A reviewer recently pointed out that these little introductory essays of mine are a bit strained as to theme. That I seem to stretch a point to unite all the disparate elements in an issue under one guiding umbrella, to completely mix my metaphors.
Well, this issue? Doesn’t really have a theme. There you have it.
If there is any uniting principle to the June issue, it’s that I personally really, really like all of these works. I adore our cover, “Bleef,” from Tory Hoke. I reached out to Patrick Nielsen Hayden at Making Light for John M. Ford’s poem, “Harry of Five Points.” I asked Kelly Link if we could reprint “The Faery Handbag” because I have been an admirer of her work for a decade. I requested Osvaldo Oyola to write “Black Communities of the 30th Century: Racial Assimilation and Ahistoricity in Superhero Comics” because the inherited racism in genre fiction is a thing I struggle with and hope to combat.
The fiction this month is entirely new to me. I hope you will agree that it’s a delightfully weird mix. Marissa Lingen’s “The Salt Path” adroitly uses SF/F tropes of war and conflict to talk about the reality of war, and conflict, and the lives touched by those things. “Soul of Soup Bones,” by Crystal Lynn Hilbert, is one of the most charming stories of cooking and necromancy I have ever read. And Eden Robins’ “Cape to Cairo” is a lonely, quiet story of Africa and time travel and being an outsider in one’s own life.
In addition to Mike Ford’s poem, our poetry editor Elise Matthesen brings you two poems of transformation. “Afterwards,” by Alice Dryden, challenges our point of view. “Brighid,” by Mary Soon Lee, asks questions of identity.
We have a new interviewer at Apex Magazine this month, Andrea Johnson. She talks to Eden Robins about Africa and travel, and how to write a time travel story without getting lost in the mechanics of the thing. In addition, Loraine Sammy interviews our cover artist, Tory Hoke.
I love everything in this issue. I hope you do, as well.