One of the things that draws me to speculative fiction is how varied it can be. Even within specific narrow genres, ideas spill and twist and twirl in their own distinct way. Every time I say that I’m done with zombies, something like Mira Grant’s Parasitology series comes along and gets me all woogy again. Or, I’ll bitch about epic quest fantasy and Jim Hines tosses those damn gleeful Jig the Dragonslayer books in my lap. There are few realms of fiction that can go so many places without changing the core of what they are. I hope we’ve managed to represent that well here, with our first real issue.
In both “Sub Rosa” and “Frankenstein’s” Child,” you’ll find deeply personal horror. Rooted in a sense of loss, in a lack of personal value reflected in the eyes of those around us. Yet, both find their way to this place through very different means. Janice Leach digs hers out of the unsettled loam of the grand old golem, wriggling still with the worms of its emptiness. Meanwhile, Samantha Murray walks the slow decline of paranoia and the determination that love is not only fleeting, but has fled long ago. What they do with this loss also differs grandly and that difference melts me like soft wax.
In fact, that search for a sense of personal value became a bit of a theme of this issue, unintentional as it was. That this sense of self is always placed against an external ruler, is equally important. From the “Repro”ductive cycles of our potential factory-driven selves to the push and pull of hideous beauty that are so integral to “McQueen,” it’s there. This wasn’t something Leslie and I discussed beforehand. It wasn’t even something I was conscious of until writing this. Yet, the discovery of this intersection and the desperate glee of what awaits us for the next issue are what I hoped this experience would be.
Thanks are owed to everyone who submitted work for this issue, even though we had to say no to so many of you. Also to those who gave up reasonably large portions of hard earned income to make this venture viable in the first place. Writers, keep the stories and the poems coming. Readers, we’ll be there to share as much as we can with you.