AS: Christie, I have always loved short fiction. I remember being very young at a library somewhere in England, finding a massive, annotated tome of Robin Hood stories, and just digging in right there, sitting on the floor and falling in love with every page, every word. I had to be about eight or so. From there, I got into books about myths—the stories more than the explanations, at that age; and then comic books, especially The Avengers, Justice League, and of course, X-Men. Somewhere along the way, I became a teenager with lots of anthologies and collections in my room, including Stephen King’s Night Shift and Datlow’s anthologies, plus basically any horror antho I could find. What about you?
CY: My grandmother worked for the public school system, and she would get the books that the school libraries discarded and then pass them on to me. There was a multi-volume set of folk tales from around the world that I particularly loved. That was definitely the beginning. I was also extremely lucky to have a fourth-grade teacher who loved science fiction, and she would read Ray Bradbury stories to us; I distinctly remember sobbing over “The Fog Horn.” So I learned very early how much impact a short story could have. From there it was Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew and MZB’s anthology series Sword and Sorceress, among others.
AS: I love the way short fiction can be so many things, can go to so many places. I love that you can see so many amazing perspectives on an idea. I love the power a great piece of short fiction can exert in such a relatively brief span of time. Being a magazine editor is a ton of work, so much more than people realize; it takes up a lot of time and energy. But it’s also really wonderful to get to see so much fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. I’m grateful to get to publish pieces that do something special. I made a collage of the covers from our 2021 issues, and seeing them all together, I felt really proud of what we’ve accomplished with Fantasy. I felt so happy about all those fantastic words, and the seriously talented and hard-working authors we’ve been able to work with.
CY: I’ve seen that multitude of perspectives in every themed anthology call—you never get the same story twice, and it’s fascinating to see how different authors interpret the same brief.
It’s hard to believe we’ve put out seventeen issues already. The reason I wanted to become a writer and editor myself was to hopefully create something that had the same impact on someone else as so many stories have had on me over the years. We’ve published some memorable work here, and I look forward to discovering so much more!
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In this issue’s short fiction, Dominique Dickey explores the many pasts we cling to in “Drowned Best Friend”, and K. J. Chien’s “One Day the Cave Will Be Empty” takes a different kind of look at parenthood; in flash fiction, Katherine Ley provides some very important safety tips in “How to Make Love to a Ciguapa”, and contemplation changes everything in “Mirage-Stories” by Ernesto Fuentes; for poetry, we have “Evolve” by Soonest Nathaniel and “Methuselah Performs a Magic Trick” by Alyza Taguilaso. Plus there’s an interview with co-editors of anthology Trouble the Waters, Sheree Renée Thomas, Troy L. Wiggins & Pan Morigan. Enjoy!
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