Edition 24: Notes From the Editor
2016 is a very welcome sight. It’s been a fantastic year for SQ Mag, and both the publisher Gerry and I are very proud of what the ezine has become. There’s been many successes for the stories of 2014 and we look forward hopefully to see what the collected works of 2015 will bring.
But it has been a very disrupted year for this editor, and I’m extremely grateful for the hard work behind the scenes from: our readers Gareth, Louise and Paula; of our reviewers Damien and Mysti; and most of all from Gerry, the publisher. Putting out a magazine requires a village, and I couldn’t do any of it without them.
In case you missed the announcement, Star Quake 3, Best of SQ Mag 2014 is now available to purchase. It’s got a variety of internationally-recognised authors, representing many different regions, and in my biased opinion, Tais Teng’s wonderful cover makes it a stunning addition to any bookshelf. A wonderful gift for anyone who likes things that whirr and tick, or fantastical journeys, or even a little bit of spine tingling. There’s also a particular concentration of incredible Australian authors, and so it will be a great introduction for readers unfamiliar with the authors of this fine country. And of course, for many other stories, authors and reasons.
The winners of the Story Quest Short Story Competition have also been announced. Unlikely Partnerships seemed to be a stumbling block as we had a smaller pool than some previous years, but it was an interesting field to judge. Special thanks to the woman of the moment, award-winning author Angela Slatter for coming in as our guest judge, as well as the returning Story Quest judges of Esme Carpenter and Warren Goodwin.
We’d like to congratulate winner Jamie Killen, second-placing Ellen Denton, tied third places Sally Basmajian and Jason Lairamore, along with finalist Meghean Major. Jamie, Ellen and Sally’s pieces feature in this edition, and you’ll be able to catch Jason and Meghean’s in Edition 25.
In this edition, we have a very special guest author: Tang Fei. Broken Stars is a dark trip into the mystic, in the setting of the fickle lives of teenagers. We’re very grateful to Ken Liu for both his excellent translation and for facilitating the illustrious Tang Fei’s first appearance in SQ Mag.
There’s also three excellent submitted pieces for your entertainment. Brennan Gilpatrick drives us down into the underbelly of a dystopian, teeming world, where horrors await an uncertain footstep in More than Flies. Dennis Mombauer invites us into a technicolour dream in The Festival of Dissolution, where we follow Quinton and Jodee through a wondrous but treacherous ice cavern. In Stewards of the Land, Anthony Rella evokes small town tensions, and supposedly long-dead racism.
We have reviews from Mysti Parker, who returns to Gail Carriger’s steampunk Finishing School series with Manners & Mutiny, and from Damien Smith, who reviews cosmic horror X’s for Eyes from Laird Barron. Laird has appeared in SQ Mag before and you can read his story Ears Prick Up in Edition 18.
Last but not least, I want to direct your attention to Solar Sacrosanct, our ethereally lovely graphic art from artist Keely Van Order. Solar Sacrosanct I felt tied in so well with Broken Stars that it was uncanny. Keely currently resides in Australia but has had a really interesting life growing up and exploring many places across the world. Please head on over to her website and see many more of her impressive works there.
This has shaped up to be a really splendid collection in Edition 24. Starting the year on such a strong note bodes well for the year ahead. Thanks for donating, submitting, sharing, reviewing, and all you do to help us get to more readers of speculative fiction.
We appreciate you joining us in 2015 and hope you’ll stay reading in this exciting new year.
Best wishes of the season and for a wonderful year for you all.
Editor, SQ Mag