Here in the southern hemisphere, spring starts today. We’ve been busy bees at SQ working to put together Issue 4, and I hope it shows.
We’re so proud to have two amazing writers donating their stories to us this edition. Jay Lake, who is a well-known steampunk and fantasy writer and Gary McMahon, an urban horror writer on his rapid way up.
In a first for SQ Mag, we also have interviews with Jay Lake, who gives all his answers with brutal honesty. Daniel I Russell, who is author of Creeper from SQ Mag Edition 2 and Editor of Midnight Echo, the Australian Horror Writers’ Association’s magazine, has also had a chat with us about his work and horror/dark fantasy.
Welcome all to November.
As we reached our last issue for 2012, I look back at all we’ve achieved this year.
A big thanks to all who have supported us with their incredible images, narratives, and stories about themselves. We’re moving onwards and upwards for SQ Mag and we could not do it without your ongoing interest and contributions.
Our eye-catching cover this month comes to us courtesy of a very good friend of the editor, Steven Thor Gunnin. He’s a graphic designer from Illinois whose work I had the pleasure of being introduced to while he completed his Masters here in Australia. He’s been published in a number of anthologies, including Elements of Time: Past, Present, Future and Elements of the Soul. He lives with his wife Lucinda, who is also a writer, and cat Rain.
In this edition we follow up with Gary McMahon, who tells us a bit more about how his life influences his writing and some insights into his method. This Yorkshire author has written many short stories and novels, such as Rain Dogs, Hungry Hearts, Pretty Little Dead Things, Dead Bad Things and the Concrete Grove trilogy.
Welcome to the first day of 2013 everyone!
What did you promise yourself for this year? I know more time for writing was on my list. I hope that you get more time to polish up your stories and get them published this year.
This edition we have the winners of IFWG Publishing’s 2012 Story Quest competition. This year’s theme was ‘Disaster’, and there are some fantastic interpretations amongst the group.
The winner, Marie DesJardin, wrote an extremely heartfelt story about the lead up to apocalypse. Guy Prevost has told a tale of oil spills and strange creatures with his second-placing story. J.T. Seate penned a story set in a small town diner, full of quirky characters, winning third place. Josh Moynes, one of the finalists, chilled us with his story of the end of days at the point of talons.
In this issue of SQ Mag, we bring you two of our finalists from the hotly contested 2012 SQ Comp. Jason Lairamore’s story My Trip to the Circus and Dan Hankner’s Unbound were both outstanding stories of ‘Disaster’ that caught the judge’s attention. We hope you enjoy them too.
We also received a great crop of new submissions at the magazine. A dark story by Robert Harkness is in to thrill you. A great new submitter, Kevin Rainak, has a story of the digital world. Well-crafted science fictions works appear from W.B. Stickel and Hanson Hovell Holladay.
Aaron Garrison’s Intangible serial continues. The shaman is building his chosen target, and the world she lives in is starting to succumb to his influence. Read the great next instalment.
Damien Smith reviews Unidentified Funny Objects, a humorous anthology published by UFO Publishing. Mysti Parker covers Heather Graham’s The Vision, a paranormal romance, third book in her Harrison Investigation series. I have reviewed The Twelve, the sequel to Justin Cronin’s The Passage.
The team here at SQ Mag feel that this is an illustrious beginning to the year, and are continually looking forward to the next bumper edition.
When I first floated the idea of an edition of SQ Mag dedicated to some of the amazing work of women out there, Gerry (my boss and chief editor at IFWG Publishing) leapt at the idea. My initial idea came from a deep-seated desire to see more work by women. I mean, big names like Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, Mary Shelley and more come to mind, yet men are mainly recognised as the giants of speculative fiction. So we approached some writers (and chose books to review based on those) whose work we had seen and admired, but who perhaps do not have the following or accolades that other of their colleagues do, despite their multi-faceted contributions to fiction.
When we approached the very writers mentioned above, we asked a few questions. One question, one that we thought was a positive question to make people think about what women writers have to offer, was what got us the most fascinating answers. The common theme: that we all want to be recognised for the quality of our craft, not set apart by the trifling matter of our gender. Just to be recognised as an equal player on the field of fiction would be enough.
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.
Welcome to our 10th edition!
Looking back at our choices for this edition, it seems that there was a decidedly dark feel to our selections. So appropriate for the deliciously gritty cover from Luke Spooner of Carrion House. We think his work is phenomenal, and you should all have a look at his portfolio.
It is a great feeling when you know that you are presenting a wonderful variety of authors. Michelle Ann King wrote The Visiphorical Art, which was the inspiration for our wonderful cover art. The Shoe Shine is subtle and dark, in a gritty urban setting from Robert Datson. David Halpert’s science fiction short, That Blasts the Roots of Trees is My Destroyer, is a great look at segregation and how it all can go wrong. Sometimes beautiful can hide dangerous secrets, as depicted in Drunks by Michael C. Schutz-Ryan. Morgen Knight’s sweet dieselpunk story, Mr. Strawn and the Book, is a great story of companionship and shared dreams.
We have some great reviews as well. Mysti Parker reviews Ren Garcia’s Sygillis of Metatron, a dark science-fiction mystery. I review Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, his latest adult novel with a child protagonist. Damien Smith treads new ground with Colin F. Barnes’ The Daedalus Code, a cyberpunk novella.
I always love the beginning of the month that we release SQ Mag. It’s full of enthusiasm and excitement. Always keen to find out which stories you loved and what you thought.
It’s been a busy month for SQ Mag. We’ve released our 2012 anthology, Star Quake 1, learning a lot in the process. Thank you to all our selected authors for your patience—we know it’s hard when the prospect of your name in print looms. Thank you Jeffery Doherty, for you work on making our cover “just right” and for the elegant and spooky graphic that you gave us originally.
Please support the e-zine by grabbing this great anthology as a gift, or for your own bookshelf. We can keep running only with your patronage and donations.
Happy New Year and welcome to our first edition for 2014!
As we leave the past year for the adventures of the new, reflecting back brings us here at the mag so much joy. Our first special edition, Women in Writing, allowed us to show you all some thrilling writers that you might not have known about. We thought it was fantastic and you responded enthusiastically to what was our proudest achievement to date. It was such a pleasure and privilege to be able to discuss writing triumphs and tribulations with those wonderful writers.
Hello everyone! We’d like to welcome you all back for Edition 13, a special edition with guest contributor Jeremy C. Shipp.
Jeremy C. Shipp is a writer of Bizarro fiction, a genre that some of our readers may not have encountered before. Jeremy is a writer who experiments in a variety of different genres, but is well known for being a leader in Bizarro. He has very generously contributed a story for the e-zine, The Stills. We hope you enjoy it and the questions he answered about himself and his work for SQ. The announcement of the winners of a recent contest, who will receive signed copies of his books, will be happening shortly after the publication of this edition.
We also have tons of other great fiction on the agenda for you. J.R. Johnson tells a tale of magical artefact smuggling, full of betrayal and twists and turns in Catch of the Day. Third place in IFWG Publishing Australia’s Story Quest contest, Dan Rabarts writes Keeping an Open Mind, a positing of where the soul resides and the gory answer.