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Myths & Delusions • Editorial • July 2014

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Deep waters hold strange life, certain death, mysteries without answer. Perhaps the oft-repeated assertion that we know more about space than we do about our oceans is a convenient bit of hyperbole, but there’s no question that both combine the inimical and alluring in ways that inspire the poet’s pen and the sailor’s heart.

Mythic Delirium starts its second year of digital transformation with a plunge into watery depths. A tidal wave hangs perpetually poised over the civilization it threatens to erase, with terrible secrets drawn up to keep it from crashing down. Ocean denizens seek vengeance for the destruction wrought by humanity, while human guardians fight to stop the animus of a hungry lake from claiming innocent lives. Water manifests in a myriad ways, in a curious beachfront incident, in ghost horses that bring sailors to shore, in island banishments. Some remnants of our previous issue, fae-themed, appear here, playing in the surf.

It’s hard to believe we’ve already put a year behind us. Though we’re still learning as we go, a few cool things have happened in that time. S. Brackett Robertson’s “Rhythm of Hoof and Cry” from our first digital issue was nominated for the Rhysling Award for best speculative poem, as were Adele Gardner’s “Wheels” from print issue 28 and Ada Hoffmann’s “The Siren of Mayberry Crescent” from print issue 29. We definitely wish these poets luck come voting time.

In a first for Mythic Delirium—we’ve not been in the fiction business long, after all—Nicole Kornher-Stace’s horror tale “Present” from digital issue 0.3 was picked up by editor Paula Guran for her forthcoming anthology from Prime Books, Zombies: More Recent Dead. We want to congratulate Nicole, and as we keep offering our offbeat brand of stories and poems to the world, we hope we’ll keep seeing news like this as the years scroll on.

We said goodbye to the print incarnation of Mythic Delirium with a special retrospective issue released in April. Anita and I were quite moved by Diane Severson Mori’s review at Amazing Stories, which went beyond discussing the contents and turned into a tribute, with an accounting of award nominations, links to audio recordings of several of the poems, and even reflections on our zine shared by several of the issue’s contributors. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s definitely worth a look.

When we ran the Mythic Delirium Kickstarter last year, one of the rewards we offered was an omnibus collection of my poetry. That book, Hungry Constellations, is available now in both print and ebook form—no mean feat for a poetry collection. My thanks to Elizabeth Campbell of Antimatter Press for navigating the minefield of ebook poetry formatting. The collection, a retrospective spanning two decades (a much more practical endeavor than an omnibus, as I sure have written a lot of poems) was assembled by Dominik Parisien of Cheeky Frawg Books, with a wonderful introduction by Amal El-Mohtar that notes my predilections for monsters and malleable flesh.

Our Kickstarter promised a print volume gathering the contents of Issues 0.1 through 0.4, for those who would prefer to consume it that way, and that is in progress now, with a wonderful cover from Hugo Award-winning artist Galen Dara.

If all of that isn’t enough to make you keep checking back in, our grab bag of a Halloween/Christmas issue will go to some seriously strange places even by our standards, with poetry and fiction from Michele Bannister, Alicia Cole, Brady Golden, Nathaniel Lee, Rose Lemberg, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Lynette Mejía and Sonya Taaffe.

Until then, you’ve got the issue at hand. Hold your breath—or learn to breathe water—and dive in.

 

—Mike Allen, Roanoke, Va., June 2014

 

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