Announcing the arrival of Shousetsu Bang*Bang issue 39: Sword and Sorcery!
In the year that was the journal’s eighth, as reckoned by mortal time, the dwarf-smiths emerged from the fires of their forge, soot-blackened by their toil. The leaders — a bonded, bearded pair — stepped forth and placed the silver box on the high altar of Mithlémil. “Here!” they bellowed, their voices ringing over an assembly that seemed to stretch the length and breadth of the world itself; “The book is here!”
The trembling throng gasped to hear such a proclamation, for long had they awaited such a day. Master artisans of all stripes had come forth to put their time and sweat into the book’s creation; those skilled with the pen had burned tallows long into the night while scratching out their tales of manly love and devotion; those whose talents were given to the ink and brush had slaved many an hour capturing the male form in all its splendor; those who had been blessed with a critical eye sought to mend and correct all oversights. All their craft had distilled to this wonder. They too stood breathlessly by, waiting for signs from the crowd that their hours of effort had not been in vain.
“It is time,” said the editors, stepping forward.
And thus, with all mouths hushed and eyes upon it, the box was opened and the issue brought forth.
Okay, I’ve obviously been a little disconnected for the past couple days on account of Sandy, but one of the things I did manage to do — about ten hours before our power cut out, in fact — was to get this issue live.
And it’s a good, strong, long issue. We’ve got a lot of returning luminaries, those authors who I know can kick out a great story every time, no exceptions. However, this time, six of the fifteen stories in the issue come from first-time contributors — and that makes me so happy I could cry a little. While I love my regulars, I’m always delighted by new and different voices. The art, too, is glorious this time, as this stunning cover will attest.
I say this often, but apparently people miss it, so it bears repeating: the issue is in order. It doesn’t have to be read that way, but I spend a lot of time curating it just so. I even use a spreadsheet! The reason I spend so much time on the order is to make sure that similar-themed and -structured stories keep their distance from one another, the tone of the collection doesn’t stagnate, and the whole issue both starts and finishes strong. So if you’re debating where to start reading the issue, my editorial advice would be: start at the beginning!
Yes! I have, indeed, been a bit distracted this week (although my power has remained on), but if YOU need a bit of distraction, this issue is a good one, and I am also just thrilled to pieces about the new contributors!