Hello, fellow mysterious beasts!
It has been some time since we have talked. On the cusp of summer, Apparition has emerged from hibernation to grace the planet with its sleepy, yet attentive, eyes. Our claws have now turned to Creature, and our submissions are open!
This issue’s venerable guest editor is the staggering Wen-yi Lee. With her own trademark bite, Wen-yi is the perfect author to explore the catacombs, climb the trees, and dig into the earth to collect the finest specimens for this issue.
For our reader and editor round-table, we took notes about what all are hoping to see. Read on for inspiration to dig deep and really create something unique:
Wen-yi Lee (Guest Editor): Wen-yi will not shy away from beast femininity and marginalized bodies. As she shared, “I’m interested in a lot of monstrosity, not necessarily creatures…” While into fantasy and zoology, she is also interested in seeing humans as monsters; seeing how you craft a monster; and exploring our monstrous side. More literally, Wen-yi is hoping to see creatures from different folklore and cultures, and creatures in unexpected locales…
Tehnuka (Submissions Reader): “I would enjoy seeing weird, unexpected creatures with weird, unexpected thoughts and feelings.”
A. J. Van Belle (Submissions Reader): “Human as ‘creature’ is always good.”
Moriam (Submissions Reader): Like Wen-yi, Moriam is interested in seeing creatures coming from different cultures and mythologies. Moriam is also interested in “…something that feels a bit strange and inhuman. It would be cool if the setting was a creature…if creatures could be part of the setting in some way and have an effect on society as a whole….”
Amy (Owner/Senior Editor, Poetry Editor, and Webmaster): “I’m a sucker for dead spouses, and I’m wondering how that will fit in with this theme. I recently realized I like a lot of movies with ‘creature versus human’ like the recent Beast. And the internal monster/creature humanity question…”
Maria (Poetry Editor & Assistant Fiction Editor, Submissions Reader): “I feel like unlike Symmetry, Creature is very concrete. I am a bit of a monsterfucker, but we don’t go that spicy anyway.” (Marie’s note: Maria’s right! No erotica here. But I left Maria’s note in here with the thought that perhaps our writers could challenge themselves to find the sensual in the prompt, without breaking the bank).
Rebecca (Owner/Senior Editor and Cover Art Director): “I want unknowable and vicious creatures. Ones that can’t be tamed or anthropomorphized…”
Clarke (Owner/Senior Editor): “Creature Feature of course pops to mind. I would love stories with classic creature-feature vibes; all the reasons those old movies and serial stories are still fun today, but with surprising takes. Play with genre mashups. Turn cheesey into truly horrific…Look at how the old creature features reflected societal anxieties of the time and make it modern. Take an Earth-invasion story and make it character-driven and relationship-focused because readers only care about an abstract concept like the planet being destroyed if we fall in love with a character and invest deeply in their personal loss and heartbreak. (Please break my heart.) Manipulate our sympathy and who we root for. (Does anyone else cry every time they watch the Boris Karloff version of Frankenstein?) Put your own cultural spin on it. Think of what truly scares you and turn it into a monster. Make the climactic, protag vs creature faceoff thematically poignant and gut-wrenching. And please more BIPOC authors! Basically, gimme unique creatures or monsters, make me cry, laugh, and feel existential dread, scare my socks off, and surprise the hell out of me.”
(Marie’s note: Clarke’s answer is elaborate and detailed and perfectly encapsulates what many of the other readers are looking to publish this issues. Let’s call it the TL:DR of what we hope to see)
Tall orders for our writers. Creatures from everywhere, this world and beyond. Creatures inside our human selves, and outside as settings. Creatures that are sexy and creatures that are horrifying. The options here are vast and wide. Don’t let us down! Show us what you can conjure if you try!
Until next time, friends!