Editor's Desk: Editing Reality
I was driving through the local wildlife refuge last week when a bunch of red text and icons began to light up the console. As instructed, I pulled off the road and onto a gravel path so I could shut down the car. I had my cellphone—a rare occurrence—but couldn’t get a signal. Across the field was an abandoned house with curtains fluttering in the upstairs window. A hawk screeched as it glided high above.
Wait. I’ve read this story and rejected it.
Invoking my editorial superpowers, I turned the key to the ignition and my trusty vehicle roared to life and whisked me to the relative safety of home. The car, however, has been in the shop for a couple of days. I fear it may have given its life to save me, but it’s probably something mundane like a thermostat or gasket. Reality is boring like that.
The next opportunity for the slush pile to attack reality will happen later this month. I’ll be attending Worldcon in Spokane, Washington, and it looks like it could be a real adventure in traveling. Going to conventions is almost a fictional escape for me, a slightly-better alternate reality where the day job can fade from memory and the night job exists in the presence of daylight.
I’m scheduled to be on a few interesting panels, but otherwise things should be fairly relaxed. I’m looking forward to meeting with our Storycom representative and perhaps some of their authors that have appeared in our issues over the past year. There are also a number of secret projects that might be settled there (or hopefully sooner) that will help me narrow the gap between my conflicting realities.
Last month, I had intended to launch the Kickstarter for my next original anthology, Modified. Given the volume of question marks on my schedule for 2016, I figured it was best to delay that until the schedule was a little more solid. Eager as I am to talk about a genetic engineering anthology, it’s best to be responsible and nail the other stuff down first. Instead you get this little teaser and the promise that there will be something a lot more specific by the time the next issue rolls around.
Meanwhile, best of luck to those of you trying to find or make a better reality for yourself.
Neil Clarke is the editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, and several anthologies, including the Best Science Fiction of the Year series. He is a ten-time finalist and current winner of the Hugo Award for Best Editor (Short Form), has won the Chesley Award for Best Art Director three times, and received the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award from SFWA in 2019. His latest anthology, New Voices in Chinese Science Fiction (co-edited with Xia Jia and Regina Kanyu Wang), is now available from Clarkesworld Books. He currently lives in NJ with his wife and two sons.