Letter from the Editor
by Tristan Evarts
I am a firm believer in the power of words and in the power of stories. They are not passive reflections of society, but active shapers of the world around us (and Science Fiction especially so). If we are given that responsibility and that ability to actively change the world through the tales we tell, should we not do our best to shape a better future for humanity? Should we not ask the questions and explore the nuances of difficult subjects fully?
They seem like especially poignant questions to ask, especially in the wake of recent events. 2020 has been a tumultuous year so far. Utopia seems far away, it certainly won’t be achievable until we’ve learned to expunge racism in all its forms from our society and reformed our institutions to prevent the abuse of power. But change will come, Utopia is the inevitable conclusion to those who believe and work to see it come about.
I welcome you world-worn reader to take a deep breath. To escape and dream of better futures, of other worlds of marvel and awe. In escaping, let us believe and in believing let us change.
We have a cosmic line-up of stories in this issue, starting with “Mother Mars” by Matt McHugh. The story, told from the point of view of a ship's master AI is a familiar one about colonizing Mars, but it offers a unique viewpoint and measured beautiful prose. “Child’s Play” by the dual writing team Edd Vick and Manny Frishberg follows at light-speed. At least until an accident with an alien craft puts the lives of a planetary survey ship at risk in this First Contact story.
Flying forward we come to “Last Float Out of Dodge,” by J.L. Royce. The first of two stories in this issue which take place on Titan. The storm of a century bears down on a Titan community as one man rushes to secure his future.
Next is the wonderfully evocative prose of Gabrielle Bleu in her very short story “You’re It,” which leads a woman to search the solar system after her missing wife. We shift gears with James Rumpel’s “A Night at Shining Star Intergalactic Casino,” which adds a mystery of galactic proportions to our repertoire as on the eve of retirement a security chief investigates an impossible case in an intergalactic casino.
We end our story session strongly by returning to Titan for Thomas Broderick’s “Rainmaker”. Which introduces a child who grows up on Titan and tries to find her place in a frontier world.
In our Poetry section we have lots of new faces. Stephen C. Curro’s “The Artemis” starts us off with a short but elegant poem. Harris Coverly’s sci-ku’s follow and Amirah Al Wassif’s poems, especially “How I Washed My Heart” reminds us that there is also a spiritual element to utopia. Finally, the amazing talent of Christopher Collingwood in the long poem “A World for My Ashes.” Imaginative, lyrical, and descriptive, it is an excellent way to end strong our poetry section.
This closes up the last issue in volume one. It’s hard to imagine our first year is closing; we owe so much to your support. The next volume promises so many incredible opportunities and challenges. We’re going to start working on increasing the rates we pay authors to semi-pro and then pro rates. (1.5c per word up to 8c per word) but we cannot (I can’t underscore this enough) do it without your help! How do you help? Easy. Join our Patreon and subscribe to Utopia Science Fiction Magazine. When we reach 100 people subscribing to our Patreon we’ll be able to afford increasing our rates. Not only will you be helping us, but you will get access to exclusive content and giveaways.
One of note particularly is that we are selecting Patreon subscribers to send science fiction books signed by their great authors. We have books signed by Ray Bradbury, Larry Niven, Frederick Pohl, William Gibson, Theodore Sturgeon, and Harlan Ellison and many others which we will periodically give away to someone who’s subscribed at any tier to our Patreon. (Tiers start as low as $1 a month and such a small number makes a huge difference. You can help. Magazines subsist largely on subscribers. Subscribe to one of our levels of Patreon (as little as $1 a month) and help keep Utopia Science Fiction publishing and paying authors and artists. Click here to view and subscribe via Patreon. Your help is appreciated.
And don’t forget to take a look at our merchandise store! Click here to see the awesome items we have available, prints, cards, notebooks all featuring cover art from this and past issues.
Until then we will keep holding on. Wishing you, dear reader, good health, hope, and safety. Let us, despite the uncertainty of the times, go boldly forward. Onward through the impossible!
Tristan Evarts is the founder and editor-in-chief of Utopia Science Fiction Magazine. He has degrees in English, Philosophy, and Library Science.
Editorials by Tristan Evarts:
Letter from the Editor, August 2021
Letter from the Editor, April 2021
Letter from the Editor, August 2020
Letter from the Editor, June 2020
Letter from the Editor, April 2020
Letter from the Editor, February 2020
Letter from the Editor, December 2019
Letter from the Editor, October 2019
Letter from the Editor, August 2019