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Myths & Delusions • Editorial • April 2017

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As you read this, Mythic Delirium is open to new fiction and poetry submissions. If you’re a writer interested in letting us consider your work, our guidelines are here. I look forward to shaping the next year’s worth of issues. Send us your best and we’ll see if it fits.

When I wrote the editorial for the January–March 2017 issue, the recent American election and its consequences were very much on my mind. As a result, I postponed talking about some of the good fortune that’s befallen Mythic Delirium Books in recent months because I wanted to reiterate our commitment to showcasing a variety of voices in our magazine. Three months later, the national mood remains justifiably anxious, and I want to acknowledge that before moving on to topics much smaller in scope.

In November 2016, before the U.S. election, Anita and I had the honor and pleasure of being present at the World Fantasy Award ceremony in Columbus, Ohio, when C.S.E. Cooney’s book Bone Swans won the Best Collection category.

Even better, Claire Cooney was there to hear her name called, and we could cheer her as she walked up to the stage to give an impromptu speech. (Of course she did a great job.) What made the surprise especially gratifying: she and I had several conversations prior to the event wherein we agreed the book had probably gone as far as it could, given the quality of the competition. I remained hopeful she’d win anyway, and having that hope realized had to have been the highlight of my publishing career to date.

The Clockwork Phoenix 5 anthology has picked up some accolades, too. (It’s hard to believe it’s been eleven months since the book launch; so much has happened in our lives and in the world in the interim, it feels like eleven years!)

Clockwork Phoenix 5 made the 2016 Locus Recommend Reading List in the best anthology category, the first time an entire book in that series has made the list since the very first one. Two of the stories in the book, “The Games We Play” by Cassandra Khaw and “Innumerable Glimmering Lights” by Rich Larson, were picked to be reprinted in Best of the Year anthologies, and eight of the stories made the Tangent Online 2016 Recommended Reading List.

Even more great news for the anthology arrived in the interval between my first draft of this editorial and the issue’s publication: “Sabbath Wine” by Barbara Krasnoff is now a finalist for the Nebula Award! We’re super proud of our authors and hope there are many more honors to come.

On the poetry side of things, three poems published in Mythic Delirium last year have been nominated for the Rhysling Awards. Warmest congratulations and best of luck to Edith Hope Bishop (“When the Gunman Comes,” Issue 2.3), Jane Yolen (“Rusalka,” Issue 3.1), and Sandi Leibowitz (“Im Wald,” Issue 3.2).

And the same weekend the Nebula announcement went out, the Aurealis Award shortlist was published, with Suzanne J. Willis’s story “The Cartographer’s Price” from Mythic Delirium 3.1 among the finalists for Best Fantasy Story.

It’s perhaps worth noting that this issue of Mythic Delirium, the one on your monitor screen or e-reader, doubles as the final reward of the Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter campaign. Most of the subscriptions to the zine arrived via Kickstarter pledge. As those expire, I’ll be exploring other options going forward, but the meantime, if you like what we’ve been doing, please do renew! We’ve added Kindle subscriptions to our options, and you can also subscribe at Weightless Books or directly via PayPal.

Back to the issue before your eyes, which holds a heady mix that blends shades of grief and loss, yet has many rays of light to offer.

Damien Angelica Walters digs to expose undercurrents of magic that guide a family through a funeral in “On Grief and the Language of Flowers: Selected Arrangements.” In Shveta Thakrar’s “Ghost Notes,” a hunger to steal the stories of others drives a sinister seduction. Barbara Krasnoff details a moving encounter between the living and the dead in “The Ladder-Back Chair.”

Poems from Jane Yolen, Adele Gardner, Sara Cleto, Jessica P. Wick, and Sonya Taaffe continue the interactions of mourning and magic, by way of goddesses and gardens, ghosts and prophecy, homunculi and witches, ancient languages and graves.

Our cover art, “Prick,” comes from Susan Jamison (a fellow Roanoke resident) who paints in egg tempera. Her works often convey mysterious women communing with animals who could be spirit guides or familiars. This painting, which, shall we say, leaves a mark, complements this issue perfectly.

And now, the petals of our first arrangement unfold . . .

 

—Mike Allen, Roanoke, Va., March 2017

 

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