Edition 9: Notes From the Editor
For this addition, Sophie Yorkston, the Editor-in-Chief of SQ Mag, is on a well-deserved break, soaking in the many enjoyable things that Canada has to offer. I am the publisher of the zine, but for Edition 9 I have the privilege of filling in for her as well.
It’s been a great two months.
SQ Mag staff are still glowing with pride with our eighth issue, Special Edition: Women in Speculative Fiction. Our website was hit with unprecedented numbers and rates, so much so that we have officially ratcheted up our market status to ‘Token’. This means we are now a paying market—somewhat low on the ladder, but we are definitely climbing. We still can’t get over the quality of the material that we published in that edition, and we are certainly considering publishing a special edition on an annual basis—we are still in discussion, but it harbingers great possibilities.
We are still looking for donations to supplement our overheads for this free zine—we ask you, the reader, if you are sufficiently impressed with what you read, to offer any sum of donation (no matter how small) to keep our operation healthy, and growing.
After settling on the five pieces of fiction for this new edition of SQ Mag, as well as mapping out a substantial percentage of the following two editions, it became apparent that there was one very significant advantage a small independent publisher like us has over the traditional, more established professional and semi-pro markets. We can push limits; we can be more adventurous. This is not saying that the aforementioned markets aren’t experimental or risk-takers, but by the dynamics of readership profiles and in many cases editorial policy, some subjects tend to be dropped, some styles are not considered acceptable. SQ Mag has a particularly well-define editorial policy, which includes the well-trodden exclusion of sex, language and violence beyond contextual significance. However, we do publish the SLVs when they meet our quality standards, making good our commitment. More importantly, we are publishing some stories that touch on topics that some readers might find a little uncomfortable—this is goodness from our point of view because this is what writing is all about, and speculative fiction has a long and strong tradition of being in the forefront of allowing readers the opportunity to think about the tough topics, to scrutinize themselves and their society closely. Don’t get me wrong—we love good yarns, adventure, moving scenes, and thoughtful passages, but we would be remiss not to tackle tough subjects on the odd occasion, or to present stories with alternate lifestyles, viewpoints, reference points.
One such story is our first, ‘Better Than Everything’, by Malon Edwards, a thoughtful, edgy writer. We were impressed with his story, which painted a landscape of the future that is plausible, different, and in many ways dystopian, without being preachy. I can’t give much away as it would be a spoiler, but suffice to say we applaud his work.
This is not to say that the remaining four works are not of the same standard. We have a wonderful piece of science fiction satire by Rik Hoskin (‘Blockbuster’), a disturbing supernatural short story by Nu Yang called ‘Born Again’ (this is Nu Yang’s second story published with SQ Mag)—which also touches on a sensitive topic related to recent US history, a delightfully twisted fantasy piece by A. P. Sessler entitled ‘Cattails’, and finally, a fast-paced, historical horror flash piece by Jason Lairamore, ‘Trophy’ (another writer who has published with us before).
We are proud to have such a great spread of speculative fiction, both in terms of genre/subgenre content as well as style.
Additionally, we continue with our serial for 2013, ‘Intangible’ by Aaron Garrison, as well as two excellent book reviews.
All, in all, it has been a very good two months.
Publisher & Associate Editor, SQ Mag