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Myths & Delusions • Editorial • July 2016

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We begin the fourth year of Mythic Delirium’s digital age by opening our center stage to a trio of voices from the far side of the world.

Suzanne J. Willis premieres in our pages with a beautiful and gruesome story of maps inked on skin and where they lead. Benjanun Sriduangkaew, a veteran of the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies, makes her first appearance in Mythic Delirium with a story of a space-faring arms dealer who is herself a weapon. And Yukimi Ogawa, who’s been in both of the sister publications, rejoins us with a mash-up of mythology and multiple genres that’s unlike anything you’ve ever read.

As far as poetry goes, we’re welcoming back Jane Yolen, Lynette Mejía, and Christina Sng, gladly greeting Ada Hoffman, whose verse we previously showcased in Mythic Delirium’s print incarnation, celebrating Kavitha Rath’s debut in our journal, and congratulating Lyndsey Silveira, whose first published poem appears in this issue. Together they take us on tours through realms of legend and sorcery, of dinosaurs and death personified.

Our cover art this time out comes from none other than Lissanne Lake, illustrator of the Buckland Romani Tarot. Lissanne and I met at the Clockwork Phoenix 5 launch reading that took place April 5 in the Brooklyn Commons café in New York City.

That event, I’m proud to report, was an absolute blast. Our launch was a part of the New York Review of Science Fiction readings that take place the first Tuesday of each month. (It so happened that the event coincided with the date Clockwork Phoenix 5 became available for sale worldwide.) Series curator and producer Jim Freund invited me to host, and Clockwork Phoenix 5 contributors Rob Cameron, Shveta Thakrar, Barbara Krasnoff, Sonya Taaffe, A.C. Wise, C.S.E. Cooney, and Carlos Hernandez came out to read. Cover artist Paula Arwen Owen turned up, too! With an audience of nearly 100, the room was packed, the organizers were delightfully surprised, all the readers were well-received, and we sold a lot of copies to boot. I could not have asked for a better kick-off.

The Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter isn’t over. In fact, because of interruptions good and bad, Anita and I are behind schedule in delivering the remaining rewards (specially etched tumblers, limited edition chapbooks). Still, the April launch reading felt like a satisfying conclusion to a major chapter in my writing and publishing career.

I’ve been reflecting a lot these past couple months on the nail-biting and exhilarating adventure that began with the decision to use Kickstarter to fund our publishing projects, this magazine in its current format being one of the results. I can’t tell you that I know where this journey ultimately goes, but I can say that I’m astonished at the unexpected, delightful destinations that have popped up along the way. I’m grateful for the sheer volume of community support I’ve received, and all the myriad forms that support has taken. That goodwill has kept the ship afloat, the train rolling, the dirigible in the air, and the mode of transport adaptable to whatever circumstances I’ve needed.

All that said, I have an additional favor to ask, of those who’ve been following this journal. Mythic Delirium, with its slow and steady rollouts and its equal emphasis given to both poetry and prose, hasn’t sparked the sort of fireworks that projects like the Clockwork Phoenix books and C.S.E. Cooney’s Bone Swans have set off. To some degree that’s just the nature of the beast—as just one example, the former short-fiction reviewer for Locus Online ruled that Mythic Delirium was principally a poetry journal, even in its new incarnation, and chose to stop reviewing after three issues. While it’s debatable what difference that particular instance made, a bit of feedback here and there would be much preferable to working in a vacuum. So if you read a story or poem you like, please tell us, and even more importantly, tell others.

Given that we’ve already filled the next year’s worth of issues, it’s fair to ask what weight such feedback would carry. The answers: it helps us shape the next year, once we’re reading again in Spring 2017, and it gives us guidance as to how to promote the works we’re unveiling now.

Speaking of material in hand, our next issue, No. 3.2, will be a wily bag of tricks. We’ll have debut short stories by two authors, Andrew Gilstrap and Chris Reinhardt, and a science fictional (kinda) story-in-verse by TJ Radcliffe. We’ll also have poetry provided by Jeanine Hall Gailey, Gwynne Garfinkle, Lore Graham, Sandi Leibowitz, Mari Ness, and Jane Yolen.

Want to read this experimental autumn harvest before the rest of the world? Then be sure your subscription is up-to-date. You can do that here at the Mythic Delirium Books website, or here at Weightless Books.

And now, let me hold the door for you. A quaint little shop awaits on the other side . . .

 

—Mike Allen, Roanoke, Va., June 2016

 

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