Myths & Delusions • Editorial • January 2015

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Winter is my favorite season. Here at Mythic Delirium it tends to be a harbinger of darkness.

The issue we released last winter (0.3, to be precise) was easily the darkest one we’ve produced. This new issue, by contrast, holds accounts of light (and maybe even hope) found within deep darkness. Within our prose offerings, a family copes with a pall of silence as a physical phenomenon, a doomed guide leads a pair of foreigners on a desert journey to meet her people’s terrifying and merciless protector, and a disturbing incident in a university dorm begins an unsettling transformation.

Our poems this time around contain transformations of their own, as divine beings dare to venture from their ocean homes and ordinary folk eschew the chance to know their own fates. Oracles warn of floods, and dreams leak from the eyes of the citizenry. Alien love is delicate and all-consuming. The lure of space burns like the flame that kills the moth.

I’m delighted to deliver all these darkly glittering gems into your hands. And it doesn’t stop there, of course. We already know what our next issue will bring: fiction by Adam Howe, C.S. MacCath and Jessy Randall, and poetry by Dominik Parisien, Wendy Rathbone, Natalia Theodoridou and Jane Yolen. Keep your subscriptions current if you want to enjoy all the bounty before the rest of the world gets access.

This issue brings a new precedent: within its digital pages we are publishing the first of two stories in 2015 that we’ve decided should be accompanied by a content advisory for readers. Livia Llewellyn’s “Pureland,” a surreal science fictional tale that’s both poetically moving and transgressive in the best tradition of Kathy Acker, opens with an implied sexual assault on a college campus and has characters use gender-offensive language. Rather than place this note with the story, where it could serve as a spoiler for those who wish to plunge right in, I’m instead putting a short message with the story that links to this paragraph. (And here is the link that takes you back to the story.)

Philosophically speaking, I’m a writer and reader who loves art that shines light into the terrifying and disturbing corners of human nature, but because our readers come to us from many different backgrounds and aesthetics, adding content advisories to our repertoire seems prudent. Our second “advisory” story, Adam Howe’s “‘Kid’ Cooper & the Blackwood Ape-Man,” will appear in issue 1.4.

From that jumping-off point, I want to mention that we’ve completely filled our lineup for 2015 after accepting more stories and poems from our Aug. 1–Oct. 1 submission window than originally planned. I can hardly wait to share all the goodies we’ve lined up.

Anita and I were still making final decisions when we traveled to Washington, D.C., during the second weekend of November to promote the release of my new short story collection, Unseaming, and the first-ever Mythic Delirium anthology, both of which are now available everywhere books are sold online.

We had a great time at the convention and got to hang out with or meet for the first time a number of Mythic Delirium contributors past, present and future, including Marie Brennan, Beth Cato, C.S.E. Cooney, Galen Dara, Michael J. DeLuca, Nicole Kornher-Stace, C.S. MacCath, Sunny Moraine, Mari Ness, Dominik Parisien, Rhonda Parrish and Patty Templeton. (We also ran into Clockwork Phoenix contributors Alisa Alering, Michael M. Jones and A.C. Wise, and a number of other cool people besides.)

The Mythic Delirium anthology contains all the stories and poems we published in issues 0.1 through 0.4 (what we’re calling our “Year Zero”). Rather than simply reproducing all those works in order of appearance, Anita rearranged them into a cohesive anthology, which resulted in a pleasant surprise: a starred review in Publishers Weekly! According to that fine trade publication, our first year as a digital ’zine resulted in a “stellar anthology” that’s “a winner from cover to cover.” I’m proud of all our contributors, and especially proud to have Anita’s name alongside mine on the cover of this new book.

I also appreciate the encouragement, as this new year will bring more projects, including C.S.E. Cooney’s first fiction collection, Bone Swans, a Kickstarter to launch Clockwork Phoenix 5, and, in all likelihood, all sorts of other things I haven’t even thought up yet.

Onward into the new year!

 

 

—Mike Allen, Roanoke, Va., December 2014

 

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