Guest Editor Reveal: Jaclyn Morken

Hey!

morken2019I’m Jaclyn, I’m Saskatchewan born and raised, and I don’t plan on leaving any time soon. I have an English degree from the University of Saskatchewan and now I’m working through the end of my MFA in Writing—so, I like to read and write. I mostly inhabit the fantasy genre, but I’m trying to branch out.

I’ll start off by saying what smarter people than me have already said: speculative fiction takes us into new territory. Whether it’s yesterday or three million years from now, in our own world or another one entirely, speculative fiction considers something impossible or not-yet possible. But well-written speculative fiction should make me believe it is possible, here and now.

For that, I’m looking for strong characters.

Sure, a real challenge of writing spec fic, especially in shorter pieces, is creating this believable new world without losing the reader’s attention. But a story’s concept could be stunning, its worldbuilding masterful, and it will still fall flat if its characters don’t resonate.

If I can believe that these characters are real—if they have personality and motivation, and actions that coincide with such—then I’ll believe almost anything thrown at them. And I want to believe in those impossible worlds and situations, because I want to see what these characters are made of.

My writing generally starts with a “what if” situation, and I guess, in a nutshell, that’s what speculative fiction means to me. What if the terrible, the fantastic, the impossible collides with the mundane? What if an ordinary individual interacts with the extraordinary?

Show me. I want to know what happens next.

Guest Editor Reveal: Simon Böhm

Hi there, my name is Simon and I’m from Germany, which used to be the land of poets and thinkers and is now the country of cars and beer. I came to Canada in 2016 for my MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan and decided to stay. So here I am.simon2019portrait

First off, I hate the term Speculative Fiction (isn’t the word fiction implying speculation anyway? Asking for a friend) but what can you do. To me, SpecFic includes everything with a fantastic element. Alternative history? Check. Fantasy? Check. SciFi? Check. Magical realism? Check. Horror? Mostly check.

Personally, I love everything horror – especially King, Barker, Herbert – and a lot of classic Science Fiction by the likes of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, or Isaac Asimov. Those genres have a tendency to produce longer works and stories, which I attribute to the fact that they require a certain amount of buildup or world-building to achieve their goal. The shorter the story, the more universal and familiar the initial situation has to be in my opinion.

Why does this matter? As an editor for antilang., I’m not necessarily looking for an original genius – though if you can deliver the next archetype villain, that’s great. But you don’t need to create the next creature for Stephenie Meyer to ruin. I prefer a well-written, engaging, classic story over a messy but original one any day of the week. Effect is king, especially in horror. Scare me. Knock my socks off. Make me smile (in a sadistic, maniacal way) and go: that was awesome!

I guess that’s it. Here’s my hand. Now take me to the land of your imagination, no matter how weird or dark it is. Just a heads up: like a lizard that dismembers its own tail, I can let go of my hand. So if you turn around and I’m not there anymore, you lost me. But that won’t happen. Not with you. Right?

Here’s the Plan: Themed Issue Previews

We don’t have time for new year, new me because we’re too busy with the new ALP!

Over the course of an amazing year establishing antilang. and putting together our first three issues, we noticed contributors tend to gravitate toward certain themes and genres. So, to encourage good short writing in these areas while giving our issues more cohesion and nuance, we’ve decided that our next three issues (antilang. no. 4-6) will be themed. We’re hoping to invite guest editors to help out with each issue (we already have two on board for no. 4—stay tuned for the big reveal!) and lend broader and more diverse perspectives to our team.

“But what are the themes?” you ask. Without further adieu, here’s the plan:

antilang. no. 4: Succinct Speculations (Spring 2019)

  • SciFi, fantasy, weird, horror, alternate history/present/reality, etc.
  • Details on guest editors, their definitions of “spec fic,” and what they’re looking for in submissions coming soon!
  • Submissions open Feb. 1st
no. 4 font idea
font prototype for antilang. no. 4

antilang. no. 5: Pithy Politics (Fall 2019)

  • Bold poems, outspoken prose, and micro manifestos
  • Just in time for the Canadian federal election!
  • Submissions open June 1st

antilang. no. 6: Blunt Blogs (Winter 2020)

  • Creative writing from your blog (any genre/topic)
  • A platform for your ‘previously published’ work (because many mags don’t accept work if it’s been on a blog before)
  • Submissions open Oct. 1st

See our Submission Guidelines for full details.

A note on soundbite: our audio publication will be open for general submissions during the same windows as antilang. Contributors are welcome to send audio submissions that match antilang.’s themed issues but we’re happy to hear byte-sized readings on other topics as well.

New Work from 32 Contributors!

We’re so excited to launch our latest issues of antilang. and soundbite! Check out some amazing short work from established and emerging writers across Canada and beyond.

Read antilang. no. 3 and listen to soundbite vol. 2 and tell us what you think!

Record Snowfall in Calgary; Or, Why Not Stay in and Read?

If you’re in the Calgary area, as one of our illustrious editors and many of our wonderful contributors are, then you know all about the record snowfall we got over the last two days!

Is a tough day of shoveling getting you down, or are you tougher than the weather? Either way, why not take this excuse to curl up with a warm blanket, some cocoa, and Aritha van Herk’s “Tough Girl,” a kindred spirit from antilang. no. 1:

tough girl

In comforting solidarity, here’s a view from Jordan‘s front door in northern Calgary. Take care, be safe, and keep warm out there!

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3, (antilang. no.) 2, (soundbite vol.) 1, LAUNCH!

We promised you more good. short. writing., and we hope you enjoy!

Check out our latest issue of antilang. and our inaugural issue of soundbite

Thanks for all your support, and lots of love from the ALP team!

(and don’t worry, you can still read antilang. no. 1 in our archive)

Countdown to Launch!

Only 5 more days until we get to share a tonne of amazing new writing with you!

We’re putting the finishing touches on antilang. no. 2 and the first volume of soundbite, which means you only have a few days left to snag your own PDF or hard copy of issue no. 1 by supporting us on Patreon.

We’re a little behind on previews for you, so we’ll have double features excerpting antilang. and soundbite this weekend. Stay tuned!

Last Chance for Issue 1 & Patreon Update

Hello! As you know, we are ramping up for the launches of antilang. no. 2 and soundbite no.1 with previews running for both publications until and after the launch (September 5th!). So, we thought we should remind you of our Patreon offers that expires on September 5th…

  1. If you support us for $2/ month (before antilang. no. 2 launches), then we will send you a high-resolution PDF of our first issue that you can read off-line
  2. If you support us for $5/month or more (before September 5th), then we will mail you a hard-copy of antilang. no. 1

If you want to get your hands on one of our first printed copies, or would just like to read us anywhere you go, please support us! Your monthly donations mean the world to us!

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Additionally, we did not realise that Patreon charges in American dollars. Which means that when we say $2/ month, turns out it’s actually more like $2.50/ month. To make this better for all our current (and future) Patrons, we have decided to include soundbite files as part of the perks. Meaning, if you donate $2 (USD)/ month (or more!), you will now get access to downloadable soundbite readings–the individuals ones posted as previews, and the entire issue when it launches September 5th!