The authors appearing in the premier, Winter 2010 issue of the publication, which has eleven short stories and three poems in its 140 pages, offer a wide range of approaches and settings.
Michael J. Shell's 'The Death of a Soybean', which presents an off-the-wall alternate version of the Manhattan Project and World War II
Kaolin Fire's �The Aetheric God', in which a young technician named Asher spends his days building steam-men
Alan Frackelton's 'A Blessing From the Blind Boy', the story of a disgruntled gaucho named Juan Hernandez who burglarizes the mansion of his ruthless landowner employer
Rochita Loenen-Ruiz's 'Breaking the Spell' (a reprint from Philippine Speculative Fiction 4) has for its protagonist a little girl who becomes fascinated with the miniature world her father keeps under a bell jar
However, in contrast with exoticism, the issue favors toward contemporary contexts, and compared with the world-changing (and rather nihilistic) events of Shell's story, or the intense confrontation with the supernatural of Fire's, subtler uses of speculative elements inside quieter, more personal stories.
Frank Ard's story of a love triangle between a man, mer-man and woman �Small Fish in the Deep Blue' is �slipstream.'
Natania Barron's 'Without a Light', in which a sixth-grade teacher in a small town starts an affair with a mysterious colleague
Elizabeth Creith's 'Five Oak Leaves', where a man encounters a young changeling girl
Anna Manthiram's 'Boris', a meditation via fortune cookie-like clothing tags
Christopher Green's 'Holding Hands', in which a Vietnam veteran encounters a girl he left behind
Michael J. Deluca's 'The Driftwood Chair', in which a man roams the beach trying to cope with the loss of a love
Mary J. Daley's 'The Book of Barnyard Souls', in which a young farm girl named Kalee receives nightly visits from the souls of deceased animals
The poems offer similar grandiosity, particularly Bruce Boston's rich, dark, chaotic �The Time Traveler Leaves History Behind' and Alexandra Seidel's glittering �In Babel.'
"By and large the sensibility is �literary,' and the quality is high (the two, of course, not always the same thing), virtually all the stories assembled here working, though to different degrees and in different ways. �Death of a Soybean' succeeds on the strength of its pacing and strangeness, Fire's �The Aetheric God' on the nightmarish force of the telling. The poems offer similar grandiosity, particularly Bruce Boston's rich, dark, chaotic �The Time Traveler Leaves History Behind' and Alexandra Seidel's glittering �In Babel.' Daley's touching �Barnyard Souls,' is the most emotionally resonant story in the volume, though the pieces by Frackleton and Creith also succeed on this level. That combination of quality and variety means that Fantastique Unfettered #1 offers something for many different tastes, in what seems to me a very promising start for the new publication."