Edition 31: Notes from the Editor
There’s a feeling of marvel that overtakes you when looking at the world from above, that abstract feeling when you can look at the world and see how small the Earth is in the grand scheme of things. In the space of a day, you can travel almost from one end of the globe to the other. There’s so much more green, more life-giving growth, than you think when you picture the street you walk, or the road you drive. When those growing components make one unified whole.
A lot of what is personal also creeps into that idea of living, growing. But also a dark side to living; overgrowths, crowding out the other. When we conceptualised the theme for the 2016 Story Quest Competition, I was picturing it in a more positive frame. But the varied nature of human experience means for every expression, you can have many more interpretations. So, it was with surprise that we saw as many dark twisted stories, as evolving, hopeful tales. What you’ll find herein are the best of that contest, plus a few extras from our regular submissions, to fill a whole SQ volume.
Old Growth by J. Ashley-Smith won the competition this year, with a fairly bleak narrative about human disconnection, never fitting in. Second place winner Jamie Lackey took a different direction, with a journey of growing to fit your intended role in the universe, in Of Dreaming and Destiny.
Placing in third, Michael Stroh crafted a stark empty landscape, of always striving for survival with Pevel Was Here. Jodi L. Milner’s The Skull Collector took us on a reinvestment of faith, of trust in the young.
My Son, the Afterbirth by Craig Stewart took us down quite a strange journey, with a dysfunctional relationship with progeny. Bringing us one of the more unlikeable characters I’ve ever published, Kat Clay had a very literal take on the theme with Reef.
For me, this edition didn’t have enough science fiction, so I pulled in Eleanor Whitworth’s A Thousand Small Things, in a world of bots and world colonisation. And last but not least, a delightful supernatural sojourn through blog posts in Natalie Satakovski’s Death Clothes.
We’ve also got 4 excellent reviews. Mysti Parker read paranormal fiction Eyes on You by Steve Jenkins. Lee Murray has reviewed a range of post-apocalyptic novels for further discussion of tropes in the genre. Damien Smith comes back to Tim Marquitz’s space opera, Excalibur. I review Twelfth Planet Press’ Defying Doomsday anthology.
Lastly, I want to announce the Special Edition theme. Given recent world happenings and the release of amazing genre television like American Gods and The Handmaid’s Tale, the time is ripe for the theme of Rebellion. Further details can be found on the SQ Mag website and subs will be open until July 15.
New submissions for everything except the Special Edition will be on temporary hiatus while the Editor travels for a few weeks, and while bringing together the Special Edition. Those still awaiting a response, we will continue to try and get that out.
If you enjoy the mag, please donate. We run on an oily rag and numerous hours of donated time. If we got a $1 donation for every read, there’s so much more we could do.
Thanks for your patronage and your support, and we look forward to seeing you again in our next edition.
Editor in Chief. SQ Mag