Mythology may well be considered the original speculative genre. Often fantastical, frequently horrific, sometimes forward sweeping. Always testing the limits of belief and imagination. Blurring the lines between faith and fancy. Offering a billion, billion new faces for timeless traditions.
Speculative fiction, science fiction in particular, has been termed a sort of modern mythology for the 20th/21st/20nth century and there’s undoubtedly something mythic to be found in the style of many contemporary genre writers. Nevertheless, as much as speculative fiction may emerge as a popular myth or set of myths for today, it regularly incorporates preexisting cosmologies and storylines as well.
In light of both the integral role played by myth in the origins and everyday continuity of imaginative writing, and our intended mid-March release date, we’ve decided to publish our first-ever themed issue of figments. Semi-officially termed our “Ides of March” issue, we’ve tried to incorporate Classical legends, characters, motifs, and snatches of history into the wider world of speculative fiction.
Are there other mythologies besides those of Ancient Greece and Rome? Of course. In fact, we’ve featured several in the past (and you might come across a few new ones in this volume as well!). However, confined to the scope of one issue, we’ve enjoyed the thought experiment—how do you make a specific series of particularly iconic gods and heroes, people, places, and texts relevant today? Do they demand relevance as such? Can a story get old, tired out, worn thin as crumbling papyrus, dusty after centuries of dry heat and fading pigment? After millennia? After forever? Will our own modern myths outlast us?
In the pages that follow, you’ll find phantoms flitting around selfie-snapping Roman masses, experience Epicureanism taken to extremes on far flung worlds, and meet an oddly familiar pair of detectives, pursuing a killer whose name seems to ring a distant bell…. We open with a Preface adapting relatively well-known Classical texts to perhaps more, well, fanciful settings.
You’ll also encounter two types of genetic engineering: one bittersweet—the other darkly ominous. You’ll eat ice cream with a ghost, settle into the audience for a very peculiar magician’s final (?) act, and, we hope, embrace the many facets of the speculative.
Managing Editor and Incoming Editor-in-Chief
Curator of Starlight, Space Opera, and Sorcery