Real Life is on winter break. We’ve put together eight SPECIAL ISSUES for your consideration. We’ll publish one a day, each selected by an editor and based on a thematic topic. Click the image below for a pdf. And please enjoy these mid-season reruns until we return to our usual scheduled program.

Some stretch of primordial time passed—I imagine, I can’t look it up right now—during which blood was only shed, spilled or stolen, before it was ever drawn or given. Blood is magnetic wealth; it is the stuff of lifelong pacts and biohazards. The life of a creature is in the blood, and we are bloody symbolic creatures. In the year of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the century of new bodily “transgressive intimacies,” a British physician finally curbed one female death by childbirth with a blood transfusion; he was born the same year as the American painter who, having received news of his wife’s postpartum heart attack too late to see her burial, created a pulsing code and the first long-distance telegraph. Some of us feel we bleed into our work; some moreso let through suckling devices, turning daily blood to vital data; others wonder whether the blood on our fingertips is all our own; and some of us keep blood ties forever, with people we call our lifeblood long after space and time have failed to help us find them again. —Soraya King, Editor


“Life Support,” by Hannah Barton


“Survival Guides,” by Rachel Giese


“Monster Tuck Rally,” by Alexandra Kimball


“Clash Rules Everything Around Me,” by  Tony Tulathimutte


Soraya King is an editor at Real Life. She lives in Los Angeles.