From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Editorial, December 2020

Fantasy Magazine #61 has been very well-received–many thanks to all of our readers, old and new. Now we bring you issue #62 co-edited by Christie Yant and Arley Sorg. Hope you like it!

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 AS: So – 2020. What a year. And what an intense past few months. We’ve had so many challenges! Between elections and personal stuff–as we write this, on November 9th, we are both looking back at a lot of obstacles which are now behind us; and we are looking forward, embracing new opportunities, engaging in new discussions.

CY:  I think we’re all ready to put this bizarre and tumultuous year in the rear-view mirror and focus on the future and new possibilities. We’ve all had the shared trauma of the pandemic and the U.S. election, which exacerbated whatever personal challenges we’ve all faced, the underlying theme of the year has been one of constant change, instability, and fear. What I’m most hopeful about right now is the sense that change can start to mean something else to us: change for the good, a “new normal” that can be better for more people than the “old normal” was.

AS: What we are doing here, with this magazine, it’s important to both of us. This work inevitably reflects who we are as people as well as our environments. And with this platform hopefully, on some cultural level, we can help move things towards those positive changes.

CY: The experiences of the past year are certainly going to affect how people tell their stories, and the kinds of stories that we’re drawn to. I’m not sure what that’s going to look like, exactly, but I suspect that themes of justice, hope, and overcoming obstacles will be increasingly appealing.

AS: I am absolutely excited at that thought. I’m eager to find more wonderful work; and I love the ways that stories can transform, can reframe, can surprise. Whether people respond to the year we’ve had through their writing, or tap into other aspects of their experiences in spite of the year’s best attempts to disrupt their lives, I can’t wait to see what people will show us. It all comes back to our purpose: We are determined to bring quality fiction to readers and we’re determined to do it right!

CY: Here in the northern hemisphere we’re entering a pandemic winter, a time when we’re going to have to find and embrace ways to bolster our health and happiness while stuck inside and with limited contact with friends and family. One of the things that has always given me comfort is literature, especially reading something written from a fresh perspective. I hope that our readers find little pockets of enjoyment in Fantasy Magazine—find a comfy chair, a blanket, something to sip on, and enjoy the issue!

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In this issue we have Kurt Hunt’s touching tale of two people struggling to connect in “An Indefinite Number of Birds”; friendship and love in Anjel Kaye’s moving and subtle “If These Walls Whispered What Would We Hear?”; Kerry C. Byrne’s beautifully imagined poem on communication and other-ness, “Things Might Be Different if We All Lived Underwater”; Hal Y. Zhang’s reflective poem “softening, come morning”; a vivid story of survival and sacrifice, “Umami” by Anya Ow; Kristiana Willsey’s surreal and captivating “Tiny House Living”; and a biting essay from Meg Elison called “All the King’s Women.”

Enjoy!

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Christie Yant

Christie Yant writes and edits science fiction and fantasy on the central coast of California, where she lives with a dancer, an editor, a dog, and four cats. She worked as an assistant editor for Lightspeed Magazine from its launch in 2010 through 2015, and, in 2014 she edited the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue of Lightspeed, which won the British Fantasy Award for Best Anthology. In 2019 she co-edited (with Hugh Howey and Gary Whitta) Resist: Tales From a Future Worth Fighting Against, an anthology benefitting the ACLU, and co-edited The Dystopia Triptych series of anthologies (with Hugh Howey and John Joseph Adams). She is also a consulting editor for Tor.com’s line of novellas, and her own fiction has appeared in anthologies and magazines including Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2011 (Horton),  Armored, Analog Science Fiction & Fact, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, io9, and Wired.com, and has received honorable mentions in Year’s Best Science Fiction (Dozois) and Best Horror of the Year (Datlow).

Arley Sorg

Arley Sorg is a senior editor at Locus Magazine, where he’s been on staff since 2014. He joined the Lightspeed family in 2014 to work on the Queers Destroy Science Fiction! special issue, starting as a slush reader. He eventually worked his way up to associate editor at both Lightspeed and Nightmare. He also reviews books for LocusLightspeed, and Cascadia Subduction Zone and is an interviewer for Clarkesworld Magazine. Arley grew up in England, Hawaii, and Colorado, and studied Asian Religions at Pitzer College. He lives in Oakland, and, in non-pandemic times, usually writes in local coffee shops. He is a 2014 Odyssey Writing Workshop graduate.