Editorial: At the Boundaries of SF
As we release Issue 3 of Constellary Tales into the wild with four new tales of SF and original artwork, it becomes impossible not to start noticing what our magazine is and what it isn’t.
We started off with a call for fantasy and science fiction by their broadest definitions (but no straight horror, thanks kindly). And did we ever get the full range of the genre in our submissions folder (including, predictably, a fair number of straight horror stories).
Most of what we’ve published has been the solid science fiction and fantasy we hoped for. But as we’ve considered stories, our editorial team has had to ask the question about some of them: Is this SF? (Or more accurately: Is this our kind of SF?) The answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no.
One thing for sure is that there’s way more latitude for stories we love. Keyan Bowes’ “A Scent of Roses” in Issue 2 was, to our thinking, more magical realism than fantasy, but that wasn’t going to stop us. And Michael M. Jones’ “The Tears of Bourbon Street” in Issue 1 is a ghost story—a genre some other publications wouldn’t touch (and which we shy away from in the abstract, but in this specific case it was too good to pass up).
And even with our love for science fiction stories set in space, Issue 3 arrives with a set of tales where none meet that criterion (outer space being neither necessary nor sufficient for a speculative fiction story).
What they all are, however, are examples of great storytelling. Delivering stories like those remains our editorial mission.
Looking to Issue 4 and beyond, we expect most stories to fall in the middle of our increasing data set. If some push the borders, that just means they’re good enough to push the borders. And that’s exciting.
We hope you think so too.
Brian Hirt and Ken Gerber
Co-publishers and Co-editors in Chief