Welcome back for 2016’s last edition for SQ Mag. We’ve been busy bees the last couple of weeks: the Story Quest Contest has begun (don’t forget to submit); our new submissions are currently open; Star Quake, Best of 2015 has been finalised and submitters notified.
We’re excited to open for serialised fiction again, and we have also opened for general submissions. To ensure that we are getting a mix of wonderful authors previously published with us, and new talent, we’ve got two areas for submission.
While there is a new method in place, which I think will make the whole experience better, there will be some tweaking of the process as we go on—we will make sure we don’t need to take long hiatuses and also so we can get our responses back to authors sooner. It’s part of big ideas, crucial to preparing for bigger and better.
Greetings from the SQ Mag team, and thank you for joining us again for Edition 25.
We’ve the pleasure of hosting a piece of the indomitable Mike Resnick, veteran and lord of the science fiction genre. We’d like to welcome him to SQ Mag as our featured author. Mike’s piece, Occult.net, is a great snapshot of a writer who will do anything to succeed. Anything.
Our line-up for the edition includes authors both new and old friends. Kristin Janz’s Thou Hast by Moonlight at Her Window Sung drops you into another world, seductive in its beauty. S. Marston returns to SQ with Mwah, with a programmer savant whose past has followed him online. We also welcome Deborah Sheldon with What the Sea Wants, a tale of wordless terror on the high seas. PJ Keuning spins us a delightful steampunk tale of life in the airborne cities of the UK in Radar Love.
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 year seems to be racing away fast, in 2015. Perhaps it’s a function of getting older, or with how busy you get with life and work. Knowing this, it’s great to see how many people drop by to get their reading fix in little short moments.
If you’re pressed for time and not always able to access the internet, you can do this by subscribing to the ezine here, and have a format of your choice delivered free to your inbox.
I am very proud to announce another of last year’s stories is being honoured by being selected for Ticonderoga Publishing’s The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror, edited by the dedicated Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene. Congratulations to Jason Franks on the inclusion of Metempsychosis. The story was originally submitted for our Australiana edition, but wasn’t quite right in the feel of the rest of the edition, so we found a place for it elsewhere (as we try to do with great fiction). Find the original in Edition 15 or take a look at Jason’s blog talking about not giving up until you find that right home for your story.
I can’t believe it’s July already. Here we are more than half way through the year. Most of the major awards for our genres have announced their best of 2014, and we’d like to congratulate all of the nominees and the winners.
We’ve currently closed to new submissions as we work on updating the way we process the stories we receive. It’s a work in progress and as soon as there’s a straightforward option, we’ll let you know.
Very soon we’ll also be organising our annual ‘Best of’ anthology (Star Quake 3), so keep an eye out for news on that front.
Coming to the stories now… This edition had no particular aim or theme. Somehow when I was planning it out, I managed to pick up a good several of our stories that were first person. This is not the favoured point of view in our industry; it is hard to tell a first person story well sometimes in a smaller word count and if you lump world-building on to that…
However, we’ve found some examples of intriguing stories from this perspective, so we hope you enjoy them.
Welcome back to all our fans and friends.
I have to admit, this latest collection has overwhelmed me this month. There’s so much in here! Edition 19 has a bit of everything for everyone, from steampunk to science fiction, parents to teenagers. We’ve got Story Quest finalists, a returning author, an invited author and other great pieces we know you’re going to enjoy. Tais Teng is back as our graphic artist and the creator of this incredible cover; you might recognise his style from the beautiful piece on the cover of Edition 9, whose whimsical form is one of my favourites.
For the first time in quite a while, we’ve also got quite a spread of representation. Antipodean authors on either side of the Tasman, a representative of Europe and some also from the Americas. It’s so great to have interest from far-flung corners of the globe.
Here we are, 2015! The start of a brand new year, post the season of excess and indulgence, of families and functions (both the enjoyed and the difficult).
The funny thing about the holiday season is that while it can bring us together, it can also isolate us. Often, the spirit escapes us or never has a chance. Or perhaps, as some of us do, we appreciate that time, but require a little isolation to ground and centre ourselves. So in that, we bring you a collection you can embrace.
I think Christian Chatman’s piece for our cover captures that connection between the beauty and melancholy of loneliness. In that it is pure, and awful, yet magical—a simultaneous sensation. We’re very pleased to be able to showcase his work as our cover for this edition. And please, if you think it half as incredible as we do, pop on over to his website and look at his wonderful art.
Welcome to SQ Mag’s 2014 Special Edition!
When I originally envisioned this theme for this year’s edition, I was hoping to celebrate the opportunities that being a writer and publisher in Australia offered. I have to confess that I didn’t imagine the scope and breadth that this edition would take on; though I should have.
It’s an exciting time to be an Australian publisher and writer in the first major strides of the digital publishing industry. We were thrilled to take SQ Mag into an online platform, and it is so fitting that it had to be reinvented to accommodate what is our best effort to date. And that is hard to top, given the reception for our 2013 Special Edition, Women in Writing.
Now that we have time to step back and admire this edition, I am humbled by the contributions we have received. Three pre-eminent writers—Alan Baxter, Kaaron Warren and Sean Williams—are featured as our headliners, each of them with different and fantastic stories and perspectives. Alan’s story, The Darkness in Clara, is the inspiration for our cover and a beautiful story of love and family in the face of darkness of the soul. Kaaron has written an intensely atmospheric, disturbing piece, Eleanor Atkins is Dead and Her House is Boarded Up, exploring Eleanor’s strange relationship with her confined world throughout her adult life. Sean’s story, Tyranny of Distance from his Twinmaker series, is a testament to loss and the search for understanding of nonsensical existence.
Happy May, fellow writers and readers.
Here we are already. Edition 2 of SQ Mag. We’ve got a great issue for you, full of stories of loss and deception, secrets and lies. Some are the finalists for 2011’s Story Quest competition and I am sure you will see why our judges saw their outstanding qualities.
No one ever tells you that when you begin work how many decisions you are going to have to make every day. It also isn’t revealed how hard those choices are going to be.
When Gerry asked me to head up this e-zine (and its predecessor SQ Magazine), I didn’t realise that I would be making tough decisions on fantastic stories all the time. It is agony sometimes to take only a selection of the shorts that come through to the submissions page. As the quality keeps improving, it only gets harder.
You will find this edition has a definite bent towards horror and supernatural themes. It is interesting how a run of a particular speculative fiction theme will be sent to us, from all over the globe. In SQ Mag 3, we have authors from the US, the UK, Ireland and Italy. We have stories of creatures of space, long-held bitter feuds, love, loss and murder. We all have really enjoyed putting this group together and hope you will appreciate them too.