Letter from the Editor
by Lynne Sargent
The theme for this issue is “Out of This World.” As an outlet for utopic science fiction, I think the idea of life and civilization in space is in many ways still a hope for a new world. However, that doesn’t mean forgetting the world that we live on, and within these pages you’ll see many examples of the impulses and values we have here on Earth transported to the stars.
For science fiction fans I think the idea of space provokes a natural kind of wonder, but that wonder exists too in nature and the myths that we have already created. In Avra Margariti’s words from their “Extrasolar Faeryland”, this magical wonder is “small enough to curl inside a walnut shell/or encompass an entire galaxy.” This bond between the otherworldly and the earthly is represented in many of this month’s works. In B.T. Petro’s “Ode on a Martian Urn,” which pays homage to Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” you’ll see how civilization building, and mythmaking through art can be mirrored in any situation you might transplant humanity to. Similarly, L.P. Melling’s “Across Space and Time, Love’s Light” reminds us that no matter where we find ourselves, whether that’s on Earth or far across the stars, what keeps us grounded and affirms our humanity is the bonds that we craft with one another. On a more humorous note, in Ray Daley’s “Letters From The Phased Photonic Travel Company,” you’ll find how out of this world ridiculous corporations can be— but that even in a high-tech future those who have been wronged by corporations can still have recourse to find justice.
Sometimes it seems that hope, that a dream for a utopic future is in itself “out of this world” and much has been written about the problem of utopias more generally. But, if we keep dreaming and thinking outside of this world, outside of the box, and sharing those ideas with each other, if we keep tweaking and tinkering and striving to improve, then maybe the stars and dreams you find within these pages won’t seem so out of reach, and even if they are, these stories and poems affirm what is important now, and what is eternally important wherever in or out of the world we find ourselves. The eternal principles of love, community, and justice are already here on this Earth, our writers are writing about them, and I am confident that they will endure wherever we find ourselves in the future.
Assistant Poetry Editor
Utopia Science Fiction Magazine
Lynne Sargent is a writer, aerialist, and philosophy Ph.D candidate at the University of Waterloo. Their work has been nominated for Rhysling and Aurora Awards, and has appeared in venues such as Augur Magazine, Strange Horizons, and Daily SF. Their first collection, A Refuge of Tales, is out now from Renaissance Press. Find them on Twitter @SamLynneS or visit them at scribbledshadows.wordpress.com.
Editorials by Lynne Sargent:
Letter from the Editor, June 2021