Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief2 min read
In November of 2013 my family and I traveled to Guatemala. We looked at old churches and new coffee plantations, we roasted marshmallows in the vents at the top of an active volcano, we rode horses and ziplined through the jungle. We also went to Tikal, site of a Mayan city three thousand years old.
Tikal is in ruins now. I say, “in ruins,” though I doubt that anything my culture is making today will look so good in three thousand years. The limestone blocks still stand, jutting through tropical canopy towards the sky. As we approached the city, trudging up muddy root–strewn paths, our guide informed us that from this point onward, every hill in sight was a building. The flat ground we crossed was ten meters of fill and rubble and pavement. That everything — everything we saw — was created by humans over the course of eight hundred years. Eight hundred years of civilization, with only the most recent in sight.
The present is built on the past.
Our features this month understand the relationship between past and present. Gene O’Neill’s “Pale Skin, Grey Eyes,” takes a personal and cultural look at the destruction that can be wrought when everyone in a situation acts in good faith, based on what they know to be true from past experience. In “Jackalope Wives” Ursula Vernon reminds us that eventually everything has consequences, that the unforseen future turns into right now so much faster than we expect. Pat Cadigan’s “Dispatches from the Revolution” changes the past to explore the present in ways that are deeply relevant today. And in “Women in Pre–1947 Chinese and Indian Horror Fiction and Film” Jess Nevins demonstrates that we may forget the past, but it echoes through our work today.
The present is built on the past. Unavoidably. Unalterably. There’s no way to get to now without going through then. And I would not want it any other way. There’s no way to get to me, now, here, talking to you, without every moment of who I used to be. There’s no way to get to Apex, here, now, without the incredible work of Cat Valente, Lynne M. Thomas, and Michael D. Thomas. Anything we do at Apex going forward begins from the progress they have made.
I give my thanks to those who came before me. My gratitude goes to all of you with me now. And I hold appreciation for all of those who will join us in the future.
Thank you for joining me for this, my first issue, of Apex Magazine.