From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

The Conductors 728x90 banner ad

Advertisement

Nonfiction

Nonfiction

Learning to Dream in Color

I didn’t grow up dreaming in color. I dreamed in white. Not my literal dreams, the thoughts that flickered within my mind’s eye while I dozed. In those dreams I was a frizzy-haired black girl with unkempt hair and an overbite, same as I was in my daily life. Those nightly dreams were cast in […]

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Shweta Narayan

What was the inspiration for this story? Wow, that’s kinda complicated, and I’m reconstructing from six years later, but here’s my memory of what happened: My good friend Michael Ellsworth is a historical linguist and an Ancient Greece nerd, and he had been telling me awesome things about both. One day he sent me a […]

Nonfiction

People of Colo(u)r Editorial Roundtable

I wanted to start with the idea of the origin story. Every writer has one, and it’s always interesting to hear how writers of color navigated the choppy waters of reading fantasy early on and then deciding to write it. I remember searching for myself, in that languageless sort of way we do when we’re young and don’t know the larger meaning of our search.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: P. Djèlí Clark

When it comes to worldbuilding, especially in fantasy, it’s those little elements that add texture to the setting: the clothing, the food, the architecture, the color and scents. The world of the Ten Chiefdoms has diverse inspirations: from Central Africa to the Caribbean. So you see bits of history, music, folklore, politics, and even dialect, of these vast regions interwoven throughout.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Shweta Narayan

Retellings appeal to me for the same reason multi-threaded stories appeal; I don’t know what it’s like to have only one perspective on anything. I have lived between cultures all my life, and I’m not entirely part of any one. I’m always super-aware of which part of my world is accessible to the people I’m with; even my accent shifts, mid-sentence, depending on who I’m addressing.

Nonfiction

Interview: Hal Duncan

Hal Duncan is the author of many novels, stories, poems, blog posts, and other works, including the Book of All Hours diptych, Vellum and Ink, as well as the novella Escape from Hell! (Monkeybrain Books), the chapbook An A to Z of the Fantastic City (Small Beer Press), the libretto Sodom! the Musical, the essay Rhapsody: Notes on Strange Fiction (Lethe Press), and the story collection Scruffians! (Lethe Press). Vellum was nominated for the Crawford, Locus, BFS, and World Fantasy awards, and won the Spectrum, Kurd Lasswitz and Tähtivaeltaja awards; both Rhapsody and Scruffians! are, as I write this, nominated for the BFS award.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Kai Ashante Wilson

I had a sudden fierce urge to write some tie-in fiction—for Star Wars, or a Bioware video game, something like that. But since I’m just about the last the author likely to be chosen/approached for such a project, I quickly realized I’d have to make up my own media property if it were to happen at all: thus, the video game Kaiju maximus®. It nearly broke my mind—in a fun way!—trying to tell a straight-ahead genre story as tie-fiction for a media property that doesn’t exist.

Nonfiction

The Sleepover Manifesto

We know that queers need fantasies. We believe that queers specifically need fantasies of the future to sustain us moving forward. We need utopian dreams of worlds that could be, because, as Jose Muñoz argued, without fantasies we cede the not-yet-here to the imperatives of reproductive futurism. We argue that we need fantasies not just of the future, but of the past.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Catherynne M. Valente

The image I was always building to, from the moment I started thinking about the story, was the two young women kissing under the manchineel tree in the rain and remaining unharmed, the steam rising from their skin. Manchineels are real trees, and you really can be poisoned and even killed by standing under them while it rains through the toxic leaves. I discovered it while researching poisons for the story, and from then on it became the heart of it, that everything else circled around.

Nonfiction

Notes from the Editors

Here’s what we’ve got lined up for you in this special issue: Original fantasy—edited by Christopher Barzak—by Catherynne M. Valente, Kai Ashante Wilson, Carlea Holl-Jensen, and Richard Bowes; Reprints—selected by Liz Gorinsky—by Caitlin R. Kiernan, Austin Bunn, Shweta Narayan, and Nicola Griffith; Nonfiction articles—edited by Matthew Cheney—by merritt kopas, Matthew Cheney, Keguro Macharia, Ekaterina Sedia, Mary Anne Mohanrag, and Ellen Kushner; plus an original cover illustration by Priscilla Kim and original interior illustrations by Goñi Montes, Odera Igbokwe, Sam Schechter, Elizabeth Leggett, and Vlada Monakhova.