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Myths & Delusions • Editorial • October 2017

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Anita and I have returned from the breeze-tempered warmth of Finland to the humid heat of Virginia, having celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a trip to Worldcon 75 in Helsinki.

Helsinki proved a fascinating, friendly city. We took a tour of Suomenlinna, the island fortress just off the coast, and visited the memorial to composer Jean Sibelius, which Anita had been to as a child. We sampled salmon and reindeer, and I had the local gin and tonic, all delicious. The owner of the Ilves (Finnish for “lynx”) restaurant recommended Karhu beer to me, which became an essential staple during my time there.

Worldcon 75 ended up being the second-largest Worldcon in the history of the event, so large that there were many people we know that we never actually ran across while we were there, or who we caught up with only fleetingly. Some of the folks we did get to spend quality time with included Ian Watson and his wife Cristina Macía, Ian Whates and his partner Helen, Paul StJohn Mackintosh, Cat Sparks, Anya Martin, Arla Lehtinen, Greer Gilman, David Shaw, Yves Meynard, D. Franklin, Antonio Bueno and Mari Ness. It was great to see all of you there. And it was wonderful to see longtime friend and Mythic Delirium contributor Amal El-Mohtar win a Hugo, and give hugs of support before and after.

It was my great pleasure to participate in the “Remembering Tanith Lee” panel with Shawna McCarthy, John-Henri Holmberg, and moderator Ian Whates. I got to speak about Lee’s involvement in the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies and share appreciations by Mythic Delirium Books contributors Theodora Goss and Gemma Files.

Though not related to Worldcon per se, it was an honor to make the trip as a World Fantasy Award finalist. Our anthology Clockwork Phoenix 5 is a contender for the 2017 award for anthology, and one of the stories from the book, “The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me” by Rachael K. Jones, is a finalist in the best short fiction category.

As you might guess, we had some business agenda items to tick off our list while we were at the convention. One you can see for yourself: our stunning cover art by Finnish artist Lasse Paldanius, “Immaculate Atom Heart,” which we spotted in the Worldcon art show. Lasse exhibits his work on Facebook as The Crosspunk Wanderer, and I highly recommend giving his work a look.

While we were overseas, the news of the white supremacist march that led to violence in Charlottesville (a mere two hours from Roanoke) disturbed and distressed us, as did President Trump’s wholly inadequate response.

We offer this new issue of Mythic Delirium in the spirit of sharing the fun we have as science fiction publishers and as, hopefully, a welcome if temporary respite from the onslaught of awful national news.

James Van Pelt joins us for the first time with “The Elevator Illimitable,” a story that demonstrates the range of adventures one can have while standing in the same spot day after day. Daniel Ausema, who first appeared in our pages with poetry, contributes the surreal epistolary tale “The Desert Cure.” Premee Mohamed, another newcomer to our digital pages, provides a triumphant sports story with a preternatural twist in “The Water and the World.”

Our poetry this time around comes from Alix Bosley, Maura McHugh, David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Mary Soon Lee, Virginia M. Mohlere, and Trent Walters, covering distractions of the heart, learning to breathe water, a drowned ship, the mysteries of horses and trees, and the wisdom of heeding omens.

Don’t delay reading any longer. It’s time for a lift . . .

 

—Mike Allen, Roanoke, Va., September 2017

 

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