Well, we’ve come to the end. It’s hard to know what to say at the end of a series of issues. I never really had proper closure for Delinquent’s Spice because the project fizzled out due to lack of interest. I kind of expected the same for Truancy, but never expected it to — in a small-scale — snowball to the extent that after I closed submissions for good, I was still getting emails with submissions from people wanting to get into the magazine. It really broke my heart. But I’m also really thankful that this passion project meant as much to you as it did to me.
We begin our offerings of fiction with Cindy Phan’s surreal and eldritch tale of aquatic creatures, shape-changing…and age. A unique voice and a unique tale that demanded attention, Storm Waters invites re-reads, speculations and much introspection. Following this is Ellen Huang’s Spiral of Salt, a lyrical tale that re-visits the trope of the witch, also introspecting on the art of transformation and of the desire to hide. I loved how the voice of this tale challenges ideas not just of becoming but of the alchemy of spells. The third tale is derived from Armenian and Middle Eastern folktales, Lara K. Chauvin draws from her Armenian heritage to offer the enigmatic The Blue Powder, teases the reader, sphinx-like into the secrets children keep and the perils that they experience. Finally, Eleanor R. Wood’s Rose Briar, an SFnal retelling of a well-loved fairytale that invites discussion on the possibilities of how Sleeping Beauty can be re-envisioned further.
For poetry, we have Alethea Kontis’s Sea Lost, a poem of the sea and of magic, resonant with the lyrical fairytale quality of her writing. Following this is a Goose Girl retelling by Lauren Reynolds, What The Prince Thought Of The Goose Girl, which has a different kind of ending for the fairy-tale. Finally, the last poem accepted for this issue was Ariel Machell’s Eurydice at Water’s Edge. In this editor’s books, there can never be enough re-visitings of Orpheus and Eurydice. There’s a reason why these tales speak to, and resonate with us. And this was a particularly fine poetic revisiting of the myth.
And so we come to the last paragraphs of this last editorial for the last issue.
Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge that I was flung into this fiction editing business almost by accident and I’ve been stumbling and making mistakes along the way, receiving guidance from various other editors who answered my wild-eyed questions, and various author friends who helped, even when the masthead was just me. To all of these people, I owe a debt of gratitude, and of love. Finally, my love and thanks to the members of my team and those who have been part of this team: Eileen who has been an excellent associate/co-editor, Rebekah and Nik Maisarah who have provided so much emotional support in these past two trying years, Arun and Christopher who have been on the reviews team, and to the brilliant editors Khaalidah and Troy who helmed our Issue 4. Thanks for being with me on this journey.
While the lights go out on this magazine, it remains lit in many other small magazines like mine — passion projects with no expectations of profit, where only the love of fairytales and of the written word is our fuel. We do what we do without expectation of much, and we give everything. Our finances, our personal time, and sometimes — our mental health — to make these dreams come true, not just for us, but for various others.
And yes, all Truancy issues will remain archived for as long as I am alive to renew the domain. And there will be a “Best of Truancy” print anthology at some point, with new contracts issued. I’ll just tease by saying I’ve already done up the table of contents.
Having said that, I gently turn off the lights.
Much Love and Good Night, Little `zine that could.
Nin Harris is an SFF author and poet. In her day job she is a literary academic with a focus on the Postcolonial Gothic. Nin writes Gothic fiction, cyberpunk, nerdcore post-apocalyptic fiction, planetary romances and various other hyphenated weird fiction. Nin’s publishing credits include: Beneath Ceaseless Skies, The Dark, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Uncanny and more.
The enigmatic clipart for this editorial was sourced from here.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This issue of Truancy Magazine (Issue 10) is supported by the grant GGP-2019-017 Climate-Based Literary Theory and Analytical Model for Indigenous Malaysian Communities impacted by Climate Change and Climate Migration, awarded by the Centre for Research and Instrumentation (CRIM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. (Principle Investigator: Dr. Anita Harris Satkunananthan)