A New Year

Jake Freivald, Founding Editor

This is our third anniversary issue; our first issue went live in December of 2007. Congratulations to us. 🙂

I guess we like to start new things with Bruce Holland Rogers. He was one of the first authors we published, with the story “Reconstruction Work.” (The other author was Suzanne Vincent, who later joined the staff and has been instrumental to the magazine since then.) Bruce’s story went on to win the first annual Micro Award, and Bruce went on to provide us with an interview and, over time, twenty-six columns in a series called Short-Short Sighted: Writing the Short-Short Story. Bruce is still with us, but he’s creating a new column called Technically Speaking, which will focus on techniques that can be applied to any length of story. If you’re a writer, go read his introductory column. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

For readers, this month we have three excellent new stories — one science fiction, one literary, and one mainstream — and one Classic Flash.

We start with “Round Trip” by Ellise Heiskell. Although there’s not a lot of action in this science-fiction story — no laser guns or speeding spaceships — it shows pretty intensely how motherhood changes a woman. This is Ellise’s first professional publication.

Our next story is “Isabel” by Michael Plemmons. It’s a literary piece, so I’m betting that you genre junkies are going to look at it crosseyed, but it sticks with me. It’s a relationship thing. Grandma Clara talks to her granddaughter, Isabel, about fireflies and, by the end, it seems to me that the story is more about Clara’s relationship with her unnamed and barely visible daughter than with Isabel herself. Michael has been published in Sudden Fiction and had a story read aloud on NPR. (Link opens as a pop-up.)

Our final new story is “Firing Squad” by Gary Cuba. In the middle of a war, discipline is everything. Well, almost everything. Sometimes pragmatism depends on a lack of it; sometimes humanity does. Gary has been published in Jim Baen’s Universe, Abyss & Apex, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Fictitious Force, and Brain Harvest.

Our Classic Flash is a historical piece about “The First Puritan Christmas Tree.” Although it seems unlikely to me that the story reflects something that actually happened — it was published in an English collection of Christmas tales, and probably reflects an Anglican bias — it is, nonetheless, a lovely description that I could wish were true. And that’s what fiction is about, no?

We’ll be back in the middle of January with new stories. We look forward to seeing you then!