/




The Clowns Have Landed!

The road to the circus has been a long and winding one. We may have gotten lost and taken a few wrong turns along the way. You see, we packed the mini full of clowns, but it turns out there was no room left for the map with all those red squeaky noses, bow ties, and rainbow wigs on board. They say it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters. Well, we managed both, and, at long last, the clowns have arrived. We have clown autopsies, whaling clowns, parasitic clown shoes, and clowns at the end of the world, just to name a few.

Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix is finally here! We have print copies in hand, and we’ll be sending them out to Kickstarter backers and contributors soon. The ebook version is available on Amazon, and we’re hoping to get the paperback version up there shortly.

Now that the clowns have arrived, what’s next for us? First, we kick up our big floppy shoes in celebration, and break out the bubbly -- seltzer water straight out of the trick flower. After that, keep your eyes on this space. We’ll have an announcement about our next project soon. In the meantime, I hope you’ll join us under the big top. We’re very proud of this anthology, and we’re delighted to share it with you.

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