Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2013 | Page 5


We’re thrilled to bring you the inaugural issue of Psychopomp Magazine, a publication devoted to showcasing art and literature that defies genre and isn’t afraid to go beyond the confines of traditional form. When my co-editor and I started this journal, we had been talking a lot about the severe lack of markets for certain brands of stories––namely those that might be rejected at literary journals for being too genre-oriented and snubbed at genre markets for not being quite speculative enough. We bored of reading the same kinds of stories over and over again. We’re not against realism, and we’re not against tradition by any means, but as writers of off-beat, genre-bending stories ourselves, we felt that there needed to be another market out there for writers (especially new and emerging ones) who dared to ferry readers away from the familiar.

The stories in this issue are just snapshots of what we hope to offer you in the future. The offerings are eclectic, daring, and highly imaginative. We admire stories that study reality through the lens of the unreal, making us consider relationships, time, and space by unhinging us from our most obvious worldviews.

In the same spirit as Calvino’s "Distance of the Moon," "If You Look Long Enough You See That Everything Is A-Passing" takes us to the end of a surreal love affair with a specter of the low-tide, as the moon slowly drifts away. It’s a language-rich piece of writing that is quite layered in its treatment of both Earthly and heavenly bodies, as well as the passage of time. "Like a Prayer," another language-oriented piece, grounds us in reality but focuses on the emotional and psychological alchemy of words themselves––particularly our spoken words, our songs.

"Axes," "The Two Daughters," and "A Tree Love Story" transport us to the fabulistic. The first re-imagines a Burmese folktale of a boy who tries to retrieve his father’s axe from a nymph. It is a tribal tale of acquisiton and maturity, how the boy is bequeathed his father’s axe after magical trials. "The Two Daughters," on the other hand, inhabits the more familiar relationship of father and daughters. In this tale, the narrator’s fatherhood is progressively transformed as his daughters become feral. And in "A Tree Love Story," we explore the roots of community among trees in a park, as they respond to a human danger that has killed one of their own.

"From Common Human Viruses" explores ailments, not so much of human anatomy, but those of the heart, spirit, and psyche, the abstract demons which can plague our fictional characters and ourselves unless we, for example, watch more Jimmy Stewart movies and listen to more love songs.

We’re thankful to our first contributors for kicking off what we hope will be a long and strange journey, and we hope you’ll enjoy reading the work of these fine writers just as much as we have. Our gratitude to all of you for reading.

Sequoia Nagamatsu

Managing Editor