Something Wicked #10
So it's with a heavy heart that I report the transition from print to digital for the South African horror magazine Something Wicked. It's not that I have a stigma attached to online venues; quite to the contrary, my favorite magazines are now published on the internet. But editors Joe Vaz and Vianne Venter have done such a fine job with the hardcopy magazine that I think there will be a distinct void in the field without this handsome periodical. The layout and design of the magazine, coupled with the eclectic collection of international voices, informative reviews and columns (one of my favorite writers, John Connolly, writes a great regular column for SW) and keen illustrations make this a must-read.
My copy arrived two days ago and I've only read two stories (there are eight offerings in #10), but both "Phadder's Sins" and "The Blue Hag" were very strong. Sean and Craig Davis's "Phadder's Sins" is a macabre glimpse into a world poisoned by isolationist fear and devolution. It's a tale of morality and responsibility, and it ultimately raises more questions than it answers; that's a mark of quality fiction, in my books.
"The Blue Hag" is one of the more enjoyable stories I've read in a long while. William Meikle and Graeme Hurry have constructed a truly scary tale of generational reconciliation and mythology. The titular hag is a frightening character and the Scottish affectations in the dialogue add an eerie authenticity to this tale. Also, we get another tale of morality here--a central moral struck home by the wonderful question: Are ye a herdsman or a butcher? It's make yer mind up time...
Connolly's Confessions of an Accidental Author provides a glimpse into an upcoming film that was made of his short story "The New Daughter." Recounted with the hallmark humor and grace that typifies his writing, it's a fascinating look at the film making process. Here's to hoping he finishes the narrative in Something Wicked's new digital format.
And yes, there is that. Something Wicked is not going away, it's merely going online. I'm very thankful for this development, and I encourage those of you reading this to support the magazine as it makes the transition.
I was one of the more than seventy authors whose work found a home in Something Wicked. Although my story didn't garner the kindest of reviews, I have to say that Vianne and Joe handled my story with professionalism and care and did a great job of presenting it. The illustrations were fantastic and I'm thrilled to have been a part of this magazine's fine print tradition.
Joe is an actor, and his focus in 2010 is to continue to grow in his field. I give him a lot of credit. This magazine was born of his vision, and he did great things with it. I think, in looking at the editorial notes in #10, that Vianne will remain a central figure in shaping the future of the magazine. That continuity should serve the magazine well as it makes the transition online.
Kudos to both for their hard work.
In the collection of short stories that I'm reading (Fragile Things, Neil Gaiman) right now, the author says that he originally wanted to call the collection These People Ought to Know Who We Are and Tell That We Were Here. It was the sentiment captured in a Little Nemo Sunday comic, and it resonated with Gaiman.
I think that's one of the finest testaments to why we write--to why we create art. It's that notion of legacy, that sense of satisfaction that comes from saying, "I was here, and I did this."
As the editors of Something Wicked guide the magazine away from the print medium and into the digital realm, I hope they know that the ten hardcopy issues of SW that they produced clearly stand as fine examples of that theory.
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