From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Editorial: September 2022

CY: Arley, it was so good to spend time with you at the Cascade Writers workshop in July! It had been much too long since we’d seen each other last. And almost as soon as we got home, we got some exciting news!

AS: One year ago – September 2021 issue – we talked about how we’d just found out we were finalists for a World Fantasy Award. I was stunned to see we’re finalists again for our work as editors, especially following being finalists for the Locus Award. But I was exponentially more pleased to see Eugen Bacon & Seb Doubinsky’s story “The Failing Name” is a World Award Fantasy Finalist!

CY: They’re in great company, too. World Fantasy is one of my favorite conventions, mostly because of how intimate it is.This year it’s going to be held in New Orleans, which should prove to be an amazing time.

AS: Let’s celebrate a few things! Yilin Wang’s poem “The Reality of Ghosts” was shortlisted for an Aurora Award. Shingai Njeri Kagunda’s “And This Is How To Stay Alive” is on the Nommo Awards Shortlist; Priya Chand has “Dragonslayer” and Terese Mason Pierre has “Appeal to the Dopplegänger” for poetry as finalists for Ignyte Awards and Vida Cruz’s essay “We Are the Mountain: A Look at the Inactive Protagonist” is also up for an Ignite Award. A number of poems were Rhysling Award finalists, and one piece – B. Sharise Moore’s “Black Beak (a nonet)” was a Dwarf Sta.rs finalist. I hope these authors took a moment to bask in their accomplishments!

CY: And our very own Phoebe Barton won the Aurora for her short story “The Mathematics of Fairyland”! Phoebe is one our Spotlighters–her story was published in Lightspeed, and we could not be more proud.

AS: For me, the best things about all the recognition – whether awards nominations or seeing something reprinted in a Year’s Best or even a really lovely review – is a) seeing the authors and their work being appreciated; and b) knowing that the work in our pages is resonating for a lot of people in meaningful ways. Obviously what we publish, to us, is wonderful. I’m glad that the authors and stories, poems, even nonfiction we’re showcasing is important to so many people. I’m really happy for the authors who get to shine, get to be seen! And Christie, I’m grateful that I get to do this with you.

• • • •

In this issue’s short fiction, K.S. Walker takes us on a gorgeous, transformative journey in “How to Join a Colony of Sea-Folk; or, Other Ways of Knowing” and Jennifer Hudak’s “The Weight of it All” explores the substantial through the insubstantial; in flash fiction, Samantha Murray challenges traditional ideas of hauntings in “This Blue World” while Jen Brown’s “The Probability of One” teaches us to speak the language of particles; for poetry, we have “I Kissed a Dragon” by Sharang Biswas and “The Hole is the Beginning” by Angel Leal. Plus part two of our collective interview with Top Ten Finalists from the Locus Awards Best Fantasy Novel category, this round featuring (alphabetically): Ryka Aoki, Fonda Lee, Naomi Novik, and C.L. Polk. Enjoy!

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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.