Letter from the Editors
by Meera Velu AND DEVON MONTGOMERY
Issue 3: KNOWLEDGE
Welcome to Speculative City in its second year.
In a step away from the play of last issue, Issue 3, with its focus on knowledge, opens to larger realms of possibility. We chose this theme specifically for its breadth. What is understood as knowledge is often up for interpretation. This makes speculative fiction a wonderful space to explore the concept.
What emerged from this issue and theme was, first and foremost, the collaborative nature of the art that is the magazine. An unexpected take to the theme surfaced as we selected works. When issuing the call, we had envisioned knowledge to be illustrated as institutional or recorded. The works featured in this issue all defied our expectations. Stories explore the interpersonal—knowledge gained through intimacy and experience with another. Such knowledge acts as revelatory and, at times, cryptic.
And while intimacy may imply romance, the works lean away from such a subgenre. All the pieces imply a questioning that results from or appears through personal loss, whether that be of a person, place, or time. The feature story “Rip Us Apart” probes into a knowing that is implied, assumed, and hidden. The following story, “Catalog of Lights,” digs into this more, as characters must deem what is authentic through knowledge built from emotional experiences. Taking such experience to a different level, Lenna Mendoza’s poetry examines a changed landscape and the resulting human adaptations—survival through the known and unknown.
Significant when reflecting upon knowledge is also its transference, which this issue does not forget to examine. Elisa Shoenberger’s essay analyzes communication of information through visuals and how our assumptions can actually bar us from gaining knowledge. In a similar vein, Rachel Chimits’s story introduces traditional knowledge, or that which has been passed from generation to generation. Some may deem such knowledge as folkloric and trivial, but at what cost?
The pursuit of knowledge is foundational to all fiction, and particularly to speculative fiction, which creatively plays with what was, what could be, and what is ultimately unknown. We hope that these stories invigorate your own pursuit of knowledge as we move into an unknowable future. And don’t forget—to ask is to learn, so never stop speculating.
PS. You might notice that Issue 3 is half as long as our previous issues. That’s because you won’t have to wait six months for the next issue. Speculative City is now publishing quarterly! Keep your eye out for Issue 4: Faith, out in June 2019.