Myths & Delusions • Editorial • April 2015

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As you read this, we at Mythic Delirium—that is, Anita and I—are gearing up to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund a fifth volume of our flagship anthology series, Clockwork Phoenix. If all goes according to plan, it will go live later this month, i.e. mid-April.

It seems like ages ago that we held the campaign to pay for Clockwork Phoenix 4, when in fact it was just 2012. So much has changed since that first Kickstarter. For one thing, this digital magazine exists.

For another, we’ve branched out into offering books of other kinds. The first single-author collection of short fiction that Mythic Delirium Books has ever published, C.S.E. Cooney’s Bone Swans, is on track for a July release. In fact, it’s one of the rewards we’ll be offering in the Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter. (And you can also pre-order a copy here.)

Cooney’s gleefully twisted yet poignant fairy tales make for a marked contrast to my own dark works, though those will also be on offer through this Kickstarter. I’m grateful to my publishers for allowing me to make my debut novel The Black Fire Concerto and my debut collection Unseaming part of the rewards for the campaign.

When we launched the Kickstarter for Clockwork Phoenix 4, we were bringing a moribund series back from the ashes. This time around, we’ll be starting from a position of strength, and we’re hoping to level up still further.

To give just one example, the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America voted in new membership qualification rules that mean a project such as Clockwork Phoenix 5 could be used as credit toward admission. Though we’ve always intended for the next book to pay at a professional level, this sweetening of the pot means that we absolutely want to come out of the gate with the ability to pay our next crop of writers at SFWA’s 6-cents-per-word qualifying rate. (And frankly, if we can’t do that, I’d rather not do it at all.)

Another thing that’s different: none of our other projects, like Bone Swans or Mythic Delirium, are dependent on this Kickstarter’s fortunes. That, readers, is because of your support, through subscriptions, through purchases of our ebooks and trade paperbacks, even through the occasional donation.

And speaking again of Mythic Delirium and your support, we arrive at last at the new issue before your eyes. The stories we have for you are as varied as they come. C.S. MacCath combines Norse mythology with quantum theory in “Sing the Crumbling City.” Jessy Randall’s “Maybe a Witch Lives There” supplies a wicked homage to Shirley Jackson, and Adam Howe’s “‘Kid’ Cooper & the Blackwood Ape-Man” provides a rollicking, bruising fusion of history and folklore set in the American South.

I pause here to note, as with Livia Llewellyn’s “Pureland” in our last issue, Adam Howe’s period piece “‘Kid’ Cooper & the Blackwood Ape-Man” comes with a content advisory, in this instance for a character’s use of a racial epithet. Again, to avoid spoilers for those who would prefer to plunge right in, the advisory at the start of the story links to this paragraph in the editorial, and this link will take you right back to the story.

We’re proud to welcome Jane Yolen back to our pages with no less than three poems recasting fairy tales in new molds. As for the rest of our poets, Natalia Theodoridou gracefully encapsulates one of the most tragic of Greek tragedies, Wendy Rathbone paints a wistful portrait of a season, and Dominik Parisien shows how delightfully monstrous art can be.

We hope you enjoy what we’ve wrought, and we hope you’ll keep your subscriptions current. Our next issue is already shaping up, with fiction from Sara M. Harvey, Cassandra Khaw and Barbara Krasnoff, and poetry from Anne Carly Abad, Alicia Cole, Sandi Leibowitz, Shira Lipkin, Hannah Strom-Martin and an encore from Jane Yolen.

And of course we hope you’ll check out our new Kickstarter once it launches. We’ll be honored if you find it worthy of your support.

 

—Mike Allen, Roanoke, Va., March 2015

 

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