Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

Hello, and welcome to Issue Twenty-Three!

I'm excited to first highlight the return of our Classic Reprint series, where we're honored to be able to reprint Charles Johnson's excellent story "Popper's Disease," as introduced by Tom Williams. Williams begins:

"No science fiction!"

One of my biggest mistakes as a creative writing instructor was asserting the prohibition above. Along with "no westerns, no vampires, no historical romances or fantasy stories," my syllabi, I felt confident, established the notion that students first learn the basics of storytelling before getting lost in the trappings of genre. Yet in every class I taught with such a syllabus a student made it her or his sole aim to show me the story that proved quote unquote genre fiction could rise to the level of the kind I championed: Faulkner, O'Connor, Morrison, Roth. I can't remember any of my students' choices doing anything but tiring me. All the Asimov and Clarke and Heinlein and their imitators just seemed inferior. But then I discovered Charles Johnson's "Popper's Disease."

Our sincerest thanks again to Dr. Johnson for allowing us to reprint this story, which first appeared in his collection The Sorcerer's Apprentice, in 1977. You can click here to read the rest of Williams' introduction, and then here to move on to Johnson's "Popper's Disease."

Elsewhere in Issue Twenty-Three, we have new fiction by Rob Roensch, Kate Petersen, Christy Crutchfield, and Christian Moody, as well as novel excerpts from Wire to Wire by Scott Sparling, Giant Slugs by A D Jameson, and Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel by Bob Thurber.

You'll also find have poetry by Alex Dimitrov, Mary Lou Buschi, and Marcus Wicker, plus a collaborative poem by Traci Brimhall and Brynn Saito, as well as non-fiction by Jamie Iredell.

Our book review section includes coverage of Suicide by Édouard Levé (Kathryn Houghton), Event Factory by Renee Gladman (Tom DeBeauchamp), Procession of Shadows by Julián Ríos (Vicente R. Viray), Objects for a Fog Death by Julie Doxsee (Robert Alan Wendeborn), Cowboy Maloney's Electric City by Michael Bible (M Thompson), and The Book of Happenstance by Ingrid Winterbach, a continuation of Anna Clark's series of reviews of African literature.

As always, thanks to all of our contributors for letting us publish their fine work. Thanks also to everyone who reads the magazine, everyone who sends us submissions, and of course everyone who takes the time to post about the issue to their blogs, Facebook, or anywhere else. We appreciate your time and talents, and can't thank you enough for sharing them with us.


Matt Bell
The Collagist