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Editorial: Messages From Beyond Wendy Nikel

To: Past Me, March 1, 2020
From: Future You, March 1, 2021

Dear Past Me,

It’s me, Future You, writing from exactly one year further along the timeline. Sending you a message from beyond.

Beyond what? Well, that’s what I want to tell you about. Brace yourself. 2020 is about to get weird. And scary. And stressful. And… Well, how much toilet paper do you have in the cupboard?

Though maybe I shouldn’t be telling you all this. Maybe there’s a reason we aren’t allowed to send ourselves messages from beyond the here and now of our present-day. Maybe there’s a reason those things are hidden from us. Maybe if I tell you now about the virus and the lockdown and the political unrest and everything else that’s happened over the past twelve months, maybe it’d only give you more anxiety about the days that, for you, are still to come.

So let me tell you instead about the parts that make it worth it: Family movie nights and read-alouds, snuggled together under the blankets. Texts back and forth to friends, sharing struggles. Bright wildflowers on peaceful hiking trails. Coffee on the porch at sunrise. The stillness of self-reflection.

Let me tell you about these stories you will read — haunting stories that linger in your mind, which each involve messages of their own from somewhere beyond. Beyond catastrophe. Beyond death. Beyond dimensions.

In A Sunrise Every 90 Minutes by Victoria Zelvin, an astronaut in orbit exchanges messages with Earth below, where a cataclysmic event has put her mission — and return to safety — on hold.

Elizabeth Cleland writes about “The Miss Marple Society,” whose members receive cryptic messages after the death of one of their dear friends. (Available 4/12)

The Door” by Ike Quigley recounts messages found in a voicemail inbox in the wake of an apocalyptic event. (Available 4/19)

And in our reprint this month, “A Promise Kept by Candle Flame” by Kelly Sandoval, the narrator waits for messages from beyond the grave, conveyed in an unusual way. (Available 4/26)

So hang in there, Past Me. Let these stories be something to look forward to in the days and weeks to come.

Love always,

Future You

© Wendy Nikel

Meet the Author

Wendy Nikel

Wendy Nikel

Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she’s left her cup of tea. She’s had many of her own stories published in places such as Analog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Cricket, and Nature. Her time travel novella series, beginning with The Continuum, is available from World Weaver Press.

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