“What is your writing engaging with, if not power, history, social forces, injustice, culture, moral issues, personal fears and interpersonal values?”

—Stephen Volk, Coffinmaker's Blues

 [ Issue 2013.28; Cover art © 2013 Christina Cartwright ]

Issue 2013.28

Short stories


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2013 has been a good year for TFF. (I mean sure, the editors are still behind on everything, chronically overworked, bordering on burnout half the time—but apart from that...) Last year's critically acclaimed Outlaw Bodies anthology was followed by the colonialism-themed volume, We See a Different Frontier, which has been equally well if not even better received; for the first time in our history we've sold enough copies (both pre- and post-publication) to cover our costs. Two stories from the anthology, Sandra McDonald's and Sunny Moraine's, were selected for Gardner Dozois's Year's Best Science Fiction 31 anthology. Previously, Jamie Killen's "Elm" was reprinted in the Heiresses of Russ annual anthology of lesbian speculative fiction, and Barry King's "Arrow" will be reprinted in Best Canadian Speculative Writing from ChiZine.

So it was a good year for validation of what TFF has been doing all these years (although needless to say the real achievements are on the part of Barry, Jamie, Sandra and Sunny, whose stories were so honoured). It was also, in my humble opinion, a great year for our fiction, with some of my favourite stories ever appearing in the last few issues.

This is what social-political speculative fiction is all about. It's about beautiful stories in genres as disparate as fantasy, surrealist, science fiction, cyberpunk, magical realism and horror. It's about mind-fucking topics like the world on the edges of our own, people who don't quite belong, the gov-corps who rule our world and like to keep us in the dark, the monsters we live with every day, the cruelties we commit to entertain ourselves and keep the darkness at bay, it's about love against all the hostility the world throws at it. It's about issues including race, sex, sexuality, identity, class, politics, economics, power, morality, social mores. As Stephen Volk asks in the quote in our epigraph, "What is your writing engaging with?"

Keep engaging with the world, and we'll keep reading you.

Djibril al-Ayad, December 2013

Comment on the stories in this issue on the TFF Press blog.

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