Over at Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, Milestone Issue #60 has been released this month. Here are some highlights:
THE EDITOR’S WORD
by Lezli Robyn
With a brand New Year starting, so begins a new season for the magazine. The 60th issue of Galaxy’s Edge marks several significant milestones. We’ve printed six issues per year for an entire decade, publishing an incredible 646 pieces of flash fiction, short stories, novelettes and novellas! Along with novel serializations, interviews, and regular columns, our magazine has published the first story sales of new authors in nearly every issue, staying true to Mike Resnick’s intention for Galaxy’s Edge to shine a spotlight on emerging writers in science fiction and fantasy.
With Mike Resnick at the editing helm for the first seven years of the magazine, he discovered and published many new Writer Children, as well as buying stories from Big Names in this field, until his passing in 2020. When I took over, I knew I had very big shoes to fill, and my last three years editing the magazine has been a highlight of my career. During that time, we created an online submissions system, dramatically increasing our international submissions, and have experienced the pleasure of publishing fiction by authors that became finalists or winners of major awards in the field (the Aurora, British Fantasy, BSFA, Hugo, Nebula, and Nommo Awards!).
But just as the publishing market is evolving, so are we. The magazine is published by Arc Manor, a company that has gone through significant expansion over the last two years, and these changes offer us some new and exciting opportunities.
Issue 62 will be last installment of Galaxy’s Edge in the format it’s currently published. Then the magazine will be converted into a bi-annual anthology book series, with the first volume being published at the end of 2023! Not only will we continue to bring you the fiction our readers have grown to love so much, but this new format will make it easier to get into brick-and-mortar bookstores through a full-service distributor. It will also allow us to raise the rates we pay our authors as well as give us greater flexibility to buy more novelettes and novellas, which has been restricted by the current format …
[to read the rest of this announcement, go to Galaxy’s Edge magazine!]
… But first, let me tell you more about this milestone issue. In Alicia Cay’s short story, “The Lament Configuration,” we find out how parting with something sentimental during the heartache of grief can lead to a return gift of healing much more profound. The magic and heart Alicia infuses into her words are just so incredibly beautiful; this story’s end notes brought this editor to tears.
In Eric Leif Davin’s “The Last Man,” we are given a disturbing glimpse of human relations in a post-apocalyptic world, and in “The Gardner of Ceres” by Marc A. Criley, we are shown another example of what one woman would do to save the love of her life. Marc’s story is filled with such rich and beautiful world-building, I really wish for his future to come true—I would definitely board a colonization ship to move to his version of Ceres!
Alex Shvartsman deftly translates Yefim Zozulya’s fable, “Cain and Abel,” which for some readers will seem like a version of history, and for others pure fantasy, depending on your belief system. We round out the fiction in this issue with another incredible piece by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki that will stop you in your tracks with its profound message, the final part in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s serialization, and classic reprints by Mike Resnick, our regular columnist Alan Smale, and collaborators Gardner Dozois, Jack Dann, and Michael Swanwick.
Along with our regular columns by L. Penelope and Alan Smale, and a new list of Recommended Books by Richard Chwedyk, Jean Marie Ward interviews Nisi Shawl! As a lover of everything mermaid, their conversation is a pure delight and the perfect addition to this issue.
We hope our readers had a wonderful holiday season, and a successful start to the New Year. We look forward to including you on our new publishing journey throughout 2023! As always, happy reading! I can’t wait to see what this new season gifts us.
TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR ISSUE 60
THE LAMENT CONFIGURATION by Alicia Cay
MOTHER’S LOVE, FATHER’S PLACE by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki
THE LAST MAN by Eric Leif Davin
TOURING by Gardner Dozois, Jack Dann, and Michael Swanwick
CAIN AND ABLE by Yefim Zozulya (translated by Alex Shvartsman)
THE GARDNER OF CERES by Marc A. Criley
OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM by Mike Resnick
LEAP OF FAITH by Alan Smale
THE REFLECTION ON MOUNT VITAKI (Serialization, Part 2)
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
BRIDGING DIVIDES IN SCIENCE, MAGIC, AND LIFE: GALAXY’S EDGE INTERVIEWS NISI SHAWL
by Jean Marie Ward
While still a small child, Nisi Shawl decided they were a mermaid and spun a complicated story cycle to explain how they came to live in a landlocked town thirty miles from Lake Michigan. Although (as far as we know) no merfolk ever claimed them, the episode proved prophetic. Shawl has spent their adult life bridging seemingly unbridgeable divides. Like the child who found a way to rationalize a mermaid living on dry land, Shawl’s fiction spans the divide between science and magic, creating plausible worlds where technology and enchantment coexist and support each other. Their first novel, Everfair, employs the tropes of Steampunk, the most Victorian of science fiction/fantasy subgenres, to craft an anti-colonial narrative leading to an arguably better future. Shawl’s nonfiction bridges chasms of a different sort. As a teacher, journalist, essayist, and author (with Cynthia Ward) of Writing the Other, they seek to democratize and diversify the literary landscape, helping writers craft characters with which all their readers can identify. Galaxy’s Edge spoke with Shawl about their writing current projects, including Kinning (the sequel to Everfair), as well as their continuing efforts to increase inclusiveness and further the presence of people of color in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres at all levels—and gathered a lot of writing tips along the way.
Galaxy’s Edge: When did you first realize you were a storyteller?
Nisi Shawl: I would not actually say I’m a storyteller. I wanted to be a writer, but I’m not sure that’s the same thing. There are people who tell stories who are not writers, and people who are writers who are not necessarily storytellers. If I’m a storyteller, it happens by accident.
Galaxy’s Edge: Okay. How did you get from wanting to write to your first publications?
Nisi Shawl: By persistence, that’s how I got there. I was writing while I was in college and submitting stories, and they were bad. They were horrible, and I just kept going …
TO READ THE REST OF THIS INTERVIEW — HEAD TO GALAXY’S EDGE MAGAZINE
by Richard Chwedyk
BENDING, BLENDING AND NEVERENDING
There’s been a lot of genre-bending and genre-blending going on in the SFF field recently, and it has gotten more than some of the old-timers in a tizzy. If a novel features cowboys and werewolves, do you shelve it with the westerns or with horror and fantasy? Or a romance set on a multigenerational starship? Or a whodunit set amid the faerie folk? Frankly, it’s never bothered me. Usually, the science-fiction or fantasy element eclipses (I hesitate to say “trumps”) the other genre element. Or at least it used to be that way. Doesn’t matter. I appreciate the freedom recent authors have had to define for themselves the boundaries of their work. Anything that confuses the folks who live to put things into their “proper” boxes is all right with me.
What we’ve always cringed at in this business was described over seventy years ago as the “Bat Durston Syndrome”: westerns dressed in space gear; private eyes with rayguns instead of .38s.
The publishers’ promo department is trying to sell Mur Lafferty’s latest novel, Station Eternity, that way. Don’t be fooled. Yes, there is a mystery at the heart of this engrossing story, but Lafferty, if you’ll excuse the expression, dodges the bullet.
Mallory Viridian, P.I., has moved to a self-aware, alien space station because she happens to be too good at her job of solving murders. Her problem is the collateral damage that comes with her success: people close to her keep getting killed. She sees it as a jinx which she might only beat by living in an alien environment. But more humans arrive at the station, and more murders occur. What’s a private eye to do?
The great thing, of course, is that Lafferty never forgets to be a science fiction writer, and the solution to the mystery depends on the science fiction elements in this story. It’s a fine tradition that traces back to the R. Daneel Olivaw/Elijah Bailey mysteries Isaac Asimov wrote in books like The Caves of Steel.
Station Eternity is a fine novel, well worth your time.
TO READ THE REST THE LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS — HEAD OVER TO GALAXY’S EDGE MAGAZINE
by Alan Smale
Hey, does anyone remember Star Wars?
No, not the movies. The other Star Wars, the Strategic Defense Initiative of the mid-1980s. If you don’t, the idea was to develop a range of advanced weaponry to serve as a shield to protect us against incoming Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Its ambitious agenda was to “[render] nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete” (Ronald Reagan, March 23, 1983)—or at least the ones fired at the United States.
X-ray lasers were a key component of SDI. X-ray lasers, directed-energy weapons, fired from space-based platforms, to shoot down Soviet ICBMs as part of our anti-ballistic missile defense. The laser light would be generated by the detonation of a US nuclear weapon—yes, in space—that would (very briefly) energize dozens of directed X-ray lasers to take out a similar number of Soviet missiles at a stroke, at potential ranges of thousands of miles.
This was Project Excalibur, and it was …
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by L. Penelope
12 TIPS FOR BEATING WRITER’S BLOCK
Writer’s block is like the boogeyman lurking under the beds and in the shadowy closets of every writer. Some are plagued by terror of its presence. Others claim not to believe in it at all. But just about every writer I know has experienced periods where the words just wouldn’t come. Whether it’s not knowing the story you want to tell, not wanting to write the story you’re supposed to, or being in the middle of something that just feels wrong and you can’t move forward until it starts feeling right again, the condition takes many forms.
I’ve been infected by it more times than I can count. In fact, I was stuck on my current work-in-progress for the past few weeks and am just now recovering my flow and pace. What went wrong? I had a full outline for the novel, which is book two in a trilogy. I knew the broad strokes of where the story needs to end in order to set up for the next book. I had the main characters living in my head, both of whom appeared in the first book. I’d already re-written the first twenty-thousand words of the draft once, but for the longest time I just couldn’t get out of the first act of the novel …
TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE — HEAD OVER TO GALAXY’S EDGE MAGAZINE