Welcome to our 5th anniversary issue.
The trick with writing to reach its highest level is word choice. More than defining, more than just affecting prose, it is prose. And Hemingway’s still casts the widest shadow on us. That poetry of concision led to The Elements of Style, and though it’s ventured far to Saramago’s endless ornate songs and the bombast of the pre-web magazine writers, Hemingway’s idea, with credit to his influencers, remains the foundation. The style of the Georgians until him, based on the letter writing of Society, is passe todefunct, considering the dominance digital writing has upon the entire field.
I don’t particularly like Hemingway. I did before, he’s a young man’s game. For Whom TBT’s love story and formal address has merit, was poetic. The Old MATS still resonates, will likely be placed with Grecian myth in 500 years. All right, great. Much of the rest has a touch of the clinical and doesn’t venture from the reach of de Beauvoir’s bourgeoisie. Some old masters are phases. My last masters included Beckett and Lessing. Beckett is so unique that even when he’s copied well, it’s missing some calibrated second sight that lives between his letters. Lessing is so expansive it’s baffling, that is it’s understandable, the work itself, but a person with that many worlds inside them is reserved otherwise for certain writers in sff. Both Beckett and Lessing surpass Hemingway in ideas, Beckett focused on psychology and had authentic Shakespeare, Lessing went from family drama to social critique and then into mythology and outer space. Saramago at his best was a quill that wrote with authentic antiquity. They are three atoms in a molecule that is the best of us.
I don’t think I’ve opened them in years. I am a Ronan without the zaratsu polished ego to rename myself. But there is a master I still read today. I cannot say who because I can feel an embarrassment building so strong that I repress it quick.
With that, it’s my profound pleasure to feature on this issue’s cover the work of Scott Zagar, painter, sculptor, writer, formerly of San Diego and Berlin, Unified Germany. It’s remarkable to meet talented people.
From old masters to the new, J.R. Solonche, Gerard Sarnat, DS Maolalai, Matthew James Friday, Jack Donahue, and Holly Day are our excellent poets, and Daniel Uncapher and Chris Cleary are our fine storywriters.
I am proud of the quality of this our 5th anniversary issue, which is all due to its contributors. Here’s to another 5.
The Silver Thread by Chris Cleary
“noise seems to hang in the air for only a split second before the snow sucks it down into itself”
Wasting Time Playing Video Games by Daniel Uncapher
“It’s unconscionable in the Anthropocene”
Caipora by Holly Day
“burning out on wet tile”
Pieces of a Life that Will Remain Unglued by Jack Donahue
“I speak as an emigrant / from my mother’s womb”
The Old Man in the Café Bazar, Salzburg by Matthew James Friday
“They exchange awareness of being / still alive, then she recedes”
the hero wakes in a white room by DS Maolalai
“see the pins in the paint / from the last tenant’s pictures”
Consensus About the Feds by Gerard Sarnat
“she is still sane plus able to beat them at Dominos”
Touch by JR Solonche
“I will not taste the wine?”