From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Editorial: April 2022

CY: Here in the Midwest the weather is warming up, flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and we can finally get back outdoors after another long Covid winter. This month I’ll be attending my first local book festival in the area and I’m excited to read the work of the authors who will be visiting. Maybe it’s because we’ve been indoors for so long, but the idea of getting out and handling physical books and meeting the people who wrote them feels especially novel and inviting right now. I’m excited to discover some new authors writing in different genres. Science fiction and fantasy are my first loves, but I also need to go back to the well to fill up and be inspired by realist fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

AS: That sounds so fun! We went to see The Batman in theaters. Every time I go out I have a mix of feelings, including being happy to be out and doing stuff, but also including a touch of nervousness and a dash of guilt. I’ve been to two major conventions recently (World Fantasy in Montreal and Worldcon in Washington D.C.) and I’m so excited for things to be more fun, less stressful, less worrisome. I’m definitely a fan of writers and works which straddle or defy genre definitions! Genre writers often understand the ongoing conventions and conversations, which can be great; but sometimes folks who started in “mainstream” or “literary” and are just starting to play in genre bring fresh, unique perspectives. As readers, stepping outside genre (at least, in my opinion) can be wonderful. Great writing is great writing, whether or not it has unicorns or aliens.

CY: “Going back to the well” is a theme that comes up frequently in my life, both creatively and in a more mundane getting-through-the-day way. These have been trying times for everyone, and we’ve all had to make sacrifices we never anticipated, and give more of ourselves in ways that were unfamiliar and painful. We found ourselves drained in a very real sense: drained of energy, of inspiration, of resources, and sometimes of hope. We are going to have to find ways to fill up again. That will look different for everyone. For me I think it looks like taking a walk with a friend, reading a short story collection by an author I hadn’t encountered before, and learning something new.

AS: So true. I love going out for a nice meal; I think I get a similar thing from it sometimes. Or even cooking, if I’m doing it for someone I care about, putting that love into it. Reading can definitely be cathartic, or healing. Even when it’s just plain entertaining, sometimes that distraction is exactly what’s needed. I know many writers find that sense of going back to the well in putting together a short story or poem. There are always new and interesting things in the work we publish, and we publish many new writers who have fresh perspectives. I am confident that readers can find energy, renewal, or even just the distraction they need in our pages!

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In this issue’s short fiction, Hannah Yang takes a different kind of look at the magic of love in “How To Make A Man Love You,” and in Kristina Ten’s “Beginnings” we get a new twist on “once upon a time;” in flash fiction, Martins Deep plays with format, imagery, and emotion with “Isio,” and  fantasy meets reality in “Practical Childcare Considerations for Knights Errant” by Rachel Locascio; for poetry, we have “Great Sage, Protector of Horses” by May Chong and “Alice Is Much Farther Than She Appears” by Laura Ruby. Plus essay “Stereotypes, Godhood, and The Wicked + The Divine” by Priya Chand. Enjoy!

Arley Sorg

Arley Sorg is a 2021 and a 2022 World Fantasy Award Finalist as well as a 2022 Locus Award Finalist for his work as co-Editor-in-Chief at Fantasy Magazine. Arley is a 2022 recipient of SFWA’s Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award. He is also a finalist for two 2022 Ignyte Awards: for his work as a critic as well as for his creative nonfiction. Arley is a senior editor at Locus Magazine, associate editor at both Lightspeed & Nightmare, and a columnist for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He takes on multiple roles, including slush reader, movie reviewer, and book reviewer, and conducts interviews for multiple venues, including Clarkesworld Magazine and his own site: arleysorg.com. He has taught classes, run workshops, and been a guest for Clarion West, the Odyssey Writing Workshop, Cascade Writers, Augur Magazine, and more. Arley grew up in England, Hawaii, and Colorado, and studied Asian Religions at Pitzer College. He lives in the SF Bay Area and writes in local coffee shops when he can. Find him on Twitter @arleysorg. Arley is a 2014 Odyssey Writing Workshop graduate.

Christie Yant

A white middle-aged woman with pale skin, chin-length magenta hair, and tortoise-shell glasses

Christie Yant writes and edits science fiction and fantasy in the American mid-west. She is a World Fantasy Award and Locus Award finalist as co-editor of Fantasy Magazine; a consulting editor for Tordotcom’s acclaimed line of novellas; co-editor of four anthologies; editor of Women Destroy Science Fiction!, winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Anthology; and the author of just enough published short stories that if you counted them up on your digits you’d probably have a toe left over. She has a website here: inkhaven.net. She presently attempts to balance her dayjob, writing life, and editing life with varying degrees of success.