Fantasy magazine

From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Editorial, March 2021

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CY: As we write this, we had our first spring-like day in the lower American mid-west. I can see buds on the trees outside my window. We’re finally coming out of a very long, dark winter, literally and figuratively. As we start to see more and more people getting their Covid-19 vaccines, that despair that kept so many of us down for the past year is starting to lift a little for some.

AS: Hope can be a dangerous thing! It’s so often the foundation for heartbreak. But I think hope is also essential: It keeps us going, keeps us striving. In fiction, even in darker stories, hope can give the reader a moment to breathe, and keep the read engaging. As spring unfolds, our country is beginning to move through a number of transitions, and so many people are feeling a bit more positive and hopeful again.

CY: I wonder how that will spill out into the stories we read in coming months, as we finally gain a little mental space to process what we’ve all been through. Some people can write about heavy stuff while they’re in it; others need some distance before they can touch it.

AS: It’s true! I also wonder how it will affect our own responses to stories. Part of this depends on what we get, and I do believe that finding a great story can have a huge impact on your mood. But I also wonder how much our environment and the things we are going through plays a part in what we are hungry to read.

CY: I’m looking forward to more stories of hope, change, and community.

AS: That… sounds really good! I’ve always liked dark stories, but I also like well-told stories of hope. I can’t wait to see what people send us!

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In this issue, you’ll find the following fabulous fantasies: Original fiction by M. Shaw (“Man vs. Bomb”) and Hal Y. Zhang (“Arenous”); flash fiction by McKinley Valentine (“The Code for Everything”) and Donyae Coles (“Close Enough to Divine”); poetry by B. Sharise Moore (“Black Beak”) and Priya Chand (“Dragonslayer”); and an interview with Charles Yu. 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: 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: She presently attempts to balance her dayjob, writing life, and editing life with varying degrees of success.