Editorial: On Hope and Acceptance

- by Michael Matheson -


How has it been a year already? Potential clichés about the illusory nature of time aside, this year has moved blindingly fast. And as the world has done—and continues to do—its best to devour itself, we do our damnedest to keep bringing light into the world through the work of incredibly talented content creators.

In this, our third and final issue for 2017, that light comes in the form of four stories and an essay from some amazing creators. Alongside some absolutely fucking gorgeous cover art. We’re constantly amazed and humbled at the exceptional artists who continue to say yes when we ask if we can use their work. And we hope you, too, have enjoyed the variety of what we’ve gathered together this year in our attempt to continue giving voice to underrepresented creators.

It’s appropriate that as we end the year and look forward to the next that we bring you an issue filled with all the things we at Anathema love as writers, as editors, and as readers:

Stories suffused with the heady flush of finding love, creating art, and chasing dreams; of the cost and wages of war and how it transforms us, literally and figuratively; of how we navigate fear and joy and loss and family and who is the “Other,” all tangled in impossibly tight knit; of those quiet moments of intimacy and understanding that bring renewed resolve. And always this issue is about acceptance.

We don’t really plan for themes when we start pulling together an issue. But we always manage to find one as things begin taking shape. Our first issue’s theme was stories of wonder and awe. Our second: acts of rebellion and resistance. And I don’t think our third issue’s focus on acceptance could be any more on the nose given that we started this magazine specifically to give more voice to historically marginalized creators.

We’ve had reason to be awed this year. We’ve had reason to be angry this year. Hell, we’ve all had reason to be angry this year, in so many varying respects, globally and locally. But we can’t lose that sense of wonder and awe if we are to move forward. And sometimes in order to do so you have to recover on the fly as you stumble.

We are, of course, also talking about ourselves:

You may recall I mentioned earlier that we had four stories this issue, instead of our usual five.

We recently lost touch with one of our contracted writers. Across all channels. We’re aware that people disappear for terrible and irrevocable reasons, and never resurface. But we hope that is not the case here. We’re hoping that the writer’s okay, and will reappear in good time, a story of marvels and wonders in hand with which to regale us. Ready to roll out their story in another issue down the line.

We choose to live in hope.

And so, we have a more streamlined issue for you as we head into 2018. A slimmer issue, but no less full. And no less important to the work we’ve tried to do this year. And as the year draws to a close, and we—in this hemisphere—see autumn tumble into winter, we’re already looking to that returning light. Soon enough the days will lengthen, and we’ll be back for our second year’s worth of storytelling.

Enjoy the issue. We’ll see you again in the spring.


© 2017 by Michael Matheson