Edition 20: Notes From the Editor
It’s been a pretty exciting month or so for SQ Mag.
The eZine is a labour of love for me and for Gerry Huntman, Chief of IFWG Publishing Australia. We started humbly with six monthly hard copy editions in 2010. Eventually we moved with the times and brought SQ online.
In the last two months we’ve received some recognition for the hard work we’ve put into bringing you an eZine full of diverse voices and stories from all over the globe.
The atmospheric Inside Ferndale, winner of the 2013 Story Quest competition and published at the beginning of 2014, won the prestigious New Zealand Sir Julius Vogel award for Best Short Fiction. Congratulations to Lee Murray again on her win.
Alan Baxter’s The Darkness in Clara narrowly missed out on the Australian Ditmar Award for Best Novella or Novelette, though he was in good company in that edition with Sean Williams, who took out the category.
Treading the Brittle Shell by Rhoads Brazos, from our Australiana special edition in 2014, was picked up for Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best Horror Volume 7. A bit of a big deal. Congratulations to Rhoads; that story was always going to be a winner, and I knew it the second I read it.
Nominations were released for the Australian Shadows Awards, Australia’s premier horror fiction award from the Australian Horror Writer’s Association. We were shortlisted in the Edited Works category for our Australiana Special Edition, alongside Cohesion Press’ SNAFU collection, edited by G.N. Braun and A.J. Spedding, and Suspended in Dusk, edited by Simon Dewar. There are some great reviews for both these collections and I was unsure of our chances.
In those same nominations, Bones by Michelle Jager, also from Edition 14, was also nominated. Another great story—there were several that edition—that we published.
It has all been coming up SQ! For an edition that was a hat tip to the strong and thriving speculative fiction coming out of Australia, it has been going great guns (as we would say in Oz).
Last week, we found out that we won the category of Australian Shadows Award for Best Edited Work. All the messages of congratulations from our writers, readers, friends and the speculative fiction community were heart-warming. I am endlessly discovering what an incredible community speculative fiction is, and it is a privilege to be a part of it.
We’re grateful to be recognised by the consummate professionals at the Australian Horror Writers Association, and to the readers and voters, who thought enough of our work to vote for us.
I love the accolades but they need to be shared with each and every person who made that edition great: Alan Baxter, G.N. Braun, Rhoads Brazos, Jeffery Doherty, Mitchell Edgeworth, Gerry Huntman, Michelle Jager S.G. Larner Mysti Parker Angela Rega, Damien Smith, Kaaron Warren, Tehani Wessely and Sean Williams.
So, coming to one year on, and 2015’s special edition. When I put the call out for fairytales of a new age, I don’t think I was expecting quite what I received. I got new age of tarot. There were some reinterpretations of fairytales in new settings, which I have to admit was what I imagined, that didn’t quite make the grade, though I hope to read even more polished versions of them somewhere, someday.
I’d forgotten as well, how dark fairytales and fables are. That they are the warnings, the hallmarks of the horror of what happens when you step outside the safety of home, of your place. It was why Dark Legends felt right as a descriptor.
Mostly, people reimagined or wrote their own fairytales, which turned out to be wondrous indeed. Angela Slatter brings us a woman of Bluebeard’s house, in Bluebeard’s Daughter. In A Song for First Hours, Kirstyn McDermott’s fierce mother is the hero and the victim. And Gary McMahon’s story walked right off the projects, a modern day iteration of the tales, in Unicorn Meat.
Greg Chapman brings us a dark tale of loss and imprisonment in The Bone Maiden, inspired by Portuguese fairytale, The Maiden with a Rose on her Forehead. S.G. Larner’s Three Trophies is an effort at redemption for the past in an otherworldly yet familiar setting. The Black Bull draws on the trickery and negotiation of ancient Arabian tales, but Liam Hogan unearths it for a modern world. Michael Anthony’s Drummers of Po Chu has a flavour of traditional East Asian tales of the virtue of aid and the downfall of greed. Nne:Mother invokes West Africa and a caution from Shawn Frazier about control of others.
There’s two fantastical books reviewed in this edition. Damien Smith looks at The Grace of Kings, first in the Dandelion Dynasty trilogy from previously featured Ken Liu. And when I read Fablecroft’s Phantazein, edited by Tehani Wessely, it seemed like the perfect fit for this edition.
We’d like to congratulate those who answered the call out; it’s a high standard of stories that we receive now and they are getting harder and harder to turn away. It breaks our hearts to do it too, by the way.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our editions, shared, commented, reviewed and generally plugged us. It’s thanks to you that we are starting to be seen and recognised.
With those words, I’ll leave you to read and enjoy the Dark Legends of a New Age.
Editor, SQ Mag