A Word from the Editor (Winter 2021)

A Word from the Editor (Winter 2021)

Don’t look now, but this is somehow the 50th issue of Kaleidotrope!

I launched this little semiprozine some fifteen years ago, in October of 2006. Back then, and for the first five years of operation, Kaleidotrope was a print magazine, modeled on genre publications I loved like Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and Electric Velocipede. If it never quite achieved their heights (or popularity), I’m nonetheless proud of those first thirteen issues–to say nothing of the 37 that I’ve published since.

These pages, first print and since 2012 electronic, have seen literally hundreds of terrific stories and poems over the years, from authors you’ve heard of and some you maybe haven’t. Some who have gone on to even greater work, some who are sadly no longer with us. “This is a place where you will find the future stars of sff,” a review in Kirkus Magazine once said of Kaleidotrope, and I’d like to think that’s true. I’d like to think this is a place where writers and readers alike can find new and interesting work they’re not likely to discover anywhere else.

I tried to think of the best way to mark this occasion, especially at the start of a new year, one that will hopefully be better than the one we now leave behind. But what better way could there be than to simply publish some more terrific stories and poems?

So that’s what you’ll find here: a story of trolls and revenge in Marissa Lingen’s “In the Garden of My Ancestors’ Statues.” A tale of faith and the hunger for justice in Erin K. Wagner’s “Truth, Death, and the Golem Between.” A retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice in Mary E. Lowd’s haunting “Returning the Lyre.” A tale that’s sort of “Jane Austen but make it matriarchal scifi on an alien planet” (the author’s description) in Kerry C. Byrne’s “Her House There by the Mountain.” The determined quest of a lonely praying mantis in Nibedita Sen’s fun “The Love Song of M. Religiosa.” A very different sort of pirate queen in Jennifer Shelby’s “The Mermaid’s Tail.” And a story of Viking love and loss in Paul Crenshaw’s “What We Are Remembered For.”

This issue also features four poems from four talented writers: Marcie Lynn Tentchoff’s “At the Playground,” Jennifer Crow’s “Night Beasts,” Kim Whysall-Hammond’s “Shadow Dance/Island,” and Mari Ness’ “Beneath the Palace Dictionary the Last Evil Mars Moth Sleeps.”

With artwork by Paula Arwen Owen.

(Plus some new horoscopes, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

It’s been a long journey here at Kaleidotrope, one that will hopefully continue for several more issues and years to come. There are more great stories and poems in the pipeline for 2021, and beginning in February, submissions re-open quarterly throughout the year. Be sure to follow Kaleidotrope on Twitter or support the zine on Patreon to find out more!

I want to thank you for taking this journey with me–if it’s been from that first issue fifteen years ago, or if it’s just starting today, with this 50th one. Readers like you–and the fiction and poetry we get to share–are why I continue doing this, and why I look forward to another 50 of Kaleidotrope!

Fred Coppersmith
January, 2021