The pieces found within Aniko Magazine’s third issue, Fantasize, are raw and real, darkly sarcastic, hopeful and healing. These pieces imagine – as founder Emily Riches describes in the issue’s foreword – ‘…new worlds and new futures.’

They also come in all shapes and structures, from stream-of-consciousness poetry to diary-style confessions to a choose-your-own adventure story. The breadth of forms indicate that fantasizing is not stationary; it comes in whatever forms it comes in.

Miriam Webster’s ‘Seafoam Fantasy’ imagines the trajectory of a doomed love affair.

Adrian Mouhajer’s ‘Beneath the Olive Trees’ creates a beautiful scene of a partner being accepted and adored by family.

Travis Lucas’ ‘Asymptote’ is a futuristic experience with technology that brings us back into the world as we know it right now.

And (a piece I found particularly compelling), Tate Fountain’s ‘HEADING OUT’ sums up the whole ‘Fantasize’ exercise by describing an elsewhere, an other place, ‘…somewhere I won’t have to panic at the prospect of cruelty…’

The artwork is also dreamy, otherworldly, and unexpectedly creeping in some instances, like the aesthetic of Fairyland with the threat of actual fairies. An indication, perhaps, that as important as fantasy and escapism can be, it is not a place to become stuck, but merely to visit as often and as long as one needs.

Aniko Magazine’s third issue asks us bluntly, in a time when escapism is a vital balm to the human spirit, to imagine this other place, this other future, and to be healed by it.

I was provided a free copy of this magazine by the publisher in return for an honest review.

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