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Myths & Delusions • Editorial • July 2013

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Welcome, friends, to the new Mythic Delirium. It’s been a short time in the making, but a long time coming.

I founded Mythic Delirium in 1998 as a do-it-ourselves poetry-only print magazine, and it’s since gone through a couple incarnations—at one time it was a sister magazine to Weird Tales.

Over fifteen years this little ’zine did far better for itself than I ever imagined it would: publishing award-winning verse, giving homes to works from iconic writers, and even helping to launch new careers. Yet in the past couple of years it seemed our amazing run had finally lost steam. We continue to publish great poems—but what’s been true throughout the print industry has been true even in our tiny corner. Subscriptions were shrinking. Mythic Delirium had been unique among DIY ’zines in its ability to sustain itself, but alas, that was no longer possible.

For some time now I’ve had a hankering to try my hand at a webzine that showcased fiction as well as poetry. (I actually did this for a little while in the late 1990s, as part of the team that put out the first version of Event Horizon, but never solo.) I experimented with fiction publishing again in 2006, when I produced the two MYTHIC anthologies, short, elegant books that mingled fiction and poetry. The experiment, though fun, wasn’t viable in the long term, though I took what I learned and used it to create the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies.

And last year, for the sake of assembling a fourth Clockwork Phoenix volume, I for the first time tested out that newfangled crowdfunding machine known as Kickstarter. I asked folks in our wonderful and supportive genre community for help publishing Clockwork Phoenix 4 and ultimately raised more than $10,000 for a $5,000 project. One of the goals the campaign funded—and here I must give my friend and colleague Rose Lemberg credit for the inspiration—was a full year’s worth of a new online journal for poetry and fiction. My Kickstarter backers put me in a better position to take on such a thing than I had ever been in—it’s almost as if the project had to wait for its moment. And that moment had finally arrived.

But I still had some hard decisions to make. Did it make sense to go forward with two publications, one new and barely on its feet, one struggling to tread water? I decided that it didn’t. What made sense instead was a transformation. Mythic Delirium wouldn’t go away; rather, it would transform and adapt, escaping the printed page into new media, following the blueprint established by those well-received MYTHIC volumes of seven years ago.

You have before you the first fruit of that transformation. Nine authors providing an assortment of works that are beautifully-crafted and hard to classify.

Our next issue is already lined up, by the way, with offbeat takes on bees, onions, werewolves, underworld journeys, angels and Annie Oakley.

Starting now, there will be a period of about a year when the new, electronic version of Mythic Delirium and the venerable print version overlap. That’s why for the moment I’m referring to the e-version as “Mythic Delirium Zero,” By the time the print version concludes with Issue 30 in spring 2014, we’ll have cycled through the quartet of online issues for year zero of the new version, and the summer will bring Mythic Delirium 1.1.

So if you’re one of our new subscribers, I’m glad you can join us on this journey, and if you don’t have a subscription, I hope you’ll start one.

This is just the beginning.

 

—Mike Allen, Roanoke, Va., June 2013

 

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