Juggling a Hot Haga-fruit by Jim Reader
The Whisper by Julia Rancourt
The Price of Memory by Sally McBride
Issue 4 is our first theme issue. The stories in it were selected by our friend and guest editor Haris Durrani. You can read more about him here along with a reprint of his novella Technologies of the Self. Our next theme issue – Issue 8 – will focus on Steampunk and be guest edited by Megan O’Keefe. You can read more about that here.
As a special treat, check out our E-Book Shop for PDF versions of all our novellas. 10% of each e-book sale goes directly to the author. We hope to provide e-pub versions also soon!
And now, an Editor’s Note by Chief Editor Evan Adams
Doing theme issues at all, and making our first one a Space Opera issue, is one of the most concrete steps The Fantasist has taken towards our goal of broadening the definition of fantasy. One of these pieces has actual wizards, of course, and one of them has swords and dungeons and a mysterious blue cavern (and some things with cats that lead to me starting sentences with “Well, from an integrated magical theory perspective…”). But obviously wizards and swords aren’t the defining factors in what makes a story fantasy or not.
I think we may have said this in every Editor’s Note so far, but we believe that fantasy is fantasy because it feels like fantasy. Wikipedia defines Space Opera as “ a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking”. That feels like fantasy to me. So do a lot of the things I notice in Space Opera. Long travel times, with the larger world being shown, and characters and relationships developed, while in transit between plot points. Ethical and existential issues being presented through characters, rather than the premise, even if that particular questions they face could not exist without some magical ability or piece of technology specific to their world. (Also a willingness to take a stab at answering those questions). Sword fights. Worlds, processes, and devices that the characters don’t, and maybe can’t, fully understand, but that they explore and work with anyway.
This is the last issue of Volume 1 of The Fantasist. (And we’re gearing up to try to put together a print version). Throughout the year-and-a-bit since we opened submissions for the first time, we’ve been through the 2016 election, moving into a new apartment, and Saint Louis summers. We’ve taken on some first readers, so our hard-working and much-put-upon first reader, Bernard Foyuth, can finally take a fucking break. A lot of publications fold in their first year through no fault of their own; we’ve been incredibly fortunate to make it this far, and there’s so much more hope to do in the future, but we know that this much, at least, is sustainable, and we’re not going anywhere.
Thank you, and enjoy!